Science fiction fans and stalkers alike rejoiced today at the announcement that the group led by Dr. John Pendry has built the world’s first practical invisibility cloak, until it was switched on and lost within seconds.
The device works by guiding electromagnetic waves around any young wizard sitting inside its cavity, rendering him invisible to the naked eye. Complications arose when the research group became a victim of its own success: the device only absorbed 0.01% of the light passing through it rather than the 4% expected in simulations, making this the first time that a scientist wished he wasn’t so good at his job. The unit is also self-powered, leaving Pendry’s team with no other option but to let the device run out of power before they can retrieve it, which could take weeks as the budget permitted the use of Energizer batteries rather than those crappy zinc-oxide ones. In the meantime, a “visibility cloak” is being developed to hunt it down, which may even prove useful in finding dark matter and Pendry’s glasses.
The potential applications for an invisibility cloak are immense: this technology allows the British Armed Forces to finally go ahead with their plans to train ninja infantry, and to provide parents with a more humane way to hide their uglier children from the public.