On Wednesday scientists working in conjunction with the Pentagon announced recent studies and experiments had produced a “time cloak” device which enables an event to be undetectable.
The findings were published in the science journal Nature and were a mere glimpse of where the future is headed, especially its role in military arenas.
Physicists were able to achieve this momentary period of invisibility by manipulating a light source, causing light particles to travel at various speeds. Light carries information which is reflected off different objects. That is how things are able to define their shape in space. If the light can be stopped or slowed down it can prevent detectors, such as the human eye, from seeing it.
"Our results represent a significant step towards obtaining a complete spatio-temporal cloaking device," said Moti Fridman, lead researcher from of Cornell University, according to The State Column.
The team of researchers shot a beam of light through a fiber optic cable and passed the light through different lenses which caused some light particles to travel faster while others moved slower. The gap produced, just 50 picoseconds or 50 millionths of a millionth of a second, is what scientists are so excited about.
This experiment is thought to be the first time that so-called temporal cloaking has taken place. However, there have been many long strides in recent years which have led to this point.
“We think of time in the way that other people think of space. What other people are doing in space, we can do it in time,” Fridman said.
The time cloak has the ability to increase security in fiber optic communications due to its ability to break up optical signals which makes data hard to intercept
Fridman's work was part-supported by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, or DARPA, an arm of the Pentagon which develops futuristic technology intended for military use. One of its achievements includes DARPANet which was a predecessor of the Internet.