By Cameron Chai
Scientists at the University of Texas have successfully created a nano
cloaking device using Carbon Nano Tubes (CNT’s) to make objects disappear
underwater adapting the “Mirage Effect”. The researchers used one molecule thick
CNT’s sheets wrapped in cylindrical tubes to show that the objects can be made
The interesting feature of this device is that it also can be activated and
deactivated as and when required. This feature is best utilized underwater.
The mirage effect is an optical illusion, in which light rays bend producing
a displaced image of an object that is far from the observer. Classic example
would be that an observer would see pools of water at a distant horizon in the
ground. This is mainly caused due to the fact that the air nearer to the surface
of the ground is warmer than the air above it causing the light rays to bend
upward towards the observer’s eyes instead of reflecting off the surface. The
image is the reflection of the sky that tends to appear like water on the
ground, which in turn is the reflected image of the sky as the observer’s brain
perceives it to be so.
The CNT’s properties are special with density that of the air and strong as
steel with particularly its ability to conduct and dissipate heat to the
surrounding environment made it an ideal material for this cloaking device.
Through electricity these clear CNT sheets are heated to very high temperatures.
Their heat dissipation property lets the heat generated be transferred to the
surrounding environment causing the light to bend thereby cloaking the object
they are wrapped around, making the objects to disappear.