Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Optical metamaterials

Invisibility cup

Cloaking devices for visible light come a step closer to reality by combining the modern form of a Roman technology with ideas from ancient Greece.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Lycurgus Cup (British Museum; AD fourth century).



  1. Wagner, F. E. et al. Nature 407, 691–692 (2000).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Cai, W., Chettiar, U. K., Kildishev, A. V. & Shalaev, V. M. Nature Photon. 1, 224–227 (2007).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Leonhardt, U. New J. Phys. 8, 118 (2006).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Leonhardt, U. Science 312, 1777–1780 (2006).

    ADS  MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Pendry, J. B., Schurig, D. & Smith, D. R. Science 312, 1780–1782 (2006).

    ADS  MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Leonhardt, U. & Philbin, T. G. New J. Phys. 8, 247 (2006).

  7. Schurig, D. et al. Science 314, 977–980 (2006).

    ADS  MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Shalaev, V. M. et al. Opt. Lett. 30, 3356–3358 (2005).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Leonhardt, U. Invisibility cup. Nature Photon 1, 207–208 (2007).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing