Scientists have developed a “Time Hole” and hid the event

Scientists, for the first time in a breakthrough research, have developed “Time Hole” to disappear the events.

This research has been done by a team of scientists from Cornell University in collaboration with Pentagon and DARPA and published online in January 4 issue of the journal Nature.

The scientists announced on Wednesday that they have successfully hid an event for 40 picoseconds. Picosecond refers to the trillionth of a second. They used the concept similar to the idea of invisibility of objects.

“Imagine that you could divert light in time—slow it down, speed it up—so that you create a gap in the light beam in time,” said study co-author and Cornell physicist Alex Gaeta.

“In this case, any event that occurs at that instant of time won’t lead to scattering of light. It appears as if the event never occurred.”

In this research, researchers have adjusted the constant flow of light from an object for a very small period of time and gave the feeling that the event has not been happened. This experiment has been done inside a fiber optics cable. Researchers passed a beam of green light down the cable and split the light into two frequencies by passing it through a special time lens. One frequency of light moved slowly while the other moved faster. In the meanwhile, researchers passed a red laser through the beams. Since the “shooting” of the laser occurred in a tiny time gap, it was not detected.

An ordinary lens split white light into different colors while a time lens split light into components of different frequencies
An ordinary lens split white light into different colors while a time lens split light into components of different frequencies

You can understand this with the example of laser beams crisscrossing a museum display to protect priceless works of art. Gaeta said,

“You have a laser beam and a detector set up to detect when all of a sudden the beam is broken and there is no light. So if you pass through that beam, an alarm goes off,” he said.

“But what if a device would perhaps speed up a portion of the beam and slow down another portion of it so that there is an instant of time with no beam. You could pass through, and then [on the other side of the event] the device would do the opposite—speed up the part that had been slowed and slow the part that had been sped up,” he explained.

“That would put the beam of light back together, so to speak, so the detector would never recognize that anything had happened.”

This happened for a small fraction of time but researchers have plans to further investigate and expand this time of concealing.

According to Cornell scientists, a machine 18,600 miles long would be able to mask the time for almost a second.


Moti Fridman, Alessandro Farsi, Yoshitomo Okawachi & Alexander L. Gaeta, (2011). Demonstration of temporal cloaking. Nature, doi:10.1038/nature10695

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