(Photo: Joseph Ludken/Purdue University)
An invisibility cloak has been developed by researchers at Purdue University, with the high-tech cloak described to use time to make things disappear.
Purdue professor Andrew M Weiner has said, "A lot of people have seen the invisibility cloak in the Harry Potter movies. In scientific research terms that is a spatial cloak. What we've done involves time cloaking," according to ABC News.
The findings from the research were published in the June issue of Nature, and posted online on Wednesday.
Joseph Lukens, a Ph.D candidate in electrical engineering, who co-published the findings said, "This has been a lot bigger than I expected. It's great, I'm just trying to soak it all in."
He added, "Time cloaking is relatively new. It's based on the idea that there are places in time where if something were to happen it wouldn't be picked up, so no one can tell that it has occurred."
Lukens continued to explain: "Say you have a light beam. Speed up the front half and slow down the back half, and you create a place where the light beam splits apart. There is no light intensity there."
He added that when data is sent it makes a record in a light beam: "If you send a piece of data, but the light beam isn't there, you can't make the record. So if someone depicts the absence of light they will think no data was sent."
Current technology only allows the cloaking of small electrical signals, but the researchers hope that more will be possible in the future.
"But in the future it would be interesting to see if we can create cloaks that use both space and time. These space-time cloaks would allow us to create entire spaces where things can go undetected. For example, we could cloak an entire room and whatever is in it," Lukens said. "As a dreamer I hope that can be a possibility, but I'm not making any promises."