How to Be Human
The Ultimate Guide to Your Amazing Existence
The New Scientist team ask how homo sapiens became who we are, what sets us apart from other animals, and why we can be so similar yet different to one another. With numerous illustrations and diagrams, it also explores conundrums like the fact that half of our DNA isn’t human, and why we really blush, yawn, laugh or cry.
The History of Science
From the control of fire and the smelting of metals to antibiotics and artificial intelligence, this history of technology identifies the most important scientific milestones in the development of civilization. Explaining theories including those of Newton and Einstein and describing pivotal discoveries such as penicillin, the book uses diagrams, illustrations, photographs and fact boxes to bring the material to life.
Knowledge in a Nutshell
Historically, dual interpretations of physical phenomena as waves or particles became unified in quantum theory, which revolutionized views of the universe. However, topics such as Schrödinger’s (imaginary) cat and the double-slit experiment are notorious for being misinterpreted or badly explained. This illustrated guide by a NASA scientist aims to dispel confusion, while introducing key players such as Planck, Bohr and Feynman.
The Inside Story
An astrophysicist, science journalist and former BBC Science editor, David Whitehouse tells the dramatic ‘inside story’ of the race to the Moon, drawing on his own archive of notes, tapes and extensive interviews with astronauts, as well as his familiarity with the science and, not least, a vivid memory of watching television, transfixed, as Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon on 20 July 1969.
The Physics of Everyday Things
The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day
The physics professor James Kakalios reveals the complex science behind the basic things that keep our everyday lives running – from how refrigerators keep things cool to how aeroplanes stay in the air. Each explanation is coupled with a story that demonstrates the interplay of the invisible forces that surround us, demonstrating that while sophisticated scientific concepts may seem abstract, they are also eminently practical. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Mapping the Planets
Discovering the Worlds Beyond Our Own
The rings of Saturn or Jupiter’s Great Red Spot are familiar images, although they are invisible to the naked eye: this book explains how we know what they look like. After a chapter describing the mapping of planetary orbits, it discusses each planet and its moons, from Earth’s near neighbours to the distant ice giants Neptune and Uranus, showing how their surfaces have been mapped and depicted, and examining the range of scientific information that different types of imaging provide.
30-Second AI and Robotics
50 Key Notions, Characters, Fields and Events in the Rise of Intelligent Machines, Each Explained in Half a Minute
Beginning with automata in the 18th century, this guide explores the remarkable development of robotics and AI. Their industrial, medical and educational uses are considered, and future possibilities such as uploading human consciousness to a computer.
The 50 Most Fundamental Discoveries in Genetics, Each Explained in Half a Minute
The basics of genetics are explained in simple terms in this volume, before a closer look at how continued research in the field has increased scientific understanding of human health and led to benefits such as stem cell therapy and genome editing.
A Beginner's Guide
Telling the story of the origins and evolution of our home planet, from the Big Bang, stardust and the formation of planets, Gribbin describes the geological forces that have shaped Earth and life on it, up to the present crisis as human activities presage a ‘sixth extinction’.
Art, Science, Culture
Written and compiled by an art historian and an astronomer, this illuminating volume identifies the many ways in which the Moon has influenced physics, history, art and popular culture since antiquity. Using an enormous range of images, from a prehistoric ‘sky disk’ to a photograph taken by the Galileo spacecraft, the book explores a miscellany of topics including eclipses, lunar cycles and tides, Space Race propaganda, the Apollo missions and lunar rovers, ancient moon deities, werewolves, lunacy and supermoons. Slightly off-mint
The Secret Military History of the Internet
The internet has become a market for data, amassing behavioural and factual information about its users. In the face of online and ‘real-life’ threats, investigative journalist Yasha Levine traces the origins of the internet as a method to control insurgents in the Vietnam War; follows the case of Edward Snowden, who leaked National Security Agency information about America’s global surveillance apparatus; and traces the covert links between tech giants such as Google and Facebook and intelligence agencies.
