The power of invisibility may soon be more than just a sci-fi fantasy. Researchers in Spain have developed an 'antimagnet' cloak that could hide objects from magnetic fields, reports ScienceNOW.
The new device would make it possible "to ‘switch off’ the magnetic interaction of a magnetic material with existing magnetic fields without modifying them," the researchers wrote in a paper published in the New Journal of Physics.
The cloak is only conceptual, but if developed, it could open up a host of new medical possibilities. For one, patients with pacemakers or other magnetic implants would be able to undergo MRIs without harm.
The concept could also be applied by the military: Ships using the technology could avoid mines designed to detonate when a magnetic field is detected, according to physorg.com.
But magnetic invisibility isn't all a bed of roses. It could potentially assist criminals trying to breach security in airports, embassies and other high threat buildings by making it possible for bombs and other weapons to pass through metal detectors undetected, reports Discovery News.
While John Pendry, a theorist out of Imperial College London told ScienceNOW it would take invisible cloaking technology to the next level, other scientists have questioned the capability of cooling superconductors.
"It's quite likely this thing works in a computer, but it's a question of whether it works in real life," MIT professor of materials science Caroline Ross told Discovery News.
The beauty of superconductors, a technology this latest cloaking concept relies on? They offer zero electrical resistance and impermeability to magnetic fields.
This isn't the first invisibility cloak in the making though. According to Live Science, for the past five years, scientists have been creating different forms of invisibility cloaks.
One of the most recent developments emerged last year when researchers devised an invisibility cloak out of silk.