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Imagine if Harry Potter’s cloak were real , or that you could blot out the sight of something as easily as pressing a mute button to eliminate sound. To some, this seems like “pi in the sky” – fantastic dreams shared by science fiction writers and mathematicians alike.

But UC Irvine’s newly arrived Excellence in Teaching Chair in Mathematics says breakthrough equations show that it can be done.

“Just as sound waves can be redirected, light waves could too,” said Gunther Uhlmann at a recent physical sciences breakfast lecture, demonstrating the teaching skills that have won him numerous awards. Using H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, the cartoon character Invisible Woman, dolphins, CT scans and even the occasional math theorem, he introduced himself and his work.

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Category: Science