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Time Cloaking: How Scientists Opened a Hidden Gap in Time

Old 01-07-2012, 08:11 AM
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Default Time Cloaking: How Scientists Opened a Hidden Gap in Time

Forget wrapping an object – say, Harry Potter – in a cloak of invisibility. How about hiding an event using time?

What may be a distant dream for this year's Indianapolis Colts has been demonstrated for the first time by a team of physicists at Cornell University.

The approach is dubbed "temporal cloaking," and it builds on experiments researchers have already conducted to demonstrate that they can hide objects from view.

Indeed, scientists had already succeeded at "spatial cloaking," which involves bending light around an object in such a way as to make it appear invisible. Temporal cloaking involves interrupting light to create a seeming gap in time in which an event can be hidden.

At this point, the time gap that the scientists created is so brief – about 50 trillionths of a second – that practical implications are barely a gleam in anyone's eye. But the researchers are interested in trying to lengthen the amount of time a beam's gap remains open, says Alexander Gaeta, who led the team reporting the results in the Jan. 5 issue of the journal Nature.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/tim...0#.TwhONjWXTEE
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