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Carbon Nanotubes in Form of Aerogel Enable Invisibility Cloak

The feature of invisibility is becoming one of the more attractive aspects of nanomaterials

1 min read

Invisibility is becoming one of the more attractive features of nanomaterials. As evidenced herehere, and here.

The last link on that list brings you to research in which researchers at the University of Texas used graphene to build on the phenomena known as “plasmonic cloaking” and “mantle cloaking.”

It seems the University of Texas is at again, this time at the UT in Dallas. But in this case the researchers are using carbon nanotubes to exploit the single-beam mirage effect, photothermal deflection, to create an invisibility capability.

The research, which was published in the Institute of physics journal Nanotechnology, basically used a sheet of carbon nanotubes in the form of an aerogel to create the "invisibility cloak."

In the past, when I have written about these developments, I didn't have a video to demonstrate the invisibility effect. In covering this story, however, I came across a video of what this invisibility looks like when it operates. 

Unfortunately, I saw that ABC News covered the story as well. The way the ABC reporter approached the story really depressed me. 

Apparently, the reporter felt that he could only relate the news by making reference to Harry Potter (It's hard to write about the experiment done at the University of Texas at Dallas without invoking Harry Potter), and that he was sorry to say he could only tell the story of the breakthrough by discussing nanotechnology (If you're not into nanotechnology, read on anyhow.).

Why must every story that comes from the mainstream press on science and technology be first related through some Hollywood movie or TV show? And is it really necessary to apologize for the fact that this technology 

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

2 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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