Invisible: The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen

Invisible: The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen


If provided the chance—by cloak, spell, or superpower—to be invisible, who wouldn’t are looking to supply it a try out? we're interested in the assumption of stealthy voyeurism and the facility to hide our personal acts, yet as fascinating because it could appear, invisibility is usually risky. it isn't simply an optical phenomenon, yet a choked with moral questions. As esteemed technological know-how author Philip Ball finds during this publication, the tale of invisibility isn't really quite a bit a question of the way it'd be accomplished yet of why we need it and what we might do with it.

during this energetic examine a undying concept, Ball offers the 1st accomplished heritage of our fascination with the unseen. This sweeping narrative strikes from medieval spell books to the newest nanotechnology, from fairy stories to telecommunications, from camouflage to ghosts to the sunrise of nuclear physics and the invention of darkish strength.  Along the way in which, Invisible tells little-known tales approximately medieval clergymen who blamed their misdeeds on spirits; the Cock Lane ghost, which intrigued either Samuel Johnson and Charles Dickens; the makes an attempt through Victorian scientist William Crookes to become aware of forces utilizing tiny windmills; novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s trust that he was once unseen whilst in his dressing dress; and armed forces efforts to enlist magicians to conceal tanks and ships in the course of WWII.  Bringing in such voices as Plato and Shakespeare, Ball offers not just a systematic background yet a cultural one—showing how our simultaneous wish for and suspicion of the invisible has fueled invention and the mind's eye for centuries.

during this strange and shrewdpermanent e-book, Ball exhibits that our fantasies approximately being unseen—and seeing the unseen—reveal astounding truths approximately who we are.

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