Move over, Harry Potter! Your invisibility cloak is awesome. There is no denying that, but it only works to hide people or things that it covers. In our world, scientists have gone one step further and invented a time cloaking device! How mind-blowing is that?
Physicists from Cornell University have made another step towards turning science fiction into reality when they successfully implemented a time masker, which works by altering the flow of light. This feat is based on a basic principle: humans see things happening around us via the light that reaches our eyes. By speeding up one part of the light and slowing down another part, the physicists were able to make it appear as if an event didn’t happen!
Think about it as a gap or “hole in time where an event takes place”. That is how Alexander Gaeta, a co-author of the study, explained the time cloaking device.1 I don’t know about you, but if you read Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, it kind of reminds me of balefire, a forbidden weave because it erases the existence of a person, thing, or event. While that is rather different, the gap or hole in time brings balefire to mind.
In any case, what the Cornell physicists have done is groundbreaking. This is the first time that humans have been able to hide an event in time. The possibilities are endless. I hate to say it, but the first thing that comes to mind is someone being able to steal an artifact from a museum without being seen or detected. Then again, the researchers have only been able to make the time cloaking device work for a fraction of a second. I doubt that even the fastest thieves would be able to pull something off in that time! And being able to extend the effects of the time cloaking device is not that easy. Even the scientists behind the project admit to that. Still, this is proof that it can be done.
Who knows where we will be a few years from now?