Invisibility 'time cloak' developed

100th Monkey

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An "invisibility" time cloak which is able to hide events in a continuous stream of light has been developed by scientists.

The cloak works by manipulating the speed of light in optical fibres and means any interaction which takes place during this "hole in time" is not detected.

That is, a beam of light can be manipulated along its path.

The study is published in the journal Nature

The research builds upon a time cloak described last year that was only able to hide single brief events of time in an optical beam.

Hidden data

This work is different to other "invisibility cloaks" in that it hides events in time, rather than spatial objects - which similar efforts have looked into.

The team from the Purdue University in Indiana has shown it can hide events in the path of a continuous light beam by having several "holes in time".

The researchers were able to cloak nearly half the data put in the beam's path, which they would otherwise be able to detect.

Cloaking, just as it sounds, is where an object or event is hidden from vision. This can apply to frequencies of light or sound. For example, stealth war planes can be difficult to detect on enemy radar.

"We were able to push the light forward and back using commercial telecoms components, that are controlled by electrical signals," said Andrew Weiner, who co-authored the paper.

"When one sends high-speed data over an optical fibre in the existing infrastructure, in many cases it's just 1s and 0s (binary code).
BBC News - Invisibility 'time cloak' developed