Space time cloak blurs the lines of science fact and fiction

17 Nov 2010

Researchers in a top London institution have apparently devised a “space time cloak” that could give the illusion that objects disappear and shift in time.

The Imperial College London says it has applied its research into creating invisible sheds to produce the space time cloak theory – which would manipulate light and could, theoretically, conceal events from onlookers.

The theory is based on interrupting the flow of events that we perceive as light, or photon beams, to create a corridor “in which energy information or matter can be transported undetected”, according to an article in The Journal of Optics.

Put simply

In layman’s terms, as light enters materials, the theory suggests it is possible to manipulate these rays, making them faster or slower, and thereby creating an the illusion.

“If you had someone moving along the corridor, it would appear to a distant observer as if they had relocated instantaneously, creating the illusion of a Star Trek transporter,” Prof Martin McCall said in the article.

“So, theoretically, this person might be able to do something and you wouldn’t notice!”

While certain government leaders would no doubt love to get a hold a space time cloak to make national debt disappear, for now the theory will most likely be put to use in optical signals using meta material-based processors or a data channel performing a priority calculation on a parallel channel during a cloak operation.