The Big Ones
How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What we Can do About Them)
Throughout history, human society has been threatened by earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions. This chronological survey of natural disasters, from Pompeii to Fukushima, examines their causes, effects and how people have responded to them. It demonstrates their global consequences – a volcanic eruption in Iceland, for example, caused a famine that may have ignited the French Revolution – and contemplates how they might be dealt with in future.
The Spinning Magnet
The Force That Created the Modern World – and Could Destroy It
The science journalist Alanna Mitchell explores an aspect of our planet that we take for granted as unchanging, yet Earth’s electromagnetic field is critical and the poles that seem so fixed can switch places; the last time they did so was 780,000 years ago. Beginning with the discoveries of the Victorian scientists who pioneered the modern understanding of magnetism, Mitchell investigates the science of this powerful phenomenon and what it could mean for the future of Earth.
Scientists Who Changed History
This visual guide to the life and work of more than 85 of the greatest scientists, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Marie Curie and Stephen Hawking, takes the reader from Ancient Greece, Egypt and China through to the modern era. Alongside key moments, quotes and diagrams, it succinctly explains the breakthroughs and significance of figures from fields including mathematics, meteorology, geology and genetics.
Chasing the Moon
An Epic Rivalry, a Monumental Challenge, the Race to Be the First
The story of the moon landings begins with the wartime work of German rocket scientists including Wernher von Braun, nascent computer technology and the imagination of post-war science fiction writers such as Arthur C Clarke. Using eyewitness reports and NASA archive material this account of the achievement describes how it all came together, accelerated by the pressure of the technological race with Soviet Russia.
The Comet Sweeper
Caroline Herschel's Astronomical Ambition
In 18th-century scientific circles, astronomer Caroline Herschel often played second fiddle to her illustrious brother William, yet as this thoughtful biography reveals, her dogged enthusiasm led to discoveries which more than secured her place in the annals of science. Icon Science series.
Symphony in C
Carbon and the Evolution of (Almost) Everything
Carbon provides the most important chemical link across time and space, from the Big Bang to the evolution of life on earth. This celebration and exploration of the element for the general reader is divided into four sections, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. It explains the central role carbon played in the formation of the universe and its importance to the ecology of the planet today, and gives an overview of current research in carbon science.
Our Quest to Solve the Great Mysteries of the Sun
Although huge telescopes and space probes have helped us to understand our nearest star, we still know surprisingly little about it. Stuart explains how astronomers have investigated the Sun’s inner workings and asks why we remain unable to predict solar storms that could be large enough to cripple technology on Earth.
What Makes Us Human?
Is it speech, intelligence or manual dexterity that makes us distinctly different from our ape cousins, or are we different at all? This investigation into the question presents the arguments of several eminent scientists and thinkers including anthropologist Robin Dunbar and geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer.
Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand
Fifty Wonders That Reveal an Extraordinary Universe
Basing each of his short chapters on one of the fifty ‘most mind-blowing scientific facts I have discovered over the years’, the former radio astronomer and award-winning science writer Marcus Chown explains the science behind statements such as ‘today’s sunlight is 30,000 years old’. Ranging from biological things (‘you are a third mushroom’) to cosmology, and written in layman’s language, the book makes light work of profound scientific ideas.
A Life in Science
After the runaway success of A Brief History of Time (1988), Stephen Hawking (1942–2018) became a household name; but long before taking cosmology to the general public, he was famous within scientific circles for his work at the cutting edge of theoretical physics. In this portrait, written during Hawking’s lifetime, two of our finest science writers present the story of his personal life as well as his scientific achievement.
No Need for Geniuses
Revolutionary Science in the Age of the Guillotine
In revolutionary Paris, ‘In the heady days around the fall of the Bastille, the city was saturated in science’; and the overlap between revolutionaries and the scientists – politiques and philosophes – is a major theme in this study of the remarkable, yet often overlooked achievements of French science during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
The Creativity Code
How AI is Learning to Write, Paint and Think
Beginning with a rough definition of creativity as the drive to come up with something that is new, surprising and has value, the mathematician Marcus de Sautoy asks: can computers be creative? Discussing the ‘bottom up’ approach to AI which, rather than focusing on the human programmer, allows ‘algorithms to roam the digital landscape and learn just as a child does’, he considers the possibility that machines could go beyond the creativity of their coders.
