The video that shows a man standing in the middle of a bush covering himself with a “quantum invisibility cloak” has received a lot of attention and has caused a lot of excitement on social media.
The one-minute clip has been viewed by over 20 million people and shared by news outlets around the globe.
The video was enough to fool China’s deputy head of Criminal Investigation Department at the Ministry of Public Security, Chen Shiqu, who shared the video on his Weibo account and claimed it could be useful for military matters.
“This is a quantum technology-made cloth that is made of transparent material,” he wrote. “It can reflect the light wave around the person who wears it, so it can make the person disappear.”
The origin of the video appears to still be in question with some claiming it was made by professors at the Zhejiang University and others claiming it is the creation of Professor Zhang Xiang from the University of California, Berkeley. It’s been reported that Zhang Xiang has been tipped to become the University of Hong Kong’s vice chancellor.
In 2015, Professor Zhang Xiang and his team developed a thin cloak that could wrap around objects and create the illusion of invisibility of microscopic objects. This was achieved thanks to a breakthrough in research he made on metamaterials in 2008. A discovery that allows engineered material to manipulate and bend light. It was named as one of the top 10 scientific discoveries of that year by Time magazine.
The Zhejiang University has also had breakthroughs in stealth technology when in 2013 researchers at the university created a “box of invisibility” that hides animals.
This is a totally different kind of invisibility cloak however and video producers were quick to debunk the hoax.
Zhu Zhensong, the producer of Quantum Video production company told Jiefang Daily the video had likely been edited and filmed with a blue or green plastic cloth. “Software such as Adobe’s After Effects Nuke or Blackmagic Fusion can edit the background and blend the objects into it. The effect has previously been seen in a lot of action movies.”
Videos like this are not new, a quick search for “invisibility cloak” on youtube displays a whole range of homemade invisibility cloak videos that are very similar in design.
Did you fall for it?