a) The original metallic object. (b) The metallic object covered by the designed ghost device, metamorphosing scattering feature of the original object. (c) A shrunk metallic object at the original centre with two wing dielectric objects, whose signature is identical to (b). (Credit: National University of Singapore)

Engineering ‘Ghost’ Objects: Breakthrough in Scattering Illusion

Feb. 19, 2013 — A team at the NUS Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering led by Dr Qiu Cheng-Wei has come out with an optical device to “engineer” ghosts.

When someone claims he or she has seen a ghost, the phenomenon may be caused by an optical illusion happening through a wild stroke of nature. But the actual engineering of such a phenomenon is the holy grail of researchers in the field of optical illusions, electromagnetic, and radar detection — not only because of the thrill and excitement of being able to create a “ghost” but because of the implications it will have in science and applications.

Their research has opened up a completely new avenue for cognitive deception through light-matter behaviour control. This would have wide applications in defence and security. Their findings will also pave the way for the design of new optical and microwave devices such as those for detection and communication. The team will further develop this technique to make larger microwave devices to achieve radar “ghosts” and aircraft camouflage suitable for defence purpose.

Read more: Engineering 'ghost' objects: Breakthrough in scattering illusion — Science Daily.

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