At long last, they have invented cloaking for blind people.
Metamaterial-based cloaks make objects different from their surrounding appear just like their surrounding…Here, inspired by invisible core-shell nanoparticles in optics, we design an approximate elasto-mechanical core-shell ‘unfeelability’ cloak based on pentamode metamaterials.
To summarize, that princess can finally get some fking sleep. Science kicks butt.
Chat about whatever.
To summarize a bit longer, some guys made an elastic material that lets you hide things under it without anyone being able to feel that the thing is there. For example make a mattress out of it and the princess from that fable can sleep all night without ever feeling that pea. The key is metamaterials, a new fad among materials scientists that lets you make cloaking devices (sound, radar and light have been demonstrated so far) and maybe microscope lenses that can focus down to infinitely small magnifications.
‘Metamaterial’ just means a thing that is made up of lots of little things. Depending on how you shape those little things the larger material can have very strange effects, like bending a wave in a direction that waves are not supposed to bend. Apparently they can also let you rest on one of those anti-homeless spikes without feeling a thing.
People have gone a bit science crazy over metamaterials in particular because nobody quite knows yet what they can and can’t do. We already know about pretty cool stuff like cloaking, and enginnering/physics nerds keep coming up with new stuff like this ‘unfeelability’ thing which as far as I know was totally unexpected. It seems like its potential applications are only limited by our imagination and our ability to fabricate ordered arrays of very small things.