"We put an object under a microscopic structure, a little like a reflective carpet," said Nicholas Stenger, one of the researchers who worked on the project.
"When we looked at it through a lens and did spectroscopy, no matter what angle we looked at the object from, we saw nothing. The bump became invisible," said Stenger.
The European researchers created a carpet cloak in three hours using a high-intensity laser. Unfortunately for now, the invisibility magic is limited to the micro world. To put the size of the invisibility cloak into perspective, you can hardly see it with your eyes.
Making larger objects invisible is a harder feat. While scientists aren't likelyto make a car or a plane disappear anytime soon, the technology could have more immediate applications. It could help the military or focus energy to create supersensitive solar cells or help protect coastal communities from ocean waves.
Despite knowing the technical hurdles, Leonhardt is inspired by the Invisible Woman and Harry Potter to make objects invisible. And while it may seem like a magical and far-fetched dream, the professor gave himself a goal of two years to create a "blueprint for a practical cloaking device."
That was in 2009. He still has one more year to make that happen.