Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Man Catching Up With Myth

The following seems to me to be a fine example of Uranus and Neptune in mutual reception. (Mutual reception = when two planets transit each other's domicile, blending their "flavours"). Uranus represents invention, innovation. Neptune equates to fog, illusion, so therefore, I guess, invisibility.

"Scientists in the US say they are a step closer to developing materials that could render people invisible.

"Researchers at the University of California in Berkeley have developed a material that can bend light around 3D objects making them "disappear".
The materials do not occur naturally but have been created on a nano scale, measured in billionths of a metre. ..............................

"This is a huge step forward, a tremendous achievement," says Professor Ortwin Hess of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey.
"It's a careful choice of the right materials and the right structuring to get this effect for the first time at these wavelengths."

There could be more immediate applications for the devices in telecommunications, Prof Hess says. What's more, they could be used to make better microscopes, allowing images of far smaller objects than conventional microscopes can see. And a genuine cloaking effect isn't far around the corner.

"In order to have the 'Harry Potter' effect, you just need to find the right materials for the visible wavelengths," says Prof Hess, "and it's absolutely thrilling to see we're on the right track."

It seems that man is slowly catching up with myth. Below are a few examples of the latter:

The hero Perseus went equipped with a cap of invisibility to kill Medusa.

A magic cloak, made by Alberich the dwarf, granted invisibility to Sigurd.

In German fairy tales, magical caps called tarnkappes are worn by dwarfs.
The caps can make an entire village of dwarfs invisible.

In The Twelve Dancing Princesses, the old soldier is able to follow the princesses by use of an invisibility cloak.

In The King of the Gold Mountain, the hero can sneak into the home of his treacherous wife by means of a cloak of invisibility.

This painting by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, "The Arming of Perseus" shows sea nymphs giving Perseus a helmet which renders him invisible, the winged sandals of Hermes, and a goatskin pouch for the head of the Medusa.

More examples of invisibility in myth and fiction here.

If and when a cloak of invisibility is perfected, the possibilities of its use would be mind-blowing.


anthonynorth said...

I would say that the difference between myth and science is that in myth, it is the gods that create the miracles. But when I think of the attitudes of some scientists, I guess the psychology is pretty much the same :-)

R J Adams said...

Militarily mind-blowing, certainly.

Twilight said...

Isn't that the truth AN!

Twilight said...

RJ ~~~ It doesn't bear thinking about !