Feeds

Boffins demo time-warp cloaking device

New tool for hackers

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A team of scientists at Cornell University in the US has demonstrated a way to bend light in such a way that it effectively hides an event from happening – what they call a "spatio-temporal cloaking" scheme.

The team, which is funded by DARPA, has built on work by Imperial College London, which showed that it was theoretically possible to split light and hide actions in the ensuing invisible area.

In a paper published in Nature, the Cornell team demonstrated the principle for the first time – albeit for only 40 trillionths of a second.

“This approach is based on accelerating the front part of a probe light beam and slowing down its rear part to create a well controlled temporal gap – inside which an event occurs – such that the probe beam is not modified in any way by the event,” the team writes. “The probe beam is then restored to its original form by the reverse manipulation of the dispersion. These results are a significant step towards the development of full spatio-temporal cloaking.”

Bending light for time masking

Light bending opens time hole

If the period of time during which the effect can be achieved is extended, the system may provide a new way for computer networks to be monitored and attacked. The team estimates the effect could be stretched to a single second, long enough to allow code injection, most effectively in a quantum-computing system. One catch: the machinery needed to accomplish this feat using their current scheme would have to be 18,600 miles long.

This may well be the case, but the team has taken barely a year after the original 2010 discovery of the phenomenon to come up with a functioning device – much faster than the originators expected. Given the steady progress that technology has made in advancing efficiencies of existing techniques, the time-cloaking device could be in operation a lot sooner than we think. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.