Science & Nature
Goldilocks and the Water Bears
The Search for Life in the Universe
Venus is too hot, Mars too cold, but Earth’s distance from the Sun makes it ‘just right’ for a thriving biosphere. As we search for other planets perfectly positioned to support living organisms, an astrobiologist explains what scientists can learn from research into the origins and evolution of life, as well as the study of ‘extremophile’ water bears, tiny aquatic creatures able to survive the harshest conditions on Earth.
How We Got to Now
Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
Published to accompany a US TV series, this history of human progress identifies six key inventions – refrigeration, clocks, lenses, water purification, sound recording and artificial light – and describes the development and far-reaching consequences of each breakthrough. Felt-tip mark on the lower trimmed edge.
At the Edge of Infinity and Beyond
Aleph-null is the cardinality, or size, of the set of natural numbers, and is a ‘countably infinite cardinal’. Remarkably, whereas 1 + 1 = 2, 1 + aleph-null = aleph-null. The authors of this advanced maths explainer utilize plain English in an attempt to convey difficult mathematical concepts, including large numbers, higher dimensions, computation and primes, fusing historical, philosophical and anecdotal aspects of each concept with the decidedly technical. Slightly off-mint.
Dataclysm: Who We Are*
*When We Think No One's Looking
OkCupid founder Christian Rudder mines the big data of social media to reveal how age, beauty, gender, race and numerous other ‘tick-box’ signifiers influence our decision-making during the myriad of interactions that shape our lives online and beyond.
An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
‘Nothing you do on this planet can ever truly prepare you for what it means to leave it.’ Mike Massimino has left it twice – aboard the space shuttles Columbia and Atlantis, on servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope. Massimino’s entertaining, warts-and-all account describes life as an astronaut, from the first week of training to seven-hour-long space walks.
Science and the Hunt for Reality
For Joe Rosen, the much sought-after Theory of Everything ‘is but a mirage’. In this book he explores the boundaries between science and metaphysics and argues that science, despite its phenomenal progress and insights, can only go so far in comprehending nature.
The World Makers
Scientists of the Restoration and the Search for the Origins of the Earth
How and when did the world come into existence, where did people come from, and how will the world end? William Poole explores the interaction of the Bible and science as sources in the intellectual debates of late 17th-century England, and describes the emergence of the experimental natural philosophy that questioned the Genesis story.
The Strange Physics of Nothing
What do we mean by ‘empty space’? Was Newton wrong to think of it as a kind of theatre in which physics could unfold? In this book a philosopher of science explains how the very process of adapting intuitive ideas to scientific theories causes radical changes to our conception of reality. He also describes physicists’ efforts to reconcile different meanings of ‘nothing’ in general relativity and quantum theory.
Knowledge is Power
How Magic, the Government and an Apocalyptic Vision Helped Francis Bacon to Create Modern Science
John Henry assesses Francis Bacon’s ineluctable influence on the methodology, content and organization of science both in his own time and now, revealing how Bacon’s fascination with bureaucracy, magic and religion inspired his best-known works, including The New Organon.
Pigeon Guided Missiles
And 49 Other Ideas That Never Took Off
The pioneering behaviourist BF Skinner was able to demonstrate in the 1940s that conditioning pigeons, housed in the nose of a missile, to peck repeatedly at an image of a target, could be an effective weapons guidance system. As with all the apparently hare-brained schemes in this book, including Thomas Edison's concrete furniture, Wilhelm Reich's cloud-busting machine and British Rail's flying saucer, the system was never adopted.
Peterson's Egghead's Guide to Geometry
The ‘egghead’ cartoon character sets about the problems of angles and shapes in this guide for school and college level students. The course includes a revision of foundational geometry and chapters covering triangles, polygons, circles, cubes and cylinders. Each section offers examples, exercises and study tips and concludes with a review of the topic that shows how the concepts can be applied in the real world.
The Moon Landings
One Giant Leap
The photographs that astronauts took during the Apollo missions provided a previously unseen picture of the moon but also transformed our perception of the Earth, viewed for the first time from space. This pictorial celebration, containing hundreds of photographs of the American space programme of the 1960s and 1970s, traces its success from its origins in the Cold War to the final triumph of Apollo 11, and considers its legacy to science and history.
