back to article Earthquake-squelching, sonar-invisible 'active cloak' unfurled

Boffins in America have violated every rule of Invisibility Club by stating that their astounding new "active cloaking" research has nothing to do with Harry Potter or Star Trek. "It's a brand new method of cloaking," says Utah Uni maths prof Graeme Milton. "Real objects could be cloaked. It's called active cloaking, which …

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  1. Karim Bourouba
    Pint

    Can they cloak me from being cold called?

    Or, Arsenal - which ever comes first.

  2. Norman Wanzer

    Oh Really??

    Actually this is very much a Star Trek type cloak. EM fields (aka Shields) used to hide an object (Star ship). Their gripe about it being not ST like just means the researcher isn't a fan. I swear the researchers coming out of schools now days have no imagination....

  3. E 2
    Happy

    Audio

    Could this insulate my house, so I can listen to White Zombie even louder but not frighten the neighbours?

  4. grandvizier
    Coat

    Bond villainy awaits!

    "Destructive ocean waves could perhaps be nullified, even - Milton thinks - to the extent of squelching tsunamis before they hit the beach"

    Hmmm. So what happens if there is no tsunami to nullify in the first place eh? Does this mean you could instigate one?

    Mine's the one with the subterranean lair and fluffy cat in the pockets....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It must be hard

    Not even start-fleet could manage it - only the Klingons and Romulans (who lent a copy in DS9)

  6. King Jack
    Joke

    101 uses...

    This tech should be used by all police forces, to 'protect' them from nasty photographers.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    cloak very very small things

    Predator condoms anyone? "He cums unseen in the night"

  8. Benjamin Kunz
    Paris Hilton

    I don't get it.

    Just watching the video and reading what's here i don't get it. Seems infeasible to me. On any scale. You'd essentially need three circular omni*-directional emitters around the whole object and an insane amount of realtime processing power.

    *) As in any direction, any time (As opposed to just any direction). How do you refer to this.

  9. Jamie 19
    Linux

    Can anyone else see the big issue here?

    We cloak a piece of machinary or say a building, then we cannot find it as it is cloaked.

    I mean this is not that much of a far fecthed idea.

    One good aspect is to cloak all politicians, then we don't know where they are, so we cannot be held liable if we "accidentally" run a few over.

  10. John70

    @It must be hard

    "Not even start-fleet could manage it - only the Klingons and Romulans (who lent a copy in DS9)"

    Not true, Starfleet was banned from developing cloaking technology by the Romulans in a treaty.

    There is an episode of TNG where Starfleet developed a phased cloaking device which allowed the Enterprise to pass through solid matter even though the cloaking device mafunctioned on the Pegasus getting stuck in an asteroid in the first place.

    This episode was also referenced in the final episode of Enterprise when Riker made a cameo on the show as running the NX-01 as a holodeck simulation.

  11. MinionZero
    Happy

    Building cloaking...

    "It would be wonderful if you could cloak buildings against earthquakes"

    In that case, they should tell the owners of this building in California st, San Francisco ... and tell them fast! ... http://www.panoramio.com/photo/4686404

    (Its a jaw dropping building design to find in such a historically earthquake prone city. I wouldn't like to be anywhere near this build in a big earthquake. (Ok, falling debris from any high up building would obviously be easily fatal in an earthquake, but this building if these legs buckle, would be seriously scary).

    For big buildings, my money's on metamaterial style cloaking. But its interesting they are presenting another way to do cloaking. This kind of active cloaking could be more than just a cloak. It could also achieve a chameleon style camouflage.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Wait...

    "It's called active cloaking, which means it uses devices that actively generate electromagnetic fields"

    So what's the electromagnetic wave responsible for an earthquake, ocean wave or sonar device? Cos that's what he's talking about using it for....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @ It must be hard

    Actually StarFleet managed it - and better.

    ST-TNG: "The Pegasus" details the illiicit testing of a interphasic cloak that allowed the ship to not only become invisible but also pass through solid objects.

