According to Professor Martin McCall of Imperial College London and his team, new materials with the ability to manipulate the speed of light could enable the creation of a “space-time cloak” capable of masking events or even creating an illusion of “Star Trek”-style transportation.
McCall says his work is mathematically quite closely related to the idea of invisibility cloaking or camouflaging with metamaterials that manipulate light, aÂ field that has blossomed since 2006. For McCall, theÂ metamaterialsÂ triggered the theoreticalÂ idea to manipulate light rays as they enter a material so that some parts speed up and others slow down, whichÂ could create “blind spots” in time, masking an event. While the accelerated light arrives at a space before an event has happened, the rest of the light doesn’t reach it until after the event.
The theory (it should be noted this idea is currently only on paper)Â is expounded in a series of equations and diagrams in the Journal of Optics, published by the Institute of Physics.
So what do you think? What do all you physicists think? What do all youÂ specialists in opticsÂ think? What do all youÂ science fiction enthusiastsÂ think? Do you see any flaws in the theory? How would you apply this technology? Do you have an event or events in mind that you would cloak?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.