The in/visible


ISBN: 978-1-60785-265-0

edited by Clare Birchall


Given that the essence of the invisible lies in our inability to see it, the large number of cultural attempts to represent and mobilise it as metaphor presents an irony. The use of invisibility as a trope dates back at least to the legend of Gyges, discussed in Plato's Republic, written around 360 BC. Gyges discovers a ring that makes him invisible; the advantage this bestows helps him to win a kingdom. Ancient etymology indicates that the name of Hades, Greek god of the underworld, means ‘invisible’ and in mythology, a helmet, rather than a ring, enables Hades to escape detection (Roman & Roman, 2009: 182). More recently, H.G. Wells warned of its dangers, exploring the suspicion and havoc invisibility can wreak; Queen have sung about its appeal; and Harry Potter dons an invisibility cloak to vanquish dark forces in the first book. In philosophy, at least for Merleau-Ponty and Derrida, albeit in different ways, the possibility of perception relies on the difference between the visible and invisible (see Reynolds, 2004). After Adam Smith, economists refer to the ‘invisible hand’ of the market: indicating a supposedly self-regulating entity. In terms of identity politics the invisible is used as a marker of the marginalised and voiceless – unrecognised by the state or society and without power, they are effectively invisible. Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, for example, begins: ‘I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fibre and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me’ (1952: 1). As a result of all this cultural activity around the invisible, the strangeness, the absence, the alterity that attracts us, and encourages us to find ways to represent invisibility through existing paradigms, is undoubtedly domesticated. (more)

Invisible Web[edit]

Dirk Lewandowski and Philipp Mayr
Exploring the Academic Invisible Web
Jayant Madhavan, Loredana Afanasiev, Lyublena Antova and Alon Halevy
Harnessing the Deep Web: Present and Future
10 Search Engines to Explore the Deep Web

Black Holes[edit]

Ted Jacobson and Thomas P. Sotiriou
Might Black Holes Reveal their Inner Secrets?
Alberto Sesana, Jonathan Gair, Emanuele Berti, Marta Volonteri
Reconstructing the Massive Black Hole Cosmic History through Gravitational Waves
J.Hillis Miller
Boustrophedonic Reading: Black Holes

Invisibility Cloak[edit]

Xianzhong Chen, Yu Luo, Jingjing Zhang, Kyle Jiang, John B. Pendry and Shuang Zhang
Macroscopic Invisibility Cloaking of Visible Light
Yangbo Xie, Huanyang Chen, Yadong Xu, Lin Zhu, Hongru Ma, and Jian‐Wen Dong
An Invisibility Cloak Using Silver Nanowires
Huanyang Chen and Che Ting Chan, Shiyang Liu and Zhifang Lin
A Simple Route to a Tunable Electromagnetic Gateway
Shuang Zhang, Dentcho A. Genov, Cheng Sun, Xiang Zhang
Cloaking of Matter Waves
Moti Fridman, Alessandro Farsi, Yoshitomo Okawachi, Alexander L.Gaeta
Demonstration of Temporal Cloaking

Dark Matter[edit]

Mark J. Hadley
Classical Dark Matter
Vincenzo Vitale, Aldo Morselli
Indirect Search for Dark Matter from the center of the Milky Way with the Fermi-Large Area Telescope
H. L. Helfer
On the Interpretation of the Local Dark Matter
Andreus Albrecht et al.
Report of the Dark Energy Task Force
Cosmos Video News Release – 'Dark Matter 3D Map' Open in YouTube


F. P. Neele, M. Wilson and K. Youern
'Stealth' Technology: Proposed New Method of Interpretation of Infrared Ship Signature Requirements
David Hambling
Vanishing Point
Gene Poteat
Stealth, Countermeasures and ELINT 1960-1975
Trevor Paglen
YF-22 and YF-23 - Stealth Technology

Seeing and Unseeing[edit]

Holly C. Miller, Rebecca Rayburn-Reeves, and Thomas R. Zentall
What Do Dogs know about Hidden Objects?
Gary Lupyan and Michael J. Spivey
Making the Invisible Visible: Verbal but Not Visual Cues Enhance Visual Detection
Michael Wolf
The Transparent City
Geraint Rees
The Anatomy of Blindsight


Willard Wigan
Micro Sculptor
Z. Wang, W. Guo, L. Li, B.S. Luk'yanchuk, A. Khan, Z. Liu, Z. Chen, M. Hong
Optical Virtual Imaging at 50 nm Lateral Resolution with a White Light Nanoscope

What this Living Book Might've Looked Like if I Were a Physicist[edit]

'Invisibility', Physicsworld, Vol.24, No.7, July 2011


A 'Frozen' PDF Version of this Living Book[edit]

Download a 'frozen' PDF version of this book as it appeared on 7th October 2011