Fans of the original, classic Star Trek will remember the "cloaking device," a technology perfected by the warlike but technologically sophisticated Romulans, that when activated was capable of rendering an entire starship invisible.
While actual science circa 2018 may be quite some distance away from building a starship, much less rendering one invisible, a new research study published in the scientific journal Optica this week appears to show that an invisibility cloaking device may indeed soon be possible "under realistic conditions."
The new study by scientists at the Canadian National Institute of Scientific Research in Montreal is not the first to show that the concept of invisibility cloaking can work outside of the boundaries of science fiction storytelling. But according to a summary by the site Science Daily, the NISR researchers have discovered a new, more effective invisibility technique that they call "spectral cloaking," because it involved breaking a wave of light into all of the colors on the spectrum contained within that light wave.
The site Futurism explained the concept.
"There's something called the electromagnetic spectrum. It contains all the different frequencies of electromagnetic radiation, a certain kind of energy. X-rays, gamma rays, and radar all fall somewhere on this spectrum," Futurism correspondent Kristin Houser wrote. "While you can't see an X-ray, your eyes can see one small range of frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum. We call this visible light. As mentioned, it's a range separated into what we perceive as colors, with violet at one end and red at the other."