‘Invisibility cloak’ metamaterials make their way into products

Wave-bending materials revamp satellite antennas and drones — as a start

Metamaterials first captured the public imagination in 2006, when John Pendry of Imperial College published two papers showing how to create a Harry Potter-style invisibility cloak using the specially engineered materials. David Smith, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University, who was a co-author of the research, went on to produce the first functioning cloak — although it made objects invisible to microwaves rather than to visible light.

Now, the same technology is starting to be used in a number of commercial products. Because certain metamaterials can control electromagnetic waves, they can also be used to improve the performance of satellite antennas and sensors.

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