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July 30, 2012
These images are from animated computer simulations of a new method--developed by University of Utah mathematicians--for cloaking objects from waves of all sorts. The top three images show a wave front passing a kite-shaped object in the middle and hitting the object as it does. In the bottom three images, the kite-shaped object is surrounded by three cloaking devices and the waves they emit. So when the wave front passes, it moves by the object without touching it. Cloaking involves making an object partly or completely invisible to incoming waves such as sound waves, sea waves and seismic waves, but usually electromagnetic waves such as visible light, microwaves, infrared light, or radio and TV waves. While the new method is unlikely to lead to invisibility cloaking like that in the movies or television shows, it may eventually help shield submarines from sonar, planes from radar, buildings from earthquake waves, and oil rigs and coastal structures from tsunamis. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of Utah. Credit: Fernando Guevara Vasquez, Graeme W. Milton, Daniel Onofrei, Math Department, University of Utah