Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 8 (2013)

Invisibility cloaking based on geometrical optics for visible light

H. Ichikawa, M. Oura, T. Taoda


Optical cloaking has been one of unattainable dreams and just a subject in fiction until recently. Several different approaches to cloaking have been proposed and demonstrated: stealth technology, active camouflage and transformation optics. The last one would be the most formal approach modifying electromagnetic field around an object to be cloaked with metamaterials. While cloaking based on transformation optics, though valid only at single frequency, is experimentally demonstrated in microwave region, its operation in visible spectrum is still distant from realisation mainly owing to difficulty in fabricating metamaterial structure whose elements are much smaller than wavelength of light. Here we show that achromatic optical cloaking in visible spectrum is possible with the mere principle based on geometrical optics. In combining a pair of polarising beam splitters and right-angled prisms, rays of light to be obstructed by an object can make a detour to an observer, while unobstructed rays go straight through two polarising beam splitters. What is observed eventually through the device is simply background image as if nothing exists in between.

© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2013.13037]

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