Scientists working at Duke University have unveiled a new attempt at a cloaking effect that they claim is "flawless". (Can you unveil an invisibility cloak? Discuss.) Before all you Harry Potter fans get in a tizzy though, this particular cloak comes with a few caveats.

OK, for starters, it works with microwaves, not visible light (yet). And, the object being cloaked is about the size of a hockey puck. Not to mention, the cloak only actually works from one direction. Still, it's a step in the right direction; though this sort of thing has been done before, the cloaking effect has always been imperfect -- when looking straight at the object, you'd see whatever was behind it, but it would be slightly darker and distorted. By doing terribly clever things with the alignment of the edge of the cloak, though, the boffin duo of David Smith and Nathan Landy have cooked up a way to make a flawless cloak, with none of that pesky shadow stuff.

Though we might not quite be at Harry Potter-esque levels of cloaking though, it's definitely progress -- now we just have to conquer the world of three dimensions. [Nature Materials via BBC]

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