Korean and Chinese scientists have come up with two different types of invisibility cloaks for real-world water applications.
According to the teams’ findings published in the journal ‘Physical Review Letters’, the new invisibility cloaks could help reduce drag as well as mitigate wave damage caused to ships docked in port.
Scientists have of late been creating invisibility cloaks based on metamaterials – materials that bend light in such a way as to conceal an object.
It has also been proven that other types of wavelengths can be cloaked as well, such as infrared light, thermal, sound and microwaves.
Efforts have been made to carry out similar work with water-based applications.
Yet they have been mostly unsuccessful as the materials rely on pumps, which require an external power source and also suffer from viscosity issues.
The latest efforts by the Asian scientists are thus being viewed with great interest by the scientific community at large.
In the first effort, members from Seoul National University and Dankook University created a cloak by enclosing an object within a ring of 523 specially designed small pillars.
According to the scientists, the arrangement of the pillars deflect incoming fluid flow, resulting in zero drag on the object that is hidden.
The group proved their concept by demonstrating their cloak in a water-filled tank with a cylinder in the center. They believe their cloak could someday be used to reduce drag on ships and other watercraft.
In the second effort, Beijing University and Xiamen University scientists chose to reduce wave height in a specified channel.
Their wave-guide cloaks consist of long, thin iron platforms installed on the bottom of a tank in its corners.
The platforms were designed in such a way as to steer waves around an object in the center of a tank.
The researchers suggest their cloak could be used to mitigate wave damage to ships in port and are now planning to test their platforms under real-world conditions.
Image and content: Pexels/Physical Review Letters via PhysOrg