Harry Potter's box office weekend was massive, setting the opening weekend with $169 million. But Harry, Hermione and Ron aren't the only team breaking records. A team of physicists from Cornell University are developing an event cloak, a metamaterial space-time device that can do what Potter's fictional invisibility cloak could do -- hide an object.
Moti Fridman and his group have built a cloak that creates a hole in time which lasts for 110 nanoseconds.To an observer, and an untrained eye, it would appear that nothing happened.The longest time it can hold is 120 microseconds.
In 2009, researchers came up with a way to make an object look like any other. Che Chan, and team, of the Hong Kong University of Science and Techonology wanted to create a cloak that creates an illusion, making one object appear as another.
The process is two-stepped and involves a material of which the permittivity and permeability are complementary to the valued in a nearby region of space. Using a mouse and an elephant, for example, Techonology Review breaks down the process:
Complementary means that the material cancels out the effect that the mouse has on a plane lightwave passing through. So a plane wave would be bent by the mouse but then bent back into a plane as it passes through the complementary material, making the mouse disappear.
The second step is to then distort this plane wave in the way that an elephant would. This means creating transformational material that distorts a plane lightwave in the same way as an elephant. So anybody looking at this mouse would instead see an elephant.
Meanwhile, while researchers find a way to create the ultimate invisibility cloak, the team at Harry Potter has created a magic trick of their own: a record breaking box office weekend, using, well -- magic.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 smashed several records over the weekend. It now holds the record for the biggest opening day and biggest opening weekend. Deathly Hallows took in $92.1 million on Friday alone, surpassing previous record-breaking films such as The Dark Knight and Spiderman 3. There is no telling whether 2012's The Dark Knight Rises will be able to beat the latest and final Potter film.