Professor Stewart's Casebook of Mathematical Mysteries
Ian Stewart introduces the adventures of a stalwart detective duo as they investigate a series of baffling mathematical conundrums. Soames and Watsup tackle mysteries including the above-average hansom cab drivers, the curious incident of the colliding dogs and a ‘pseudoku’ puzzle without any clues. Their cases are interspersed with shorter items introducing quirky curiosities, brainteasers and just a few maths jokes.
Michael Faraday and the Electrical Century
This unconventional biography of Michael Faraday, among whose numerous inventions was the electric motor, explores episodes in his career, including his discovery of electromagnetic induction, in order to understand why he flourished in a complex and hierarchical Victorian scientific community.
The Graphene Revolution
The Weird Science of the Ultrathin
The strongest substance ever discovered, a better conductor than any metal and able to act as a molecular sieve to purify water, graphene is set to revolutionize technology. This guide explores the properties and potential uses of this remarkable new material.
The Zoomable Universe
A Step-by-Step Tour Through Cosmic Scale, from the Infinite to the Infinitesimal
From the gargantuan distance of 1026 metres, the radius of the observable universe, down to the unimaginably small Planck scale of 10-35 metres, used for measurements inside a proton, this illustrated guide to the cosmos zooms in on matter one order of magnitude (power of ten) at a time, depicting and explaining a curated selection of entities, including galaxies, planets, the solar system, Earth, flora and fauna, cells, viruses, atoms and subatomic particles.
How to Build a Universe
The numerous archival images, cartoons, quotes and programme excerpts in this companion book to the BBC Radio 4 series The Infinite Monkey Cage pay homage to the 1970s Look and Learn annuals, which thrilled children with their miscellany of science. Here, Cox and Ince inspire adult scientific wonder through jokes, jibes and nostalgic digressions, anchored by serious explorations of thermodynamics, particle physics, Big Bang theory, space travel, extra-terrestrial life and, of course, infinity.
Philip's Essential Guide to Space
The Definitive Guide to Exploring and Understanding Our Solar System and The Universe Beyond
This highly illustrated guide focuses on space exploration – past, present and future – including the Apollo missions, the Space Shuttle years, the International Space Station and the future of commercial spaceflight. The book also explores the solar system, dedicating chapters to the Sun, the Moon, the planets and the asteroid belt, and concluding with a discussion of astronomy’s powerful telescopes, such as Hubble’s successor the James Webb Space Telescope, which facilitate a deeper understanding of the universe.
1997–2017 (Cassini orbiter, Huygens probe and future exploration concepts) Owners' Workshop Manual
The Cassini-Huygens mission was a remarkable 20-year journey to Saturn’s atmosphere, rings and moons. This illustrated Haynes manual explores the technology that made the space probe possible, as well as detailing plans for our future exploration of the outer solar system and beyond.
Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain
This groundbreaking book by a leading neurologist concerns ‘the brain science of emotion’ and ‘its implications for decision-making in general and social behaviour in particular’. Published in 1994, it continues to attract the attention of neuro-scientists, philosophers and the general public with its proposal that reasoning evolved as an extension of the automatic emotional system, and emotion plays multiple roles in the reasoning process.
Another Day in the Death of America
Saturday, 23 November 2013: across the cities and suburbs of the USA, ten young people are killed by gunfire. None of these deaths made the national news – it was just an ordinary day. In ten moving chapters – one for each victim – this powerful book explores the lives they lived and lost, from an eleven-year-old boy shot dead by a friend at a rural sleepover to a teenage gang member murdered on Chicago’s South Side.
You Are Here
Around the World in 92 Minutes
During the 2,597 orbits he made on the International Space Station, astronaut Chis Hadfield took 45,000 photographs of the Earth. In this edited collection of images, Hadfield creates a single, ‘virtual orbit’ of our planet, capturing close-up detail of six continents. From the scorched-red ripples of the Australian outback to the pixelated farmland of California’s San Joaquin Valley, his work reveals visual patterns and abstractions created by climate, geological processes, farming, urbanization and, disturbingly, deforestation.
