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    The invisible future Black ops. It's Reality Jim, but not as we know it.


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    Post  lawlessline on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:32 am

    'Cloaking' a 3-D object from all angles demonstrated
    By Jason Palmer
    Science and technology reporter, BBC News

    Microwaves can be seen being blocked and scattered without (l), and "reconstructed" (r) with the cloak
    Continue reading the main story
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    Researchers have "cloaked" a three-dimensional object, making it invisible from all angles, for the first time.

    However, the demonstration works only for waves in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

    It uses a shell of what are known as plasmonic materials; they present a "photo negative" of the object being cloaked, effectively cancelling it out.

    The idea, outlined in New Journal of Physics, could find first application in high-resolution microscopes.

    Most of the high-profile invisibility cloaking efforts have focused on the engineering of "metamaterials" - modifying materials to have properties that cannot be found in nature.

    The modifications allow metamaterials to guide and channel light in unusual ways - specifically, to make the light rays arrive as if they had not passed over or been reflected by a cloaked object.

    Previous efforts that have made 3-D objects disappear have relied upon a "carpet cloak" idea, in which the object to be cloaked is overlaid with a "carpet" of metamaterial that bends light so as to make the object invisible.

    Now, Andrea Alu and colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin have pulled off the trick in "free space", making an 18cm-long cylinder invisible to incoming microwave light.

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    Post  mudra on Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:10 am

    Interesting subject Tom. I am concerned about the Ethics of the use of this technology though.
    Under the article below someone made this intelligent comment:

    While making a new discovery or Research, we Humans give more priority to what we can do unfortunately we give almost zero priority to what we shouldn't do.

    Cloaking Technology

    Space-Time Cloak Possible, Could Make Events Disappear?
    Material would adjust speed of light to hide actions, physicists say.

    Published July 11, 2011

    It's no illusion: Science has found a way to make not just objects but entire events disappear, experts say.

    According to new research by British physicists, it's theoretically possible to create a material that can hide an entire bank heist from human eyes and surveillance cameras.

    "The concepts are basically quite simple," said Paul Kinsler, a physicist at Imperial College London, who created the idea with colleagues Martin McCall and Alberto Favaro.

    Unlike invisibility cloaks—some of which have been made to work at very small scales—the event cloak would do more than bend light around an object.

    (Also see "Acoustic 'Invisibility' Cloaks Possible, Study Says.")

    Instead this cloak would use special materials filled with metallic arrays designed to adjust the speed of light passing through.

    In theory, the cloak would slow down light coming into the robbery scene while the safecracker is at work. When the robbery is complete, the process would be reversed, with the slowed light now racing to catch back up.

    If the "before" and "after" visions are seamlessly stitched together, there should be no visible trace that anything untoward has happened. One second there's a closed safe, and the next second the safe has been emptied.

    Event Cloak "Fun" but Challenging

    The concept of an event cloak "is definitely an interesting idea and great fun," said invisibility researcher Ulf Leonhardt, a physicist at the University of St. Andrews in the U.K. who wasn't part of the study team.

    Steve Cummer, a cloaking specialist at Duke University, calls the concept "interesting and exciting," but he thinks that actually making such a cloak would be "really, really challenging."

    "All of the material parameters need to be time-varying in a very specific way," Cummer said by email.

    Currently, nobody knows how to do that except in fiber optics, in which the speed of a signal can be varied by a few percent by changing the intensity of the light. (Related: "Nobel Prize in Physics Goes to 'Masters of Light.'")

    "You can use an intense control beam to slow a signal down," Kinsler said. In that way, an event occurring inside a fiber optic cable—such as an electrical signal moving from "on" to "off"—could be hidden from view.

    "You would see the fiber, but some event occurring in the fiber could be cloaked," he said. Such a proof of concept, he added, could be possible within a few years.

    (Related: "Long-Distance Quantum Message May Advance Code Making, Code Breaking.")

    read on:

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