Hiding objects, stopping time and altering history by erasing events - such new technology will change our world dramatically.
Scientists worldwide are working hard making astonishing progresses in the area of invisibility.
There is no doubt that cloaking technology will soon become reality.
The ability to hide objects in space- invisibility cloaking- has leapt from the world of science fiction to practical reality within 10 years and the
ability to hide objects in time- temporal cloaking- is evolving even faster.
Now, researchers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois have developed an invisibility cloak that temporally hides objects for an indefinite
period of time. In other words, the cloak "stops time" or" freezes time".
Invisibity technology is becoming a realtiy.
The temporal cloak, designed by mathematician Miguel Lerma uses cleverly placed mirrors to give the observer the impression the objects are gone.
Objects covered by this invisibility cloak would not disappear from sight, but rather it would appear that time has completely stopped for the cloaked objects.
"A spacetime cloak, or event cloak, is a means of manipulating
electromag-netic radiation in space and time in such a way that a certain collection of
happenings, or events, is concealed from distant observers.
Conceptually, asafecracker can enter a scene, steal the cash and exit, whilst a surveillancecamera records the safe door locked and undisturbed all the time, "
Lerma writes in his science paper.
According to Technology Review
"the basic idea behind time cloaking is simple. Imagine viewing a clock illuminated by a laser.
In ordinary circumstances,
the light leaves the laser, travels to the clock and reflects towards you, the observer. At each stage, the speed of light is constant.
The trick behind time cloaking is to slow down light before it reaches the clock creating a gap in which the movement of the clock is not illuminated.
You, the observer, cannot see what happens during this time.
However, by speeding up the light again after it has been reflected, it is possible to close the gap so that you do not notice any change in illumination either."
Image credit: Miguel Lerma
Instead, you see the clock jump from one moment to a later time without anything in between.
"The distant observer therefore only sees a continuous illumination, whilst the events that occurred during the dark period of the cloak's operation
remain undetected," says mathematician Miguel Lerma who designed the cloak. .
In effect, this process has created a hole in time during which events are hidden.
Harry Potter and numerous sci-fi novels have glamorized the idea of a cloak of invisibility, but Duke engineering professor David R. Smith has come up with a
blueprint for the real thing. His research on a prototype cloak was selected as one of the top-ten scientific breakthroughs of the year in 2006 by Science Magazine.
In a live, "Office Hours" webcast interview February 23, 2012, Smith answers questions on the science of invisibility. Karl Bates, director of research
communications at Duke, conducts the interview.
That's the theory. The practice is more involved. The enabling technologies that have made this type of time cloaking possible are so-called metamaterials
that can slow down and speed up light. These are difficult and complex to make.
But Lerma points out today that this kind of exotic stuff is not necessary. Instead, he shows how to achieve time cloaking using a set of mirrors that
can be switched on or off. His idea is to use one set of mirrors to divert light through an extra distance before it reaches the clock and another set
of mirrors that diverts light through a similar distance after it has hit the clock.
This extra distance essentially slows down the lights before it hits the clock. After it has been reflected, the light can be speeded up by avoiding
the diversion so that it does not travel the extra distance.
This creates a gap during which any change the clock cannot be seen. However, an observer watching the clock sees it jump in time without any change
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