Posts Tagged: "cloaking"

Star Trek Celebrates 50 Years: Industry Insiders Reflect

The first episode of Star Trek aired on September 8, 1966, some 50 years ago. Although the original series ended after only three rather disappointing seasons, the franchise would go on to spawn many sci-fi series and blockbuster movies. Star Trek has inspired generations of scientists and engineers, who continue to attempt to bring into being the gadgets and technology written into the story line. For example, several years ago the United States Patent Office issued a patent on the first cloaking device, last year scientists at the U.S. Naval Research laboratory created transparent aluminum, IBM’s omnipotent computer known as Watson can easily be likened to the all-knowing Star Trek computer, and a real-life food replicator can prepare a meal in 30 seconds. Of course, countless scientists have theorized about the possibility of a real life transporter, which is described as the holy grail of Star Trek technologies. Indeed, just a few months ago Russia embarked upon a path to achieve transporter technology within the next 20 years, and researchers believe through the use of quantum mechanics they can create a transporter-like device for data.

Cloaking Device Inventor Says Deflector Shield Realized

Like so many other popular science fiction books, movies and franchises, Star Trek has inspired many innovators to ask the question “why not?” Although Star Trek did not have a monopoly on inspiration for cloaking devices, a technology that was first awarded a U.S. patent earlier this year, it is hard to imagine a more powerful motivation for the pursuit of deflector shields. And earlier today the company that owns the first patented cloaking device claims to have successfully created a deflector shield body armor suit.

The Patent Law of Perpetual Motion

The reality is that science fact and science fiction are dictated based on currently accepted understandings, whether they be true or not. As impossible as something sounds, what we understand as science fact is always bounded by our understanding of our surroundings. As our knowledge expands what was formerly science fact frequently becomes science wrong, sometimes badly wrong. Does that mean that someday perpetual motion will be a reality? Who knows. I am not holding my breath or taking any bets, but there are a lot of highly intelligent people constantly trying to unlock the mysteries of the universe and with so many new discoveries it seems science continues to encroach upon the impossible. Just think about cloaking devices and a transporter a la Star Trek, which are already to some extent realities.