Plasmonics, Schmasmonics!

Everyone is all abuzz about plasmonic invisibility, which renders things invisible by preventing them from scattering light. But if you actually read the preprint it's predictably far from a Romulan cloaking device. First, it only cloaks objects that are about the same size as the wavelength of the radiation hitting it! So, uh, we can cloak objects roughly 400 to 700 nanometers in length! Gee, we can make oxygen atoms invisible! Alright! Oh, but wait a second, limitation number 2 is that what it does is prevent scattering -- if the object is backlit you'll see it. So we can hide atoms in a dark room! Oh, and it only works with a single wavelength (but I bet they can figure out a way around that, so I'm not even going to consider it a problem.)

The paper does not speak to whether cloaked objects can fire energy weapons, which is the traditional shortcoming of these sorts of things.

Oh, but you just know that these guys like to talk loudly in restaurants about “that plasmonic invisibility device we've been working on.”