Another Star Trek 'invention' from Purdue

Researchers at Purdue University must really like Star Trek – a couple of months ago they announced they had created a handheld chemical analysis device that was designed like a tricorder. This week, the university said researchers using nanotechnology have taken a step toward creating an "optical cloaking device that could render objects invisible by guiding light around anything placed inside this cloak." According to the university, engineers followed mathematical guidelines devised in 2006 by physicists in the United Kingdom and "created a theoretical design that uses an array of tiny needles radiating outward from a central spoke. The design, which resembles a round hairbrush, would bend light around the object being cloaked. Background objects would be visible, but not the object surrounded by the cylindrical array of nano-needles." But before we all start buying Invisibility Cloaks (shout-out to the Harry Potter fans), the design does have a major limitation. It works only for any single wavelength, and not for the entire frequency range of the visible spectrum, according to Vladimir Shalaev, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the school. There's more real techie details on the technology at this Purdue Web site for those who want to dig deeper. Note to Purdue researchers: Start working on the food replicator, and don't tell the Romulans about the cloaking device. Blog Crossover Alert: Layer 8's own Michael Cooney pointed out that this has already been covered over on the Layer 8 side of the house. Go here to see his original witty post that is 10 times better than my own. Guess I gotta check the Web site more often...

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