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1/31/15 Invisible pencils and my first blog post

I’ve avoided blogging because, well, if I am going to write, I want to work on my work, not ramble along here and bore people. Plus, I am not planning to make a habit of blogging, so I figured I shouldn’t blog at all . Staying somewhat anonymous, aka invisible appeals to me. Ironically, this post is about invisibility.

I am so excited about a successful re-creation of an experiment done by the University of Rochester, that I had to write about it somewhere. The experiment uses four lenses, arranged in a way to bend the light–sort of like a doughnut, so that when you put an object between two of the lenses, it disappears.

For something to be seen, light waves must come in contact with it. If a room is dark enough, you can’t see a thing. (Once I walked right into the bedroom door, thinking it was open. No bruises, but it was a shocker) In the photo below, the pencil is not seen between the two lenses because the visible light waves bend around it. Think prism and how it can bend light. (Prisms also separate the visible light waves into their individual wavelengths, or colors, but that is another topic) These lenses bend the light.

I find the concept of making objects disappear so intriguing that I wrote an article about it, which was published in Odyssey Magazine, January 2014. No links, sorry, but you can see my re-creation below. I can provide more details if you want to try it yourself. Just contact me.

Sue Berk Koch

This is not straight on, but even still the pencil is not visible.

This is not straight on, but even still the pencil is not visible.

Four lenses used with two focal points

Four lenses used with two focal points

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