When someone claims he or she has seen a ghost, the phenomenon may be caused by an optical illusion happening through a wild stroke of nature.
But the actual engineering of such a phenomenon is the holy grail of researchers in the field of optical illusions, electromagnetic, and radar detection-- not only because of the thrill
and excitement of being able to create a "ghost" but because of the implications it will have in science and applications.
Now, a team at the NUS Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering led by Dr Qiu Cheng-Wei has come out with an optical device to "engineer" ghosts.
Their research has opened up a completely new avenue for cognitive deception through light-matter behaviour control.
This would have wide applications in defence and security. Their findings will also pave the way for the design of new optical and microwave devices such as those
for detection and communication.
The team will further develop this technique to make larger microwave devices to achieve radar "ghosts" and aircraft camouflage suitable for defence purpose.
Dr Qiu's paper, co-authored with and Dr Han Tiancheng (NUS Dept of Electrical & Computer Engineering), Prof Tie Jun Cui, Dr Wei Xiang Jiang
(State Key Laboratory of Millimeter Waves, Department of Radio Engineering, Nanjing), and Prof Shuang Zhang (School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, UK), entitled
"Creation of Ghost Illusions Using Metamaterials in Wave Dynamics" will be published in Advanced Functional Materials in March 2013.
Their paper reported for the first time, the realisation of creating "ghosts" through optic scattering and metamaterials which are artificial materials
designed with properties (which do not exist naturally) built-in.
Their device is capable of creating more than one virtual "ghost" image from the actual object.
The geometric shape, position and equivalent material properties of these "ghost"
images can be pre-designed and controlled -- and are also able to appear in distributed places away from the location of the real object.
Click on image to enlarge
(a) The original metallic object. (b) The metallic object covered by the designed ghost device, metamorphosing scattering feature of the original object.
(c) A shrunk metallic object at the original centre with two wing dielectric objects, whose signature is identical to (b).
(Credit: National University of Singapore)
Doing a David Copperfield
The scientific community has always been enthralled in the creation of an illusion which can potentially transform an actual perception into a pre-controlled
perception. So far, scientists experimenting with metamaterials in "ghosting" do not have much success in changing the perception of the real object, and define
where the "ghost" should appear. They can only create one "ghost," in the same location (as where the real object is).
But Dr Qiu's device can create multiple "ghosts." It can also make the real object or person "disappear."
The researchers can also determine how the "ghosts"
look, taking on a different shape or size from the actual object.
Added Dr Qiu, "As our work solves several major issues associated with "ghost" illusion, we believe it will pave way for future applications of advanced optical
illusion, camouflage, and cloaking -- in an interestingly new sense.
Our work has enormous potential to enhance our ability to mould, harness,
and perceive wave at will. I believe it can stimulate new thoughts of realising something extraordinary that is counter-intuitive."
Our Universe Is A Gigantic And
Wonderfully Detailed Holographic Illusion
In our daily life we are not aware that we may, in fact, live in a hologram and our existence is a holographic projection, nothing more.
All what we believe is real, our whole physical world, is - in fact - an illusion being proved by the holographic universe,
one of the most remarkable theories of 20th century...
The Enigma Of The Near-Death Experience
A near-death experience is one of the most enigmatic events in a human life. Yet in modern Western culture near-death accounts contain surprisingly similar elements.
In the past century, novelists, screenwriters and philosophers have consistently described a peaceful feeling and a journey toward a bright
light, which is often followed by a meeting with deceased family members who tell the individual to return to earthly life.
Several "God Spots" Are Responsible For Spirituality
Spirituality plays an important part in many peoples' daily life.
For years scientists have wondered whether there is a particular place in the brain, a so-called "God spot" that is responsible for spirituality.
What mechanism does determine why a person is more spiritual than others?
Our Brains Wired Like The Checkerboard Streets Of New York City!
The brain appears to be wired more like the checkerboard streets of New York City than the curvy lanes of Columbia, Md., suggests a new brain imaging study.
The most detailed images, to date, reveal a pervasive 3D grid structure with no diagonals, say scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Dancing Snakes - The Illusion Our Brain Wants Us To See
Scientists have long wanted to explain the mystery of how the Rotating Snakes illusion tricks the brain.
Visual illusions demonstrate the ways in which the brain creates a mental representation that differs from the physical
world. By studying illusions, we can learn the mechanisms by which the brain constructs our conscious experience of the world.
Can Parallel Universes Explain The Déjà Vu Phenomenon?
Have you ever had a déjà vu experience? It's the feeling, or impression that you have already witnessed or experienced a current situation.
The term déjà vu is French and means, literally, "already seen."
It is a rather common, yet little understood phenomenon.
Artificial Intelligence: Super-Turing Machine Imitates Human Brain
As computer scientists this year celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the mathematical genius Alan Turing, who set out the basis for digital computing
in the 1930s to anticipate the electronic age, they still quest after a machine as adaptable and intelligent as the human brain.
Living Earth Simulator - Supercomputer Predicting The Future
In Douglas Adams book the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy we encounter a machine called Deep Thought. It is the most powerful computer ever built. Deep Thought is capable of answering questions
concerning life, the Universe, and simply everything. Now scientists are planning to create a similar machine. It is called the Living Earth Simulator (LES).