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Blog

What’s the best use of invisibility in science fiction?

Facebook poll

By James Dacey

July’s edition of Physics World will be celebrating all things relating to the science of invisibility. IOP members will be able to view this special issue tomorrow from MyIOP.org.

In one of the features, physicist and Hollywood adviser Sidney Perkowitz reflects on how invisible people and objects have captured the popular imagination for millennia. But we want to know your opinion on this topic. Which of the following science-fiction stories has the best use of invisibility as a plot device?

    • The Invisible Man
    • Star Trek
    • Predator
    • Harry Potter
    • Lord of the Rings
    • The Ring of the Nibelung
    • Heroes
    • Hollow Man

Go to the Physics World Facebook page to vote for one. And feel free to add a comment if your favourite book or film is not included.

Last week’s poll addressed the topic of particle physics. We asked our Facebook followers: If the LHC or the Tevatron fail to find the Higgs, should the world invest in a new machine to continue the search?

It seems that the majority of respondents are keen on big physics and the pursuit of fundamental answers because 78% voted yes.

We also had a number of comments from our fans. And interestingly, the majority of feedback came from our fans who voted no. Bengt Månsson who lives in Partille, Sweden, for instance, explains why he would not favour another expensive collider. “If LHC fails then it is rather probable that there is something wrong/unfinished with the theory.”

Marc Merlin, a fan based in Georgia in the US, did not vote either way. He did make some interesting points, however, that go right to the heart of the situation in the US where the Tevatron collider at Fermilab will be closed at the end of September. “This is a really tough question, and it can only be reasonably discussed in the context of budgets and competing science objectives,” he said. “The physics goals would be alluring, but what would pursuing a successor to the LHC mean in terms of other important research being deferred or even cancelled?”

We’re looking forward to some lively debates about your opinions relating to this week’s poll.

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