Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now

Hot answers tagged

86

Batteries can be made quite small today, and batteries can be recharged wirelessly by magnetic resonance. So feasibly, the battery could be implanted in the temple near the eye and be recharged by putting a charger against the temple. It might also be possible to charge the eye simply with the light that enters it. If the battery is running low, just stare ...


72

I have painstakingly assembled a highly realistic relativistic raytracing 3d renderer and plausible geometry and position for nearby stars. Here's a render of the view to starboard: I'm sure you can appreciate the thousands of hours of compute time that went into this. Less facetious answer: Leaving aside the issues of whether there's any time for your ...


66

Let's start with a dose of reality I have "superior night vision" (hah), aka, super-light-sensitive eyes. As a teen I could read comfortably under a full moon and I can see comfortably at light levels that cause most people to trip over tree roots. My highlight was as a kid when rangers turned off the lights in some cave tour in Montana. I've been ...


58

Although I like the classic cyberpunk concept that states that nanomachines build a small turbine generator in one of your biggest veins (like the inferior vena cava), I understand you want something built into the eye... What about an enzymatic generator? It extracts energy from the sugars and fats of your body. You can make it tap into the bloodstream, ...


51

This is the four-eyed fish: It has only two eyes, but it two pupils and two retinas in esch. It evolved to hunt by the water surface, catching prey from both above and below. Where there is an evolutionary pressure, there is a way to evolve. This fish proves that what you want is possible. However, do notice that this fish evolved multiple pupils because ...


45

Barreleyes, a.k.a. spook fish, have their eyes well inside their heads. They can see just fine, because their heads are transparent. Their eyes are the green structures you can see below: Such a configuration might be helpful in a hard vacuum.


42

Giant pupils. Humans are limited in how big our pupils can get because somewhere along the line, evolution selected individuals where the iris was small enough that you could see the whites of our eyes. Probably that gives some sort of cultural benefit as one can see where a person is looking, and maybe you will later feel fondness towards a baby you saw ...


27

On a ship traveling at exactly c, Victoria wouldn't have any time to see any stars -- for her, the ship would arrive at its destination instantaneously due to time dilation. Sorry for the slightly lame answer...


26

Grow you some extra-tough nictitating membranes... eyelids you can see through! You'll probably have to deploy them with a bit more ceremony than merely a sideways-blink... you might have to secrete some gloop around the edges to form a seal, wipe them dry with your paws to prevent any frost forming and interfering with your vision, that sort of thing, but ...


24

sight is necessary to understand the cosmos If with sight you mean "capability of elaborating electromagnetic waves in the range of the visible spectrum", the statement is simply wrong. We have just got the report that the first image of a black hole event horizon was taken thanks to observation in the radio-frequencies. So, no, sight is not strictly ...


24

Air pollution can heavily limit visibility. Look at Beijing: in days where the smog is heavy visibility is very limited. Since you are setting your world in medieval time, have a lot of coal and wood to be burned. The resulting pollution of the atmosphere will do what you are asking for. Climate can also help: fog, lack of winds, thermal inversion can ...


22

There are four ways to mitigate bright light which both biology and photography are employing. Diaphragm (pupil). Your species can shrink their pupils to a very tiny size, filtering out as much light as necessary. In addition to that, their eye color should be black, otherwise the light bleeding from the iris would overwhelm the light coming through the ...


20

The extinct organisms known as Trilobites had compound eyes which had lenses made of calcite crystal. This hard mineral layer would protect the sensory cells underneath from exposure to space.


18

One key note is that you should never underestimate what the seeing impaired can infer with proper training. My mom for example is legally blind from toxoplasmosis; so, I'd imagine her vision is as bad if not worse than you are describing. Yet, she can beat most normally seeing people in a game of ping-pong despite not seeing the ball. People who only see ...


18

I can't have its eyes be similar to those of most animals and humans because they would boil in space That's not true. Regular eyes don't boil in space (vacuum). The whole boiling/blowing up thing is mostly Hollywood imagination. Humans and other animals can survive unprotected exposure to vacuum for minutes unharmed even though none evolved to this ...


17

Edited. - as per edit to the question. Assuming the Current model of the universe. Fore: nothing, because - Photons blue-shifted beyond the furthest reaches of the EM spectrum (way beyond human perception) as the Doppler shift would seem to predict - you would think. Aft: Nothing much, surely all would be shifted to the lowest conceivable frequency, the ...


16

"We need to see things in order to accomplish even the simplest task." is quickly debunked by even the briefest consideration of lives of blind scientists here on earth. Human's lack of natural ability to see x-rays has not diminished our capacity to detect, measure, utilize, and interact with x-rays. If a society develops to the point of being able to ...


15

Body Heat AND Solar Power This has already been done successfully with this smart watch. For solar power, eyes are open for the majority of the time you are awake and a cybernetic one could charge through light energy as you go about your day. Of course, this would just be a supplement to the main source of energy, body heat. The eye socket is inside the ...


14

To add to the other answer which mentions air pollution, here's a possible cause of the pollution: Volcanic ash. You mentioned that your country is on the coast and that it spans into the continent. As shown by the following diagram, volcanoes occur in mostly coastal regions: This means your country could have a string of volcanoes along its coast. If the ...


14

Eyes work in space. If they didn't, astronauts couldn't see. Seems kind of what you're looking for is a strong transparent layers that can insulate the eyes. Which leads me to a question - what's the rest of the alien made out of? I assume this animal has got some sort of non-living organic shell, similar to crustaceans. In which case all this animal needs ...


13

No difference Vision happens through the pupil, the dark "spot" in the centre of the eye. This is actually a clear window which light enters and through which it passes, through the lens & vitreous humour on its way to the retina at the back inner surface of the eye. The coloured part is the iris and doesn't affect vision per se. The iris is muscular ...


12

Muscle movements In an automatic quartz clock, the wrist movements cause the rotation of a small pinion, which is connected to a small power generator. I think that somebody willing to implant an artificial eye in place of his own one, wouldn't mind having another dozen of small implants in some other places of his body plus a more invasive surgical ...


12

The problem with tapetum lucidum is that the reflected photon will interact with the photoreceptor in a slightly different position due to the reflection, actually blurring the image. Therefore, instead of increasing the amount of captured light by reflecting it back after the retina, why not make a double stacked layer retina? In this way the result would ...


11

A glucose based fuel cell would be a good fit. The fluid around the brain is full of glucose. The fuel cell and a brain/machine interface circuit would be placed somewhere inside the skull. The fuel cell would use that glucose to generate small amounts of electricity to power both the eye and the interface between the eye and the brain. The eye would ...


11

There is a game (made by/with physicists from MIT some years ago) that models the player approaching the speed of light. This leads to multiple effects on vision: Doppler effect: red- and blue-shifting of visible light, and the shifting of infrared and ultraviolet light into the visible spectrum Searchlight effect: increased brightness in the direction of ...


11

Telescopic sight and camera are not attached to the rifle. Having the sight stuck to the rifle is an anachronism. Your camera and telescopic sight are one piece. The rifle is another. The rifle affixed to its mount is aligned in correct relationship with the sight and camera with lasers ; the position software and servos on the mount do that for you. ...


10

Calculating apparent magnitude Your alignment of the sun, the observer (in space), and the object is as so 1 AU r AU (Sun) ------------- (obsv) ---------//------------(obj) Given that, there are three separate calculations. First is the magnitude of reflected incident energy from the sun. The second is the magnitude of ...


10

Nautilus is an ocean-based macroorganism (mollusc) which has pinhole eyes. This means they function without any liquid water inside, and can survive some time in space. They're not very good as eyes go, but then again many mammals don't rely on eyes that much.


10

Infrared, Sonar, and Other Waves Some animals use "bio sonar", or echolocation as a form of "sight" (ie, navigating and foraging). It's also possible for your creatures to see infrared radiation. If fact, your creatures could emit small amounts of waves from just about anywhere on the electromagnetic spectrum, except for visible light, and therefore "see" ...


10

There is no problem. Don't get bogged down by trying to imagine "how the world looks" to such a creature. In the real world, there are all kinds of animals with all kinds of senses coming from all kinds of angles and it just works, because brains are flexible and don't really care where their information is coming from or what form it takes, as long as it ...


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