Sunday, September 28, 2014

Captain Needa has a point...

Above: I'm not kidding. It really is
unlivable for like 5 months a year.
As you probably know, I'm originally from a medium-sized city in Upstate New York called Rochester, and-you didn't know that? Really? I know I've mentioned it before. Like, a few times. Remember? It's the town with the Alec Baldwin-approved grocery store, hilariously out-of-touch county officials and an extremely low tolerance for transphobic radio hosts. No? Unbearable winters and confusing local elections? None of this rings a bell? Wow, it's like you don't know me at all.

Anyway, researchers at the University of Rochester (the very same institution that last year proved all religions wrong) have invented a cloaking device. Yes a goddamn cloaking device. Freak out nerds, the future is here.
"They can't have disappeared. No university optics program that small has a cloaking device."

shortly before being
"Could I get you to stand over there and look
through the lens? Awesome. Now stand still..."
Ok, you can stop freaking out now, the future isn't really here. After all, this is science, so we're going to have to walk things back a bit. If you're anything like me, when someone says 'cloaking device,' you think of something that can render a three-dimensional object invisible, like a Romulan Warbird or the Predator. The -sigh- "cloaking device" developed by the U of R's optics department works by placing a series of four lenses between the viewer and the object you don't want to look at. You can then look through the lenses and, assuming they're large enough and precisely arranged, see through to the other side. So, like, hurray? I guess.

Just so I'm clear, it's not so much a cloaking device as it is an 'elaborate system of lenses,' right? Which, sure, is pretty damn impressive but if you're going to come out and call something a cloaking device, it should at least-
"So you're not impressed? Tell me, how does your cloaking device work? What's that?
You didn't invent one? Oh, maybe you should stop talking then. I've got science to do."

-Doctoral Student Joseph Choi,
putting me in my place and deservedly so
Or you could ask people to do this and get
the same effect for free. Suck on it, Choi.
-oh. Well, I guess that shut me up. Anyway, according to the technology's developers, their system, called the Rochester Cloak (yeah, that's what they're calling it), can be scaled up to hide larger objects and has practical applications including giving truck drivers a better view behind and allowing surgeons to see through their own hands while operating. And if that's not cool enough (it's not...) the components are off-the-shelf meaning you could build one yourself for like $100, which is relatively cheap. I assume...I mean I've never actually shopped around for four square inches of invisibility.

No comments:

Post a Comment