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Magical Invisibility Cloak Soon to Be Real


A real cloak of invisibility? What's next? A magic train that takes you to the Hogwarts school? Oh, wait. That's in Florida! The Hogwarts Express arrives the station at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, 2014. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

A real cloak of invisibility? What's next? A magic train that takes you to the Hogwarts school? Oh, wait. That's in Florida! The Hogwarts Express arrives the station at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, 2014. (AP Photo/John Raoux)


All you Harry Potter fans out there have reason to celebrate!

Scientists say they are close to inventing a real invisibility cloth.

Harry Potter is a popular book and movie series about a boy who fights evil and wins. His success is partly because of magic tools like an invisibility cloth. When he hides underneath of it, you can’t see him. He becomes invisible.

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley say they have invented a cloth that hides shapes. We see shapes when light hits an object. The light then scatters and bounces around to reveal a shape.

The cloak is made with millions of tiny mirrors of gold so small they are the size of a human hair made 1,000 times thinner. The mirrors stop the light from scattering and bouncing.

The military would be very interested in this kind of technology, scientists say, as would cosmetic and car makers, too.

Xiang Zhang is a materials scientist at the university.

“People can make a sizeable belly now become a six-pack, you know, scars on the face and things (that) can disappear.”

So far, the scientists have been hiding objects so small they cannot be seen with common sight. But they are sure they can adapt the technology for larger objects in the next five to seven years.

I’m Anna Matteo.

Jessica Berman wrote this story for VOA News. Kathleen Stuck adapted and edited it for Learning English.

Now it’s your turn. If you were fighting evil like Harry Potter, what would your magic tool be?

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Words in This Story

scatter v. to separate and go in different directions

bounce v. to move in one direction, hit a surface and then quickly move in a different and usually opposite direction

six-pack n. a group of strong and well-shaped muscles that can be seen on a person's stomach

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