Alexandra Bruce
Forbidden Knowledge
September 4, 2011

If you’ve ever taken a trip to a desert — or just seen a movie with one of them — you know what a mirage looks like. Heat swelters on a dry surface, setting up a thirsty, desperate traveler for disappointment. It’s a cinematic cliche with which we’re all familiar.

Understanding that mirage can help you understand the concepts behind the photothermal deflection present in the video above. The carbon atoms in the sheet above are bonded so tightly that they conduct heat very easily. With the heat transferred to the surrounding water, the carbon sheets bent light away from them.

The military applications are obvious. But for now you might not want to be underwater wearing scorching hot metal!

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