It started the first time I read J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” continued through his “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and remains firmly planted in my list of “must-do” things before I die. What am I talking about? Invisibility of course.
Who in their life can say they haven’t wanted to be invisible at some point during the course of their existence. To be a fly on the wall in the girls’ high school locker room (naughty boys!) To walk into your boss’s office undetected to find out what she really thinks of that presentation you just did. To saunter through a busy street completely undetected by the people around you–come on, you know you want to bump into them like a ghost, and snicker behind your hand as they look around stunned and try to figure out what just happened.
The possibility to become invisible has enticed us since the dawn of time, and now it looks as though that fantasy is just about to become a reality.
Michigan Tech Associate Professor of Electrical and Technical Engineering, Elena Semouchkina, has been experimenting with nonmetallic glass and metamaterials to develop a cloaking device. Light is bent around the object being cloaked, making it appear invisible. Semouchkina and her colleagues published their research in Applied Physics Letters.
I know, appear and invisible should not even be in the same sentence, but that’s the way these things work. They don’t actually disappear. They just become invisible.
The potential for this technology would be amazing for military and police, who could cloak their vehicles, though now I’m thinking the last thing I want is a speeding ticket because the cops were invisible.
I love the fact that they are actually developing things like this. It reminds me of Star Trek or Star Wars, and the possibilities once it’s actually developed are limitless. On the other hand, we’ve all seen how being invisible can get you into serious trouble.
While I highly doubt they’ll hand out invisibility cloaking devices to the general public, if I could get my hands on one of these things, I’d use it to spy on my fifteen-year-old daughter when she goes out on dates. And later, when I asked her questions about the date, I’d know if she was lying.
Now that I think about it, maybe they should market it to parents. Your kids would never get in trouble again because you’d always be one step behind them watching their every move.
Either way, it will be years before this technology is perfected, but just knowing it’s possible warms my heart in a very Dr. Evil sort of way.