This post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.
This month’s insecurity – What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?
Often–and surprisingly–I research a topic for my thriller and find it’s not as out-there as I thought. That happened when I needed to make the submarine in my novel, To Hunt a Sub, invisible to sonar. StarTrek’s Klingon cloaking shield and the Avenger’s Helicarrier cloak aside–because they’re science fiction and I’m writing a thriller–how would it be possible? Because if it was, wouldn’t the military already tout it?
Well, research told me it is possible and the military is digging into it. At the core of my solution is ‘metamaterials‘. If you paint an object with a concoction that includes these nano-particles, it diverts light–and vision–around the object to what’s behind it. You can get a sense of what this means when considering the refraction that happens to a straw in a glass of water:
The process is currently used to hide antennas, wideband, and small objects, though not something as large as a submarine.
Or is it? That wasn’t clear in my research because, well, it’s classified.
More IWSG articles:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.