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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old November 19 2013, 12:45 PM   #1
Metryq
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Invisibility, fusion and interstellar space

Perennial subjects for science and technology writers include Voyager crossing into interstellar space, commercial fusion power and invisibility cloaks. We are eternally on the brink of those last two—"very close." Don't hold your breath, and look for a better investment.

This latest "invisibility" cloak sounds a lot like noise canceling headphones. Completely nullifying the signature of an object—even across a wide spectrum—might make it stand out more than other forms of "invisibility" already in long practice, such as misdirection.

The one "invisibility" cloak that made me roll my eyes was nothing more spectacular than the kind of front projection employed by movie VFX artists. It's highly effective—provided you can get your enemy to wear a special visor and guard the perimeter using only one eye.
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Old December 10 2013, 11:50 AM   #2
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Re: Invisibility, fusion and interstellar space

Yet another "invisibility" cloak with "military potential"—assuming you can get your enemy to stand perfectly still and watch only along a carefully controlled axis. Congratulations to the researchers on developing a variant of the pentaprism found in SLR cameras. This one is almost as good as the "invisible rain coat." The archived NYT article no longer contains the photo. Fortunately, my archives are more complete:


This is nothing more fantastic than the front-projection technique used by visual effects artists for decades. One might even argue that it is as old as "Pepper's Ghost."
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Old December 11 2013, 04:13 AM   #3
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Re: Invisibility, fusion and interstellar space

Metryq wrote: View Post
Yet another "invisibility" cloak with "military potential"—assuming you can get your enemy to stand perfectly still and watch only along a carefully controlled axis. Congratulations to the researchers on developing a variant of the pentaprism found in SLR cameras. This one is almost as good as the "invisible rain coat." The archived NYT article no longer contains the photo. Fortunately, my archives are more complete:


This is nothing more fantastic than the front-projection technique used by visual effects artists for decades. One might even argue that it is as old as "Pepper's Ghost."

There is another video that goes with that pic. It's where the person is turning around while "looking" through.
It was one the old History Channel show "Thats Impossible".
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Old December 11 2013, 08:48 AM   #4
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Re: Invisibility, fusion and interstellar space

I don't get it. What does any of this have to do with fusion or interstellar space, I mean, beyond the usual connections that everything else has?
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Old December 12 2013, 12:15 AM   #5
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Re: Invisibility, fusion and interstellar space

Coach Comet wrote: View Post
I don't get it. What does any of this have to do with fusion or interstellar space, I mean, beyond the usual connections that everything else has?
Uhhhhh… It's in the thread title.
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Old December 21 2013, 07:50 PM   #6
rhubarbodendron
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Re: Invisibility, fusion and interstellar space

Buy your invisibility gear here: http://www.superherosupplies.com/invisibles-d9/
All money goes to a nonprofit free writing and tutoring programme in NY. A really cool thing! (and a great source for unusual presents)

What irks me about the attempts to reach invisibility IRL is that it's all centered around military use. Humans appear to be terribly inventive when it comes to killing each other. I would so much rather see a peaceful and civilian use.
One could cloak ugly buildings or cell phone masts. Or if you are "equatorially challenged" you might wear a suit or dress that makes your peripheral parts invisible, creating the illusion of being 20 lbs slimmer. You could cloak yourself and your equipment when watching shy animals.
I would strongly advise not to cloak vehicles. First of all it might lead to accidents and secondly it's already difficult enough to find your car in a big parking lot or a basement garage.
I totally wouldn't mind if someone cloaked Dustin Bieber from head to toe (preferably never to be found again!).
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Old December 23 2013, 03:25 AM   #7
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Re: Invisibility, fusion and interstellar space

Spirit of Christmas Present wrote: View Post
I totally wouldn't mind if someone cloaked Dustin Bieber from head to toe (preferably never to be found again!).
Now we're talking about being constructive and beneficial to all mankind.
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Old December 23 2013, 03:41 AM   #8
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Re: Invisibility, fusion and interstellar space

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Spirit of Christmas Present wrote: View Post
I totally wouldn't mind if someone cloaked Dustin Bieber from head to toe (preferably never to be found again!).
Now we're talking about being constructive and beneficial to all mankind.
We'd still have his voice though and that would get annoying hearing him but not being able to do anything about it.
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Old December 28 2013, 04:27 PM   #9
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Re: Invisibility, fusion and interstellar space

excellent point. Unless someone invented a cloaking device for sounds as well.
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Old December 28 2013, 10:45 PM   #10
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Re: Invisibility, fusion and interstellar space

We do have noise cancellation tech. The so called audio spotlight might be modified for that. You can beam a whispering voice to just one person in a beam--no one else hears. That and infrasound make for a great haunted house.
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Old January 4 2014, 02:01 PM   #11
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Re: Invisibility, fusion and interstellar space

Right, I had completely forgotten. If I recall my physics lessons from 35 years ago correctly, if you stand in an elliptical room you can hear at one focal point what is whispered at the other, while in the rest of the ellipse, you can hear nothing at all.
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