A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes
This exploration of the human body explains how layer upon layer of adaptation has resulted in a host of oddities, redundancies and shortcomings that illuminate our evolutionary history. Examples include our backwards retinas (photoreceptors face away from the light) and the fact that we must find nutrients and vitamins in our diets that other animals make for themselves.
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.
1969 to 1979 (all modules) Owners' Workshop Manual
Developed from 1969, Skylab was launched in May 1973 and hosted three manned missions over the following year. With hundreds of diagrams and photographs, this analysis of the project gives a detailed breakdown of the design and construction of the space station as well as a report of the three periods of occupation, describing the challenges that the crews faced in repairing and maintaining Skylab and carrying out their research.
1971–1972 (Apollo 15–17; LRV1–3 & 1G Trainer) Owners' Workshop Manual
The Apollo 15 Commander David R Scott, who drove the Lunar Rover on the Moon, has written the foreword to this Haynes Owner’s Workshop Manual. The manual gives insights into the technology, history and development of NASA’s Lunar Roving Vehicle, with chapters on its structure, mobility, electrical and thermal control, navigation and communications, all illustrated with diagrams, cutaway views and photographs of the Rover on the Moon’s surface.
The Periodic Table
A Visual Guide to the Elements
Tom Jackson describes the periodic table as ‘the ultimate infographic’ presenting the fabric of the Universe as 118 chemical elements, each one with a unique collection of subatomic particles whose arrangement dictates its characteristics. This book provides an overview of the structure of the periodic table and highly visual accounts of how atoms work and basic chemistry, followed by a detailed directory of the elements, arranged by atomic weight, from Hydrogen to Fermium. Age 12+
Escape from Earth
A Secret History of the Space Rocket
After happening upon an old – and still restricted – Cold War rocket testing site in the Outer Hebrides, Fraser MacDonald began to research the technology being tested, the ‘Corporal’ guided missile, and the mystery of the designer Frank J Malina. This book tells the long-buried story of this pioneering rocket scientist, his work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the birth of the space rocket – and how its inventor was written out of history during the McCarthy witch-hunts.
The Earth Gazers
In 1948, Fred Hoyle predicted that a photograph of the Earth, taken from space, would let loose ‘a new idea as powerful as any in history’: taken by the Apollo astronauts between 1968 and 1971, images such as ‘Earthrise’ and ‘The Blue Marble’ were to prove him right. After tracing the course of human efforts first to fly, then to travel in space, Christopher Potter reflects on the impact of seeing our planet from afar.
A Celebration of Our Celestial Neighbour
Exploring our fascination with Earth’s only natural satellite, this collection of illustrated essays discusses lunar themes including how the Moon has been observed and charted throughout history; how it has influenced human culture from ancient mythologies to space-age fashion; and how scientific knowledge and our attitude to the Moon have developed since the end of the Apollo programme in 1972. Slightly off-mint.
The Story of Our Quest to Conquer the Red Planet
From theories of red vegetation and canal systems to Elon Musk’s ambitions in the race to Mars, Andrew May looks at our fascination with the red planet and the practicalities of getting there, covering topics including the development of rocket science and 50 years of robots and rovers on Mars.
Photographs of the Night Sky from the Archives of Nasa
‘The scale of the cosmos is more than anyone can grasp’, writes Bill Nye, ‘but with this book, you can give it a try’. Accompanied by an introduction and informative captions, these photographs, taken from NASA observatories, the Hubble and Herschel telescopes and the International Space Station, capture some of the most extraordinary phenomena of the night sky, including lunar and solar eclipses, meteor showers and comets, as well as distant galaxies and nebulae.
The Search for Life Elsewhere in the Universe
Venturing into the emerging field of astrobiology and the search for extraterrestrial life, Andrew May gives an expert overview of the current state of astrobiological knowledge, deals with the techno-signatures we might expect from advanced alien civilizations and the bio-signatures of simpler life forms; and also examines the wider, speculative aspects of the search for life beyond Earth.
