Tree-sitting ninjas may be able to disappear, but new research by Cal scientists will make it possible for them to become truly invisible. The results of research into “metamaterials” (artificial materials that influence the path of electromagnetic radiation—in this case, visible light) are expected to be published in the science journals Nature and Science this week.
The findings, funded by the military, add to previous research that was able to create the same effect with microwaves.
“So,” you ask, “will I get to wear a real invisibility cloak for the next Harry Potter movie premier or do I have to stick with my mom’s old linens?” Well, even though the nature of this technology shares features with science fiction—or fantasy—that’s where the similarities end. Unlike on TV, where the heroes crank out new technologies with startlingly superhuman rapidity, real life is more … well, realistic.
And because the research was funded by the military, you can bet any developments for practical use won’t be commercially available for a while.
So it looks like for now, tree-sit supporters will have to stick with old fashioned Ninjutsu—after all, the ninja understands that invisibility is a matter of patience and agility.