But scientists are not satisfied. Using other new materials, some are trying to manufacture rudimentary Harry Potter-like cloaks that make objects inside of them literally invisible under the right conditions — the pinnacle of stealthy technology.But then I thought twice about it. After all, there are two sides to this (no pun intended): the coolness of invisibility for me vs. the extreme annoyance of invisibility for all the rest of you. How does this balance out?
Both advances reflect researchers' growing ability to manipulate light, the fleetest and most evanescent of nature's offerings. The nascent invisibility cloak now being tested, for example, is made of a material that bends light rays "backward," a weird phenomenon thought to be impossible just a few years ago.
Known as transformation optics, the phenomenon compels some wavelengths of light to flow around an object like water around a stone. As a result, things behind the object become visible while the object itself disappears from view.
In my case, pretty clearly on the non-invisibility side. After all, I don't really have much use for being invisible, do I? I work at home, I'm not excited by the prospect of risk-free shoplifting, and it would probably scare the hell out of the cats. On the downside, other people being invisible could become a very serious pain very quickly. Just imagine what Michelle Malkin could do with it.
So here's today's question for you. Not "Would you like the power of invisibility?" Rather, "Would you like other people to have the power of invisibility?" Well, would you?