Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have taken a step closer to developing materials that could make people and objects invisible.

Researchers demonstrated that they where able to cloak three-dimensional objects using artificially engineered materials, known as metamaterials, that redirect light around objects.

Objects appear visible because they reflect the light that hits them back to the human eye. The metamaterials developed at the University curve radar, light and other waves around an object so that they don’t create reflections or shadows.

Lead scientist at Berkeley, Xiang Zhang said “In the case of invisibility cloaks or shields, the material would need to curve light waves completely around the object like a river around a rock.”

Metamaterials are mixtures of metal and circuit board materials such as ceramic, Teflon or fibre composite.

The research was partly funded by the US Army Research Office and the National Science Foundation’s Nano-Scale Science and Engineering Centre.

By Daniel Garrun