University denies development of 'quantum invisibility cloak' in popular online video

Updated 2017-12-10 10:52:16
A screenshot of the online video of an invisibility cloak.

A screenshot of the online video of an "invisibility cloak".

Zhejiang University has denied the development of a "quantum invisibility cloak" shown in a video that went viral in recent days, Beijing News reported on December 9, 2017.

According to rumors, a Chinese university has been developing an "invisibility cloak" which appeared in a recent online video, and people suggested it was Zhejiang University.

Ma Yungui, a professor of stealth technology at the College of Optical Science and Engineering of Zhejiang University confirmed that the university did not develop the quantum invisibility cloak.

Ma said that under existing technical conditions the invisibility cloak in the video could not be produced and gave his belief that the video was edited.

In theory, the invisibility cloak is feasible, and related mathematical models and theories are actually already available, however, the key is whether there is a way to turn theory into reality, according to Ma.

It requires light to pass around the object and then straighten again, but in the field of scientific research, the concept of stealth is much wider. An invisibility cloak actually refers to invisibility in the visible light, but according to different wave lengths, light can be divided into infrared or microwave light, amongst others.

Currently, it is possible to achieve an invisibility effect at a particular stealth frequency, or at a certain angle within the scope of stealth, but not the technology in an all-round invisibility cloak, Ma said.

The technology has great scientific significance and is expected to produce many applications in the future. At this point, domestic and international studies share common challenges.

The current application of existing stealth technology remains for military purposes. The current "stealth aircraft" is designed to absorb all electromagnetic waves or reflect them elsewhere, making if impossible for a radar to detect it. If similar technology for invisibility cloak can be achieved, allowing electromagnetic waves to bypass the aircraft directly, it will achieve a better stealth effect.

The civil use of invisibility technology remains a concept only.

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