China leads in research for ‘coat of invisibility’ and other ‘super materials’

Cloaks like these in the near future? Photo:

Cloaks like these in the near future? Photo:

People are impressed by the coat of invisibility in the fiction movie Harry Potter, but you perhaps do not know that researchers in various countries are making great efforts to develop various super materials including the material to make such coats of invisibility. says in its recent report that there are also quite a few other super materials with such “magic” that people are competing with one another to develop, and China is leading the field.

These include technologies to make invisible aircraft, satellite antennae the size of a notebook, intellectual shoes able to sense morphology, elastic porcelain able to recover its shape and a protection wall able to reduce the effects of earthquake and tsunami.

Scientists call such super material metamaterial. There has been fierce competition in developing metamaterials throughout the world.

The Pentagon has started its metamaterials research plan, while six US semiconductor giants including Intel, AMD and IBM have established a joint fund for the research of metamaterials.

Europe organised more than 50 top scientists in that area to focus on such research and has provided them with huge funds.

Japan has made a research plan of two metamaterial projects, and provided 3 billion Yen for each project.

The following metamaterials have been developed:

  • US scientists have developed a recovery porcelain tube able to recover its shape after 50% reduction of its size by pressure;
  • Germany has developed a piece of invisible material;
  • France discovered a metamaterial able to reduce the effect of earthquake and the way to drill precision holes on the ground to divert the waves of earthquake; and
  • Netherlands has developed intellectual rubber for the super shoes mentioned above.

However, the report says that China is the world leader in developing metamaterials.

Dr. Liu Ruopeng and five other scholars who returned to China after studying abroad set up the Kuang-chi Institute in Shenzhen in 2010.

They have developed an electromagnetic metamaterial to make a mobile satellite antenna for broadband connection to a satellite, anywhere in China.

Kuang-chi has installed such antennae in 22 provinces in China over the past three years.

In addition, the institute has developed an 18cm x 18 cm board of invisibility. A fighter jet is invisible if covered by such material.

Contributed by Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements

Source: “China leads the world in making breakthroughs in development of super materials that helps the development of China’s homegrown stealth fighter jets” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)


Categories: Communication & Technology

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