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It is possible to be invisible!

india Updated: Aug 01, 2006 11:24 IST
Reuters
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It's unlikely to occur by swallowing a pill or donning a special cloak, but invisibility could be possible in the not too distant future, according to research published on Monday.

Harry Potter accomplished it with his magic cloak. H G Wells' Invisible Man swallowed a substance that made him transparent.

But Dr Ulf Leonhardt, a theoretical physicist at St Andrews University in Scotland, believes the most plausible example is the Invisible Woman, one of the Marvel Comics superheroes in the Fantastic Four.

"She guides light around her using a force field in this cartoon. This is what could be done in practice," Leonhardt said. Invisibility is an optical illusion. Leonhardt uses the example of water circling around a stone.

The water flows in, swirls around the stone and then leaves as if nothing was there.  "If you replace water with light, then you would not see something present because the light is guided around the person or object. You would see the light coming from the scenery behind as if there was nothing in front," he said.

The research was published in the New Journal of Physics, as a follow-up paper to an earlier study published in Science.

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