A research team from the University of Singapore has developed a device that can make objects invisible by bathing them in a beam of darkness.You just know the first application of this technology will be directed against US citizens.
The system takes the conventional approach to optics -- which generally aims to make images as sharp and clear as possible -- and turns it completely on its head. Usually imaging systems focus light into a pattern known as a point spreading function, which consists of a spiked central region of high intensity (the main lobe) surrounded by a concentric region of lower intensity light and a higher intensity lobe after this. In order to achieve the best resolution, the central region should be narrowed and intensified, while the outer lobe is suppressed. This makes sure that the image is very bright and sharp with well-defined edges.
The researchers' beam can hide macroscopic objects by taking the opposite approach: intensifying the outer lobes suppressing the central region. This means that the central region has a field intensity of light that is pretty much zero. They did this using special lenses that could smear out the central spike while increasing the intensity of the concentric lobes. Objects in this 3D region cannot be resolved and so are hidden from sight. The effect has been named "anti-resolution".