Invisibility Umbrella Would Let Future Harry Potters See the Light

Two years ago, physicists blurred the distinction between science and fiction by producing a shell-like "invisibility cloak" that made both itself and an object inside it undetectable--albeit when viewed with microwaves of a specific frequency. Now, a team from Hong Kong has gone one better with a theoretical scheme for an "invisibility umbrella" that can make both itself and an object placed beside it disappear. The previous cloak ferried incoming light around the enclosed object, rendering it blind to the outside world. In contrast, the umbrella leaves the hidden thing out in the open, so it can "see" its surroundings.

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