Researchers at MIT, lead by Yichen, have developed a mind-bending vanishing mirror that turns into a window, solveing the problem of photographing things at odd angles, using a structure made of 84 ultrathin layers that alternate between ordinary glass and tantalum oxide. That’s right, “as light passes from one of these layers to the next, some gets partially reflected – except for light that approaches from a certain angle. Any light that hits the surface of a layer at this so-called Brewster angle, and with a particular polarisation, will pass straight through as if the surface wasn’t there. The Brewster angle is different for each pair of materials as it depends on their refractive indices,” according to New Scientist. Continue reading for a video and more information.
New Scientist reports, “By using 84 layers, Shen’s team vastly increased the reflectivity of the material – without interfering with the polarised light’s ability to sneak through when it enters at the Brewster angle. The result is a surface that looks like a mirror but if you spin it around it suddenly becomes transparent at one point (see video). Previous attempts to create such surfaces were restricted to a few frequencies or a range of non-visible ones. This is the first to work across the entire visible spectrum.”