You read the title correctly. Published in Science, UC Berkeley scientists have developed an ultra-thin invisibility cloak that can basically obscure the object it is around. Looks like Harry Potter’s cloak is no longer just found in fiction books!
A nice summary of the discovery from Mashable:
The so-called “metasurface” of the cloak was designed so that light hitting it “would be the same as that of light reflected from a flat mirror,” according to the team’s research. The study, modestly called “An ultrathin invisibility skin cloak for visible light,” was published in the journal Science on Thursday.
Because the reflected intensity is close to that of a mirror, not only is the object undetectable, but so is the cloak. “As long as the metasurface is designed correctly,” the study says, “both the container and the objects inside the container will become invisible.”
Unlike previous attempts at an invisibility cloak, this design is scalable — able to cover larger objects without increasing the thickness of the cloak, and able to conceal objects that have sharp edges and peaks. “Maybe in the future, people can use this as decoration or a wearable,” Xingjie Ni, an assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University, who conceived the research idea and led the team, told Mashable.