Social Question

mazingerz88's avatar

Is it beyond human knowledge to build a portable device capable of letting us see viruses on surfaces?

Asked by mazingerz88 (26675points) April 10th, 2020 from iPhone

If no, why is that?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

Patty_Melt's avatar

I’m sure we could, but I doubt we could make them cost efficient.

JLeslie's avatar

I was saying the same thing two weeks ago to my husband!

Some sort of blue light like how they can see semen or blood.

elbanditoroso's avatar

The problem is that the virus is infinitesimally small. So whatever device you would develop would have to have the ability to see microscopically small particles from a distance, in focus, and quickly.

I don’t think we have microscopes that are consumer level that work at that close of a distance, at speed.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

You need an electron microscope, which are the size of a small refrigerator, to see the Corona Virus. And mean a refrigerator not a dorm frig.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Hotel maids wheeling THOSE around. Lol

jca2's avatar

@elbanditoroso: Yes but when blood is scrubbed off a surface, so that to the human eye it looks spotless, there is still a way to see that the blood was there.

mazingerz88's avatar

So an electron microscope the size of a flashlight or smaller is what we need but right now it’s the size of a fridge.

So…is it beyond human knowledge to build a shrink ray?

Jeruba's avatar

When small business computers were the size of full kitchen refrigerators (and bigger), nobody though they could ever fit in your hand. So I say no, it isn’t, if you mean is it beyond human capability; even though it might be beyond present technology.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I worked at Boeing Computer Services 1979 to 1982. They had a gigantic room full of giant processors….the size of refrigerators. Room was probably 100 X 100 feet and it was full. Every year, though, there were fewer and fewer processors. Pretty sure they all got shrunk down so that all of that info fits in the CPU of a desktop or laptop…or hell. Your phone.

I guess it’s possible, but what earthly good would a virus detector do? A virus might not be there one minute, but 5 minutes later the door handle is loaded with them.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Not as a practical matter. To begin with there are zillions of the things on the average surface, and zillions of varieties among them, with the vast majority being harmless. Then again, how many of the dangerous buggers must be required to infect an individual? In other words, how many would you need to see concentrated to pose a threat? And besides, forget about surfaces. If we had the ability to simply view the stuff crawling around on us or in the air enveloping us, we would wind up catatonic.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It always astonishes me that germaphobes have….sex. Sex of all stripes!

filmfann's avatar

Our President claims to be a germaphobe, but that didn’t stop him from raw-dogging a porn star.

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