Portrait of the Gulf Stream
In Praise of Currents
The prizewinning novelist Erik Orsenna grew up on an island off the coast of Brittany, giving thanks to the Atlantic current that brings warmth to the shores of Europe. In this remarkable book, he follows the Gulf Stream from Cape Hatteras to the legendary Norwegian Maelstrom, meeting scientists and scholars in an attempt to understand the phenomenon, its influence on culture and climate and whether global warming will stop its flow.
The inhospitable atmosphere and violent climate on Mars have not prevented numerous space probes and orbiters from visiting the planet over the last 50 years, their data-gathering abilities growing ever more sophisticated. From the successful Mariner and Viking programs of the 1960s and 1970s, to human missions being planned today, Rod Pyle charts the history of Martian exploration, lists the key scientific discoveries made and presents striking images of the Red Planet from space and from the surface.
The Periodic Table Book
A Visual Encyclopedia of the Elements
Everything in the universe is made up of just 118 chemical elements. This illustrated companion outlines the nature and properties of each of these basic building blocks of matter, as well as anecdotes about some of the most notable scientists involved in their discovery. Age 9+
The Skylark's beautiful song, delivered from its famous towering songflight, can be heard from Ireland to Japan and from the Arctic Circle to the North African deserts. This volume opens with an overview of all the world's larks and, as well as a thorough account of the species biology, migratory patterns, behaviour and habitats, Paul Donald discusses the Skylark's role in history and folklore. This book is from the Poyser Monographs series. Regarded as essential reading by many ornithologists, the Monographs provide an enormous amount of detail on individual species, covering evolution, biology and ecology, breeding and feeding, distribution, and conservation.
The Mandarin Duck
The Mandarin Duck is a small and (in the case of the males) spectacularly colourful species of waterfowl. Native to East Asia, Mandarins have been widely kept in aviaries in Europe and North America and birds have frequently escaped to form wild colonies. Lever gives a detailed account of this beautiful bird, with particular emphasis on the invasive populations in Britain and overseas. This book is from the Poyser Monographs series. Regarded as essential reading by many ornithologists, the Monographs provide an enormous amount of detail on individual species, covering evolution, biology and ecology, breeding and feeding, distribution, and conservation.
The Aurelian Legacy
British Butterflies and Their Collectors
After a history of butterfly collecting in Britain and a chapter on the methods of the early lepidopterists, this volume presents profiles of 101 collectors, from Thomas Moffet (1553–1604) to John Heath (1922–1987), each illustrated with a contemporary portrait. The ‘Aurelians’ are followed by a survey of some of the historically interesting species they collected, and a discussion of conservation and collecting. Finally, the book lists all British and Irish butterflies, with past and present common names.
Wonders of the Atmosphere from Dust Storms to Lightning Strikes
Selecting the most visually striking and unusual examples from around the world, this Met Office collection includes both satellite imagery and ground-based photography to show strange effects such as blood-red mammatus clouds in a post-cyclonic sunset, the concentric rings of a ‘glory’ on Golden Gate Bridge, horizontal lightning or the awesome clouds of supercell thunder storms. Slightly off-mint.
The End of Discovery
The last few centuries have seen a huge expansion in our understanding of the world around us, but are we approaching the limits of what it is possible to discover? In this summary of the challenges facing modern science, Russell Stannard argues that there are questions, such as the nature of time, the size of the universe or what constitutes consciousness, which we may never be able to fully explain.
It's All About Treo
Life and War with the World's Bravest Dog
The world's most highly decorated dog, Treo, and his handler David Heyhoe did the most dangerous job on earth – sniffing out bombs in Afghanistan – and survived. Dave and Treo would be sent forward to detect the enemy's explosive devices ahead of soldiers on patrol and were so successful they became 'target number one for the Taliban'. Their exciting and heart-warming story shows how invaluable Arms Explosive Search dogs can be in modern warfare. Slightly off-mint.
Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception
Why does life speed up as we get older? Why does time seem to slow down when we fear we are about to die? Using research from psychology, neuroscience and biology, the presenter of BBC Radio 4's All In The Mind examines the idea that the experience of time is created by our minds. She also presents her own research into people's visualizations of time and suggests how we can use our brain's warping of it to our advantage.
