Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Demonstration of temporal cloaking

Abstract

Recent research has uncovered a remarkable ability to manipulate and control electromagnetic fields to produce effects such as perfect imaging and spatial cloaking1,2. To achieve spatial cloaking, the index of refraction is manipulated to flow light from a probe around an object in such a way that a ‘hole’ in space is created, and the object remains hidden3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14. Alternatively, it may be desirable to cloak the occurrence of an event over a finite time period, and the idea of temporal cloaking has been proposed in which the dispersion of the material is manipulated in time, producing a ‘time hole’ in the probe beam to hide the occurrence of the event from the observer15. This approach is based on accelerating the front part of a probe light beam and slowing down its rear part to create a well controlled temporal gap—inside which an event occurs—such that the probe beam is not modified in any way by the event. The probe beam is then restored to its original form by the reverse manipulation of the dispersion. Here we present an experimental demonstration of temporal cloaking in an optical fibre-based system by applying concepts from the space–time duality between diffraction and dispersive broadening16. We characterize the performance of our temporal cloak by detecting the spectral modification of a probe beam due to an optical interaction and show that the amplitude of the event (at the picosecond timescale) is reduced by more than an order of magnitude when the cloak is turned on. These results are a significant step towards the development of full spatio-temporal cloaking.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Schematics of the temporal cloak using a pair of STLs.
Figure 2: Experimental configuration for cloaking an event in time.
Figure 3: Temporal gap in a probe beam.
Figure 4: Experimental results of the temporal cloaking.
Figure 5: Intermediate cloaking.

References

  1. 1

    Leonhardt, U. Optical conformal mapping. Science 312, 1777–1780 (2006)

    ADS  MathSciNet  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Pendry, J. B., Schurig, D. & Smith, D. R. Controlling electromagnetic fields. Science 312, 1780–1782 (2006)

    ADS  MathSciNet  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Leonhardt, U. & Tyc, T. Broadband invisibility by non-Euclidean cloaking. Science 323, 110–112 (2009)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Cai, W. Chettiar, U. K., Kildishev, A. V. & Shalaev, V.M. Optical cloaking with metamaterials. Nature 1, 224–227 (2007)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Cummer, S. A. et al. Scattering theory derivation of a 3d acoustic cloaking shell. Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 024301 (2008)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Lai, Y. Chen, H. Zhang, Z. Q. & Chan, C. T. Complementary media invisibility cloak that cloaks objects at a distance outside the cloaking shell. Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 093901 (2009)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Gabrielli, L. H. Cardenas, J. Poitras, C. B. & Lipson, M. Silicon nanostructure cloak operating at optical frequencies. Nature Photon. 3, 461–463 (2009)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Li Valentine, J., Zentgraf, L. & Bartal, T. G. &. Zhang, X. An optical cloak made of dielectrics. Nature Mater. 8, 568–571 (2009)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Li, J. & Pendry, J. B. Hiding under the carpet: a new strategy for cloaking. Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 203901 (2008)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Miller, D. A. B. On perfect cloaking. Opt. Express 14, 12457–12466 (2006)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Weder, R. A. A rigorous analysis of high-order electromagnetic invisibility cloaks. J. Phys. A 41, 065207 (2008)

    ADS  MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Greenleaf, A. Lassas, M. & Uhlmann, G. Anisotropic conductivities that cannot be detected by EIT. Physiol. Meas. . 24, 413, doi:10.1088/0967-3334/24/2/353 (2003)

  13. 13

    Schurig, D. et al. Metamaterial electromagnetic cloak at microwave frequencies. Science 314, 977–980 (2006)

    ADS  MathSciNet  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Chen, H. & Wu, B. I. Zhang, B. & Kong, J. A. Electromagnetic wave interactions with a metamaterial cloak. Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 063903 (2007)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    McCall, M. W. Favaro, A. Kinsler, P. & Boardman, A. A spacetime cloak, or a history editor. J. Opt. 13, 024003 (2011)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Agrawal, G. P. Nonlinear Fiber Optics 4th edn (Academic Press, 2007)

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Kolner, B. H. Space-time duality and the theory of temporal imaging. IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 30, 1951–1963 (1994)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Kolner, B. H. & Nazarathy, M. Temporal imaging with a time lens. Opt. Lett. 14, 630–632 (1989)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Bennett, C. V. & Kolner, B. H. Principles of parametric temporal imaging. I. System configurations. IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 36, 430–437 (2000)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Bennett, C. V. & Kolner, B. H. Principles of parametric temporal imaging. II. System performance. IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 36, 649–655 (2000)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Salem, R. et al. Optical time lens based on four-wave mixing on a silicon chip. Opt. Lett. 33, 1047–1049 (2008)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    Foster, M. A. et al. Silicon-chip-based ultrafast optical oscilloscope. Nature 456, 81–84 (2008)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23

    Foster, M. A. et al. Ultrafast waveform compression using a time-domain telescope. Nature Photon. 3, 581–585 (2009)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank D. J. Gauthier for his comments. This work was supported by the Defence Advanced Research Project Agency and by the Center for Nanoscale Systems, supported by the National Science Foundation for Science, Technology, and Innovation (NYSTAR).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

M.F., A.F. and Y.O. performed the experiments and the numerical simulations. A.L.G. supervised the project.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alexander L. Gaeta.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

The file contains Supplementary Text and Supplementary Figures 1-3 with legends. (PDF 169 kb)

PowerPoint slides

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Fridman, M., Farsi, A., Okawachi, Y. et al. Demonstration of temporal cloaking. Nature 481, 62–65 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature10695

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing