September 20, 2010

Physicist: ‘Invisibility cloak’ may not be as far-fetched as it seems

A British theoretical physicist doing groundbreaking work in developing “invisibility materials” —a la Harry Potter’s famous invisibility cloak—will this week deliver the inaugural Robert Resnick Lecture, which honors a Johns Hopkins alumnus who was a renowned physics educator.

Sir John Pendry of Imperial College London will present “Invisible Cloaks and a Perfect Lens” at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23, in the Bloomberg Center’s Schafler Auditorium, Homewood campus.

Pendry is known for his research into the creation of special materials and techniques that could lead to the creation of “cloaks” of invisibility around objects, rendering them unable to be seen. Such materials, called “metamaterials,” would be made up of tiny wires and blends of polymers that would skew the paths of electromagnetic radiation so onlookers could see—or appear to see—right through or beyond them.