Scientists able to render small objects “almost invisible”

German scientists have developed a method which allows them to make small objects almost invisible to the naked eye from a reasonable distance.

This exciting development could pave the way for experts to eventually render marginally bigger objects slightly less visible, or even see-through. The process works through “hiding” the item under a magic mirror-cloth, which reflects light from its surface making the object beneath it far more difficult to see.

Professor Peter Ian, who led the project, reveals more: “At first, I was sceptical about the idea of going over to Stuttgart to work on this assignment, but I needn’t have worried – the lads (and lady) here have been great. They’ve really made me feel at home and we’ve had a lot of fun developing this technique together over the last four years. For instance, one of the guys left a sandwich on the work surface whilst he went to the coffee machine, so I put the invisibility cloth over it, rendering one of the corners partially less visible. As he came back into the room he initially thought someone had taken a bite out of it, until, of course, he got closer to his desk to find that 100% of the sandwich was still fully visible!

“There was another time, when someone substituted the j-cloth in the staff kitchen with the magic cloth – honestly, it took about 40 minutes to get the washing up done! It was hilarious, because my colleague Ralf began thinking there was something slightly wrong with his fingers. At one point he jumped back and shook both hands in front of him furiously, as he was convinced he’d lost a fingertip. If anything, this just goes to prove how well the method actually works – I mean, if it can fool a qualified scientist, imagine how much fun everyone could have once we get this thing on general release. The possibilities are limitless – at least within the framework of partial invisibility, anyway…”

But it hasn’t all been plain sailing for Prof. Ian and his team, as they also encountered several heartbreaking setbacks during the project: “Working with magic can prove extremely difficult, as it occasionally defies all known logic for no good reason whatsoever. One of the early prototypes, for instance, actually appeared to randomly move the object to different areas of the room, which none of us could work out. We were literally standing there scratching our heads – it left us completely baffled and we had no logical explanation for it. We ended up going back to the drawing board, which was a killer, as that was effectively 6 months’ work down the pan. Another incarnation of this cloth seemed to enable one or two of us to walk on air, which we couldn’t fathom – until we realised that one of our assistants, who shall remain nameless, had used the wrong type of magic. Doh! That was another year’s worth of work undone. Hopefully now we’re somewhere nearer solving the problem of things being visible and, with greater funding and a bit of luck over the next few years, we should be able to develop a means to make reasonably small objects even less opaque than ever thought possible.”

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