The Science of Invisibility Cloaks

Mentor profile
Harvard University, Research Associate
Project description

This project the focused on the use of transformation optics and metamaterials -- with the goal to understand how optical devices hide objects and make them invisible. The student studied Snell's law, transformation optics, Maxwell's equations, Ulf Leonhardt's and Sir John Pendry's iconic papers from 2006. The student also worked on optimizing the refractive index profiles of invisibility cloaking devices.

The Science of Invisibility Cloaks
Project outcome

The student has created and submitted a video about invisibility cloaking to the annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge competition (

Student background

9th grader from Cupertino, CA.

Student review

"My mentor, Dr. Perczel has inspired me to study Physics. My most favorite subject has always been Mathematics, but Dr. Perczel introduced me to the wonderful world of Physics. He taught me complex physics concepts like Snell’s Law, Fermat’s Principle, Transformation Optics, Electromagnetic Cloaking and Maxwell’s Equations. If a concept required Calculus, he would gladly teach me in a way that I would quickly comprehend. He taught me Mathematica, a high performance computational tool with its own programming language, so I could model complex concepts in Physics and understand them thoroughly. What is impressive about Dr. Perczel is that he started teaching me when I was only 13 years old. He believed in my enthusiasm to learn and encouraged my inquisitive nature. Initially, I had approached other teachers too. Though they appreciated my curiosity, they were hesitant to teach me high level physics due to my age and lack of knowledge of Calculus. But Dr. Perczel gladly agreed to teach me and encouraged my inquisitive nature. He always makes sure I have learned a topic in depth. He has a very calm personality and is extremely patient. I hope every student finds a mentor like Dr. Perczel. Now I have one more favorite subject, Physics."

Watch Aneeka's Breakthrough Junior Challenge video submission

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