Mad scientists do exist and some may just be outright insane.
Whether a research team at the esteemed Cornell University fall into the insane category remains to be seen, but they may be skating along the edge of sanity—and perhaps playing a deadly form of quantum Russian roulette with the entire universe at stake.
What has created this disconcerting state of affairs?
Dr. Moti Fridman
Certifiably brilliant scientist, Mordechay (Moti) Fridman, and his tenacious team of "time bandits" have succeeded in punching a hole in the fabric of time by compressing and decompressing it.
The amazing "Time-Lens"
The Cornell team constructed what they call a "Time-Lens" that takes advantage of a peculiar duality that exists between the physical properties of space and time. In essence they have succeeded in punching a hole in the fragile fabric of time through the clever manipulation of diffraction and dispersion via an incredible propagation of light.
"This 'Time-Lens' can, for example, magnify or compress in time," Fridman explained.
Irwin Allen's old Time Tunnel team had nothing on this group.
Incredible electro-optic modulators (EOMs) were employed to manipulate time. One remarkable EOM compresses a light beam passing through it in time; the second EOM decompresses it again. The result artificially changes time creating a hole in reality.
Limited ability for now
Thankfully, time-lenses and punched holes are currently limited in their ability to affect the underlying nature of space time. Fridman says the time effect can last only about 110 nanoseconds. The scientist believes that time lenses will not be able to manipulate time more than 120 microseconds.
Yet breakthroughs tend to lead to more breakthroughs and greater achievements.
While some see the Time-Lens as a small step towards the ultimate dreams of time travel and invisibility, others think it may lead to an irreperable tear in the fabric of time itself. Such a tear will have no way of mending and may inexorably lead to the horrifying result of time itself unravelling like the frayed threads of an old, used up sweater.
Time storms could be precipitated by such holes in the fabric of reality and whole worlds—perhaps whole galaxies—might be swallowed up by whirlpools of non-time sucking matter and energy into a featureless limbo of non-existence.
Time-Lenses punching holes in time are brand new toys in the quantum physics lab...yet they may also ultimately be the undoing of literally everything we know.