This hour, we’re talking with Philip Ball, author of Invisible: The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen (University of Chicago Press, April 2015). Ball takes a look back at human fascination with invisibility throughout history, from Plato to the present. And it turns out, science is getting closer to solving the invisibility problem—but if we do figure it out, does that take the magic out of it? Later in the hour, we learn why “Ave Maria” has such a calming power over us—but only when it’s sung in Latin.

Music this hour: