It’s all about light! Have you ever wished you could be invisible – like Harry Potter when he puts on his invisibility cloak? Well, science may hold the answer.
Scientists in Scotland at the University of St. Andrews are experimenting with a flexible fabric that may just make the things it covers invisible. The fabric manipulates light. When light hits the fabric, it bends the light and sends it around the object that is covered, causing the object to not appear. The fabric is called Meta-flex.
Everything that we can see, we see because light bounces off it and comes back to us. The light then enters our eyeballs through the round black part, which is called the “pupil.” The colorful circle around the pupil is called the “iris,” and that controls how much light is let in. On sunny days or in bright rooms pupils are smaller since they want to keep your eyes from getting too much light. Too much light can hurt your eyes. On dark days or in dark rooms pupils are larger since more light is needed to see things.
The light then goes through a special part of your eye called the “lens.” It’s just like the lens of a camera or telescope! The lens focuses the light onto the back of the eyeball. This part is called the “retina.” The retina has a lot of special nerve cells that sense the light and carry signals to the brain to let us know what we’re seeing!
So you can “see” how a fabric that shoots light away from your eyes will trick you into thinking that nothing is there. There is still a lot of work to be done. Who knows, one day we might all have a cloak to hide us on those days when we don’t want to go to the dentist!