Immediately after an announcement this week about a breakthrough in the quest to create an invisibility cloak, scientists learned the US Congress has been employing a similar device for nearly a year. Even more disheartening was the discovery that while scientists were only able to make a tiny bump vanish, the apparatus Congress produced made all opposition to health care legislation disappear from political view.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” says Con Sealed, a researcher who is studying the congressional device. “You’d think no one’s protesting this bill.”
Invisibility cloaks use special artificial materials to guide light around an object, hiding that object in plain sight. The process isn’t simple. Scientists have struggled with theories and details for nearly a decade, yet so far have achieved modest results. The scale of the cloak conjured by Congress left them stunned. Experts say the prestidigitation is amazing given the fact politicians have no real grasp on how to make things work.
While Congress has used optical illusions similar to the invisibility cloak before, scholars are questioning whether the extent of the current manipulation bends the rules too far. They fear the inability to see things as they are could lead to future problems.
A congressional spokesperson says those doubters have no vision. “Don’t worry about what’s going on behind the cloak,” he adds. “Focus on what you are seeing, because that’s exactly what you’re going to get.”