Beyond the Book: Invisibility

Very often, something in a book will catch my attention. Whether it’s an idea, a question, or an object, I’ll always want to know more about it. Well, instead of going to the library like Hermione does, I go on the Internet. Usually I’ll find a lot of interesting facts that fascinate me, so after some preparation and planning, I’m here to present you *drumroll* – ‘Beyond the Book’! It’ll be a new feature here on my blog! Even though it won’t be a weekly feature (researching needs time!), I’ll post as frequently as possible 😀

Let’s start with SUPERPOWERS!

  

In the Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi, some people have superpowers. Kenji Kishimoto has the power to be invisible, which is REALLY cool. How about being invisible in real life? Is it possible? Take a look:

If you couldn’t watch the video, here is a summary:

Modern technology allow us to be invisible in some way, but none of them can make us appear invisible from all angels and distances while we’re moving. We can’t be invisible from within. Even if we could, it wouldn’t be a pleasant experience:

1. You couldn’t wear any clothes and carry anything as they would reflect light

2. People and drivers wouldn’t see you so you would be hurt (ouch)

3. No perfume or breathing noises!

4. What if someone spills hot coffee on you? What if it rains? Boom. You’re visible.

5. Not only liquid, but dusts could make you visible too!

6. You wouldn’t be able to see anything. To be invisible, light need to pass through your body, which means your retinas wouldn’t catch any light.

7. When you’re sick, doctors could not help you!

8. What if everyone is permanently invisible? It’d be boring!

 

Hmm. Being invisible from within isn’t really an option. How about an invisibility cloak like Harry’s?

 

In case the video is too long and you don’t want to watch it, here’s a brief summary:

Optical camouflage

There’s a camera behind the subject which takes images of the background. Then it’s projected into a box of mirrors called the combiner, then onto the cloak. It is the closest thing we have today to an invisibility cloak like Harry’s, but we need cameras everywhere, and to be honest, it’s does not look so ‘invisible’.

We could sew LED lights onto the cloth, but nah, not good enough for sci-fi fans.

Since an atom’s electrons absorb light when they move, we could make them invisible by stopping them from moving. However, we could only make identical atoms disappear using one frequency of light. Something as complicated as a human being? Some part would be gone but some part’d still be here. Problem. Let say there’s an invisible flash light with thousands of laser to make us completely invisible. There’s still a difficulty – we’d be blind.

Maybe Harry Potter’s right. We need a cloak.

 

Metamaterials

Metamaterials have a refractive index that bends microwaves. As the microwaves hit the coil they are deflected around it. Anything in the middle appears to be invisible. However, microwaves have a large wavelength (about 3 inch long), and visible light has a wavelength between 400 to 700 nanometers. You’ll have to scale down the metamaterial a million times. It wouldn’t be a cloak anymore.

Some people managed to bend visible light using metamaterials on a nano scale. Pretty sure they could scale it up after some time. So, we could make a jumpsuit with futuristic metamaterials.

Visible light is composed with different magnetic waves, each with their own frequency (we see as different colours). If you make a jumpsuit with metamaterials, you’ll have to make 3 layers for each colour – red, blue and green.

Viola! You’d be invisible!

Almost. Almost.

We still couldn’t see anything.

 

Beam-splitter

When a beam-splitter is struck by a light beam, it divides the light into two. 4% is redirected 90 degrees and the remaining 96% passes straight through. So if we cover our eyes with these lenses, they could redirect a tiny percentage of light flowing around the metamaterials into our eye. We could see, but others will only see a faint outline of our eyeballs. Not perfect, but still, it’s the closest we could get currently.

 

Problem solved. There’ll be invisibility cloak on sale soon!

 

Sources:

If superpowers were real: Invisibility – Joy Lin

Sci.Fi.: Physics of the Impossible – Invisibility HD (720)

How Stuff Works: invisibility cloak

http://www.giantginkgo.com/archives/000113.php

http://phys.org/news/2011-05-mini-black-holes-atoms-earth.html

Gif from tumblr

 

∞ ϟ 9¾ ♔ ⚯͛ △⃒⃘ ➵ ♆

My own thoughts:

Let’s say we could be invisible.

It’ll be cool if people use invisibility morally and for good purposes, but what if thieves or murderers use it? It would be disastrous. That’s the thing about science and technology. We, of course, need to overcome the technical problems, but we also need to address the moral problems.

∞ ϟ 9¾ ♔ ⚯͛ △⃒⃘ ➵ ♆

Phew. Here’s my first ever ‘Beyond the Book’ post. I hope you guys find it interesting 😀  A sneak peek: next ‘Beyond the Book’ post will be about HEROES.

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5 thoughts on “Beyond the Book: Invisibility

  1. Pingback: September Wrap Up | Book Olympus

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