Can We Become Invisible?

Can We Become Invisible?

Jan 16, 2015. | By: Surya Penmetsa

In this article, we explore the possibilities in which a human can turn invisible. If you prefer watching a video, check this out.


Here’s are five different possibilities that we explore to become invisible.

1. Moving at great speeds

An object can turn invisible if it moves at a very fast speed such that the human eye cannot perceive it. For a human to turn invisible, he has to run (approximate calculations shown in video) at a speed of 1km/s. This is not practically possible.

2. Using an arrangement of mirrors

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”306”] Invisibility using mirrors[/caption]

An object can turn invisible by using the above arrangement of mirrors. Here are a few other ways. But the problem is that all these setups only work for a specific viewing angle and a specific distance.

3. The Invisible Ink



Jerry turns invisible when it jumps into a mug of invisible ink, but is this really possible? Let’s explore.

An object appears red because it absorbs all colors except red. What if there is an infrared object? Would it be invisible? No! It’d not be invisible but instead it will appear to us as black as it doesn’t reflect anything in the visible domain. Invisibility is not about absorbing light, we should be able to see what’s behind the object.

4. Using an arrangement of camera and display


The above arrangement can lead to the illusion of an invisible region. The eyes of the observer must be tracked and the display should be changed correspondingly in such a way that he would see the background without the screen. But this setup fails when there are multiple observers.

5. Using metamaterials

Metamaterials are man made materials which have properly that go far beyond the natural materials, for example, a material with negative refractive index can be realized.

Scientists were able to realize invisible cloak using these materials for the first time in October 2006, but it was only in the microwave region. Work on achieving similar results in the visible range is still under progress.


I hope all of you enjoyed reading this article.

Special thanks to:

Nikhilendra Gudisa Vinod Srinivasan Guru Prasad Chandu GVC Bhargav Aparoksham Kshitiz Gupta Varun Chowdary Vanya Are Satish Chandra Verma Sandeep Nadella Sharan Erukulla Prashanth Budde Mom and Dad And all others who gave me valuable feedback

Further Reading:

TEDx talk by Andrea Alu: FPS of human eye (reference 1 as quoted in video): Wikipedia (images in second way are from here): Nikhil’s website (he has nice projects, check it out): Paper from University of Rochester: Full video from the University of Rochester: The tom and jerry show: Harry potter film series: Scene taken from MI4: Editing software used: VideoScribe ( Music credits: Other mirror magic tricks: Fake concept:


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