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British troops test Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak

The invisibility cloak that Harry Potter used to move around Hogwarts undetected may have promising applications in real life, especially in the battlefield.

world Updated: Mar 23, 2016 12:59 IST
HT Correspondent
British Army

British troops are testing a Harry Potter-style “invisibility cloak” in the US that allows them to hide from the enemy.(Photo courtesy: Warner Bros)

British troops are testing a Harry Potter-style “invisibility cloak” in the US that allows them to hide from the enemy, with soldiers hailing it as a “brilliant piece of kit”.

The invisibility cloak that Harry Potter used to move around Hogwarts undetected may have promising applications in real life, especially in the battlefield.

In field trials conducted in the US, soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, The Rifles, tried using camouflage sheeting known as Vatec, which allows them to hide from infrared and heat-searching devices.

During trials conducted at Fort Benning in Georgia, the snipers used the material, which can be molded into shapes to match the terrains, to come-up with hideaways during mock battles, US-based Tech Times news website reported.

The participants reported that they could not be seen even when other soldiers who acted as the enemy tried to search for them using the latest infrared trackers and heat-seeking devices, the report said.

The material, which was originally developed by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Illinois, attempts to replicate the special ability of cephalopods such as the octopus and squid to blend in with the environment to evade their predators, it said.

Professor Xuanhe Zhao from Massachusetts Institute of Technology was quoted by the British paper Daily Star as saying, “I have high hopes for its use in military camouflage.”

Despite the advancements, some physicists are skeptical about the ability of invisibility cloaks to hide objects from all observers.

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