I’ve been wrapped up in metamaterials, which are the real-life science behind Star Trek’s cloaking devices. These amazing devices do exactly what allows a Romulan warship to become invisible. More recently, they were used by Harry Potter when he tried to hide (remember the scene where there was nothing but the train aisle until Harry appeared under a carpet-like cloak that looked exactly like… the train aisle).
That’s not the only Star Trek science that’s come to fruition in the 45 years since the human mind dreamt up the future as it could be. Here’s a run down (abridged from US News and World Report) of:
- photon torpedoes
- universal translators
- deflector beams
- tractor beams
Weapons that act like Star Trek phasers have been announced in recent years, but not manufactured. Be patient.
Great strides over the past decade or so, but we aren’t even close. Yet.
There is so much research into the metamaterials that will make this possible, it’s almost become mainstream. I’ve been studying it as a plot twist in an upcoming novel and now wonder if it’ll be too mundane by the time I get the book written. (see this and this and this post)
…which are torpedoes loaded with antimatter. Still quite far in the future as we’re still struggling with the concept and purpose of ‘antimatter’.
In a webstore near you. The more you spend on one, the more reliable.
Available everywhere. Thank you, Star Trek.
Every time we figure out how to deflect a missile (or rocket), we figure out a better missile (or rocket). This might be never-ending.
Logically, this one sounds simple, but is not yet available. Since most vehicles include metals, it’s reasonable we could tractor them with a strong enough magnet. Just hasn’t happened yet.
These were patented in the 1960′s, but aren’t widely available. Think of the EPI Pen. Why don’t we deliver more meds in this manner? Your guess is as good as mine.