”I’m standing in front of you, but you can’t see me. Who am I, I am an invisible person.” Such invisible technology is no longer a patent for science fiction films. With the development of future technology, human beings may enter an invisible era.
in beautiful tropical sea, a hungry predator walking about in search of prey. It’s not bad luck, there just happened to have a delicious lunch in front. A few meters away from it, a group of flounder is gathering together, lying motionless on the seabed, eating them looks easy. However, unexpectedly, the predator swam straight ahead without seeing the lunch right in front of it.
It seems that the flounders have successfully escaped from the tiger’s mouth again. For flounders, it is not difficult to escape successfully. Their magical discoloration makes predators foolishly unclear. Is this a coral reef or lunch? Even more miraculously, even if they suddenly encounter a predator, the flounder can transform into place in a short time. Scientists have done experiments to dye the background of the aquarium into different colors such as white, black, gray, brown, blue, green, pink, and yellow. When these flounders pass through different color backgrounds, they can quickly become the same background. Consistent color.
How did these magical marine creatures with eyes grow on one side? It turns out that when the flounder sees a color change in the surrounding environment, the cells in its visual cortex will send signals to the brain cells, and the signals from the brain will cause the skin cells to change the pigmentation or reflection characteristics in order to integrate with the environment.
halibut Invisibility, inspired by the human ambitious attempt. For example, South Korea is planning to build a 450-meter tall “invisible” skyscraper, the Infinite Tower. This skyscraper will use LED curtain walls and an optical camera system to cover the building with a “reflective skin”. The tower is covered with cameras like flounder eyes to record the surrounding scene. When people look at the tower, the LED screen It will project the scenery obscured by the building, and then give people an illusion to achieve the invisible effect.
Of course, the Japanese have already used flounder technology to achieve the purpose of invisibility. On the famous foreign video site YouTube, there was a video with more than 100,000 views. In this video, a Japanese man wearing an “invisible” coat appeared. He stood on a street where people came and went, doing it from time to time. Grimace, but the pedestrians and vehicles passing by did not even see him.
How did he do it? Similar to skyscrapers in South Korea, the secret of this invisible man lies in the magic cloak, which is covered with a layer of reflective glass beads, and the clothes are also equipped with several small cameras. When a Japanese man puts on his clothes, the background image captured by the camera will be displayed on the front of the clothes, and the foreground image will be displayed on the back of the clothes. This allows the wearer to blend with the environment and achieve an invisible effect.
This invisible invention, which is not technically complicated, is far from what we define as a “cloak”, but it still has practical significance. For example, the current house looks dilapidated after more than ten years, which affects the urban environment. If you use a rectangular glass bead carpet to make a wall, and reflect light from the mirror, you can make a beautiful window. For another example, we still have blind spots in our driving perspective, and tragedies of reversing people frequently occur, which also provides the possibility for “touching porcelain”. If a car or truck is put on this kind of “invisibility cloak”, through the mirror reflection and many cameras outside, the driver can have a 360-degree view without blind spots.
However, easier said than done. According to experts’ estimates, to make a perfect invisibility cloak, it is necessary to be equipped with 6 cameras. The surface of the garment should be covered with 11.6 million tiny electronic display units. In addition, a supercomputer must be provided on the garment to control invisibility. Small power supply with continuous power supply. And if you stand in the wrong posture or position, this invisibility trick will immediately reveal itself. Compared with Harry Potter’s magic clothes, this is still far behind.
Harry Potter’s magical clothes
in the “Sorcerer’s Stone” in the Harry Potter received a special Christmas gift is an invisibility cloak, Harry Potter and his little friends at school often rely on invisibility cloak Walking around the castle in the middle of the night, to listen to all kinds of news, even shuttled under Voldemort’s nose.
Although invisibility cloaks only exist in science fiction stories, some researchers will now be able to invent real cloaks. We know that people can see objects because the light from the objects enters the human eye. So, if the light that hits around the object is transferred and the light is automatically detoured, will it achieve the purpose of making the object invisible?
In 2006, Smith, an electronic engineer at Duke University in the United States, invented the design of this invisible device, and a few months later developed a prototype-the invisible cover, which successfully allowed microwave rays to bypass the objects under the cover. Make objects invisible. This is like running water in a small stream. When passing a stone, it will go around the stone and then close together and continue forward, as if it had never encountered a stone.
