The Chinese have developed an artificial black hole, possibly working on a cloaking device

Sorry America, we're royally screwed. If Washington D.C. suddenly scrunches down to the size of a penny - we know who done it.

Step forward Qiang Cheng and Tie Jun Cui at the State Key Laboratory of Millimeter Waves at Southeast University in Nanjing, China, who have used metamaterials to create the world's first artificial black hole in their lab. Yep, a real black hole.

That's not quite as scary as it sounds. A black hole is a region of space from which light cannot escape (that's why it's black). According to Einsteins' theory relativity, black holes form when space becomes so distorted by a large mass that light cannot escape its gravitational field.

But gravity needn't be involved. Metamaterials also distort space, as far as light is concerned anyway (in fact there is a formal mathematical analogy between these optical and gravitational distortions). Physicists have already exploited this distortion to steer light around an object within a metamaterial to create an invisibility cloak. If that's possible, then more exotic distortions ought to be possible too.

Hmmm, but hasn't human-made black holes been in existence for quite some time now. We actually see them everywhere in America. Here's a photo of one...

No light or rays of hope ever leave these black holes, and they're significanlty bigger than the Chinese "black holes."

Bring it on China! We're ready.

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