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July 22, 2011

Space-time cloak no longer sci-fi — the ultimate "hide in plain sight"


From Hamish Johnston's July 14 physicsworld.com post: "

In this month's issue of Physics World, Martin McCall and Paul Kinsler outline plans for an "event cloak" — a device that would be perfect for the ultimate bank heist.

McCall and Kinsler are theoretical physicists at Imperial College London and their article offers a recipe for a device that allows selected events to go undetected.

Now it seems that Alexander Gaeta and colleagues at Cornell University have built a working event cloak — albeit different from the McCall and Kinsler's proposal.

The device is comprised of two "split time lenses" (STLs).

The first STL takes a beam of light and splits it into two parts, one that is delayed in time and the other that is advanced in time. This creates a gap in time and any event occurring within this gap cannot be detected by the beam. The second STL then does the reverse on the beam, closing the gap in time.

McCall said, "We were very pleased to see that our concept has been realized experimentally — it doesn't quite use the same technique we proposed, but I think it can fairly claim to be the first experimental observation of the signature of a space–time cloak." 

paper describing the cloak has been uploaded to the arXiv preprint server and the authors say it will be published in Nature, thus Gaeta and colleagues are unable to speak about the paper.


Below, the abstract of the upcoming paper.

Demonstration of temporal cloaking

Recent research has uncovered a remarkable ability to manipulate and control electromagnetic fields to produce effects such as perfect imaging and spatial cloaking. To achieve spatial cloaking, the index of refraction is manipulated to flow light from a probe around an object in such a way that a "hole" in space is created, and it remains hidden. Alternatively, it may be desirable to cloak the occurrence of an event over a finite time period, and the idea of temporal cloaking was proposed in which the dispersion of the material is manipulated in time to produce a "time hole" in the probe beam to hide the occurrence of the event from the observer. This approach is based on accelerating and slowing down the front and rear parts, respectively, of the probe beam to create a well controlled temporal gap in which the event occurs so the probe beam is not modified in any way by the event. The probe beam is then restored to its original form by the reverse manipulation of the dispersion. Here we present an experimental demonstration of temporal cloaking by applying concepts from the time-space duality between diffraction and dispersive broadening. We characterize the performance of our temporal cloak by detecting the spectral modification of a probe beam due to an optical interaction while the cloak is turned off and on and show that the event is observed when the cloak is turned off but becomes undetectable when the cloak is turned on. These results are a significant step toward the development of full spatio-temporal .

The July issue of Physics World is devoted to the physics of invisibility and you can download a PDF copy here.


Free, the way we like it.

You could say (though I wouldn't) that "invisibility wants to be free."

I like that.

Of interest to me is that five years ago, one physicist predicted that Harry Potter-style invisibility cloaks were "10 years away."

Looks like things are right on schedule.

July 22, 2011 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

7-Outlet Energy-Saving Charging Station/Surge Protector


Good idea.

From the website:


Do you have lots of AC adapters to charge your portable electronics?

The Charging Station surge protector automatically turns off its indicated switched outlets when all connected AC adapters are done charging their batteries.

You can also use it as a safety switch with power tools: when the last tool is turned off, all "green" outlets will remain off until you hit the "start" button again. 

• 5 Switched (green) outlets

• 2 Always-on (red) outlets



July 22, 2011 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Experts' Expert: Ballerina Alina Cojocaru demonstrates balance

Wrote one commenter, "I saw her "Sleeping Beauty" at the MET. After her 3rd  développé in the Rose Adagio, she let go of her partner's hand and held the position for longer then I've ever seen any ballerina hold it. You could hear everbody in the audience gasp. She was amazing."

[via Madeline Joyce]

July 22, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mini Bamboo Spoon Set



From the website:



A set of 3 little spoons made of bamboo — 2 flat and 1 round.


• Small spoon 8 cm

• Medium spoon 9.2 cm

• Large spoon 10.7 cm


Packaged in brown linen cloth.




July 22, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hot enough for you?


Via Joe Peach, an interactive weather map that trumps all the others.

You move your cursor over any of the hundreds of map locations marked with + or colored circles and up pops the current weather.

Especially useful for travelers who're curious about what things are like where they're heading.

Free, the way we like it.

July 22, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

MorphWorld: Melissa Molinaro into Kim Kardashian

The resemblance is so strking that the 30-year-old star of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" (right, below) is suing Old Navy in an attempt to get the company to stop using Molinaro (left, below), 29, in its advertising.


"The Old Navy ad in question [top] features Molinaro dancing and lip-synching to a synthetic pop song titled 'Super C-U-T-E' by a faux band called The Audio Threadz."

Kardashian thinks it's a ploy to capitalize on her hard-earned fame and get customers on the relatively cheap — at least, compared to what Kardashian's presence in the ad might cost.

I'm surprised Kardashian's not suing Molinaro for resembling her.


Perhaps the driving force behind this legal hissy fit


is this: "In a bizarre twist, the alleged Old Navy campaign clone is now reportedly dating Kardashian's ex-boyfriend Reggie Bush in real life."

As if these people have any real lives.

From where I'm walking on the treadmill, the whole thing looks kinda faux.

[via NYDAilyNews.com]

July 22, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Solar Wallpaper is the new new thing


From Melissae [sic] Fellet's story in Tuesday's Washington Post: "Solar cells, printed on paper, may someday decorate your walls. Imagine decorating your sunny bedroom with wallpaper that generates electricity."

"That's the tantalizing possibility thrown up by the development of solar cells that can be printed on paper. Researchers at MIT printed them on untreated copy paper using a technique that could help slash the cost of producing solar cells."

"At the moment, these paper solar cells are only about 1% efficient. But that's enough to run small electronics such as alarm clocks. A lightweight solar cell could be used for wallpaper or window shades and simply installed using staples or glue."


The abstract of the MIT scientists' paper, published in Advanced Materials, follows.

Direct Monolithic Integration of Organic Photovoltaic Circuits on Unmodified Paper

Organic photovoltaic circuits are monolithically fabricated directly on a variety of common paper substrates using oxidative chemical vapor deposition to vapor print conformal conductive polymer electrodes. The paper photovoltaic arrays produce >50 V, power common electronic displays in ambient indoor lighting, and can be tortuously flexed and folded without loss of function.

Read the paper in its entirety here.


July 22, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fashionista Scotch Tape Shoe Dispenser


Tape included.

$11.08 (tape included).

July 22, 2011 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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