Have you ever wished that you could just disappear from a bad situation? Scientists at Cornell University are one step closer to making this possible. Alexander Gaeta, Cornell professor of applied and engineering physics, and colleagues have demonstrated a “temporal cloak” that hides an event from view by creating a gap in a beam of light. Temporal cloaking works when a beam of light is refracted around an object so that a gap is created; object subsequently remains unseen. The gap in light was created by passing a laser beam through a series of specially designed “split-time lenses” and filters. However, don’t start saving up for an Invisibility Cloak just yet. The gap created in the experiment lasted only 15 picoseconds or 15 trillionths of a second. On the bright side, researchers believe that the technique could have applications in fiber-optic data transmission and data processing, increasing the efficiency of computers and electronic devices.
Published: 11:52 pm, 15 January 2012