Visions of Our Solar System
Increasingly sophisticated imaging equipment and probes sent to the outermost reaches of the Solar System have amassed a wealth of visual information since the beginning of the space age. Michael Benson has selected the best, often assembling, filtering and re-colouring frames, to create the crisp detailed images in this portfolio. The chapters cover the Sun and each planet of the Solar System, from Earth and its Moon to Uranus and Neptune.
Charting the Northern, Southern and Equatorial night skies, this set of three maps shows all the stars visible to the naked eye and the fainter clusters and nebulae for stargazers using binoculars or telescopes. With a brief introduction, notes on how to use the charts and tables of magnitude.
Capturing the Universe
The Most Spectacular Astrophotography from Across the Cosmos
Beginning with an image of a pale blue dot – Earth – obtained by Voyager 1 at a distance of around six billion kilometres from home, this book presents some of the most spectacular astrophotography gathered by robotic space explorers and ground-based telescopes. Dr Evans explains the technology used to capture these images and the celestial objects depicted, travelling from our own Solar System, via the Milky Way and the Local Group to the edges of the Universe.
A Guide to the Cosmos
Explaining how non-physicists can do science, this guide aims to show that questions about Earth, the solar system and the universe beyond can be answered by observing, measuring and thinking. Asking questions about the age and weight of things, what things are made of and how far away they are, the authors lead us from looking at the stars to thinking about the origin of the universe. Off-mint with a felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Equations of Life
The Hidden Rules Shaping Evolution
Professor Charles Cockell argues that evolution and natural selection have always been constrained by basic physical laws, from an atomic level to the animal realm. For instance, there are sound scientific reasons why creatures can’t evolve with wheels instead of legs, and why carbon-based cells are ideal for trapping energy, so life on Earth is far more understandable and predictable than we might imagine.
How Everything Moves, from Atoms and Galaxies to Blizzards and Bees
Why does it take so long for thick ice to form? How slowly do stalactites grow? How much lower is a bee's buzz than a mosquito's? Why can we see the flicker in old silent movies? The answers to such questions are revealed as astronomer Bob Berman explains the myriad movements that shape the universe, from the Sombrero Galaxy, which speeds away from us at 562 miles per second, to the oscillations of water molecules. Off-mint.
An Illustrated History of Science
From Agriculture to Artificial Intelligence
Reflecting how science is ‘as complex and multifaceted as the problems it seeks to unpick’, this very accessible, illustrated history approaches the subject both chronologically, from around 3000 BCE to the 21st century, and in the context of 16 different disciplines. Starting with mathematics, medicine and philosophy in antiquity, it follows the discoveries that heralded new branches of science, with a final chapter looking ahead to the possibilities of environmental science, medicine, AI and space exploration.
Breakfast with Einstein
The Exotic Physics of Everyday Objects
Making complex theories intelligible for the general reader, this guide to quantum mechanics and the history of modern physics uses the everyday experiences of getting up, making breakfast and checking email to demonstrate how quantum effects govern the world around us.
The Beginning and the End of Everything
From the Big Bang to the End of the Universe
In this overview of our current knowledge about the universe a theoretical cosmologist discusses questions that have puzzled thinkers throughout history and the ways in which modern scientists have tried to answer them. He explains how astronomical observations and deductions have allowed us not only to look back 13.8 billion years to the origins of the universe but also to develop competing theories about its ultimate fate, either in a calamitous ‘Big Crunch’ or a gentler ‘Heat Death’.
Moving Heaven and Earth
Copernicus and the Solar System
John Henry discusses how the 16th-century astronomer Copernicus not only disproved the ‘common-sense’ view that the Earth was stationary but also showed what mathematics can reveal about the material world, setting in motion the development of a completely new physics.
How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science
As he challenges the persistent myth that the Middle Ages brought little scientific progress, Hannam shows that the Church did not hold back ‘natural philosophy’, and that even astrology and alchemy were important in the development of modern science. He discusses the period’s sophisticated technological achievements, which include lenses, mechanical clocks and the blast furnace, and highlights the debts owed by Copernicus and Galileo to their medieval forebears’ pioneering ideas. Off-mint.