However, although Smith’s invisibility hood is a breakthrough, it is still not Harry Potter’s cloak. Because the invisibility cover is completely visible, it can only be invisible in the “microwave field”. It changes microwaves instead of light waves.
In 2015, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, drilled countless nano-scale holes in the silicon material, so that after the light wave hits the surface of the material, it can be completely reflected back as if it hits a mirror. In this way, the objects covered behind the stealth material do not cause any scattering of light waves, as if covered under a carpet, it is completely invisible. At present, researchers have successfully tested an ultra-thin invisible cloak made of extremely small rectangular gold nuggets. These gold nuggets are attached to the surface of the object like skin, making the object undetectable by visible light. If a fat man with a big belly wears this dress, his big belly will disappear. However, this invisibility cloak is still very fragile, it is easy to break, and if you move it, it will be full of flaws.
Although current technology, not law fully produced a Harry Potter magic clothes, but the idea of manipulating light waves inspired people a broader idea of stealth, whether we can manipulate sound waves, water waves and seismic waves What?
We know that although submarines can use the cover of sea water to successfully evade reconnaissance aircraft and reconnaissance satellites, they still have a fatal weakness, that is, they cannot eliminate the sound of engines and propellers, and they are easily captured by sonar. So, what about an invisible acoustic cloak? Engineers at Duke University in the United States created a prototype of an acoustic cloak. The cloak consists of a PVC low-noise plastic tube with holes of a specific shape, filled with rubber-like polymer. If the cloak is covered on an object, sound waves can be bypassed, and nothing in the cloak can be detected by sound waves.
Another invention is a “senseless coat”. Generally, if an elastic fabric such as soft silk is covered on a hard object, when you touch it with your hand, you will generally feel a hard bump under your hand, and the fabric will deform due to the pressure of your fingers. Recently, scientists have developed a “non-sense coat” that can repair the deformation caused by pressing with your fingers. In this way, the “non-sense coat” conceals the existence of hard objects in our touch. Is the result the opposite of the mattress in the fairy tale of Princess and the Pea?
What’s even more amazing is that the huge metamaterial-type structure built around the foundation of a building can even redirect seismic waves to divert seismic waves away from the vicinity of the building. Aix-Marseille University, France, in cooperation with a French engineering company, developed the “seismic cloak”. They arranged a lattice on an alluvial basin and dug a series of about 0.3 meters in diameter and 5 meters in depth. Vertical holes. Although the structure of this “earthquake cloak” is surprisingly simple, the effect is not bad. When French researchers used a mechanical vibrator to vibrate the ground for testing, the vibration level of the hole grid was greatly reduced. Compared with those where the grid was not installed, the vibration in some places was reduced by more than four-fifths. .
Magicians have long known
fact, maybe sooner than we knew stealth technology is a stage magician. A long time ago, stage magicians could use some small magic tricks to make everything on stage disappear in a limited time. They know that invisibility is not only an optical phenomenon, but also a spiritual phenomenon.
If you believe that you are invisible, just as you believe that magicians really make things disappear, you can also affect the effect of invisibility. In a recent experiment, neuroscientists at Karolinska Institute in Sweden conducted an invisible experiment involving 125 people. In the experiment, these participants were asked to wear virtual reality headset earpieces. In this device, the experimenter can see the real-time video transmitted to it by the camera facing the ground. In this video, they will see that their bodies are being made transparent by a paintbrush, and they themselves are becoming invisible people drawn with smoke. At the same time, the experimenters were using a paintbrush to paint on their real bodies.
This combination of illusion and real touch makes the participants really think that they have an invisible body. This experiment further revealed to us the impact of invisible technology on human psychology. It can effectively relieve stage fright and calm the timid.
This can’t help worrying ethicists. Once people really put on the invisibility cloak that comes and go freely, without the eyes of others, will they become unrestrained and unscrupulous? For example, wearing an invisibility cloak to steal things, or wearing an invisibility cloak to poison your enemy?
In 1897, British novelist Herbert George Wells described this terrible scene in “The Invisible Man”. Griffin in the novel was originally a high-achieving medical student, but when he took the invisible potion he developed and became an invisible person, Griffin began to lose the sanity of normal people, kill innocent people indiscriminately, and plan to rule as he pleases. world.
Now, researchers at Karolinska Institute in Sweden are planning to use their virtual reality technology to put those participants who think they are “invisible” into trouble, to see if the invisible technology will disrupt their moral compass. If so, we really have to think about whether invisibility is desirable.