Military-Funded 'Hole in Time' Stuff of Science Fiction
Time travel may be a few centuries off, but researchers at Cornell have apparently uncovered a way to make actions in time seemingly disappear. Indeed, it may one day be possible to crash into a powerline pole on a busy street, or burglarize a home in broad daylight, without bystanders being aware of what is occurring right in front of them. While the researchers involved in the study consider such technology to be a benefit for society, it's worth noting that the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Project Agency funded a huge portion of Cornell's research.
So, how does it work?
Human perception, at least visual perception, is completely and utterly dependent on light. The objects we see with our eyes are only visible due to the light being reflected off their surfaces. This includes everything from a blade of grass to a skyscraper. Due to a person's dependency on light to see what exists in reality, a weakness in perception could be created if the light itself could be manipulated, which is exactly what the researchers at Cornell have apparently been able to do.
Using ultra-fine fiber optics thinner than a human hair, researchers were able to briefly create dueling light bursts that created, in essence, a false perception of what was really there. By controlling the speed in which sources of light were hitting an object, scientists were able to make it seem as though the object was not there at all.
But before you start cooking up criminal capers that involve evading detection via altering the way light is being perceived by outside observers, keep in mind that you'll have to be in and out in less than one-trillionth of a second. So far, this is the longest length of time researchers have been able to hide an event.
Yet this brief amount of time equates to enormous promise according to the researchers involved. It proves that it is indeed possible to one day be able to create an invisibility cloak for more than just an object, but a place in time.
It's clear what the military would see as beneficial to such technology. But what about these other “positives” touted by the researchers themselves? They remain to be seen.