How the World Became Obsessed with Time
‘Technology is making everything faster, and because we know that things will become faster in the future, it follows that nothing is fast enough now.’ Surveying how, over the last 250 years, time has come to dominate our lives, Simon Garfield considers its practical applications rather than theoretical physics: the subjects of his ‘illuminating stories’ include – definitely not in chronological order – football, Beethoven’s Ninth, railway timetables, Roger Bannister, Swiss watchmakers, The Clock (Christian Marclay’s film) and the British Museum.
The Reality Frame
Relativity and Our Place in the Universe
By building and populating a virtual universe, Clegg demonstrates that reality is not a system of immovable absolutes; instead, the ever-shifting world of relativity is what provides the frame of reference that allows us to understand both the universe and humanity’s place within it.
This is Planet Earth
Your Ultimate Guide to the World We Call Home
This chronological account of the Earth begins with its formation from a swirling cloud of dust before explaining its structure, the changes brought about by plate tectonics, and the various layers of gases that have made it inhabitable. It explores the impact that humans have had on its geology, atmosphere and ecosystems, using black and white diagrams and the clear language that makes the New Scientist Instant Expert series accessible.
Professor Maxwell's Duplicitous Demon
The Life and Science of James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell’s famously challenging thought experiment in which a Demon controls a door between hot and cold gases, suggests that the second law of thermodynamics can be broken. In this very accessible biography, the Demon as a narrator helps Brian Clegg argue that Maxwell’s work in fields such as electricity and magnetism not only laid the groundwork for much modern physics, but put him on a par with Newton and Einstein.
Eye of the Beholder
Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing
In the creative hothouse of 17th-century Holland, art and science came together through the new optical technology. This double biography follows the careers of the natural philosopher Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, who peered into a lens to discover microscopic life, and the painter Johannes Vermeer who, just a few houses away in Delft, was using a camera obscura to create detailed original works.
Science in the Soul
Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist
Spanning more than three decades, these 41 essays reflect Richard Dawkins’ commitment to communicating the values and history of science, through his writings on evolution and the wonders of nature, his polemical attacks on faulty logic and his articles connecting scientific discourse to public debates. As well as providing new annotations to individual pieces, he uses the volume’s introduction to reiterate the importance of adhering to reason and objective values in an age of demagoguery and prejudice.
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.
Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution
Biologists have long observed the phenomenon of ‘convergence’, by which the same adaptations (such as eyes and wings) have evolved independently in different species. But is it inevitable that natural selection will produce these same outcomes, or do tiny, random changes make evolution less predictable? Losos describes the experiments, involving life-forms ranging from bacteria to lizards and foxes, by which he and his colleagues are beginning to resolve one of modern science’s great debates. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge
100 Clever Ways to Help You Understand and Remember the Most Important Theories
Each volume in this series uses a three-part approach to explain complex ideas. First the ‘helicopter overview’ introduces the concept, then the ‘shortcut’ gives more detail on core elements and the pithy ‘hack’ offers a memorable summary. In this guide to key scientific concepts theories in evolution, genetics and human origins are discussed, as are topics including thermodynamics and Newton’s laws, and hypotheses relating to space and astrophysics.
And Other Bizarre Experiments
In this sequel to Elephants on Acid Alex Boese delves once more into the world of mad scientists and weird experimentation, whether a 1950s project to nuke the moon or self-experimenters getting stung by 78 species of Hymenoptera for the sake of science.
The Universe in Bite-Sized Chunks
Colin Stuart rejects mathematical jargon in favour of concise explanations of the cosmos’s most fascinating astronomical features. Beginning with early astronomers, including Ptolemy and Newton, this accessible guide moves from the Earth, Sun and Moon ever further from home, covering the Solar System, stars and galaxies, eventually reaching the mysteries at the edge of the universe – the Big Bang, inflation and dark energy.
Ask an Astronaut
What does it feel like to sit on top of a 300-tonne rocket? Does food taste different in space? How can I become an astronaut? When he returned from his 186-day mission on the International Space Station, Tim Peake was bombarded with questions. This book presents some of those questions and Tim’s careful, candid and detailed answers about astronaut training, the launch, life and work in space, space walking and returning to earth. Slightly off-mint with a Felt-tip mark on the upper trimmed edge.
