Scientists have today worked out how to manipulate the path of light rays so as to render objects invisible. This is sometimes said to be the realisation of an old dream; but the stories that we have told about invisibility are not stories of technical capability but of power, desire, concealment, morality and corruption. What are these old tales of invisibility really saying, and how has the scientific understanding of light influenced them? From a history of invisibility that encompasses Plato, magic, spiratualism and Victorian physics, H G Wells, cinematography and the emerging new science of metamaterials, Philip Ball will show that ideas of invisibility are, like al ideas rooted in legend, ultimately parables about our own hopes and fears.
Venue and Contact
Department of Chemistry
University College London
20 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AJ
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The lecture will be preceded by tea/coffee in the Nyholm room and followed by a Mixer in the Nyholm Room.
SCI Comms Team
Tel: 0207 598 1594
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