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Scientists currently have the best chance in history of making contact with aliens. Photograph: Graham Turner
Einstein gave hope to scientists chasing the most outlandish theories when he famously declared: "If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it."
He then proved the existence of black holes and the notion that time passes more slowly the faster you travel.
Now one of the world's most distinguished physicists has scrutinised some of science fiction's other concepts, such as teleportation and forcefields, and is convinced that they too can become reality.
Professor Michio Kaku, of City University in New York, has ruled out time travel for at least a few millennia, but believes invisibility cloaks and telepathy could be possible this century.