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Researchers create illusion of Star Trek transporter

Sci-fi fans may be excited to know that researchers at Imperial College London are developing a 'spacetime cloak' to give the illusion of a Star Trek transporter.

Research would suggest that unlike ordinary cloaking devices, it doesn't attempt to divert light around an object, but instead pulls it apart.

Dr Paul Kinsler of Imperial College has developed a proof of concept design using customised optical fibres, which would enable researchers to use the event cloak in signal processing and computing. With quantum computing (which depends on the manipulation of light for the transmission of data) still in its infancy, both practical and theoretical research continues. This new optical breakthrough could therefore promise a range of advances in this area, as well as in the expanding field of metamaterials.

The technology is certainly exciting, but it is still theoretical at this stage. The big question now is whether it will live up to its potential or remain science fiction.

Laura Hopperton

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