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Latest Best of NY

Nina In New York: Now You See Me…

Invisibility Cloak co-creator Nathan Landy (credit: Duke University)

Invisibility Cloak co-creator Nathan Landy (credit: Duke University)

A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.

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By Nina Pajak

Science nerds (I mean that in the nice way) have invented that glorious enigma, that holy grail of cool fantasy stuff everyone wishes were real but doesn’t want to admit because it opens you up a lot of questions to what type of person you really are, deep down.

An invisibility cloak.

Yeah. For realsies.

They claim the cloak is flawless, unlike all those previous, sub-par versions that have been out on the market and which your mom keeps buying you, year after year, in the hopes that you’ll go away. This article on TheWeek.com explains it much more fully, but from what I understand the technology uses the refraction of light and the bending of electromagnetic waves to create an illusion of invisibility. So while wearing said cloak, a nearby person would only see what’s behind the wearer, giving the impression that he is looking directly through the wearer. And also, blah blah blah. Here’s the only catch: they’ve only managed to make it large enough to cover a  7.5 by 1 cm cylinder. Based on some extremely scientific research involving a ruler and some junk I found in my desk drawer, I’ve determined that this is roughly the diameter of one of those large Dunkin’ Donuts straws, and the length of a short cigarette or a long tube of chapstick. I hope you found that helpful.

Oh, also, it only works if you’re looking from one specific angle.

But whatever! We can work with this. Look, a tiny, limited flawless invisibility cloak is still better than noflawless invisibility cloak at all.

Now I can take my 7.5 x 1 centimeter cylinder and totally go wild! No one will see my cylinder coming. People will be like, hey, who turned out the lights? Is this place haunted or something? Oh my god, I swear I put that single piece of 7.5cm-long rigatoni down on this counter a second ago, there’s a thief in our midst! And I’ll just be there snickering and laughing to myself because no one knows it was my tiny cylinder cloaked in flawless invisibility!! Ooh, the possibilities. The pastabilities!

I can’t wait until they figure out how to expand the cloak to fit the full length of the DD drinking straw. Then I can go around and just stand next to friends all innocently as they watch in horror while their beverages rapidly disappear before their eyes. Fun!