Scientists announce advance in invisibility

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Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Galen » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:08 pm UTC

Apparently they cloaked a 3D object.

MIT hacks are about to reach a whole new level. :D
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:22 pm UTC

What scientists? I don't see any scient..... OOOOOHHH!!!

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Avelion » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:39 pm UTC

Combine that with the people who made the robot with a biological brain and my dream of seeing Ghost in the Shell become reality is nigh at hand.
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby 4=5 » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:44 pm UTC

what? no pictures?

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Jack Saladin » Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:42 pm UTC

How exactly does this work? I get hiding the object, but how do they get around the fact that the object is blocking light from whatever is directly behind it in relation to the viewer? What would you see there?

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Freakish » Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:05 am UTC

Jack Saladin wrote:How exactly does this work? I get hiding the object, but how do they get around the fact that the object is blocking light from whatever is directly behind it in relation to the viewer? What would you see there?


I think it's suppose to take the light hitting the back of the object, and reroutes it to the front.
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Woxor » Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:15 am UTC

Using special materials, you simulate the "warping of space" around the object so that light travels around the object but appears to have traveled straight through it, kind of like a fluid current around an object.

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Malice » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:14 am UTC

I would never simply announce an advance in invisibility. I'd use my technology, and then call a press conference to show off my new trinkets: the Hope diamond, the President's eyebrows, a few Olympic gold medals, etc.

I guess what I'm saying is that scientists should be more like supervillains. "To answer the correspondent from the Washington Post, yes, they did laugh at us, they called us mad. But who's laughing now? Is it the visible scientists? Because I don't think it's the visible scientists."
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Lt Greatsocks » Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:03 am UTC

Malice wrote:I would never simply announce an advance in invisibility. I'd use my technology, and then call a press conference to show off my new trinkets: the Hope diamond, the President's eyebrows, a few Olympic gold medals, etc.

I guess what I'm saying is that scientists should be more like supervillains. "To answer the correspondent from the Washington Post, yes, they did laugh at us, they called us mad. But who's laughing now? Is it the visible scientists? Because I don't think it's the visible scientists."


Everybody should be more like supervillains.
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby pyroman » Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:16 am UTC

4=5 wrote:what? no pictures?


its right there in the middle of the page! Dont you see it? :lol:
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:20 am UTC

Previously, they only have been able to cloak very thin two-dimensional objects.

wut.
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Exenon » Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:29 am UTC

Yeah, the problem is, if the light is redirected around you, you cant see whats around you. So nobody can see you, but cant see anybody neither. Its kind of a weird situation.
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby felltir » Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:31 am UTC

LE4dGOLEM wrote:
Previously, they only have been able to cloak very thin two-dimensional objects.

wut.

DAMN you. I was about to say that.

As opposed to, uh, fat 2D things?
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Raiku » Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:59 am UTC

pyroman wrote:
4=5 wrote:what? no pictures?


its right there in the middle of the page! Dont you see it? :lol:


Of course I don't see it it's invi... Ooooh, I get... hahaha... :|
Felltir wrote:
LE4dGOLEM wrote:
Previously, they only have been able to cloak very thin two-dimensional objects.

wut.

DAMN you. I was about to say that.

As opposed to, uh, fat 2D things?


Well, what about a picture of Asterix and Obelisk?

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby hyperion » Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:09 am UTC

LE4dGOLEM wrote:
Previously, they only have been able to cloak very thin two-dimensional objects.

wut.

Like this?
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Jack Saladin » Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:07 pm UTC

Exenon wrote:Yeah, the problem is, if the light is redirected around you, you cant see whats around you. So nobody can see you, but cant see anybody neither. Its kind of a weird situation.

So you have a tiny camera visible. Problem Solve'D!

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Exenon » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:57 pm UTC

Jack Saladin wrote: Exenon wrote:Yeah, the problem is, if the light is redirected around you, you cant see whats around you. So nobody can see you, but cant see anybody neither. Its kind of a weird situation.


So you have a tiny camera visible. Problem Solve'D!


