Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Black Is The New Black

Researchers have created a paper-thin material that absorbs 99.955 percent of all light that reaches it -- described in a fascinating WaPo story as "A Roach Motel for photons -- they check in but they don't check out."

Think of the possibilities! Having trouble? Let's prime the pump

Known as transformation optics, the phenomenon compels some wavelengths of light to flow around an object like water around a stone. As a result, things behind the object become visible while the object itself disappears from view.

"Cloaking is just the tip of the iceberg," said Vladimir Shalaev, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University and an expert in the fledgling field. "With transformation optics you can do many other tricks," perhaps including making things appear to be located where they are not and focusing massive amounts of energy on microscopic spots.

For obvious reasons the Defense Department has been funding this research, but it may take a while for absolute invisibility in the field because technologies that block one light spectrum or energy type, don't block others.

But who cares about defense? Imagine your big 'ol electron sucking flat screen with a blacker-than-black case, so the image just floats in the air. Or a little black dress. Or the cover of the next (?) Harry Potter book. Or what a halfway decent SciFi writer could do with this trick!

Please note: This technology was not invented in a country under the fist of Islamic theocracy or Cuban socialism or even European social democracy. It was invented right here in the free market, GNP-butt-kickin' republic, the USA ... which brings up another six-word slogan for America:

Nation of light (and absolute black)

hat-tip: memeorandum

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