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If superpowers were real: Invisibility - Joy Lin


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TEDEd Animation

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What if invisibility wasn't just the stuff of epic comic book stories? Is it scientifically possible to be invisible? In this series, Joy Lin tackles six superpowers and reveals just how scientifically realistic they can be to us mere mortals.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

How our eyes work
How does invisibility work?
Will invisibility ever be a reality?
Here's an article titled: Like Your New Invisibility Cloak? The Chinese Have Already Cracked It
Baile Zhang is an electrical engineer at Nanyang Technological University. Baile’s macroscopic invisibility cloak, the world’s first, can bend light around the covered object, rendering it invisible to human eyes. Making use of calcite crystals, his cloak in particular suppresses shadows -- the Achilles Heel of current stealth technologies (eg, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk famously cast a shadow). At TED 2013, Baile unveiled the invisibility cloak and explained the physics behind it -- and its real-world applications.
Disclaimer: Due to time constraints, not all aspects of each superpower can be discussed and the science is sometimes simplified or generalized. We recognize this series is only the tip of the iceberg, not the final say in the continuous discussion of superpowers and scientific advancements. All we aim to achieve is inspiring young minds to ponder, discuss, and discover science through a glimpse into the world of superheroes.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Director Cognitive Media
  • Animator Cognitive Media, Poppy Westwell
  • Educator Joy Lin
  • Narrator James Arnold Taylor

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