Question Sheet: The science of disappearing


Before reading:

  1. What does it mean to disappear or be invisible?
  2. What is light?
  3. What would be one use of being able to make something invisible?

During reading:

  1. What’s one fictional story that includes some way of making something or

    someone invisible?

  2. Who is Steven Cummer and why is he in this story?
  3. Did John Pendry actually build an invisibility cloak in 2006? If not, what

    did he do?

  4. Did the first invisibility device actually make something disappear?
  5. What are radiation and the electromagnetic spectrum?
  6. What is a metamaterial?

After Reading

  1. Why is it hard to make an invisibility cloak for visible light?
  2. Why could you use the same idea for steering light to also protect an island

    from a tsunami? How would this work?

  3. Why might studying metamaterials in college be a good idea?


  1. Who are some scientists who did early work on helping to understand light

    and the electromagnetic spectrum?

  2. Find out one project that combines nanotechnology and metamaterials. Why

    would nanotechnology help in making metamaterials?