What have the scientists over at Cornell University been up to lately? Oh, nothing much. Just inventing themselves a goddamn time cloak!
"What the hell's a time cloak?" you may wonder, and rightfully so. In essence, it works kind of like an invisibility cloak, but instead of just bending light in certain ways so that the object or, let's say, the Predator is obstructed from view, this contraption actually erases the fact that the object ever existed. The example the scientists use is an art heist — which, on top of calling it a "time cloak" shows these scientists sure know how to sell their discoveries. Instead of an art theft wearing an invisibility cloak and stealing the portrait, a time cloak removes the moment from time completely. One second the portrait's there, the next second it's gone, almost like a glitch in a video game. Or something.
Yeah, I don't quite get it either. In fact, I'm not going to pretend I understand how this works completely — it's a tad above my pay grade — so I'll just copy-and-paste their explanation:
Another way to think of it is as if scientists edited or erased a split second of history. It's as if you are watching a movie with a scene inserted that you don't see or notice. It's there in the movie, but it's not something you saw, said study co-author Moti Fridman, a physics researcher at Cornell.
The scientists created a lens of not just light, but time. Their method splits light, speeding up one part of light and slowing down another. It creates a gap and that gap is where an event is masked.
So far, the scientists have been able to cloak events for an extremely short period of time, 40 trillionths of a second to be exact. But if they're somehow able to expand that amount of time to something more substantial then … well … it would mean something! I don't know what!
It's a goddamn time cloak, people!