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Thermal cloaking could make objects 'invisible' to heat

The protection could have a range of applications, including keeping electronic devices – like computers or iPads – cool, researchers say.

Thermal cloaking could be applied to devices like the iPad, say researchers.
Thermal cloaking could be applied to devices like the iPad, say researchers.
Image: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

INVISIBILITY CLOAKING HAS caused scientists a bit of head-scratching lately.

Recent ideas put forward in the quest to make objects invisible to the naked eye have included shielding objects from magnetic fields or sound waves.

The newest applications for heat as an optical cloaking device using heat have been outlined in the journal Optic Express – which suggests that thermal cloaking could be beneficial to the electronics and energy sectors.

Sebastien Guenneau of the University of Aix-Marseille and France’s Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, who led the study, said that the method would work because instead of controlling wave propagation, as previous “invisibility” methods have sought to do,the thermal cloak would control the flow of heat, reports the BBC.

The technology would also allow for the ability to concentrate heat, as this could be possibly be applied to the solar industry.

In the future, thermal cloaking may even be helpful for protecting large computers and spacecraft, reports CosmicLog.

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