An AI has partly designed an “invisibility cloak” to conceal communication devices

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Invisibility is a fantasy that is not so unrealizable as that. Much research has already focused on this topic. This time around, Chinese scientists are looking to design an “invisibility cloak” that could hide communication devices.

It’s been a long-time dream to put on a coat that would escape all eyes “, underlines in the introduction the article published by the scientists of Xiamen University in the journal Physical examination E. However, it is not really a question of “coat” here. However, the device designed by the researchers could well make it possible to make objects “invisible” by hiding them from infrared light or microwaves. Their creation would, according to them, make small communication devices undetectable.

If we are able to see the world around us, it is because light “bounces” off objects. Research on invisibility therefore consists of manipulating this light, so that it seems to come from an empty space: in this way, our eyes can be easily fooled. For this, most of the attempts that have been made have been based on “metamaterials”. Metamaterials, to put it simply, are artificially engineered materials. They also have properties not found directly in nature. They can therefore be designed to interact with light and radio waves in very specific ways.

However, scientists at Xiamen University have, this time, freed themselves from the metamaterials in question. They favored materials that were easier to obtain, and used artificial intelligence in their process. Previous experiences had already given them clues. They had indeed determined that layers of a ceramic material and a compound of boron and nitrogen could lead to a result. However, the unknown remained the best way to put these elements together.

An AI that creates invisibility

All that remained was to refine the idea. To do this, the scientists used artificial intelligence. They provided him with a set of possible designs for this ‘invisibility cloak’, and the AI ​​tweaked/combined them to look for the creation that would be most successful at manipulating light the right way.

The “mutations” proposed by the AI ​​could for example involve modifying properties such as the thickness of the layers of the cloak, to modify the wavelengths of light against which it worked. They ended up getting a proposal they liked, and then set out to test it with a simulator.

More precisely, they initially focused on making two structures invisible: a cylinder 25 microns in diameter that they wanted to hide from microwaves and another 6 centimeters wide, protected against infrared light. . In each of the two cases, the simulations demonstrated that the cap would be able to make the cylinder invisible to a device that detects these wavelengths. For larger objects, however, much more complex algorithms would have to be used, the scientists say.

Source: Physical Examination E

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