Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"He's Cloaked"

Years ago I remember sitting in a theater with my sister watching a Star Trek movie. The scene was very tense. The captain was looking for the Klingon ship, but it wasn't around. My sister was actually on the edge of the movie seat. Her hands were planted beside each knee holding on to the cushion. Quietly, very quietly I hear her say, "He's cloaked."

What made me remember this? Two mathemeticians have published that cloaking may actually be possible. Here's a bit of the article:

Cloaking devices are a form of stealth technology much favoured by Star Trek baddies such as the Romulans and Klingons.

The complex mathematical phenomenon outlined by Milton and Nicorovici closes the gap a little between science fiction and fact.

The phenomenon is analogous to a tuning fork (which rings with a single sound frequency) being placed next to a wine glass. The wine glass will start to ring with the same frequency; it resonates.

The cloaking effect would exploit a resonance with light waves rather than sound waves.

The concept is at such a primitive stage that the scientists talk only at the moment of being able to cloak particles of dust - not spaceships.

In this example, an illuminated speck of dust would scatter light at frequencies that induce a strong, finely tuned resonance in a cloaking material placed very close by.

The resonance effectively cancels out the light bouncing off the speck of dust, rendering the dust particle invisible.

One way to construct a cloaking device is to use a superlens, made of recently discovered materials that force light to behave in unusual ways.

3 comments:

Trixie said...

So cool!

Maverick said...

Very, very cool.

Genevieve said...

That is so futuristic. Very cool.