A lively exploration of how invisibility has gone from science fiction to fact
“The science of invisibility remains largely theoretical and abstract. It is in the literature that the field comes alive, and Gbur may be the world’s leading expert on invisibility fiction.”—Nathaniel Rich, New York Times Book Review
“Entertaining. . . . A robust examination of a fascinating field of research.”—Publishers Weekly
Is it possible for something or someone to be made invisible? This question, which has intrigued authors of science fiction for over a century, has become a headline-grabbing topic of scientific research.
In this book, science writer and optical physicist Gregory J. Gbur traces the science of invisibility from its sci-fi origins in the nineteenth-century writings of authors such as H. G. Wells and Fitz James O’Brien to modern stealth technology, invisibility cloaks, and metamaterials. He explores the history of invisibility and its science and technology connections, including the discovery of the electromagnetic spectrum, the development of the atomic model, and quantum theory. He shows how invisibility has moved from fiction to reality, and he questions the hidden paths that lie ahead for researchers.
This is not only the story of invisibility but also the story of humankind’s understanding of the nature of light itself, and of the many fascinating figures whose discoveries advanced this knowledge.
Gregory J. Gbur is professor of physics and optical science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is the author of Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics, and he writes two blogs on horror fiction, physics, and nature. He lives in Charlotte, NC.
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