Cloaking Technology Advances Made, Spock Nervous

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News Posted: Sun, Jan 18 2009 10:39 PM
There was a time when laser beams were a thing of science fiction and the picture phone just found on episodes of The Jetsons.  And cloaking devices, well let's just say the Romulans gave James T. and the gang a bit of heart burn with their peek-a-boo ways but in reality the capability, though explored in science fiction throughout the years from Star Trek to Star Wars, seemed pretty far-fetched.  Or is it?  Like the laser and the picture phone now modern day web cam, advances in cloaking technology seem to be real, tangible and yes, even proven...

"A device that can bestow invisibility to an object by "cloaking" it from visual light is closer to reality. After being the first to demonstrate the feasibility of such a device by constructing a prototype in 2006, a team of Duke University engineers has produced a new type of cloaking device, which is significantly more sophisticated at cloaking in a broad range of frequencies."

Though military application is obvious and probably one of the more well funded efforts with the research that is being conducted, there are numerous usage models that can be realized with this emerging technology.   

"By eliminating the effects of obstructions, cloaking devices could improve wireless communications, or acoustic cloaks could serve as protective shields, preventing the penetration of vibrations, sound or seismic waves."

Seen here is Duke University's David R. Smith with a new prototype of cloaking material that is said to have the capability of cloaking a "nearly limitless" range of waves including visible light.  And you thought those camouflage pants were cool.  Just think what you could do with a cloak suit.  Wait, actually, don't go there.
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