    Mine's the one with the invisible TNG episode guide that keeps falling out of the pocket...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Badgers

    More elegant design

    All you need is a SEP field generator.

    Install that in your bomber, warship or annoying pre-pubescent wizard, and it instantly becomes somebody else's problem and the observer simply ignores it.

    Now I just need to get a really hot fresh cup of tea for my finite improbability generator, because I'm having a party tonight.

  15. Cameron Colley

    So, this is noise-cancelling earphones?

    But applied in 3 dimensions?

    If so, aurely the easy part is the theory and the hard part is getting the maths done fast enough?

  16. Sebastian Brosig
    Unhappy

    active quake cloaking

    isn't that just going to rattle your neighbours even more?

    And what transducer do we have that can deliver quake-like amplitudes and frequencies to actual real heavy earth?

    If that existed, the Israeli military would quake the fuck out of Gaza all the time, considering how much scruples they have, and how much tech they get from the Yanks willy-nilly.

  17. JassMan Silver badge
    Coat

    Someone should write to Prof.Milton

    He thinks "visible light requires the use of unfeasibly small active emitters." Obviously hasn't heard of SPASERS which coincidentally are in the news today and don't work if they aren't incredibly small. Their only drawback is they are currently fixed wavelength. Still you might be able to cloak someone in the sky if you had a blue spaser cloak.

    Mines the one that cloaks against black helicopters.

  18. Anonymous John
    Coat

    @ @It must be hard

    In a treaty? Sounds like a diplomatic fail to me.

    Mine's the invisible one, or I may have left it at home.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    But we know it works already...

    As /everybody/ knows, they tested it during WWII on a knackered old rustbucket, staging out of the Philidelphia naval yards.

    What he really means is that they've gotten better at controlling it and don't need to worry about people going zero any more.

    AC cos if they knew where I am, they'd send Macarthy to see me...

  20. JaffaMan
    Thumb Up

    That far away?

    "According to Milton, the method isn't applicable to visible light as it requires the use of unfeasibly small active emitters. Even if these could be built, it would only be possible to cloak very very small things.

    "It is very difficult to build antennas the size of light waves," says the prof. "We're so far from cloaking real-sized objects to visible light that it's incredible.""

    I think these people, need to speak to these people who've already built lasers the size of the wavelength of visible light!

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/17/worlds_smallest_laser

  21. sun_god

    Hey, I can cloak a small object too!

    Hey, I can cloak a small object too! My secret method is to put it into my pocket.

    Do we really need science for this?

  22. Stevie

    Bah!

    An invisibility cloak that doesn't work on visible light? What is this - the Homeopathic Cloak of Invisibility?

  23. Mark76
    Unhappy

    Screw The Cloak of Invisibility

    I want my seven-league boots.

  24. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    Tsunami-sized problem

    To cloak against an earthquake, wouldn't you need a comparable power source, instantly available?

    "So, when we get the tsunami warning, we detonate these carefully placed tactical nukes in a precisely-timed sequence..."

    Personally, I'd prefer to take my chances with the earthquake. Gravestone: for anyone using this innovative disaster protection method.

  25. Schultz
    FAIL

    Hmmm...

    Cloak something with multiple antennas which are orders of magnitude larger than the cloaked object. Oooh, and the monster antennas are visible in all wavelength bands shorter than the antenna size. Let me think if there might be a way for the Klingons to detect my microship ...

  26. Columbus
    Coat

    Douglas Adams had the right idea

    I vote they develop the Someone Else's Problem Field (SEP). Oh hang on, the Government already has, It is shielding Elephants in the room all over Whitehall.

    Invisible man trying to find the sleeves on his invisible cloak ( see, they are green screening the effect for film so we can see it)

  27. YumDogfood

    @grandvizier

    > Mine's the one with the subterranean lair and fluffy cat in the pockets....

    Pockets? ...Pockets?? You sick kitty mutilator.

  28. relpy
    Stop

    Old News

    Boring, I already built one of these.

    But now I can't find the damn thing.

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