With the excellent X-Men: First Class and the mostly-awesome Thor behind us, and Green Lantern and Captain America coming right up, it feels like this is one of the most superhero-centric summers in recent memory. So it’s only appropriate that we, the movie-going geek public, spend some time wishing and daydreaming about superpowers.
io9 took things a step further in a recent post, asking science experts exactly which powers may actually be possible, and which will only ever see the light of day in comics and films. Three scientist/authors were asked about the plausibility of “flight, super speed, invisibility, telepathy, teleportation, and energy manipulation — and then asked them for their choice of the most plausible superpower.”
Oddly enough, it seems like invisibility may have the best chance. Two of our three experts mentioned actual cutting-edge research that suggests an invisibility device might not be too far down the road:
From panelist #1, Professor James Kakalios:
And from our intrepid third expert, Adam Weiner:
Holy wow, Batman. Invisibility cloaks! Real-like invisibility cloaks! But that’s not all: While the others poo-poo the notion, one of the intrepid experts actually thinks telepathy may be possible. This is by far the most far-out claim on the post, but it’s also (arguably) the coolest:
Professor Bin He in the Dept of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota is working of translating the signals generated when a person is watching a computer screen, and translating the information into voltages that are sent to the computer. The upshot is that a suitably trained volunteer can move a mouse along a computer screen by only thinking of where they want the cursor to move.
Telepathic Emma Frost
Now this — this is awesome. So long as we don’t all need to invest in Magneto-style helmets, I’m all for it.