This Real Life Invisibility “Cloak” Is Powered by the Magic…of Math

Invisibility in real life might sound more like fantasy or science fiction, but as YouTube channel The Action Lab will tell you, it’s actually possible. All it takes are some clear lenses, sturdy stands for the lenses, and math. Lots of math.

Okay, sure, The Action Lab’s project is more cloaking device than invisibility cloak, but no matter what you call it, it’s definitely cool. The device itself is called a Rochester Cloak, developed just recently at the University of Rochester, and can be duplicated easily enough if you have the right components and measurements.

Through the exact positioning of the lenses, the light bends at certain points and flips the image seen through the glass. It takes two more lenses to flip the images right-side up so that it matches the background behind it, and completes the illusion. But just what is the exact positioning? The Action Lab explains it.

I myself am terrible at math, but don’t worry if you are, too. The explanation in the video is so concise that almost anyone could make their own Rochester Cloak device with a few repeat viewings.

The Action Lab also shows off drawing on water, making a space suit out of duct tape, an attempt to make Spider-Man’s webbing, and much more.

While this video might not show off an invisibility cloak that you can use to sneak into the forbidden section of the library, The Action Lab’s straightforward walkthroughs of various weird-but-true scientific topics are a nice reminder that even the real world can feel magical sometimes.

And if you want even more fascinating science facts based on your favorite characters and concepts in pop culture, take a look at Nerdist’s own Kyle Hill on the Because Science YouTube channel!

If you were invisible, where would you go? Tell us in the comments.

Images: Warner Bros., The Action Lab

More science for your head.

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