Up until now, the invisibility cloaks have been bulky contraptions–not easy to slip on and off for people who want to role play Harry Potter. However, researchers have now developed a cloak that is just micrometers thick.

Objects are detected when waves–whether they are sound, light, x-rays or microwaves– rebound off its surface. The reason we see objects is because light rays bounce off their surface towards our eyes and our eyes are able to process the information.

While previous cloaking studies have used metamaterials to bend the incoming waves around an object, this new method uses an ultrathin metallic screen to cancel out the waves as they are scattered off the cloaked object.

Researcher Andrea Alu says, "When the scattered fields from the cloak and the object interfere, they cancel each other out and the overall effect is transparency and invisibility at all angles of observation."

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