Invisibility 'time cloak' developed

optical camouflage, keio university

Melissa Hogenboom
BBC News

An "invisibility" time cloak which is able to hide events in a continuous stream of light has been developed by scientists.

The cloak works by manipulating the speed of light in optical fibres and means any interaction which takes place during this "hole in time" is not detected.

That is, a beam of light can be manipulated along its path.

The study is published in the journal Nature.

The research builds upon a time cloak described last year that was only able to hide single brief events of time in an optical beam.

Hidden data

This work is different to other "invisibility cloaks" in that it hides events in time, rather than spatial objects - which similar efforts have looked into.

The team from the Purdue University in Indiana has shown it can hide events in the path of a continuous light beam by having several "holes in time".

The researchers were able to cloak nearly half the data put in the beam's path, which they would otherwise be able to detect.

Cloaking, just as it sounds, is where an object or event is hidden from vision. This can apply to frequencies of light or sound. For example, stealth war planes can be difficult to detect on enemy radar.

"We were able to push the light forward and back using commercial telecoms components, that are controlled by electrical signals," said Andrew Weiner, who co-authored the paper.

"When one sends high-speed data over an optical fibre in the existing infrastructure, in many cases it's just 1s and 0s (binary code).

Bendy light

"In our system, we can hide the 1s and 0s. There can also be other kinds of disturbances in the light but this cloak provides a zone where one doesn't see how the light is being changed," Prof Weiner told BBC News.

Story continues here: bbc.co.uk

Related stories . . . 

Unsolved mystery: Location of Flight 2501 that disappeared over Lake Michigan eludes searchers 63 years later

No comments:

Post a Comment