In Star Trek, Romulan and Klingon starships could render themselves virtually invisible to their enemies by utilising cloaking devices. This cloaking technology apparently utilizes photon distortion fields to bend light around the vessel to render it visually undetectable and invisible to the eye. This lens-like pocket modifies and deforms the surrounding movement and flow of photons, gravitons and electrons which in turn is complemented by both secondary and tertiary layers of particle scattering fields. The combined effect creates a impenetrable camouflage to prevent the vessel being detected by traditional electro-magnetic sensor sweeps.
A cloaked Klingon Bird Of Prey is illuminated
by a photon torpedo burst
|Strikingly, real science attempts at
achieiving invisibility are also applying the same principle of bending
light around the object to be 'cloaked'. Purdue researchers have
created a design that uses an array of tiny needles radiating outward
from a central spoke. The device, 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. The design does, however, have a major limitation: It
works only for any single wavelength, and not for the entire frequency
range of the visible spectrum.
A team led by scientists at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering manufactured a cloak using "metamaterials" precisely shaped and arranged in a series of concentric circles that could cloak an object at a much wider spectrum of wavelengths . The cloak, which measures 20 inches by 4 inches and less than an inch high, is actually made up of more than 10,000 individual pieces arranged in parallel rows. Of those pieces, more than 6,000 are unique. Each piece is made of the same fiberglass material used in circuit boards and etched with copper.
The Duke University cloak successfully hid a
copper cylinder from electromagnetic waves,
rendering it virtually invisible..