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Out of Sight

Physicists get serious about invisibility shields

First, a disclaimer: Invisibility cloaks like Harry Potter's are nowhere near becoming reality. Nor has anyone unearthed proof that the infamous Philadelphia experiment—in which U.S. Navy scientists in 1943 supposedly made a destroyer and its crew vanish—really took place. Stygian crystals, said to confer invisibility in Star Wars films and books, remain figments of writers' imaginations. And not one invisibility shield yet exists, not even a mouse-size one, as best anyone can tell.

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