A team of physicists has created a "hole in time," where things that happen are completely undetectable to ordinary observers. It's as if they never occurred. Called "temporal cloaking," this could eventually provide a way for a country like Iran or North Korea to make nuclear weapons in complete secrecy.
Earlier attempts to make things invisible involved "spatial cloaking," bending light around an object in a way that makes it disappear from view. In the Washington Post, David Brown quotes physicist Moti Fridman as saying, "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."
The hole in time they created lasts only 50 trillionths of a second, so right now, it can't act as a "cover" for nefarious activities. Brown quotes Fridman as saying, "It is not enough time to steal a painting from a museum."
Meanwhile, there's more news on the "light bending" front as well: Other researchers are improving cloaks that have been designed to make objects invisible to infrared light, but this work may lead to more advanced materials that can hide objects in visible wavelengths. Objects beneath it seem to vanish (this might be an easy fix for ugly buildings!)
In the Guardian, Ian Sample quotes researcher Nicolas Stenger as saying, "We are focusing on a new way to control light. In the future of technology, light is going to have more and more importance."
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