Nine Strange Ways the World Could End
Scientists are actively searching for objects in space that pose a threat to Earth, but recently discovered 'dark asteroids' are worryingly difficult to spot; and the potential dangers of self-replicating nanoparticles and gamma ray blasts are an equally frightening prospect. Leaving aside the well-documented risks of climate change and global conflict, this entertainingly written investigation presents less familiar, but scientifically plausible, possibilities that could end or seriously damage life on Earth.
Edison and the Rise of Innovation
Drawing on documents and photographs in the vast collections of the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, this book offers a richly illustrated study of the life and achievements of Thomas Edison (1847–1931), describing the groundbreaking innovations and inventions – particularly the phonograph and commercial electric light and power systems – that changed the world, but also focusing on his laboratories, his approach to business and how he revolutionized the way we develop new technologies. Foreword by Bill Gates.
Smithsonian Answer Book
There are many apocryphal tales associated with snakes, from cobras hypnotizing their prey to so-called 'hoop snakes' forming themselves into rings and rolling downhill to chase their quarry. This accessible question-and-answer book sorts out the facts from the fiction, introduces the many different species, their habitats, anatomy and physiology, and explores the specialized behaviours of snakes, such as shedding skin, spitting venom and killing by constriction.
Halsgrove Discover Series
With over 150 colour photographs, this journey from the sea to the summit of Scafell Pike explores the natural history of Lakeland through its various habitats - coastlands, meadows, woodlands, waters and fells. Varley also describes how the region has been shaped by human activities in the past and considers what the future holds as landscape, flora and fauna face climate change and rising sea levels. Foreword by Chris Bonington.
In Search of the Wild Otter
One of Britain's best-loved wild animals, the otter is making a comeback thanks to the efforts of conservationists. Otter Country follows Miriam Darlington's travels from her Devon home to the wilds of Scotland in pursuit of these charismatic beasts. Her writing evokes the beauty of the landscapes otters inhabit as she recounts meetings with ecologists, fishermen, hunters and poets and describes how the stillness required to track these elusive creatures brings its own wonders.
Inventors & Impostors
How History Forgot the True Heroes of Invention and Discovery
It is fairly well known that there are rival candidates to Alexander Graham Bell for the invention of the telephone, but attributing the idea of a moving assembly line to Henry Ford is not usually disputed. This book tells the story of 14 key inventions or discoveries, from Edison and the light bulb to Watson and Crick's research into DNA, and highlights the involvement of less famous pioneers whom history has overlooked.
The Tree Climber's Guide
Adventures in the Urban Canopy
London has more parks and green spaces than any other capital of a comparable size, so a climbable tree is never far away. Extolling the virtues of lifting oneself out of the city bustle and finding new perspectives on the urban scene, this book records the exploits of a committed tree climber seeking out interesting specimens and unusual vantage points, from a tall sweetgum alongside the walls of St Paul's Cathedral to a scruffy willow on the Swiss Cottage roundabout.
Ever since our ancestors first contemplated the majesty of the heavens, people have felt a profound curiosity about realms beyond the Earth. This authoritative, fully illustrated book provides an accessible introduction to the science of the universe. Starting with our own planet, it explores our neighbours in the solar system, before moving out into the vastness of intergalactic space. It also charts the history of astronomy. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
John and George
The Dog Who Changed My Life
John Dolan used to be homeless but is now a critically acclaimed artist, and says that his Staffordshire bull terrier George is the reason why. As with A Street Cat Named Bob, it was Dolan's pet that brought him to people's attention, but it was his own skill at drawing that took him off the streets and gave him a second chance at life, as he explains in this bestselling memoir.
The Upright Thinkers
The Human Journey From Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos
Leonard Mlodinow, bestselling author (with Stephen Hawking) of The Grand Design, traces the human 'odyssey of discovery', from starting to walk upright to space travel. Emphasizing the unity of knowledge and the creative impulse, he deals first with the evolution of the human brain and the urge to understand; then describes the development of the hard sciences up to the early 20th century; and finally surveys the exponential progress of science and technology since the discovery of quantum physics.
