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British scientists create a real-life invisibility cloak

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Just in time for the final Harry Potter movie, some badass British scientists have invented a "time-space" cloak that can make people invisible. Or, at least, they've created an idea for how such a thing might be possible. Even weirder still, new research hints at the possibility of a device capable of not only concealing a person but an entire event.

"The concepts are basically quite simple," said Paul Kinsler, a physicist at Imperial College London who created the idea with fellow colleagues Martin McCall and Alberto Favaro. "Simple" for a physicist, maybe, but here's the gist of it: as previous cloaking devices have relied on the bending of light around an object to create the illusion of invisibility, this new material, comprised of a fabric of metallic arrays, would be designed to slow the flow of light through it. As our perception of events is determined by the simultaneous process of light hitting our eye and being registered by our brain, to slow the process would theoretically create a pause in time and space. 

The creation of a space-time cloak has the potential for numerous civic-oriented possibilities (like walking into your neighbor's front yard in broad daylight and planting a bed of azaleas), but it's most applicable, according to scientists, in the field of armed robbery. In possession of such a device, a bank robber could hypothetically crack a safe and exit safely while onlookers and security cameras remained oblivious, their brains stitching together the before-and-after events into a seamless whole as light rays resumed their normal speed.

While part of me takes comfort in knowing that new technology is being conceived in a lab somewhere in England that will provide bank-robbers with non-violent outlets for their criminal pursuits, I'm mostly just proud of our Muggle science and its ability to make the magical feasible. Now someone really needs to get on making me a Firebolt.