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Science & Technology

New invisibility cloak can 'freeze time'

By T.K. Randall
August 19, 2013 · Comment icon 8 comments

Image Credit: CC 2.0 Matt Buck
A cloak made from mirrors is able to make it appear to an observer that the subject is frozen in time.
While the conventional idea of an invisibility cloak is a device or garment that renders the subject invisible, researchers at Northwestern University have come up with a new type of cloak made from mirrors that can put time on hold for any objects inside it. A clock for example would continue to operate normally but to the external observer it would appear to have stopped.

The 'temporal cloak' currently only exists on the drawing board but according to scientists there is nothing to stop it being built using materials available today. The advantage of being able to hide something in this way could prove invaluable in a number of applications including on the battlefield, making this of prime interest to military technology specialists.[!gad]While the conventional idea of an invisibility cloak is a device or garment that renders the subject invisible, researchers at Northwestern University have come up with a new type of cloak made from mirrors that can put time on hold for any objects inside it. A clock for example would continue to operate normally but to the external observer it would appear to have stopped.

The 'temporal cloak' currently only exists on the drawing board but according to scientists there is nothing to stop it being built using materials available today. The advantage of being able to hide something in this way could prove invaluable in a number of applications including on the battlefield, making this of prime interest to military technology specialists.
Researchers at Northwestern University have designed an invisibility cloak that can temporally hide objects for an indefinite period of time. Objects covered by this invisibility cloak wouldn’t disappear from sight, but rather it would appear that time has completely stopped for the cloaked object.


Source: Extreme Tech | Comments (8)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by pallidin 11 years ago
The title extension is misleading, not by the OP here, but by the article writer. The "can stop time indefinetly" is not true at all. In fact, this appears to be a very complex process that, not only is just theorectical(though likely) but has significant limitations. For example, the article states: The duration of the temporal cloak is twice the time it takes light to travel between A and B — and so if you place B a very, very long way away — such as on another planet — you could theoretically cloak an object for minutes, or hours… or light years. I guess you could even do it here on... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by wyelander 11 years ago
I built an invisibility cloak a couple of years ago. Trouble is I've not been able to find it since...
Comment icon #3 Posted by Mac E 11 years ago
This is another invisibility cloak with major limitations making it relatively useless for practical applications.
Comment icon #4 Posted by ash68 11 years ago
Many great inventions we take for granted today started out pretty useless with limitations so I think you have to appreciate this as a first step towards something great
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer 11 years ago
Even in Star Trek, if you looked hard, you could see the spacial distortions from a Romulan or Klingon cloak.
Comment icon #6 Posted by StarMountainKid 11 years ago
I witnessed a real invisibility cloak in Chicago years ago. I was at a St. Patrick's Day parade. What it was was a garbage truck covered with mirrors. It was really a strange sight...or not a sight. The truck couldn't be seen at all, all there was to see were the reflections of the buildings around the truck. The truck was invisible. If you had seen it in person, it was weird. Another kind of invisibility cloak was tried in WW2 to hide war ships at sea. The U.S. Navy Dept. asked some scientist how to do this. His reply was to put bright lights on the ship in daytime. The Admirals thought this ... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by shrooma 11 years ago
Another kind of invisibility cloak was tried in WW2 to hide war ships at sea. The U.S. Navy Dept. asked some scientist how to do this. His reply was to put bright lights on the ship in daytime. The Admirals thought this was a crazy idea, but when they tried it, bright lights a ship near the horizon made it impossible to see. . sounds more plausable than the 'Philidelphia Experiment' SMK!
Comment icon #8 Posted by brlesq1 11 years ago
Hey, this is pretty cool. Don't know what you'd use it for, but it's still pretty cool.


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