Yeah, could you do it wireless ? I mean, else you'd have to put a hole, very tiny yes, but a hole still. The cloak is made of a multitude of very thin layers of nano structures, each of them refracting the light a little bit, and, finally, making it go around the cloaked object. A hole in this structure could affect a multitude of layers and create a rather big visible portion. Although i dont know this, its probable. But maybe your right, and a tiny camera can be mounted on the cloak. I dont know.
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby SlyReaper » Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:15 pm UTC

Clearly it could NOT be done via wireless. Radio waves are light too. :P

Edit: unless you could tune the cloak to be permeable to a specific frequency.
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Belial » Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:24 pm UTC

Use active, hypersonic sonar, and interpret it into a goggle readout.

Or just route the extra sense in through the tongue.
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby 0xDEADBEEF » Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:36 pm UTC

The British Government researched invisibility in the '60's. Here's a documentary on the importance of not being seen.

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:50 pm UTC

Here's the problem:
If you're 100% effective at bending light from all directions around you, you are 100% invisible, and 100% blind. If the light in front of you swings around you and behind you, you can't see it yourself.

Solutions?
See in infra-red, but then they can see you in infra-red. Maybe have a map with a GPS allowing you to watch yourself navigate. Or maybe echo-location?

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Freakish » Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:43 pm UTC

There could be a small pinhole camera with a an eyelid type of opening. Open/visible Close/Invisible. They could make it look like a small fly going through the air.
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Woxor » Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:44 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Solutions?
See in infra-red, but then they can see you in infra-red. Maybe have a map with a GPS allowing you to watch yourself navigate. Or maybe echo-location?

Or, you know, a peep-hole. You can see a lot through a small opening that is close to your eye, and others can only see something the size of a dime.

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby ddxxdd » Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:06 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Here's the problem:
If you're 100% effective at bending light from all directions around you, you are 100% invisible, and 100% blind. If the light in front of you swings around you and behind you, you can't see it yourself.

Solutions?
See in infra-red, but then they can see you in infra-red. Maybe have a map with a GPS allowing you to watch yourself navigate. Or maybe echo-location?


Or use special semi-reflective materials for the light bending mechanisms right in front of your eye, so that a PORTION of the light gets refracted to your rear, but another portion gets transmitted right through. Sort of like a one-way mirror.
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Exenon » Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:07 pm UTC

ddxxdd wrote: Heisenberg wrote:Here's the problem:
If you're 100% effective at bending light from all directions around you, you are 100% invisible, and 100% blind. If the light in front of you swings around you and behind you, you can't see it yourself.

Solutions?
See in infra-red, but then they can see you in infra-red. Maybe have a map with a GPS allowing you to watch yourself navigate. Or maybe echo-location?



Or use special semi-reflective materials for the light bending mechanisms right in front of your eye, so that a PORTION of the light gets refracted to your rear, but another portion gets transmitted right through. Sort of like a one-way mirror.


First, echo-location works with sound, so it would work to find a cloak, because this one only refracts light and not sound.

Second, GPS works with electro-magnetic waves, for the transmission, so the cloak doesn't let them in, but redirect them around you.

Third, if you only refract a portion of the light, your visible, so the cloak has no sense at all.

All in all, the problem is not solved. You can be invisible, you then, you can't see.
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Woxor » Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:01 pm UTC

Exenon wrote:First, echo-location works with sound, so it would work to find a cloak, because this one only refracts light and not sound.

I took a class from one of the guys behind some of the mathematical theory behind this cloaking stuff, and he says that the analogous mathematical problem behind accoustics (rather than optics and electromagnetism) is more complicated and has not yet been solved. His example for how to use it wasn't audio cloaking, but something even cooler (albeit less practical): earthquake prevention. You build massive dampeners in the ground outside a city, so any earthquake shockwaves simply pass around it. How badass is that?

But yeah, it's not solved yet. But it might be solvable.

Exenon wrote:Third, if you only refract a portion of the light, your visible, so the cloak has no sense at all.

I think the intent is to refract all of the visible light, but let the (non-visible) infra-red radiation in, which can then be turned visible by infra-red goggles or whathaveyou. That way you are completely invisible to the naked eye, but can be seen by other people with infra-red vision, like half-orcs and dwarves.

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby wirehead » Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:18 pm UTC

I tend to think the real advantages of negative refraction materials are being cloaked by the whole cloaking thing.

I mean... lenses that aren't subject to diffraction! This means that we've pushed off one of the limits on IC feature size.

