Aired: July 17, 2010

Making the Invisible Cloak

Before Harry Potter had a cloak that made him invisible, the Romulans had a cloaking device that made their space ships invisible to crew of the Enterprise on the TV series Star Trek.  Sir John Pendry says the power of invisibility could soon become a reality thanks to the use of materials which bend light.   Pendry recently lectured at Norfolk State University where scholars are working in the new exciting field of metamaterials. Mikhail Noginov (Norfolk State University) and his colleagues have created a new metamaterial that is likely the darkest material on the planet and has tremendous implications for radar proof stealth technology. Also featured: How do we make sure that the computers are working for us, rather than the other way around? Col. Myke Gluck (Virginia Military Institute) spends time in his laboratory watching how people interact with new technologies.  He says if people are having trouble with software or computers, it’s the fault of the product, not the person. As Gluck puts it, “the only intuitive interface is the nipple, everything else is learned.”


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