A Canadian group of researchers specialized in optics have published an article describing the process of an invisibility device that, in the future, may turn Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak into a reality.

According to leader research, José Azaña, until now all that was available was a series of devices able to camouflage objects of one same color. The technique was used in labs and controlled environments, but not in the daylight. The new device, however, is able to block the reflection of the light, and consequently hide an object of any color of the visible spectrum.

The technique works thusly: a green object, for example, is perceived by human eyes because it reflects only the green light of the visible spectrum. So the researchers use a device which moves the green light to another part of the spectrum (blue light, for example) before it reaches the object. This way, when the natural light reaches the element that must be hidden, it cannot be reflected and is absorbed.

For now, the object is hidden only in one dimension. If a person looks at it from a different angle, they will be able to perceive light perturbation. Now, the researchers are trying to hide objects in multiple dimensions, which would turn Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak into a reality.


Translated by: Caroline Dorigon
Reviewed by: Kätrin Baumgarten