A material used for thousands of years could be key to creating a soft, Harry Potter-style invisibility cloak.
Scientists create an invisibility cloak from silk.
Silk only interacts with terahertz waves, not visible light.
Silk-based metamaterials could become a basis for future generation of biomedical devices.
For thousands of years people have worn shimmering silk to stand out in a crowd. Within the next few years people could wear silk to become invisible in a a crowd.
For the first time ever, scientists have created an invisibility cloak made from silk, and coated in gold.
The new metamaterial, as invisibility cloaks and their kin are technically called, only works on relatively long terahertz waves (a region of the electromagnetic spectrum between radio and infrared light), but the Boston-area scientists who developed the technology think that silk could work as an invisibility cloak at much smaller wavelengths, even in the visible range.
The research could lead to a wide range of optically unique materials for use in biomedicine or defense.