Purdue University's Invisibility Cloak Is Based On Time


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At least, that's what the description from researchers based at Purdue University indicates. Yes, most of us have dreamed of becoming invisible, for whatever reason. Be it to pull off a master heist or disappear in the middle of a long work day, the idea of bending light like the Predator's cloak is to produce an invisibility effect, it's safe to say, something many people would want. It's also a concept that usually resides mainly in our imaginations, no matter how technical the explanations may be. Normally, the idea of being completely translucent, allowing those who are hidden to fulfill many dark desires, is something best left to the Ralph Ellisons of the world.

Thanks to those intrepid explorers at Purdue's electrical engineering department, fiction may becoming a reality. At least, unless the department is just pulling our collective leg. Before that, however, an explanation of their idea:

Purdue professor Andrew M Weiner has said, "A lot of people have seen the invisibility cloak in the Harry Potter movies. In scientific research terms that is a spatial cloak. What we've done involves time cloaking... Time cloaking is relatively new. It's based on the idea that there are places in time where if something were to happen it wouldn't be picked up, so no one can tell that it has occurred... Say you have a light beam. Speed up the front half and slow down the back half, and you create a place where the light beam splits apart. There is no light intensity there... If you send a piece of data, but the light beam isn't there, you can't make the record. So if someone depicts the absence of light they will think no data was sent."

From my admittedly far less advanced perspective, it sounds like they are using, well, darkness to produce an invisibility field around the object they are trying to cloak. Or, as the YouTube crowd so eloquently put it:

of course it uses time the later it gets the darker it is to see things and then it becomes invisible

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And if you actually watch the video leading this post, it almost looks like it was a time-lapse of a rock sitting in a room that proceeds to get darker. Clearly, in this case, the simplest explanation is not the correct interpretation.