Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×

201 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

The Possibilities (0)

PizzaAnalogyGuy (1684610) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338882)

Imagine the possibilities. A rockin night out at a night club, some girl falls in love with you and later you give her the best sex she has ever had. You will not need to sneak out in morning; put on the invisibility cloak, kiss her tits a goodbye, and grab a slice of delicious hawaiian pizza with one beer from her refrigerator and just get home.

And like, what kind of a girl would have a fucking particle launcher next to her bed?

Re:The Possibilities (5, Funny)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338888)

The kind I want to go out with. WooHoo; particle launcher!

Re:The Possibilities (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338932)

The kind I want to go out with. WooHoo; particle launcher!

If this thing includes a microscope then the average Windows fanboy can use it to locate their invisible penises.

Re:The Possibilities (-1, Offtopic)

heffrey (229704) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338950)

And you could use it to locate your invisible brain.

Re:The Possibilities (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339278)

And you could use it to locate your invisible brain.

This technology is like all others - it won't stop an offended MicroSoftie from feeding the trolls.

It's been proved impossible using negative ior (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339030)

Vadim Markel of UPenn has shown that negative index of refraction is inconsistant with the second law of thermodynamics:

http://www.opticsinfobase.org/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-16-23-19152 [opticsinfobase.org]

At least that approach makes cloaking impossible. I am not sure why people are being so slow to accept this. Probably since so much funding has gone into negative index of refraction. Note there is also an arxiv paper on this.

Re:It's been proved impossible using negative ior (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339120)

I am not sure why people are being so slow to accept this.

Because nothing in world has to be 100% perfect. It just has to work good enough. And maybe later there will be new discoveries that will improve it. That's how technology and science has always worked.

Sure, there will always be ways to get around the invisibility cloak, just like people have ways to get around DRM. But it doesn't make it completely useless or non-working technology.

Re:It's been proved impossible using negative ior (1, Troll)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339820)

RTA. It has a long description of John Pendry and how famous he is for using negative index of refraction for cloaking. If that's impossible his cloak won't come close to work if it is ever built. Another important point - no one discusses that the experiments in cloaking and negative index of refraction have been minimal, and no real successes. Two experiments, one at Berkeley, and one at Toronto (microwave) that are possible of being interpreted as something other than nior anyway. People in the article talk about it likes its been done. It hasn't, theoretically or experimentally.

Re:It's been proved impossible using negative ior (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30340112)

that made sense up until you tried to say DRM isnt completely useless. you're worse than bad analogy guy.

Re:The Possibilities (3, Funny)

unitron (5733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338976)

In that scenario aren't you supplying the particle launcher yourself?

Re:The Possibilities (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339100)

If those particles are being launched at you, you might want to consider a different girl.

Re:The Possibilities (1)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339238)

As long as we're talking about things that could never even come close to happening to anyone on this site, why bother with the invisibility cloak? You could just as easily jump out the bedroom window, land on your pegasus, which is floating just outside said window, and fly off to your Fortress of Solitude, which is totally not your parents' basement.

Re:The Possibilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339540)

Thanks! Haven't had such a good laugh in slashdot for a while. =)

Look to video games for ideas... (-1, Offtopic)

sysusr (971503) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338890)

How about a heartbeat sensor from Modern Warfare 2? Games are a goldmine for these sorts of wacky ideas which just might work.

Re:Look to video games for ideas... (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338956)

How about a heartbeat sensor from Modern Warfare 2?

Games are a goldmine for these sorts of wacky ideas which just might work.

And instead of side of weapon, add that to the in-front-of-eye see-through monitor. Why we don't actually have such already? The technology is there. But even US army is testing with things [foxnews.com] that will actually take away the whole view from your other eye.

Re:Look to video games for ideas... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338996)

Why make things complicated? Just carpet bomb the region where you might have cloaked dudes running around. They won't stay invisible ;).

Re:Look to video games for ideas... (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339032)

But be aware of the tactical insertion perk. Sucks to get killed when you're going to check the place and get shot just because some fucker put his tactical insertion there to spawn again on the same camping spot.

