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Science Cafe: Invisibility: The History and Science of How Not to Be Seen

  • Thursday, August 17, 2023
  • 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Book cover for Invisibility The History and Science of How Not to Be Seen featuring a human silhouette made out of bubbles

Grab a bite from the Daily Planet Cafe and join host Chris Smith and special guests for the Science Cafe. On the 3rd Thursday of every month at 7 pm, gather with other curious minds at this after-hours event for an informal presentation and conversation about current science topics with guest experts.

Join us in-person or watch the livestream on YouTube.

The Daily Planet Cafe is open 5-8pm with a full menu during the Science Cafe.

Tonight’s Presentation

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.

Science writer and optical physicist Greg Gbur is the author of a new book, Invisibility: The History and Science of How to Not Be Seen, and joins us for the Science Cafe. He 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.

Copies of Invisibility: The History and Science of How to Not Be Seen will be available for sale and signing by the author.

Tonight’s Expert

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 his newest book is Invisibility: The History and Science of How to Not Be Seen. He writes two blogs on horror fiction, physics, and nature. He lives in Charlotte, NC.



August 17, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Daily Planet Cafe

Downtown Raleigh
11 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601 United States
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Chris Smith