Cloaking device proven to be possible

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Cloaking device proven to be possible

Post by Roofus » Wed May 24, 2006 12:33 pm

It's been the curse of the USS Enterprise and the Klingons' favoured weapon. But back on Earth, mathematicians claim to have worked out how to make a cloaking device to render objects invisible.
An outline for the device is described in a scientific paper published today in which the authors reveal how objects placed close to a material called a superlens appear to vanish.

Even in the world of science fiction, the technology is not perfect, and nor is the device proposed by Graeme Milton at Utah University and Nicolae-Alexandru Nicorovici at Sydney University of Technology. According to their calculations, the device would only work at certain frequencies of light, and only if the object is within close range of the superlens.

The cloaking device relies on recently discovered materials used to make superlenses that make light behave in a highly unusual way. Instead of having a positive refractive index - the property which makes light bend as it passes through a prism or water - the materials have a negative refractive index, which effectively makes light travel backwards. It's light, but not as we know it.

Prof Milton's team calculated that when certain objects are placed next to superlenses, the light bouncing off them is essentially erased by light reflecting off the superlens, making the object invisible.

The calculations show that while the device could be used to obscure almost any shape of object, it only works over a short range of wavelengths, so if used to hide objects from human vision, they might only partially disappear.

Sir John Pendry, a theoretical physicist at Imperial College London who invented superlenses, said: "Effectively, they are making a piece of space seem to disappear, at least as far as light is concerned."

The research appears in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society today.

Prof Pendry said the technology has great potential for hiding objects from radar or cloaking electronic instruments so they can be used in strong electromagnetic fields, such as those produced by hospital MRI brain scanners. "The secret is having the cloak itself be invisible and if you can do that cheaply and efficiently and it doesn't need to be metres thick, it would be extremely valuable for stealth. Even if you could cloak a single frequency, it would be very useful. The military is extremely interested in this."

So far the researchers have only worked through the mathematics to prove that the device is plausible. The practicalities of making one have yet to be solved.

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Post by Hawq » Wed May 24, 2006 1:52 pm

Yeah but we all know that early cloaking devices screw up the ships instruments so its hard to see the enemy.
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Post by |darc| » Wed May 24, 2006 2:27 pm

Cool, but even though it means it will make an object not give off light, would the object not still block the light of the objects behind it, meaning that you will see a silhouette of the 'invisible' object?
It's thinking...
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Post by Hawq » Wed May 24, 2006 2:36 pm

As long as this one doesnt send you forward in time its an imporvement on the prototypes
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Post by DaMadFiddler » Wed May 24, 2006 3:10 pm

Hawq wrote:As long as this one doesnt send you forward in time its an imporvement on the prototypes
Philadelphia Experiment? Or are you thinking of something else?
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Post by Zealous zerotype » Wed May 24, 2006 3:41 pm

I rember seeing something similar to this on tv a while back. It did'nt look nearly that great yet, but this sounds more promising.
Like the guy stood infront of a tv and at certian angles you could actually watch the tv.
I also fear rape sky-rocketting after this.
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Post by jaredfogle » Wed May 24, 2006 5:32 pm

Cardboard box.
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Post by Ex-Cyber » Wed May 24, 2006 10:18 pm

This research is a dead end. They ought to be developing the Somebody Else's Problem field.
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Post by Hawq » Thu May 25, 2006 1:23 pm

DaMadFiddler wrote:
Hawq wrote:As long as this one doesnt send you forward in time its an imporvement on the prototypes
Philadelphia Experiment?
Of course, wonder if theres a special edition dvd re;ease of that?
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Post by FETUS » Thu May 25, 2006 2:41 pm

I want a pair of cloaking boxers
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Post by Tall Israeli » Thu May 25, 2006 3:50 pm

Cloaking devices have been in the works for years and are in prototype stages within the government.

They've been applied to all sorts of army vehicles; including tanks, jeeps and I think a humvee as well. Basically there are camera that display what they see on the opposite side that they are positioned to, which displays an image of what is being recorded by the camera(desert/buildings/trees/etc).
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Post by mikozero » Thu May 25, 2006 3:56 pm

cloaking devices already exist,

just get robbed, mugged, assulted or collapse on a busy street and watch as you magically vanish from the view of (almost) the entire populous.

S.E.P. fields in action . . .
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Post by CupNoodle » Thu May 25, 2006 4:16 pm

Tall Israeli wrote:Cloaking devices have been in the works for years and are in prototype stages within the government.

They've been applied to all sorts of army vehicles; including tanks, jeeps and I think a humvee as well. Basically there are camera that display what they see on the opposite side that they are positioned to, which displays an image of what is being recorded by the camera(desert/buildings/trees/etc).
Although it's quite stealthy, it's not a true cloak. Camera camouflage is just a pretty good way of blending in.
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Post by IiLuSiv » Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:37 pm

the question would be, when dealing with tanks, and helicopters they rarely actually never depend on regular view. You would have someone to cloak your heat, and yourself from radar for it to have any real warfare application. As the abilitiy to cloak vehicles in many environments from soldiers is already there, with the tank blankets and what-not they lay on tanks in desert warfare etc when not in constant action.
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