Re:Look to video games for ideas... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339298)

Ah but it sure is funny when the guy is dumb enough to stand right next to/on top of his tac insertion, so after you kill him you can just camp there and get another easy kill =D

Re:Look to video games for ideas... (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339244)

So, standard behaviour then?

Re:Look to video games for ideas... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339466)

    Ahhh, a proper response from a representative from the Pentagon. :)

    It's also the same reason aliens will never visit us and say "hi". If you don't understand it (or can't see it), bomb it. :)

How to see through an invisibility cloak? (5, Funny)

JKDguy82 (692274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338954)

turn it on?

Re:How to see through an invisibility cloak? (2, Funny)

meow27 (1526173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339170)

or maybe, just look through it?

rain (5, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338958)

No invisibility cloak can hide the fact that it's still a solid object. That or utilize various frequencies of EM as it would be extremely difficult to defeat radar + infared + visible + UV all at the same time.

Re:rain (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339168)

Exactly. Even the vaunted "stealth" technologies of the 1980's and '90s were engineered only towards a certain set of frequencies.

This 'invisibility cloak' could be defeated as easily as using a video camera with "night shot" built in (basically, an infrared emitter on the camera body sends out IR, and the lens picks that up, making it a bit more active than simply taking in whatever it sees). The cloak blocks the IR, so it'll either shine with the reflected waves or will show up as a shadow.

Other ways to defeat it? Talcum powder or other particulates (like rain ferinstance).

'course, I doubt that they could make such a "cloak" anyway, at least insofar as it would still show movement. So unless their 'spy' is really good at standing still, he's still liable to be noticed.

Re:rain (4, Funny)

thelamecamel (561865) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339422)

How would it show movement? AFAIK the cloak should be able to move around and this movement shouldn't be visible to you.

Or do you mean they won't be able to make a flexible cloaking ninja suit that keeps cloaking the ninja as they walk, despite the suit bending? The solution to that, of course, is to roll around inside a giant hamster ball/zorb cloaking device! Watch out... i'll sneak up on you and ROLL YOU TO DEATH.

Re:rain (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#30340122)

So I should Plan on using stairs in my bases to prevent the invisible ninja from attacking.

besides cloaks like this are still usable if the person hiding is standing still. you move when no one is watching and let the patrols pass you by.

Re:rain (1)

thelamecamel (561865) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339374)

Yep, and even if you got a broadband cloak that worked at all those frequencies, you could still pick it up by a number of ways not mentioned in TFA. You could pick it up with sonar (I guess in principle it could also be an acoustic cloak to beat that too), but you could also change the refractive index of the room. The cloak is designed so that no matter what's in the cloaked region, it appears to have a refractive index of 1 (or whatever the cloak's surrounds are supposed to be). If you change the refractive index of the surrounds slightly (change temperature, spray an aerosol, fill the room with water (!)) then the cloak should be relatively easy to spot.

The other downside of these cloaks, of course, is that you can't see out of them since no light interacts with your eyes.

Re:rain (1)

the3stars (1030420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339384)

"No invisibility cloak can hide" famous last words...

Re:rain (1)

adamchou (993073) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339566)

extremely difficult to defeat radar + infared + visible + UV all at the same time

Would it even make sense to become invisible to electromagnetic radiation at so many wavelengths? If someone creates the perfect cloak, how can the person on the inside see whats around them? How do you communicate with anything that is cloaked?

Re:rain (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30340040)

Hm... how about sound at various frequencies (outside the human audible range).. as in sonar? Kind of hard to have a physical object that doesn't resonate mechanical vibrations.

The easy solution, from the article (4, Informative)

JonC88 (1176057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338964)

Just throw a stone at it.

Re:The easy solution, from the article (4, Funny)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339066)

But what about when teleporting becomes common use technology? The invisibility cloak would have a teleportation field on top of it. The rock would be just teleported back to the person, and it could have a nifty effect in the invisibility drawing to smooth the effect (ie., instead of just teleporting, the stone would travel at a slightly increased, but still not noticeable speed for a moment)

Re:The easy solution, from the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339632)

But what about when teleporting becomes common use technology?

Then I'll use my Time Machine to go back in time and kill the target's creator/parents... hypotheticals are so fun :)

flour? (2, Interesting)

korney (1469497) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338966)

> While no actual invisibility cloak exists yet, researchers are also theorizing on how to beat the perfect cloak."

