Undeniable Friday: The Cloaking Device

Friday, October 27, 2006

It's Undeniable Friday! Every Friday, in addition to an odd little factoid, UndeniableFacts.com gives you a fun puzzle, illusion, or activity to enjoy and share.

As you may have heard, researcher's at Duke University have recently created an "invisibility cloak". So today I'd like to show you some tests conducted at the Foundation for Research Advancing Unexplored Disciplines, where I help out in my spare time.


This is some pretty confidential stuff, and it wasn't easy to get them to even let me take the tape off of the premises. The guys at RAUDFound handpicked the tests shown in the video, and I am limited in what I can disclose about their research.

Needless to say, RAUDFound's cloaking device is leaps and bounds ahead of the "invisibility" technology - which only works on microwaves, not visible light - that the researchers at Duke are working on. The reason for this is that RAUDFound's technique uses a fundamentally different approach. Duke's solution involves specially designed materials. RAUDFound has instead opted to use basic quantum mechanics.

How it works:
For obvious reasons, I can't give the exact details of the device's inner workings, but I'll try to give a basic overview. We must start by covering quantum spin. In short, this is the individual rotation of tiny particles like photons, neutrons, etc. Unlike larger objects, these particles spin at a constant rate which never changes. For photons, this rate is 1. For electrons, protons, and neutrons, it is 1/2.

When a photon collides with a particle with 1/2 spin, it is deflected and its spin changes. If the photon hits our eyes, we perceive this as light. The color of light we perceive is related to the direction of its spin.

The key idea behind RAUDFound's cloaking device is to force the photons deflected by the subject to acquire a similar spin to the photons on the other side of the subject. Thus the light which hits the viewer's eyes is the same color as if the object were not there at all. I can't disclose how this is achieved at the moment, but that's the basic concept.

As you may have noticed in the video, the device does not work on fruit. I asked the guys to explain this, and they gave me a bunch of mumbojumbo technobabble. Interestingly the device works flawlessly on tomatoes, which definitively classifies the tomato as a vegetable.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Sly Hoax said...

It's those crazy ,mixed-up bannanas again . .. . should try it with a variety of fruits. . . .

Can't trust those bannanas!

3:39 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

"researchers at Duke University," not "researcher's at Duke University"

4:06 PM  
Blogger duffytoler said...

Posting this video, with a text reference to RAUDFound, was a mistake. Intelligence agencies routinely patrol the internet for references to classified projects.

(and get off the effing banana kick, FFS)

6:55 PM  

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