These Filipino physicists created an "invisibility cloak" out of cheap lenses

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Think about all the times your sibling snooped around your room and stole your journal, or the times when your roommate ate the bag of chips you’ve been reserving for a bad day. Infuriating, right? Now imagine if you could make your valuables invisible. Well, with these UP physicists’ new study, you might be able to do that! Sort of.

University of the Philippines scientists Miguel Revilla, JC Lorenzo, and Nathaniel Hermosa developed an “invisibility cloak” made by manipulating light refraction through lenses. This study is a variation of the Rochester Cloak, which is an invention of University of Rochester student Joseph Choi and his professor, John Howell, in 2014. The Rochester version had to have specific lenses and and a small setup in order to work. What’s special about the UP team’s work, however, is that they were able to achieve a more compact version by using lenses that can be found at your local optical shop.

Okay, this invention might not let us magically disappear during embarrassing moments a la Harry Potter just yet, but at least it can bring the magic of science to young kids. “Schools lacking sets of lenses can benefit from this as well. They may have old or broken overhead projectors where they can get the lenses from,” Revilla says in a GMA News report. This is great news for budding physicists in the high school level. Who knows, this might just inspire the inventor of a legit invisibility cloak in the future.

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