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U=(N/T)M*G: Vanished

For all the spy fans, all the tech geeks, all the science fiction aficionados, I bring this humble offering on one of the Holy Grails of fiction.

Invisibility.

Yes, you read that right. We, as a species, have been chasing that lofty ability since we understood what it was. We’ve blended into the scenery with clever disguises of mud and leaves, hoping our prey didn’t see us. There are reams of accounts of Native cultures on their seeming mystic ability to disappear from their enemies’ sights. Our myths are chock full of Gods that unveil themselves from some dark space and step into the light at whim.

A stunning variety of methods and materials have been tried, all have failed so far. Some think it’s impossible. The new method may also fail as well, but it looks promising.

Meet the leafhopper, from which we find the newest hope for the long-sought technology of invisibility, brochosomes. Doesn’t look like much, does it? But scientists have been experimenting with his neat little substance and the results are promising.

The gist is this. With a little particle manipulation, scientists are trying to enhance the nature property of brochosomes to absorb light. Brochosomes do this with nanoscale holes in the particle, rendering the insect’s wings translucent. Cool, right?

I won’t rehash all the means and ways fiction has used invisibility. The list is long and thorough. For those who need a little hard science to boost your world-building, this might just be the path you’re looking for.

I fully expect this discovery to sneak into an enterprising author’s book. Surprise me.

-T.A. Creech

Science in the pursuit of Fiction.

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