Invisible: The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen (Chicago), by the British science writer Philip Ball. A former editor of 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. But he is more a tour guide than a theorist, and he never entirely succeeds at pulling the category together, or illuminating our own ambivalent relationship to the prospect of becoming invisible. Kathryn Schulz, newyorker.

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