Cloak could hide ships from flowing water

Published in Physics World, 21 Jul 2011

Ships of the future may be able to move through the water without a creating a wake. That is according to a pair of physicists in the US, who have proposed a new type of material that lets water flow around an object as if it were not there at all. The design, which has yet to be built, could boost the energy efficiency of ships and submarines – and even prevent them from being detected. “The main function of [our] structure is to prevent fluid flowing around an object from ‘feeling’ that object,” says Yaroslav Urzhumov of Duke University.

The past five years have seen a flurry of research into invisibility cloaks. The first functioning cloak, which operated for electromagnetic waves in the microwave range, was demonstrated by a team led by David Smith at Duke University in 2006, and since then researchers have proposed and demonstrated cloaks that work for visible light, sound and even events in time. […]

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