Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Invisibility cloaks- good idea, or bad?

Posted by Simcha 6:49 PM, under | 5 comments

When I was younger I though it would be so cool to have an invisibility cloak of my own. To be able to sneak in and out of movie theaters or museums without anyone seeing me. Or to listen in to private conversations without anyone knowing. But what would happen if invisibilty cloaks were no longer relegated to the realm of fiction, but were actually a reality? 

Well, apparently science is not so far from creating the material for such a cloak, and a student at the University of St Andrews has just brought us even closer with his use of an 'invisible sphere', to bend light in a way that can make object invisible.


The optical device, known as an 'invisible sphere', would slow down all of the light that approaches a potential cloak, meaning that the light rays would not need to be accelerated around the cloaked objects at great speeds ― a requirement that has limited invisibility cloaks to work only in a specified region of the visible spectrum.

This new research, published today, Tuesday 9 August, in the Institute of Physics and German Physical Society's New Journal of Physics, could open up the possibility for a potential invisibility cloak wearer to move around amongst ever-changing backgrounds of a variety of colours.

So this article got me thinking about what the actual ramifications would be of having invisibility cloaks in existence. The idea of having people wandering around the streets, invisible to me, kind of creeps me out. There are actually very few uses that I could think of for invisibility cloaks that aren't just plain nefarious.

What do you think? Invisibility cloaks- good idea, or bad?


5 comments:

I imagine the government would use such material to hide from satellites although this doesn't cloak things from radar.

Bad, very bad!!! I already have unreasonable fear of ghosts floating around me unseen. I hate having that feeling of being watched without knowing who it is that's watching you...the hairs on the back of my neck prickling...I do hope this doesn't become available - Ever!

Sniffly Kitty: I would imagine the government would provide them to their spies though it wouldn't be long before criminals and terrorists started using them as well.

Stephanie: Yeah, I think an invisibility cloak is something that would be cool to have yourself but terrifying in anyone else's hands.

Icky!!!! That is all I would have to say

I went to a science lecture last year about cloaking and they have only gotten computer models of it and haven't even come close to perfecting it within those models so I think the possibility of it is still a long ways out. It is also bending light around the object so with complex backgrounds it gets more difficult.

I think it would be both good and bad. It would make it easier for people to do both bad and good without their identity known.

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