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J. Perelman
"Entertaining physics". Book 2.
Chapter 9. Reflection and refraction of light. Vision

TRANSPARENT PREPARATIONS

True if the physical reasoning that underlie this fantastic novel? Of course. Every transparent object in a transparent environment becomes invisible when the difference in refractive indices less than 0.05. Ten years after the English novelist wrote his "Invisibility", the German anatomist Prof. Century Spalteholz carried out his idea in practice - though not for living organisms, and for the dead drugs. You can see now these transparent preparations of body parts, even whole animals, in many museums.

Method of preparation of transparent preparations developed (in 1911) professional Spalteholz, is that after certain treatments, bleaching and washing - drug impregnated with methyl ester of salicylic acid is a colorless liquid with strong refraction). Thus prepared drug rats, fish, different parts of the human body, etc., are immersed in a vessel filled with the same liquid.

This, of course, does not strive to achieve full transparency of drugs, as in this case, they would be completely invisible, and therefore useless for the anatomist. But if desired it would be possible to achieve this.

Of course, here is still far from implementation wellaway utopia of a living person, so transparent that it is completely invisible. Far because we still have, first, to find a way to impregnate enlightening liquid tissue of a living organism, not breaking his shipments. Secondly, drugs prof Spalteholz only transparent, but not invisible; fabric of these drugs can be visible only so long as they are submerged in a container of liquid corresponding prelomlyalas. They will be invisible in the air only when the indicator of the refractive index will be equal to the refractive index of air, and how to achieve this, we still don't know.

But assume that will be possible over time to achieve both, and consequently, to carry out is actually the dream English novelist.

In the novel everything is planned and thought out by the author with such care that you can persuasiveness of the described events. It seems that the invisible man really should be mightiest of mortals... But it's not.

There is one little thing that missed the witty author of "the Invisible man". This is a question about whether invisible to see?

Entertaining physics J. Perelman

 




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