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Video: simulated 'quiet zone' cloaking hides an object in 2-D

Tim Stevens

You don't have to be able to pick a Romulan out of a crowd of Vulcans to be intrigued by the idea of cloaking, and indeed many non-trekkers have tried to hide things in plain sight using electromagnetism, acoustic superlenses, or light-bending materials. The latest attempt relies on devices that emit cancelling waves of the sort anyone who's ever seen a Bose commercial should quite familiar with, combining to negate any external, incoming waves. What's different here is that they also recombine on the other side of the object being cloaked, as shown in the video below, meaning that incoming surge is then re-generated and continues on undisturbed -- potentially even reflecting back through the object again should it hit something on the far side. It's part of research at the University of Utah and, for now, only works in a theoretical two-dimensional world where triangles and squares are ruled by pentagons, hexagons, and priestly polygons. Optical camouflage is sadly not believed to be possible using this technique, but sonar and radar are likely implementations, as well as mechanisms to subvert earthquakes, tsunamis, and maybe even neighboring speed metal fans.

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