How about flour and water? This reminds me of a joke...

Re:flour? (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339246)

I'll bet you the Predator could see through it.

They have invisibility cloaks now they are looking (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338974)

They have invisibility cloaks now they are looking ways to beat the ones the others sides are useing.

Re:They have invisibility cloaks now they are look (0)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339372)

Are you being stupid intentionally, or were you just born that way?

Re:They have invisibility cloaks now they are look (1)

Martin P. Hellwig (1555589) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339530)

I think he just put on the wrong cloak.

More uses than being invisible. (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339002)

And because cloaks that shield longer wavelengths of light are easier to make, first successes came with microwaves — whose radiation can be measured in inches.

Or RADAR?

Re:More uses than being invisible. (2, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339522)

Stealth technology, like that used in the B-2 bomber, F-117 nighthawk, and similar aircraft, was never about bending light around the plane. Because RADAR is an active detection technology - that is, it projects radio waves of a particular frequency and waits for a reflection - it was always about reducing the angles at which the radar would reflect.

Plain old metal, no matter how you coat it, is like a pristine mirror for radio waves (the black color was simply because they only ever intended the planes to fly at night, so the original camoflage pattern was useless). A rounded surface, like that on most planes, will reflect RADAR signals coming from nearly any direction and at least part of the signal will be sent back to the RADAR. That's how RADAR is designed to work. To get around this, you need to minimize round surfaces so that very little, if any signal at all is returned to the RADAR. On-coming RADAR gets bounced up and down, and only a small portion of the radar signal from below gets sent back. They end up looking like large birds - a far cry from massive bombers.

Light is harder, because we distinguish between multiple frequencies of light, so many materials difuse light, and we don't rely on a source projected directly from our own bodies to see. So for this we need to get light to bend around an object to cloak it.

I'm inventing a visibility cloak! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339006)

Just toss my visibility cloak over the suspect and you will be able to see anyone under it.

You can't beat the perfect cloak... (5, Insightful)

unitron (5733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339014)

If you can, it's not perfect.

The real problem isn't detecting it. It's knowing that you need to be trying to detect it in the first place, and approximately when and in what area.

Re:You can't beat the perfect cloak... (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339652)

The real problem isn't detecting it. It's knowing that you need to be trying to detect it in the first place, and approximately when and in what area.

Monitor for changes in the field of gravity (or magnetic field to use a more mature technology, although I don't know how well that would work in e.g. deep space where there isn't a planetary magnetic field). If there isn't a corresponding change in the visual (or thermal, etc.) appearance of the same area, throw an alert that there's probably a cloaked object wherever the magnetic/gravitic disturbance is.

A side bonus is that if the gravity-based version of this detection system fails to pick something up, at least you get the consolation prize of knowing that it's possible to artificially manipulate gravity fields to effectively render an object massless.

Re:You can't beat the perfect cloak... (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339858)

Why wouldn't you provide your own magnetic field?

Re:You can't beat the perfect cloak... (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339756)

If your invisiblity device is 'perfect' then You can't see out.

Re:You can't beat the perfect cloak... (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339796)

Yes you can. You transfer the light after it has hit the person and is going back. So instead of catching the light ray when it hits the invisibility cloak, you catch it when it's leaving the invisibility cloak and transfer on the other side.

Re:You can't beat the perfect cloak... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30340018)

If you are referring to the problem of passing 100 % of the incoming radiation through, that could be solved by detecting 10 % of the radiation and then using an internal power source to amplify the remaining 90 % to its original level. Then again, using any power inside the cloak, whether to amplify EM radiation or simply to move and think on your own, is guaranteed to either emit radiation or to increase the temperature inside the cloak. And in practice there is no 100 % perfect heat insulation either.

How about a $5 solution? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339022)

A laser pointer, the cheap red kind you can find at any corner store.

Re:How about a $5 solution? (1)

Tynin (634655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339236)

It likely wouldn't work, as it could be redirected around/through the target, though perhaps you might be able to tell due to the laser light diffusing from a crisp point. In any case, a well placed pebble should also work as it would bounce off in a very obvious way.

