“A former editor at Nature and the author of nineteen previous books (he should write about that superpower), Ball leads us on a very fun, largely chronological journey through invisibility, beginning with myth and early magicians, ending with quantum physics, and stopping along the way at Newton, Leibniz, microscopy, photography, spiritualism, B movies, and science fiction. He is lucid and interesting on every topic he touches, from the ghost in ‘Hamlet’ to those unseen extra dimensions posited by string theory.” New Yorker
“The history of invisibility provides a rich seam of stories and analysis for Philip Ball, one of the most engaging contemporary science writers. . . . One of the best passages in this excellent book concerns the quest for the most effective camouflages to apply to warships, aircraft and army equipment. The claims of competing schemes from dazzle to drab, multicolor to monotone—and the surprisingly colorful characters promoting them to the world’s armed forces—are every bit as entertaining as the spells and concoctions of those seeking true invisibility.” Financial Times
“Invisible, by veteran British science writer Philip Ball, is more than just a history of an ancient, exotic (and perhaps hopeless) quest. The book is full of insights drawn from a broad survey of history, literature and philosophy; wherever the invisible is being contemplated, Ball is there to select the juiciest anecdotes. . . . For anyone interested in the interplay between science and spirit over the centuries, and especially in the Victorian world, Ball is a lucid, witty and highly entertaining
A renowned science writer, Philip Ball lives in London. His many books include Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything and Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics under Hitler, both also published by the University of Chicago Press.