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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.

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Now in Fashion: Invisibility Cloaks

January 26, 2012, 6:12 PM

An invisibility cloak? That sounds like science fiction. Until now. Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin unveiled the results from an experiment in which they were able to conceal a three-dimensional object from microwaves by covering it with a plasmonic material that disguises light and makes the object invisible from all angles.  

While other researchers have successfully cloaked two-dimensional objects, this is apparently the first time scientists have made a three-dimensional object vanish. This advance has the potential to be very significant. For instance, cloaking could be used for high resolution microscopes as well as for more ambitious, scarier applications as well. The U.S. Department of Defense has been experimenting with making objects vanish for years. 

And yet, we are a long way off from hiding a tank or a warship, as opposed to hiding a tiny object for a few trillionths of a second. Or are we?

University of Minnesota physicist Jim Kakalios told Big Think "I am not going to bet against the cleverness of scientists and engineers coming up in the future."

Watch the video here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan




Now in Fashion: Invisibilit...

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