Re:How about a $5 solution? (5, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339472)

> In any case, a well placed pebble should also work as it would bounce off in
> a very obvious way.

Better yet, a well-placed bullet. Just spray bullets in all directions at all times.

Simple. (1)

Nekomusume (956306) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339084)

Flamethrower.

Re:Simple. (2, Funny)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339174)

I don't know about you, but I don't usually walk around in city with a flamethrower on.

Re:Simple. (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339276)

You obviously don't live where I do...

Re:Simple. (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339202)

very insightful. you must be a nice, balanced, person

Perfect cloak buster - big-ass underground fan (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339094)

Ala Marilyn Monroe [teennick.com] in "The Seven Year Itch".

TFA (3, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339098)

TFA mentions using charged particles and multiple wavelengths of EM to detect a clocked object. TFA suggests that they were measuring the actual effect on the path of the radiation its self although it should be pointed out that this is quite possibly unnecessary as high energy charged particle entering a solid material undergo an extremely high de-acceleration phase which causes charged particles to emit EM radiation. It's called Bremsstrahlung [wikipedia.org] radiation and could quite possibly be detected.

Why worry? (3, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339114)

A perfect invisibility cloak is also a perfect blindness cloak. Unless you make i.e. missiles or bullets (dodge that, Neo!) with it, things with a predefined target, could be somewhat useless for most interesting uses. The imperfect are the useful ones.

Re:Why worry? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339506)

> A perfect invisibility cloak is also a perfect blindness cloak.

You switch off a small area fifty times a second or so to let your camera look out. A 2cm diameter black spot that is only present a few percent of the time is going to be very hard to spet.

Re:Why worry? (0, Troll)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339696)

And not even that. You just need to transfer the light after it has hit the person and is going back. So instead of catching the light ray when it hits the invisibility cloak, you catch it when it's leaving the invisibility cloak and transfer on the other side.

Re:Why worry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339768)

Perfectly clocked object does not interact with the other objects by any means thus it is completely irrelevant for the rest of the universe so by defiition does not exist. Its dis/re-appearance would break physics laws as it would mean the same as mater creation, perpetum-mobile or whatever you call it.

Re:Why worry? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30340160)

Active camouflage need only require that you emit the same light passing through. If you have a versatile enough emitter, you could absorb some light to observe and emit the rest on the other side. Thus you can have a perfect active cloak PLUS be able to observe as well. Net energy has to be around zero, so you'll be burning power to run it, but it's better than blindness.

Two more suggestions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339134)

1. If footprints appear on the ground but you cannot see anyone walking, then throw flour or paint at this spot.

2. Listen for the sound of an invisibility cloak scraping against the floor.

Bahh... the Federation and Dominion figured it out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339138)

La Forge already discovered this when they did made a tachyon pulse grid to detect if there are any Romulan ship trying to get in to Klingon space while the there was civil unrest in Kronos.

Also, the Jem'Hadar was able to detect the Defiant while on cloak during their first encounter in the Gamma Quadrant by using an anti-proton scan.

Re:Bahh... the Federation and Dominion figured it (3, Funny)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339208)

Thanks, buddy. I suddenly feel much better about myself.

Re:Bahh... the Federation and Dominion figured it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339286)

It's always nice to notice there actually are a lot bigger nerds in the world than me.

Re:Bahh... the Federation and Dominion figured it (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339362)

La Forge already discovered this when they did made a tachyon pulse grid to detect if there are any Romulan ship trying to get in to Klingon space while the there was civil unrest in Kronos.

Technically the tachyon grid was a trap. They purposely left a hole in the net to catch the Romulans. Of course, in the real world, a sensor array of even interplanetary scale is far beyond our capabilities. The sensitivity needs to be extraordinary to detect somethin the size of a ship at such distances.

Invisibility (4, Insightful)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339164)

An "invisibility cloak" these days doesn't just necessarily apply to the visible light spectrum. The cloak could be a thermal or radar "invisibility" cloak, leaving an object perfectly visible to the naked eye, but invisible on other scans. Penetrating thermal invisibility cloaks might end up more important, because camouflage can take care of visible light from overhead, it's the thermal that's the giveaway.

Re:Invisibility (1)

whoisisis (1225718) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339454)

> Penetrating thermal invisibility cloaks might end up more important, because camouflage can take care of visible light from overhead, it's the thermal that's the giveaway.

This is wrong.
An object is still going to emit thermal radiation approximately in accordance with Planck's radiation law.
Putting an invisibility cloak around something can only work as good as putting up any other kind of heat shield.

In this light, thermal invisibility cloaks might even end up being least useful of all invisibility cloaks,
because you'd just add the background radiation to your own signature.

Re:Invisibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339868)

If you could redirect the internal thermal radiation straight up while still making external radiation pass-through, it could still be very useful.

Re:Invisibility (1)

Almahtar (991773) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339562)

Or being invisible to X-Ray...

Not Very Feasible (1)

KaptainKrunch (1226500) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339190)

Considering the amount of energy required to emit high energy particles and the short distance they can travel outside a vacuum, shooting electrons and reading the radiation would not be a feasible option. This is not even considering introducing large amounts of radiation to the area which you are scanning. How about a giant fan with a bunch of light weight objects and they will run into the invisibility cloak revealing its position. Either than or non ionizing EM waves...

The Perfect Weapon (1)

Fred The Toaster (1428435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339218)

What about using mirror? I could imagine that working as a good weapon against invisibility cloaks....

Re:The Perfect Weapon (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339306)

Eh, what? Invisibility cloaks work by transferring the light ray over the object inside it. Mirrors work by mirroring the light that hits them. How would this even work?

Re:The Perfect Weapon (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339408)

Because the only way to defeat smoke and mirrors is with smoke and mirrors of course!

It's rather easy... (5, Funny)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339224)

You can drink a blessed potion of see invisible or eat an invisible stalker's corpse while invisible.

What the hell, mods? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339442)

This got modded informative? This???

Who the hell here doesn't have a set of D&D books?

</fake-nerd-rage>

ahem, Nethack! (2, Informative)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339468)

nt

Re:ahem, Nethack! (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339798)

You are the lucky winner of my geek certificate!

Wait, does that mean I can get laid now? ;-)

Re:It's rather easy... (2, Informative)

AaxelB (1034884) | more than 4 years ago | (#30340092)

You can drink a blessed potion of see invisible or eat an invisible stalker's corpse while invisible.

Or just be a monk. You also get the bonus of being incredibly badass.

Misinterpreted the title (1)

MathiasRav (1210872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339290)

I thought the article was about seeing the outside world from the invisible person's perspective. If visible light is beamed around you, that must mean you get no visible light for yourself, so the invisible man is also the blind man, no?

Re:Misinterpreted the title (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339368)

You only need a pinhole camera to let everything you want to see in. Sure, that might technically make it not a 'perfect' invisibility cloak, but if you can turn a 6 foot 200 pound man into a 5 millimeter bit of plastic, you have pretty well achived your goal without blinding them.

Usual Infared Grid can defeat it. (1)

Palpatine_li (1547707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339292)

'cause cloak bends light and make it go a longer distance before reaching the sensor, and phase shift can be detected without a sweat.

The article seems to focus just on light (1)

mjensen (118105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339338)

from TFA : "...but a cloak that perfectly hides objects at all wavelengths of radiation — including AM radio waves, visible light and X-rays — would be extremely difficult to create..."

How about ultrasonic sensors? Or rain, like another message says. Ground pressure or vibration.

I think something with enough sensitivity (like a cloaked object going past a stationary LIDAR gun beam) could see some disturbance that wasn't there before. If the light is bending around an object, it may be invisible but the light would be taking longer to make the trip.
A properly tuned laser beam frequency with matching receiver could probably detect cloaked objects too.

So much of this is by "cloaked to a person" and not to sensors.

NMP Field (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339366)

I figure I could start research on how to overcome an NMP field, but I figure it really isn't my concern.

Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339460)

It is invisible until it is found.

A really low-tech solution: (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339476)

A handful of flour - good and covering just about everything within a 10 yard radius!

When the enemy is invisible... (1)

marciot (598356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339518)

...only the blind shall see.

I'm sure widespread use invisibility cloaks will lead to increased recruitment of blind people to the military. And that blind kid who does echolocation will be recruited to train a new elite force of super-soldiers.

surprise? (1)

mathfeel (937008) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339534)

A device designed to do one thing (bend light of certain wavelength) turns out cannot do another (bend other particle/wavelength). News at 11.

The solution (5, Funny)

RudeIota (1131331) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339548)

Everyone knows firing short, repeated bursts of tachyons between a 3 dimensional grid made up of Federation star ships is the most effective way to detect invisible, cloaked objects.

Why not simply track displacement? (2, Insightful)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339552)

This has always been something that's bothered me about Star Trek. It's well-established that "cloaked" objects, including people, still exist as solid matter and therefore displace whatever space they're occupying. I would think a foolproof means of tracking cloaked objects would simply be to concentrate on whatever it is they're displacing, and look for the telltale starship/person-shaped contour of gaps of nothingness where displacement is occurring. Take the interior decks of a Federation starship for example - authorized moving displacements signifying crew (tagged by their commbadges) if they simply ever thought to track the density and movement of the air they're pumping into each and every deck. Space is much the same way - it's not a perfect vacuum, and you can't tell me that Federation sensors aren't powerful enough to pick up damn near everything in their immediate surroundings.

This also bothered me in Stargate: Atlantis the multiple times Atlantis was cloaked to hide it from orbiting Wraith vessels. They know what Atlantis looks like, can't they just scan the ocean's surface and look for the telltale snowflake shape of water displaced by the city?

Point is: a cloaked object in a perfect vacuum (absence of everything) would be impossible to track using displacement, but a perfect vacuum exists only in hypothesis. Cloaked objects are always going to have to displace something, so rather than trying to pick up the cloaked object directly, why not concentrate on what you can see and look for gaps which shouldn't be there?

well... (2, Funny)

thaddeusthudpucker (1082657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339570)

You could just get a magical eye like Mad-Eye Moody....

Lost cloak? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339650)

I bet they turned on their prototype and lost it.

Cloak beating sytem. (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339682)

Hit it with something. Seriously, the obvious solution is to spam your environment with small projectiles, track them, see what bounces off something. Or blow on it it: tracking motion of air/turbulence as air movement in the environment is changed by the objects presence.

Point is if you have a object perfectly cloaked to a good swathe of the electromagnetic spectrum there are still other ways it impinges on it's environment. Accoustics, sound waves (although they may be easy to cloak also) etc.

useful for the cloaker (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339760)

Presumably, sensors that can penetrate cloaking would be very useful for the operators of the cloaked vehicle, because if no one can see you, you can't see anyone either. In order to see something, light has to be absorbed by the sensors inside the cloak. Since a cloak bends light around the vehicle, the vehicle is flying blind.

Not sure what the fuss is about--sonar should work fine.

Re:useful for the cloaker (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30340162)

I think you just need microscopic sensors spread out over the outside of the cloak that are imperceptible to the human eye and instruments (short of a microscope.

To allow operators to see what's outside

Let's keep it real (2, Insightful)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339764)

We're getting a bit too excited here. If you read TFA you'll realize how limited this thing is. Many of these designs can only work at one frequency, usually microwave, in one direction, over a very small area, in 2D, and with considerable scattering and attenuation.

That's a heck of a long way from a usable cloaking device. The problems of scattering and attenuation are going to be particularly intractable.

It's unlikely that every one of the many shortcomings can each be improved by the needed factor of 100 or so.

Simple: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339788)

Just use gas-seeking proton torpedoes to seek the emissions of the impulse drive.

Didn't they watch "Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country"?

Scotty thought of This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339986)

Scotty [from Star Trek] already thought of this.

Everything releases "emissions" of some sort, be they EM Radiation, Gas, etc.

If the wearer is a person, just gotta look for some "emissions" ie: farts.

To quote Scotty, "it's gotta have a tail-pipe"

Perfect solution is relative (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 4 years ago | (#30340056)

If the people who can see through your invisibility technology aren't the people you're warring with or hiding something from, then your invisibility solution doesn't need to be foolproof. A solution can be perfect for a given situation even if it's not academically or technically perfect.

Silly question (3, Informative)

eyrieowl (881195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30340172)

Use a scrying spell, obviously.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>