from the can-you-see-me-now dept.
KentuckyFC writes "All invisibility cloaks to date work by hiding an object embedded inside them. Now a group of physicists have worked out how to remotely cloak objects that sit outside a cloaking material. The trick is to make the cloaking material with optical properties that are exactly complementary to the space outside them. Complementary means that the material reverses the effect the space has on a plane wave of light passing through it. To an observer this space would appear to vanish. The scientists say that to cloak an object sitting outside the cloaking material, first measure its optical properties and then embed a "complementary image" of the object within the cloak. So a plane wave is first distorted by the object but then restored to a plane by the complementary image of the object within the cloak (abstract). An observer sees nothing. This method has another benefit. Objects hidden in conventional cloaks are blinded because no light enters the cloaked region. But objects that are remotely cloaked like this should still be able to see their surroundings."