Manipulating Light — Meet Photonics

Lightsabers, invisibility cloaks, and more in this introduction to photonics.

Adara Hagman
11 min readMar 24, 2020


A mini-me and my sister at Olivander’s Wand Shop @ Universal Studios.

Growing up, I LOVED reading and watching the Harry Potter series.

Today… I still love the Harry Potter series. ⚡


Because magic is extremely fascinating to me and something else I’m intrigued by is technology.

One of my favorite quotes by Arthur C. Clarke says,

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. 💫

What if I told you that some of the magic we grew up with in stories could be the technologies of tomorrow…

Because it’s possible if we decide to create it today.

Let’s go travel back in time to book one of Harry Potter when we learned about the invisibility cloak. 🚀 (For those who don’t know what it is — it’s a magical cloak Harry [the main character] receives for Christmas that gives him the ability to appear invisible when covering him).

When we read or watched it initially I think the majority of us thought it was something only possible in a book. To us, a real-life invisibility cloak would be magic or impossible because we’ve yet to create one and most of us don’t think we have the resources to create one.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: we don’t need any magic to create an invisibility cloak (at least not the sort of magic we think about in books. To me real magic = technology) and yes it is possible! 🥳

How can we make a real-life invisibility cloak, you may be wondering?

Through manipulating light or photons (I’ll explain what these are very soon 😉) using photonics.

Photonics is the field of technology related to the properties, transmission, and manipulation of photons. 🔦



Adara Hagman

Circular Systems 🌎♻