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 belief of stealthy voyeurism and the power to hide our personal acts, yet as fascinating because it could seem, invisibility can be risky. it's not simply an optical phenomenon, yet a situation filled with moral questions. As esteemed technological know-how author Philip Ball unearths during this publication, the tale of invisibility isn't lots an issue of ways it'd be accomplished yet of why we need it and what we'd do with it.

during this full of life examine a undying inspiration, Ball presents the 1st complete historical past of our fascination with the unseen. This sweeping narrative strikes from medieval spell books to the most recent nanotechnology, from fairy stories to telecommunications, from camouflage to ghosts to the sunrise of nuclear physics and the invention of darkish power.  Along the best way, 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 via Victorian scientist William Crookes to realize forces utilizing tiny windmills; novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s trust that he was once unseen while in his dressing costume; and army 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 historical past yet a cultural one—showing how our simultaneous hope for and suspicion of the invisible has fueled invention and the mind's eye for centuries.

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

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