August 2, 2006

Invisibility-A possibility!

Filed under: opinions — Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul @ 12:56 pm

On reading this in Mumbai Mirror, this morning, the immediate reaction was one of glee..What fun!! Imagine the pranks, ‘badmaashis’, trouble one could happily be the epicentre of.

A look at the details:


Patricia Reaney / Reuters

It’s unlikely to occur by swallowing a pill or donning a special cloak, but invisibility could be possible in the not too distant future, according to research published on Monday.

But Dr Ulf Leonhardt, a theoretical physicist at St Andrews University in Scotland, believes the most plausible example is the Invisible Woman, one of the Marvel Comics superheroes in the “Fantastic Four.”

“She guides light around her using a force field in this cartoon. This is what could be done in practice,” Leonhardt said in an interview. “That comes closest to what engineers will probably be able to do in the future.”

Invisibility is an optical illusion that the object or person is not there. Leonhardt uses the example of water circling around a stone. The water flows in, swirls around the stone and then leaves as if nothing was there.

“If you replace the water with light then you would not see that there was something present because the light is guided around the person or object. You would see the light coming from the scenery behind as if there was nothing in front,” he said.

In the research published in the New Journal of Physics, Leonhardt described the physics of theoretical devices that could create invisibility. It is a follow-up paper to an earlier study published in the journal Science.

“What the Invisible Woman does is curve space around herself to bend light. What these devices would do is to mimic that curved space,” he said.

Although the devices are still theoretical, Leonhardt said scientists are making advances in metamaterials – artificial materials with unusual properties that could be used to make invisibility devices.

So..seems great for aiding imagination to run riot. Wait a minute..please not-to-forget, that others would be privy to the information as well. So exclusivity is ruled out. Alongside that the initial euphoria of ‘fun at the expense of the other’ comes the levelling thought that all one conjures for another could well be practised on you..(sigh)

The one industry that would be defunct, is ‘fashion’ and ‘make over’ ‘beauty’. Back to nature and without a care in the world. Why bother? Who’s looking?

Seriously, however, its quite mind boggling. The long term ramifications I mean. There is plenty of mayhem around in absence of it., for the reality of invisibility adding a spoke to the wheel.

Ever considered that ‘anonymity’ on the net, is but another name and nuance of ‘invisibility’? Think about it.. visibility is nil, sound is zero, identity is kaput…..equals to Invisibility…Shudder..shudder.Its being pretty well utilised here.

Another thought.. have the criminals responsible for the blasts chanced upon the physicists configurations, and experimented with it? Are they invisible? may ask..? Well, Mumbai police seems pretty clueless even after a wondering!!

Meanwhile folks, let the juices of creativity flow. be the Phantom you want to be and wait for the day when it will all be put to good use.


  1. wow!!!!!!!!I’d stay put at my sweat about fil and mil;)

    Comment by anonymous — August 2, 2006 @ 2:33 pm | Reply

  2. gosh thats scary.i for sure wouldnt want a guy like anonymous for my boyfriend..nyways.. hi..have been out of tuch for long..good to see your new blog.And love the fish breaking free. Is that what you mean?
    Invisible is great if it also meant hogging on ferrero rochers. then one didnt have to worry about cellulite either. Wish that could happen..But not long term. very on off kind of way,totally optional and for the moment. Actually so many options. But also not happening in a lot of ways.

    Comment by monica — August 2, 2006 @ 3:29 pm | Reply

  3. I had to read it twice to believe this report. Come to think of it who would not want to experiment but its a little too…i dont know the word..far fetched and absolutely unimaginable.that is not to say that i would not want to experiment. But I mean what if one decides to do it on ones wedding? u get married to the wrong person..or maybe yoou get married to the right one and sleep with the wrong one..i really think I am rambling now..i will write when I can think clearly:0

    Comment by neha — August 2, 2006 @ 5:45 pm | Reply

  4. lol What an assortment of methods!! I had fun just reading them.

    Anonymous..that is quite scary i agree with monica. Not unless she is in cahouts with you. She’d never forgive you if she got to know. We all like our privacy. Imagine if she came after you on a night out incognito in her invisible best, when you were out with your pals:)

    Monica..Hi welcome reading of the fish was right. In fact each will view this picture in his/her unique way.. and all are right. a little like spiritualism and its paths.. none are wrong.

    About ferreros they are my absolute faves too..n u r right.. can hog away. But would u have planned staying invisible forever??

    Neha..u thought of marriage.. first thing.. whats up?? just curious.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — August 2, 2006 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

  5. in true patriotic mode.. would use it to get a front row view of what mushy talks to bushy..honestly this would unravel and probably expose just how much reality bites!!!

    other than that, I daresay I agree with anonymous.. not a bad idea;)Of course she is welcome to try that on me as lifes an open book

    Comment by sanjay — August 3, 2006 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

  6. Me?? marriage?? I’m constantly on the look out for excuses not that was only another one:)

    Comment by Neha — August 3, 2006 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  7. yesterday i think experienced being invisible to of all the people Kaveeta!
    i think i saw you (i am about 95% sure that it was you) at a mall in andheri west,
    it was funny in a silly sort of a way that we passed each other but didn’t say hi though we kind of know each other in this virtual world.
    the reason i didn’t come up to you was because i am paranoid about infringing on someone’s family time
    and also what if the lady wasn’t you….

    Comment by Nandini — August 5, 2006 @ 10:30 am | Reply

  8. Aww..Thats thoughtful Nandini..But..

    It wasn’t me!

    🙂 And we know each other more than people know in the real world if the mind is the real you, then the virtual space is one which affords just that in a focussed room for hypocrisy here..or atleast thats what appears to me. We tend to open out from the inner depths and thats REAL:)

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — August 5, 2006 @ 12:24 pm | Reply

  9. Hi, My name is Onyi. Just to let you know I was at your site today. Keeping pecking on those keys. It’s good for the world.

    Comment by wedding favor — September 28, 2006 @ 6:49 am | Reply

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