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

CAN THE INVISIBLE BE SEEN?

If wells asked yourself this question before you write a novel, an amazing story "the Invisible man" would never have been written.

In fact, at this point destroys all illusion of power invisible man. Invisible must be blind!

Why the hero of the novel invisible? Because all parts of his body - including the eyes became transparent, and then rate their refractive index equal to the refractive index of air.

Remember, what is the role of the eye: the lens, the vitreous moisture and other parts refract the rays of light so that the mesh membrane is obtained an image of external objects. But if prelomliaiut eyes and air are the same, thereby eliminating the only reason that causes refraction: moving from one environment to another is equal to prelomlyalas, the rays do not change their direction, and therefore can not gather at one point. The rays will pass through the eye of the invisible man quite smoothly, not refracted, and do not linger in them, due to the lack of pigment *therefore, they cannot call in his mind any way.

So, the invisible man can't see anything. All of its advantages are useless for him. A formidable contender for power wandered would groping, begging, which no one would have told him to apply because petitioner invisible. Instead mightiest of mortals before us would be helpless cripple, doomed to a miserable existence **...

So, in search of the "cap of darkness," it is useless to follow the path indicated by the wells - this way, even in the complete success of searches, cannot lead to the goal.

* To invoke some sense of the animal, the rays of light should produce in his eye some, even the most insignificant, changes, i.e., to perform a specific job. To do this, the rays should at least in some part to linger eye. But completely transparent eyes, of course, cannot be caught by the rays, otherwise he would not be transparent. In all animals, which are protected by the fact that they are transparent, eye, if they exist, are not quite transparent. "Directly under the surface of the sea, " writes renowned oceanographer Murray - most animals are transparent and colorless; when they remove a network, you can distinguish them only by small black eyes, as their blood is deprived of hemoglobin (coloring matter) and completely transparent.
** It is possible that the novelist has made this significant mistake intentionally. Know which literary reception resorts usually wells in their fantastic works: he covers for readers the basic defect fantastic build plenty of realistic detail. In the Preface to the American edition of his fiction novels he expressly says: "as soon As the magic trick is done, you want everything to show plausible and ordinary. To rely not on the power of logical reasoning, and the illusion created by art.

Entertaining physics J. Perelman

 




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