Success toward 'cloak of invisibility'

Experiments could make objects disappear

Usually when we encounter the maddeningly overused term "scientific breakthrough," involuntary eye-rolling ensues. But this is one body of science where we wouldn't mind seeing the B-word used liberally.

U.S. and British researchers are reporting initial success in experiments with a "cloak of invisibility." That's right, we're talking H.G. Wells territory here.

To say that the technical explanation is over our heads would be the understatement of the year. But we managed to glean that the experiment involves detouring microwaves around an object and reconnecting them on the other side--creating an "artificial mirage," as one Duke researcher put it.

Our personal hopes aside, it's probably wise not to count on learning this trick anytime soon; the topic crops up every few years, and we still don't have invisible men and women roaming the planet. Then again, if they were, how would we know?

(Illustration: Casimir Fornalski/CNET

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