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby SlyReaper » Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:58 pm UTC

Woxor wrote:
Exenon wrote:Third, if you only refract a portion of the light, your visible, so the cloak has no sense at all.

I think the intent is to refract all of the visible light, but let the (non-visible) infra-red radiation in, which can then be turned visible by infra-red goggles or whathaveyou. That way you are completely invisible to the naked eye, but can be seen by other people with infra-red vision, like half-orcs and dwarves.


And enemy soldiers? As soon as they learn that you have invisible tanks that can only be seen with infra-red goggles, the smart money is on them being kitted out with infra-red goggles.
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Woxor » Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:22 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:And enemy soldiers? As soon as they learn that you have invisible tanks that can only be seen with infra-red goggles, the smart money is on them being kitted out with infra-red goggles.

Well, obviously. But hey, at least you're invisible to the naked eye, which counts for something. Truth be told, I'm guessing that an important application of this technology is actually to be invisible to the infrared rather than visible light.

But of course they're going to combine every idea they can. If you're completely invisible to the naked eye and invisible to IR except for a pinhole, then the enemy can only see a small dot in IR, and what does that dot look like? The absence of IR, i.e., a "cold" region. And that's only if they see you while your pinhole is open, and, provided you have a one-way viewer (light comes through to your receptor, but doesn't get bounced off your lens), it's only visible to them from the opposite direction of the one you're looking in. In other words, if you look straight at them, it's unlikely that they can see you.

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby 4=5 » Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:14 pm UTC

you guy do know that right now it's only invisible to radio right? To get invisibility from visible light hey will have to shrink down the thingsies many times smaller.

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Woxor » Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:35 pm UTC

4=5 wrote:you guy do know that right now it's only invisible to radio right? To get invisibility from visible light hey will have to shrink down the thingsies many times smaller.

My understanding is that, until somewhat recently, the problem was that the theory (the mathematics behind it) wasn't developed. That gives me faith that it's only a matter of time before the technology is able to apply the theory (which of course works for all wavelengths) to visible light. But yeah, that sucks.

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Jack Saladin » Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:37 am UTC

Even if it was nerfed by infrared vision, the military advantages would be tremendous. Think about the type of opponents the US army has been fighting for the last decade. You think indigenous rebels can afford to fit out every soldier with infrared goggles? Hells no they can't. Even for opponents that can, you're forcing them to expend extra resources and money, which is always a good thing when you're the biggest economy in the world and will always come out on top when it comes to economic attrition.

But probably the most effective use of the technology would be hiding things that don't need to "see" all the time anyway - missile bunkers, for instance.

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby BoomFrog » Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:35 am UTC

I imagine that getting dirty will ruin it, so that limits the military applications. Probably the usefulness would be limited to airplanes and buildings. Maybe submarines, can that same math be applied to sound waves and make something invisible to active sonar?
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Woxor » Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:13 am UTC

BoomFrog wrote:can that same math be applied to sound waves

No, apparently the underlying equations are more complicated. But hopefully the math will catch up quickly.

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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Galen » Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:37 am UTC

With military technology relying less and less on basic human faculties I doubt this will see military application. However, Jack Saladin has a point: The U.S. could use it to really fuck with the Taliban.

Tending towards pacifism myself, I hope for more peaceable implementations of invisibility. Uses that benefit us all.
My wish list: to never see a power line again, nor a factory, nor children, nor most contemporary art.

Would it be theoretically possible to make blankets out of the material? There'd be all kinds of uses for invisibility blankets.
- Parked in front of your mistress(es)' house(s)? Make your car disappear.
- Don't want to do the dishes? Voila!
- Getting it on in the park, are you? How about some privacy?
- Is your face covered in horrendous acne? Here, put this on.

Not to mention some truly surprising birthday parties and a wearying number of Bilbo Baggins copy-cat abscondings.

What would you use your invisibility for?
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby Torvaun » Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:01 pm UTC

Galen wrote:What would you use your invisibility for?

Crime. And voyeurism.
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Re: Scientists announce advance in invisibility

Postby dobefan » Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:48 pm UTC

So it's like instant ninja.

I think some invisible dobermans would really freak an intruder out.

Just think of the sign.

***BEWARE OF INVISIBLE DOGS***

And then I could sell sound machines that must make the sounds of dogs and your set.


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