Feeds

Boffins demo time-warp cloaking device

New tool for hackers

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
IBM Hursley Park: Where Big Blue buries the past, polishes family jewels
How the internet of things has deep roots in the English countryside
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Honeybee boffin STINGS OWN WEDDING TACKLE... for SCIENCE
Not the worst place to be stung, says one man
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.