Real Life Fantasy: Sub-red Vision

This edition of Real Life Fantasy is a rare reversal: real life scientists catching up to Brent’s Seven Satrapies (rather than finding evidence of chromaturgy IRL).

Those of you who have read The Black Prism are familiar with Sub-red vision, which is akin to being able to see heat.

“Gavin ignored him. “The special cases that I started all this to tell you about are sub-red and superviolet. If you can see heat, Kip, there’s a good chance you can draft it.”

“You mean I can start a fire like whoosh?!” Kip made a grand sweeping gesture.

“Only if you say ‘whoosh!’ when you do it.” Gavin laughed.”

The Black Prism, p. 146

Well, it turns out scientists are working to give humans the ability to “see heat” with the naked eye.

Nanoparticles Could Grant Humans Permanent Night Vision

The linked article from UPI explains work done by researchers at U Mass Medical School in which they have successfully given mice near-infrared vision. The research team injected nanoparticles made from rare-earth metals behind the retinas of mice. Those mice had been trained to swim toward visibly-lit triangles; once they received the nanoparticle injections, they started swimming toward triangles lit by only near-infrared light.

In case you’re wondering–I certainly was–our eyes see light wavelengths of 400-700 nanometers. Near-infrared is defined as light wavelengths between 750 nanometers and 1.4 micrometers.

Here’s a video shared in the UPI article that features lead researcher on the project, Dr. Gang Han, talking about the technology he and his team developed.

Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you next time.

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