invisible pokemon

Invisibility is generally thought of as magical, unobtainable, something out of Harry Potter or a superhero comic. But optics, the physics of light, is very much science. How can you manipulate light so that you are completely invisible?

We see an object when light hits or goes through it and comes back to our eyes. Therefore, then, there are two things we can see: reflection, the bouncing of light, and refraction, the bending of light. Because of this, we can see glass and water even though they are transparent. 

Latias, then, bends the light around its body to appear invisible. When light refracts, the angle that it bends is proportional to the index of refraction (n) of the material. Snell’s Law says:

Don’t get too discouraged by the math: it just means that the larger the index of refraction is, the more light will be bent when it enters the medium. For example, air has an index of refraction close to 1, and diamond is 2.4.

This also means that if two mediums have the same index of refraction, then light won’t bend at all when it passes through it. For example, this glass rod has the same index of refraction as the oil, which makes it disappear:

That’s invisibility, but not the kind we’re looking for. If Latias’ feather had the same index of refraction as the air that it flies through, then yes, its feathers would be invisible. But you could see straight through to her skin, organs, lungs, heart, eyes, etc. We aren’t looking for a way to make light go through Latias, we want the light to go completely around her.

Until recently, this was largely thought impossible. To bend light completely around a visible object like an invisibility cloak, you would need a negative index of refraction. By definition a substance’s index of refraction is calculated with a square root, and we can’t take a square root of a negative number. There was no substance on Earth that met these requirements.

Until, in 1964, Victor Vesalago mathematically proved that a negative index was not impossible. You simply need to take a “left hand rule” approach instead of the standard “right hand rule” for electromagnetics. And much more recently, in 2000, we’ve successfully engineered materials with negative indices of refraction. 

The catch is, light is made up of a spectrum of different wavelengths. The “invisibility” material that we have only cloaks the object from microwaves, not visible light. Research is still being done, as you can imagine, true invisibility would be a revolutionizing breakthrough.

Latias’ feathers have a negative index of refraction, bending visible light completely around her body and making her invisible.

Because she’s not invisible all the time, Latias must have several layers of feathers; the red and white for normal, and the invisibility ones for stealth.

Common/Day

This brightly coloured Inkay sub-type was incorrectly named as a the common variety, due to the high numbers encountered. However, the majority of studies were conducted only during the day. When subsequent surveys were conducted on later shifts, Inkays with slightly different physiology and colour were observed.

Dusk

Based on Mastigoteuthis flammea squid
Dusk Inkay were the first of the Inkay variations to be discovered after the ‘Common’ variety. Their muted and darkened colour scheme, compared to Day Inkays, make them very difficult to see during the low light hours of the evening.

Midnight

Based on Grimalditeuthis bonplandi squid
The darkened jelly around the mantle of the Inkay can reflect light within itself when the light spots glow in a display, otherwise it makes the Pokemon near invisible. The spots have been thought to be arranged to mimic star-lights.

Dawn

Based on Pterygioteuthis giardi squid
It has been speculated that the Dawn Inkay was arguably the first discovered variation after the Day Inkay, but due to it’s similar colouring and physiology it was mistaken for a ‘Common’ mutant.

Sorry this kinda got a bit long, but it got away from me, and I just couldn’t help really getting into it.

Okay but when the primes show up. The alts are all like “what the fuck are they just normal? Are we getting IT guys now?” Geoff and Gavin come in screaming cause it’s like a jump scare. The other Geoff’s are like “no, you’re ruining our reputation we’re supposed to be badass!” when Geoff realizes there are multiples and keeps screaming. Michael is deeply offended that Mogar is taller than him, and also freaked out, but mostly just starts making fun of Gavin “that you is missing an arm! That you has wings!”. Ray shows up from prepping for a stream like “what the- oh it’s you idiots. Why am I not surprised?” then just blends into the other Rays playing video games. Jack is the only one who notices that windows are a thing that exists, and recognizes Los Santos like “oh fuck”. Ryan though, poor babu Ryan. He sees the Vagbond, the Mad Kings, Mad Scientist. And when he realizes that they’re real, that they have their own universes where they’ve killed people? He just kinda goes “it was for a game! It wasn’t real! People weren’t supposed to get hurt!” and when the primes get their own room he doesn’t leave for a week. Geoff joins him with a minifridge stocked with diet Coke and beers (because he’s still trying to cut down on alcohol, and he’ll be damned if these fucks break him. Prime!Jack is proud, alt Jacks are impressed, Alt Geoff’s are baffled, like “what do you mean he didn’t take the whiskey? We always take the whiskey!” “I know! I don’t get it either!”) Prime!Jack asks why Geoff is holed up there too, Geoff goes “I’m here for moral support!” “and the beer?” “who do you think is MY moral support?”

Ultimately it’s Hybrid!Ryan that lures out Prime!Ryan, with hybrid being adorable and kinda skittish. Prime gets used to even his violent selves eventually and starts getting along with everyone, and even being able to order around his violent alts. Gavin endears himself to everyone (no one knows how) even with him being an annoying shit, while Michael is his body guard “stop pissing them off Gavin! These guys might actually kill you!” Ray is practically invisible, just trading pokemon, and being a shit with the other Rays. Jack is very, very happy that all his alts are all so responsible and nice and similar to himself. It’s a nice surprise. Geoff is a little put out that his alts all seem to be so much cooler than himself.

The scientist alts are all fascinated when they learn these are the prime’s, all like “what traits do we all share with you? How could you all be our base?” and trying to figure out if the Prime’s are the keys to going home.

Aww, this is adorable!  And ooh, I never really thought about the Primes being like, the root of all the universes, that’s interesting.