New York scientists reveal Harry Potter inspired cloak of invisibility

University of Rochester researchers hide everyday objects from sight

Scientists at the University of Rochester in New York have achieved the stuff of science fiction with a technique reminiscent of Harry Potter’s cloak of invsibility.

Researchers at the University of Rochester have managed to hide a hand or everyday objects such as a ruler from plain sight.

The Guardian reports “the so-called Rochester Cloak is not really a tangible cloak at all” but a comination of lenses with all the materials involved costing not much more than $1000 (£615).


In a video produced by the University, physics professor John Howell has claimed: “Cloaking is essentially just an optical illusion and people have been doing that for hundreds of years. There have been many high-tech approaches to try and achieve cloaking and the basic idea behind these high-tech or exotic materials is to take light and have it pass around something as if it isn’t there and we just figured a very simple way of doing that can just be using standard lenses and things that we would normally find in the lab.”

The researchers at the University of Rochester have found that the right combination of lenses can bend light around an object and create “three-dimensional continuous multi-directional cloaking”.

Howell added: “It’s been a really popular thing for example in science fiction, also in Harry Potter but I think people are really excited by the prospect of just being invisible.”

In J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books the cloak of invisibility lets the wearer vanish beneath it’s silvery transparency. Watch the University’s research in action in the video below.