Harry Who?

Invisibility Silk Cloak to Be
Used for Defense, Not Magic

For all its fight for justice and the eternal quest from the truth, the superhuman struggle to avenge the violent death of his parents without abdicating his unalienable right to grow up as a healthy human being, for all the evidence that evil is lurking at every dark corner, ready to jump and reign on earth and only him, Harry Porter and his ragtag gang of dedicated friends, stand on the way, what really touched and moved people throughout this multibook, multi-billion series was the invisibility cloak.
Never mind the wand, the humble origins, the destiny for greatness. What transfixed most readers of the hundreds of languages the series has been translated to so far, is something depicted only for a few pages, worn a handful of times, and completely unrelated to the highly anticipated grand finale when the once boy, now young man wizard will finally prevail over his, and our, enemies.
What really fascinates people is the ability to do things no one else can see, apparently. Chief among them, you guessed, the defense military, who apparently can’t wait to have control over such an invention, so they can conceal whatever it’ll be that defense military are always eager to conceal, regardless of nationality or language. And what they want, they usually get, even before you and I will have a chance to, say, find secret entrances to magical worlds (rarely ever a chance) where it turns out, we were eagerly expected and have a quest to pursue and also greatness to greet. That can and will wait.
Not the cloak. In fact, several experiments already had limited success in emulating some of the properties as depicted by the movies’ million-dollar special effects budget. Just last month, scientists at the University of Saint Andrews, Scotland, led by Dr. Andrea Di Falco, reported the creation of a flexible cloaking material they call “Metaflex”, which may bring commercial and industrial applications significantly closer.
Now the journal Nature has revealed that two separate groups – one based in Singapore and the other at the University of Birmingham and Imperial College London – have made objects each a few centimetres in diameter invisible. They credit the special properties of calcite crystals – and calcite is a cheap and common mineral made of calcium carbonate.
Carpet cloaks” – as scientists called them – render objects invisible by bending light rays as they enter the cloak and then when they exit it. Calcite has special optical properties and, in this instance, light is bent in such a way that the rays seem to have been reflected directly from the ground below the object – as though it was not there, in other words. The team at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (Smart) has built a calcite carpet cloak that can shield a small steel wedge measuring 38mm by 2mm from red, green and blue visible light. And it is designed to work… under water?
Oh, yes, that’s how the defense hacks want them to be for now (don’t ask, you’re being recorded). From that small magical wedge, they expect one day to hide planes, ships, spacecraft and tanks, even troops invisible to observers. Yes, that’s their grandeur view of the future, all paid for by your tax dollars, but we digress. The theoretical physicist Sir John Pendry-led Birmingham and Imperial team has constructed a calcite cloak that works in the air, so it’s only fair to expect that, say, the Air Force is on their case to build it on an industrial scale ASAP.
Some non-negligible matter of fetishism can also be implied in the most recent efforts to create a high-tech device such as this kind of cloak: the best are made of silk, just like what one’d expect expensive call girls to want for their entrance in the bedrooms of power. Then the low lights, the sax music, the… oh, scratch all that. What we were saying is that, “unlike most materials, which derive optical properties like color from their chemical make up, metamaterials (this type) derive their properties from the physical structure, and the latest prototype was developed by “stenciling” 10,000 gold resonators onto a 1 cm square of silk.
According to scientists, silk is biocompatible, which means it’s more readily accepted by a human body than most other implants. What, wait a minute, who said anything about implants? Well, the bottom line is that this stuff is not being funded by gazillions of dollars just to create a robe for mistresses of all stripes to enchant their high-ranking patrons, even though the thought is not that far off. The applications for an implant of an invisible material, made of silk, into your body is, well, mind boggling and slightly frightening. Just what one’d expect from shadowy military facilities going about their business. Which is no show business, mind you. Sober it up yet?
But what about the fight for justice? The right of all wrongs? The pains of a bright but poor young fella growing into a global billionaire megastar? Oh, grow up you all.

One thought on “Harry Who?

  1. Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow
    you if that would be okay. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look
    forward to new posts.


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