Scientists at Cornell University have created a way to mask time, ultimately making  a tiny fraction of a second—40 trillionths to be exact—disappear.

Think of it like this: if a person standing in front of you blinks, you wouldn’t see the blink happen. That’s because vision is based on the flow of light from an object reaching our eyes—in the Cornell experiment, the scientists managed to disturb that flow. They created a lens of time, splitting light in two; speeding up part of it and slowing down the other. The resulting gap is where an event becomes hidden.

As impressive as this sounds, 40 trillionths of a second is pretty damn small. In fact, to mask an entire second, the scientists would need to create a machine 18,600 miles in length. Sounds just a bit much.

[via AP via Gizmodo]