Time Cloaking: Physicists create a hole in time

Jul 15, 2011
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Science is creating all sorts of awesome things today. Not long ago, I mentioned an acoustic cloak that hid the noise made by things like submarines from prying ears. There is also a lot of work on invisibility cloaks too that make things invisible to the naked eye. Physicists have now trumped the awesome of both invisibility cloaks and acoustic cloaks with the most awesome invention I have heard of in years.

A group of physicists has created time cloaking that is able to hide an event from time itself. The breakthrough comes from Moti Friedman and other researchers at Cornell University. The how part of the way the time cloak works gets very heady indeed. Apparently, the cloak is able to work thanks to a duality between space and time in electromagnetic theory. There is a lot more to the how but the works of the system the team created boils down to a time lens made using electro-optic modulator that can magnify or compress in time.

The cloak places two lenses in a series and sends a beam of light through the lenses, the first lens compresses the light in time and the second decompresses it again. Someone observing the light would view what comes out of the second lens as undistorted as if no event had occurred. The net effect is that the space between the two lenses deletes changes that occur in a short period. Right now, the time cloak only lasts for 110 nanoseconds and the researchers say that the best they can do is 120 microseconds.

[via TechnologyReview]


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