In a feat of engineering magic, researchers at the University of Dallas in Texas made an invisibility cloak that is based on the mirage effect, an optical illusion similar to the waves formed over hot pavement or mirages found in the desert.

The researchers demonstrated that an ultrathin sheet of carbon could appear or disappear by being cooled or heated in a report, published Monday in the journal Nanotechnology.

The remarkable performance of nanotube sheets suggests possible applications as photo-deflectors and for switchable invisibility cloaks, and provides useful insights into their use as thermoacoustic projectors and sonar. Visibility cloaking is demonstrated in a liquid, the authors write.

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