A Russian Life in Science
Born to a family of priests in provincial Russia, Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936) made his home and professional life in imperial St Petersburg, suffered the destruction of his world during the Bolshevik Revolution, and successfully rebuilt his career in the 1930s. In this definitive biography, Todes reinterprets the physiologist's famous research on conditional reflexes and weaves his life, values and science into the tumultuous period of Russian history between the reigns of Tsar Nicholas I and Stalin.
Cataloging the World
Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age
Working in an era when 'the closest thing anyone had ever seen to a database was a drawer full of index cards', the visionary Belgian information theorist Paul Otlet (1868–1944) aimed to create a global information network, the 'Mundaneum'. He had amassed some 15 million entries in a 'Universal Bibliography' and over 70,000 boxes of documentary material by 1940, when it was destroyed by the Nazis. Alex Wright introduces this extraordinary figure, his achievements and the legacy that survived.
The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen
How would you achieve invisibility? If you could become invisible, what would you do? What challenges would you face? These are perennially fascinating questions, raising moral dilemmas and prompting scientific investigations as well as inspiring many myths and legends about magic rings and cloaks of invisibility. This wide-ranging cultural history of the concept of invisibility embraces Plato and HG Wells, medieval occultism and quantum theory, zebras' stripes and the optical camouflage used on military ships.
Atlas of Oceans
An Ecological Survey of Underwater Life
All life on Earth depends on the oceans and seas that cover two-thirds of the planet’s surface, and these are now under threat as never before. With maps, diagrams and photographs, this ecological survey explores the geology of the oceans, their tides and currents, their diverse habitats and the array of creatures that live in them. There is also information on environmental dangers such as pollution, over-fishing and climate change, and the ‘red list’ of endangered species.
Entropy of Hidden Markov Processes and Connections to Dynamical Systems
Papers from the Banff International Research Station Workshop
The mathematics of hidden Markov processes (HMPs) can be applied to many kinds of noise-related technologies, from speech and optical character recognition to biomolecular sequence analysis. This collection of nine papers from a 2007 workshop at the Banff International Research Station covers the entropy rate problem, or measure of randomness, of HMPs, with reference to informational theory, dynamical systems, statistical mechanics and probability theory.
Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer
Effective global response to climate change requires the development and transfer of environmentally sound technologies between countries. This special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gives an overview of how to achieve and enhance that transfer.
Philip's Guide to Wetlands
The draining and development of wetlands, often seen as disease-ridden obstacles to progress, was a feature of the march of civilization from the Middle Ages; but in more recent times we have begun to appreciate their value to the environment and many areas are now protected. This guide describes the ecology of wetlands around the world, and examines their flora and fauna in detail with the help of maps, photographs and illustrations.
A Space Traveller's Guide to the Solar System
Here the astronomer and broadcaster Mark Thompson describes what a journey through the solar system might be like, from the preparations for take-off on Earth to arrival at the edge of interstellar space many years later. On the way he discusses what we know about the origins of the planets and their moons, describes physical features that would be visible and reflects on the challenges of navigation, weightlessness and living in a confined spaceship.
The Birds of Essex
Stretching east from suburban London along the Thames and north towards East Anglia, Essex is of national and international importance for many birds, especially the migrant wildfowl and waders that occur on the Stour, Colne, Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Thames estuaries. Covering the entire Essex list of 384 species, this volume analyses and summarizes data collected over the last 200 years, with an up-to-date status report for each species and its patterns of occurrence within Essex.
An Eternity of Eagles
The Human History of the Most Fascinating Bird in the World
This natural and social history of the eagle from an American writer and naturalist traces the evolution of our love-hate relationship with this magnificent bird, from Neolithic rock art and ancient mythology to medieval falconry and contemporary popular culture, and asks what modern-day threats such as habitat loss and pesticides mean for its future. More than 100 photographs and illustrations accompany the text, and novelist Annie Proulx contributes an introduction.
Andrew Zuckerman's portraits of animals are always taken in a studio against a pure white background, and 'explore not just the forms, textures, and movements of creatures, but more importantly, their characters'. This volume presents 150 such portraits and close-ups of mammals, birds, amphibians and insects – all subject to the same sensitive scrutiny, whether African elephant or tortoise, hyena or five-horned rhinoceros beetle. The book ends with an 'Epilogue' by the photographer and a visual index of the animals.
