Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Scientist: Dr. Ulf Leonhardt

Mary
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In our first weekly installment of "Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Scientist," we'd like to introduce you to invisibility expert Dr. Ulf Leonhardt, pictured at left (heh), who is trying to invent a cloaking device of sorts:

Leonhardt, a theoretical physicist at St Andrews University in Scotland, believes the most plausible example is the Invisible Woman, one of the Marvel Comics superheroes in the "Fantastic Four."

"She guides light around her using a force field in this cartoon. This is what could be done in practice," Leonhardt told Reuters in an interview. "That comes closest to what engineers will probably be able to do in the future."

Life imitates art! (A thousand graphic-novel fanboys just grinned on hearing the word "art.") Leonhardt goes on to say that the device would first be used to shield people from cell-phone radiation. Although other British scientists have announced that they can already make very small things disappear -- there's a joke in there somewhere -- he declines to give a timeline for when his particular device will make us invisible and do other really awesome comic-book stuff.

Thanks for the link, Sandy!

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August 2, 2006 - 7:00am
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