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Introducing ATX Index: A Look at Austin Around the Web

In which we serve a heaping helping of links for your reading pleasure:

  • Our reporting partners at StateImpact Texas have welcome news for oyster fans: Harvesting of Texas Gulf oysters is starting up again. Oyster harvests were suspended due to a noxious tide of algae in the gulf, exacerbated by the ongoing Texas drought. The Texas Parks and Wildlife department says harvesting may not be open for long though, so get some while you can.
  • UT researchers have engaged the cloaking device. While it’s probably not ready for a starship, website Live Science writes UT engineers have crafted a cloak, or a tube lined with special “metamaterial,” that “makes three-dimensional objects invisible without using reflective surfaces or specialized microwave chambers:”
"We don't need mirrors, we don't need waveguides, we just built a cloak with a cover around an object," said Andrea Alù, an engineer at Texas-Austin who led the research. The cloak makes objects invisible to microwaves from all angles, Alù and his colleagues found. They aimed microwaves at an 18-centimeter-long cylinder, fitted inside the invisibility chamber, from different angles. They found reduced microwave reflection from the cylinder no matter where they observed it.

You can read the researchers’ highly-technical explanation, “Experimental verification of three-dimensional plasmonic cloaking in free-space,” in the New Journal of Physics.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.