The Invisible Man… For Real?
Whether or not it’s actually true, I have always considered myself to be a rather unique individual. And I can only assume most of you feel the same way about yourselves. At least I hope you do.
Of course, I am also a typical male in many ways, some positive and some negative. As such—and being such a devoted heterosexual—I enjoyed vivid sexual fantasies, especially during puberty. And there can be no fantasy greater than the one I assume most guys like me have enjoyed at one time or another: the fantasy of being invisible.
Not only that, but being invisible in the one place you are sure to see plenty of naked women: the girls’ locker room.
Bear in mind that I had this fantasy while I was also very young, so there shouldn’t be much of a creepy factor involved.
Or are they?
According to several physicists in Texas, the possibility of developing invisibility technology is slowly becoming a reality. And recent advances make invisibility much more possible in the future than ever before, which I for one find very exciting.
Now let’s see how effectively I can describe this new technology. I’m not much of a science guy, so please bear with me.
When we see something, what we’re actually seeing is the light bouncing off an object, entering our eyes, travelling to our brains and being interpreted there. And since light waves can be bent, refracted and reflected, invisibility technology would manipulate these waves so our eyes don’t pick up objects in space, rendering them invisible, at least in a virtual way.
It’s kind of like what magicians do with mirrors when they make things disappear, only with more of a scientific basis.
At the moment, physicists are limited in what they can make invisible and have focused on the manipulation of microwaves rather than light waves. However, this basic technology could someday morph into true invisibility, especially with regard to camouflage.
Scientists have even been working on an invisibility cloak. And no, they don’t moonlight as professors at Hogwart’s, either.
The most recent cloak is made of some kind of polycarbonate, much like the kind found in DVDs. It incorporates a tight, checkered pattern that neutralizes the light waves bouncing off of it, thus making it invisible to the human eye. Unfortunately, only very small objects can be rendered invisible at the moment, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.
As you might imagine, there are a number of ethical considerations to invisibility technology. We obviously can’t have a bunch of invisible people walking around, committing unseen crimes, fondling women on the street or otherwise wreaking havoc. And the implications for our military also raise some red flags. Just think how much damage an invisible tank or bomber could do to an enemy that can’t even see them.
Of course, none of this changes the fact that an invisibility cloak would also be perfect for that locker room fantasy I mentioned earlier. By the time one becomes available, though, I will either be that dirty old man or worse, I’ll be dead.
But I am keeping my fingers crossed and hope to see this technology developed in my lifetime. It didn’t seem possible before, but things are certainly looking up!
Posted on March 28, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged commentary, creative, current-events, Fantasy, Harry Potter, humor, invisibility, Light, news, perspectives, Science and Technology. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.