What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

New Micro Invisibility Cloak

August 18, 2011, 7:30 AM
Cloaking_device_simulation__active_

What's the Latest Development?

New cloaking devices can hide bumps in the wall or floor, where a small microphone or camera might be perched, at all visible wavelengths by using a porous material to bend light around the object instead of refracting off it. By drilling holes into "a thin layer of silicon nitride deposited on porous glass" with a diameter smaller than the wavelengths of visible light, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have successfully cloaked small bumps made by objects resting on solid surfaces. 

What's the Big Idea?

Beyond the brand of sexy espionage or Harry Potter myth a cloaking device might inspire in the imagination, there are a host of more practical applications for the technology. Researcher at the University of CA, Berkeley, Majid Gharghi said, "We could use the same approach in solar energy devices to control sunlight and potentially increase efficiency." This could be accomplished by diverting light around current conducting wires in solar panels, incidentally making them invisible to the naked eye. 

 

New Micro Invisibility Cloak

Newsletter: Share: