Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Idea vs. Ego

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.




Invisibilty with fiber optics.
(+1, -1)
  [vote for,

A sphere is covered with raised, nine sided, faceted bumps. Each facet of each bump is the end of a fiber optic cable which wraps around the sphere and redirects the light from its opposite side in a direct line of sight from the viewpoint of the observer.
The facets closest to the center of the sphere would show a single, "pixel" of what would be seen directly behind the ball but as the sphere curves towards its visible outer edge, the observer would see more and more of the bumps' side facets and that which is perpendicular to their plane.

A halfbakery search for invisibility yielded only 8th's Car Signal Halyards.

Adaptive Camouflage http://www.nasatech...Aug00/NPO20706.html
[phoenix, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Metamaterials http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12961080/
[octal40, Mar 02 2007]


       1) Sounds like it would be significantly less invisible than a sphere made of, say, glass. A decent solution to the 'only the middle of the sphere will look invisible' is really required.   

       2) Adaptive camouflage has been experimented with, though not using fibre optics (which would occupy a decent fraction of the interior of the ball); instead cameras and projection displays.   

       3) James Bond: Die Another Day.
benjamin, Nov 08 2003

       Sounds like a great thing to stash your illegal spices in.
Condiment, Nov 08 2003

       Somewhere i heard that there are these micro mirrors that i believe IBM is working on that refract light much like a tv screen does but they dont require use other light sources such as the sun. These mirrors can bend light to generate images, you could have a all angle spherical camera and micro mirrors on the lense that are out of focus to the lens so they wont interfer and then they will react to project images on the opposite sides to make it invsible.
JoeLounsbury, Nov 09 2003

       Yes a solid glass ball will show you an inverted image of what's behind it.
Good link Phoenix. Using just fiber optics probably wouldn’t make as transparent an image as the adaptive camouflage being worked on but it would also require no power source.

       I likes. I can see this sphere being the base for a hipster lamp or sculpture. I am not sure the quality of invisibility obtained would allow you to use it for a police stakeout.
bungston, Nov 09 2003

       The problem is that optic fibers have width, and have to go somewhere. Unless they go in straight lines (which makes it a bit hard to fit anything in the device) they have to go round. And then more fibers are needed to camoflage the sides of the previous ones. etc.
RobertKidney, Nov 09 2003

       I see what you mean about hiding each strand as it wraps around the ball.
What I had in mind, (and didn't put into words very well, sorry), is to make a geodesic sphere from raised bumps. Each bump would have one, central octagonal flat, facet surrounded by eight angled facets. The entire sphere could be assembled without a singe fiber in it, (well half could anyway). The fibers are then run around the inside of this sphere and plug into the back of their corresponding facets.
The effect wouldn't be seamless but if the ball was not in motion it would be hard to find against a background of say trees or anything busy looking.

On a side note, does anyone know if something like this would redirect a laser beam aimed at it? I imagine that an intense heat laser would just melt the optics but how about laser tracking systems and scopes and such?

       The laser has to go through opticts to get there so I suspect it will not melt. Yes... but with scopes you are looking for something...A 2 meter ball of blurybackground is going to stand out.
my-nep, Apr 24 2004

       Ever heard of Metamaterials?   

       It's a hot hot field right now and yes they're working on bending radiation around objects to render them invisible (check the link). I had the pleasure to attend one of Sir John Pendry's lectures last year and his work is very interesting.   

       This new research is attacking the problem from a different angle ... instead of using fibers and mirrors to bend light, why not just engineer a material to change the behavior of light?   

       A bit off topic from your suggestion but I thought that it would be intersting for all to read up on ...
octal40, Mar 02 2007

       Wow. That IS incredible.   


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle