There has been big news (for us geeks) in the media lately about scientists developing a “time cloak”, a way to disrupt time and hide an event so that you will never know it happened. There are a few different places you can read about this: Toshiba Science News, or ABC News, or Fox News.
But I don’t get it. These people are smart (the scientists, not the media (not that they’re not…)) yet they are baiting us with “Time Cloak” telling us that they can hide an event in time, yet they have done nothing more than a new experiment in invisibility. They are affecting the speed that light travels to mask an incident so that it cannot be seen and calling ‘time cloaking’? Why didn’t they call it that when they bent light so something couldn’t be seen?
All they have done is prevent you (me, us) from observing the incident. They have hidden it. They have not taken it out of time. If they were able to prolong their experiment to say five minutes instead of the 40 TRILLIONTHS of a second it lasts now, we could walk over and catch the person performing the experiment while in progress, whereas if we held still we would not see it. This is masking. This is invisibility. This is not any sort of temporal interference.
If they truly had effected a change in time, you would be unable to walk into the experiment because it would be over before you could walk over to it.
I am not trying to belittle what they have accomplished. It is pretty impressive, even if it can be done with a glass of water. Just kidding, it is a lot more complicated than that, but basically that is what they have done. Light travels faster through space than in air, faster in air than in water -you get the idea. So when I hold up a glass of water in front of one eye and look at the sun, the light from the sun hits my other eye sooner. I have slowed down the light going to my other eye. This is what they are saying is dilating time. It is not. Not any more than the swimmers in that Milky Way commercial with the swimming pool of caramel instead of water were affected temporally.
What they have done is taken a new approach towards invisibility, not found an inroad to time distortion.
My apologies for getting up on a soap box and ranting, but call a clock a clock and a cloak a cloak!