Nanotextures solve a historic problem
Nanotexturing that prevents scale forming on the inside of pipes can reduce plant maintenance costs significantly
The effect, announced by a Chinese scientist, is achieved thanks to a mesh of cylindrical lenses that produce the refraction of light.
In previous articles, we explored the realm of smart textiles and their distance from achieving the elusive invisibility cloak seen in Harry Potter and fictional characters such as the Predator alien. However, a recent development suggests that a Chinese scientist may have brought us closer to J.K. Rowling's fantastical fabric. The inventor asserts that, someday, an invisibility cloak could become a fashionable wardrobe accessory for everyone. How was this breakthrough achieved?
The fundamental principle behind an invisibility cloak is to manipulate light rays, directing them in a manner that reaches objects positioned behind the cloak. Essentially, the aim is to bend light, as conventional reactions involve either light absorption, obscuring the background, or light reflection, illuminating and revealing the object. Three primary approaches are explored for achieving invisibility:
At a recent scientific conference in Shanghai, Professor Chu Junhao from Donghua University unveiled what appears to be the most realistic invisibility cloak to date. During the demonstration, he described it as a sheet featuring multiple rows of cylindrical convex lenses. Each lens can compress objects parallel to it, causing light refraction. Consequently, the image is fragmented into millions of identical particles, rendering them indistinguishable to the human eye. Junhao asserts that this technology is poised to "change our lives."
To witness the technology in action, you can check out a video uploaded to X that showcases its capabilities. Initially, the researcher's legs are visible through the panel but become blurred. When two individuals turn him, the researcher and his captors vanish, revealing the scene's background.
Magic! Chu Junhao, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, demonstrated "invisibility". pic.twitter.com/qNESHCVvPK— Zhang Heqing (@zhang_heqing) October 30, 2023
Invisibility technologies, though prominent in books and fiction like H.G. Wells' "The Invisible Man," the Star Trek series, and previously mentioned examples, have been subjects of scientific exploration for decades. While not as striking as the developments by Donghua University's team, recent years have witnessed crucial milestones in advancing invisibility cloaks. Here are some significant moments:
To delve deeper into materials with remarkable functionalities, alongside the latest strides in technology and renewable energies, consider subscribing to our newsletter at the bottom of this page.