Notes on conformal invisibility devices

Ulf Leonhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Citations (Scopus)


As a consequence of the wave nature of light, invisibility devices based on isotropic media cannot be perfect. The principal distortions of invisibility are due to reflections and time delays. Reflections can be made exponentially small for devices that are large in comparison with the wavelength of light. Time delays are unavoidable and will result in wave-front dislocations. This paper considers invisibility devices based on optical conformal mapping. The paper shows that the time delays do not depend on the directions and impact parameters of incident light rays, although the refractive-index profile of any conformal invisibility device is necessarily asymmetric. The distortions of images are thus uniform, which reduces the risk of detection. The paper also shows how the ideas of invisibility devices are connected to the transmutation of force, the stereographic projection and Escheresque tilings of the plane.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118
Number of pages16
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2006




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