Andrew Zuckerman is well-known for his photographs of animals: shot against his trademark white background and with great sensitivity, his images reveal the essential nature of each subject. In this volume he concentrates on birds, taking a contemporary, minimalist approach to these colourful and astonishingly varied creatures. The book contains 200 photographs of 75 different species, including cranes, parrots, turkeys, eagles and owls, in flight or stationary, all meticulously observed. With an introduction by Massimo Vignelli.
Wisdom of the Stars
Astrology and Spiritual Biography
People have been studying the effects of the stars on worldly events for thousands of years. This book traces the development of astrology and the use of personal horoscopes in different cultures throughout human history, and advocates the development of a new tool in astrology: a 'spirit birth chart' created in a person's later years that reflects the fruits of their life.
RSPB Nature Guide
Even on car journeys you can look for wildlife: the game of 'spotter bingo' in this book awards 5 points for a cow or sheep and 20 for a bird of prey. Organized season by season, this guide encourages young nature watchers to discover the wildlife all around them, with tips and activities such as identifying animals and making plaster casts of their footprints.
Astonishing Insect Transformations
The transformation of unpromising larvae into complex and delicate adult insects is one of the wonders of nature. This photographic celebration records the metamorphoses of a variety of creatures including crickets and grasshoppers, butterflies and moths, ants, bees, flies and beetles. The detailed close-ups reveal their life-cycles from the hatching of an egg to the emergence of the adult, and the accompanying text explores the mechanisms that drive the process and why insects have evolved these remarkable solutions to survival.
National Birds of the World
From Angola's Red-Crested Turaco to Zimbabwe's African Fish-Eagle, more than 90 avian species have been adopted as official symbols of national identity. Each bird is pictured and described in this comprehensive guide, which features data such as size, diet and habitat alongside an explanation of reasons for the bird's use as a national emblem, information on its conservation status and examples of its prevalence in the stamps, coats of arms and wider culture of its country. Foreword by Chris Packham.
The tropical rainforests are the lifeblood of the planet, regulating the climate, producing oxygen and providing a home to over half of the world's known species. This large-format photographic portfolio celebrates the wonders of this unique environment in images ranging from close-up studies of plants and insects to portraits of mammals and aerial views. Many photographers are represented, while the text explores the rainforests' astounding biodiversity and emphasizes why they must be preserved.
Dogs of Courage
When Britain's Pets Went to War 1939–45
From 1939, when people were advised that if they couldn't send their pets to the country in wartime, 'it really is kindest to have them destroyed', to the Dickin Medals awarded at the end of the war, Clare Campbell tells the story of the dogs' war effort, whether conscripted to serve on the battlefields as messengers or mine detectors, or as rescue dogs working in the rubble of bombed buildings, sniffing out survivors on the home front.
Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and The Quest to Cure Tuberculosis
In August 1890, Robert Koch, Europe’s greatest scientist, was rumoured to have found a cure for tuberculosis; sufferers began to arrive in Berlin in their thousands. In November, when Koch was scheduled to make public his miraculous substance, physicians joined the pilgrimage – among them, the young Arthur Conan Doyle. In this study, Goetz explores the ‘historic if unwitting collaboration’ of Koch and Doyle; how both men’s lives were undone by tuberculosis; and the positive contribution of failed theories to medical progress.
Wonders of the Deep
The Astonishing Splendor of the Seven Seas
The oceans that cover two-thirds of the world's surface are still a mysterious, largely unexplored realm. Illustrated with breath-taking underwater photographs, this large-format book plumbs its depths, following in the wake of vast whales and the tiny plankton that feed them; predatory sharks; mighty rays; and the otherworldly denizens of the inky deep. It introduces the scientists and explorers who probe its secrets, visits famous shipwrecks including Titanic, and explains the complex ecosystem that supports so many diverse species.
They Got it Wrong: Science
All the Facts that Turned Out to Be Science Fiction
Is the Earth hollow? Can lead be turned into gold? Could tobacco smoke resurrect the dead? Of course not – but some of history's greatest minds accepted these and many other scientific theories that have since been proven to be completely ridiculous. But we must not feel too superior: as well as showing why these ideas seemed so convincing, Donald also highlights other myths that persist today.