An energy field that halts your enemy—or a downpour—would be neat. But given that it defies gravity, it belongs solely to the world of science fiction, according to Caltech physicist Philip Hopkins. However, you might be able to feign a force field, he says, by positioning lenses at various angles so they bend light and make an umbrella appear invisible, thus stopping rain and inciting awe. Hopkins has made similar “invisible” objects, but no one has yet figured a way to perform the trick with an umbrella.
This article originally appeared in the Extreme Weather issue of Popular Science.