30-Second Forensic Science
The 50 Key Topics Revealing Criminal Investigation from Behind the Scenes, Each Explained in Half a Minute
How do forensic specialists identify and piece together clues to present a convincing case in court? This guide to scientific techniques explains the analysis of evidence ranging from drugs to digital devices, dental records to DNA. Foreword by Val McDermid.
The Flame of Miletus
The Birth of Science in Ancient Greece (and How it Changed The World)
Ancient Greek science and philosophy began in the sixth century BCE in the wealthy city of Miletus in Asia Minor, where Thales and Anaximander proposed theories about the nature of the universe. This sweeping history of the Greek scientific tradition follows the chain of knowledge from these early physicists, through such thinkers as Aristotle and Archimedes, to the twilight of the classical age, the transmission of Greek ideas to the Islamic world and their revival in Europe during the Renaissance.
A Mind at Play
The Brilliant Life of Claude Shannon, Inventor of the Information Age
One of the key thinkers of the computer age, Claude Shannon worked as a cryptanalyst during the Second World War and his contributions to digital circuit design and information theory in the 1930s and 1940s made modern computing possible. This biography explores his life, academic achievements and influential personal projects, such as a maze-solving mouse (one of the first experiments in artificial intelligence) and the first design for a chess-playing computer.
Out of the Shadow of a Giant
How Newton Stood on the Shoulders of Hooke and Halley
Arguing that British science would not have developed very differently without Newton, the authors demonstrate his indebtedness to the achievements of his contemporaries, in particular Hooke, from whom he ‘borrowed’ many ideas, and Halley, who encouraged and paid for the publication of the Principia.
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.
The Quantum Moment
How Planck, Bohr, Einstein, and Heisenberg Taught Us to Love Uncertainty
Schrödinger’s cat, the uncertainty principle, multiverses: the language and imagery of the quantum are now applied in all manner of contexts, from poetry and fiction to marketing and politics. A philosopher and a physicist analyse this cultural impact as they explain the origin and meaning of each term and consider what such uses and misuses reveal about the ways in which concepts from quantum mechanics help us to rediscover the strangeness of the everyday world.
How to Live in Space
Everything You Need to Know for the Not-So-Distant Future
The challenges of living in space are multiple: without the Earth’s atmosphere, gravity and rotation, essential activities including breathing, exercising and sleeping require technology. This illustrated ‘space travel manual’ describes all aspects of space travel, from blast-off to the future colonization of Mars, and explores how the development of new technology including graphene is paving the way for space tourism.
Owners' Workshop Manual, From 4.5 Billion Years Ago to the Present
Zircon crystals found in Western Australia have been dated to 4.4 billion years ago, the oldest things found so far on Earth and remnants of the original formation of the planet. This highly illustrated manual explains the processes that have shaped our world from the Big Bang to the evolution of life-supporting conditions and the physics of our current environment. Hundreds of diagrams, illustrations and infographics explain the natural forces at work.
An Introductory Field Guide
With clear, informative text and over 200 colour photographs, this guide introduces the three main rock groups – igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary – and the forces acting upon them – folds and folding, faults and faulting, and unconformities or breaks in the geological sequence. Plus a geological time scale and glossary.
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.
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 Reality Frame
Relativity and Our Place in the Universe
By building and populating a virtual universe Clegg demonstrates that reality is not a system of immovable absolutes; instead, the ever-shifting world of relativity is what provides the frame of reference that allows us to understand both the universe and humanity’s place within it.
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.
The Glass Universe
The Hidden History of the Women Who Took the Measure of the Stars
Before women could vote, Harvard Observatory was employing them to interpret astronomical observations. This book tells the stories of a Cambridge student, a young deaf woman, a pregnant Scottish housemaid and several others who between them helped to unravel the principles governing the universe.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Blueprint for a Battlestar
Serious Scientific Explanations Behind Sci-Fi's Greatest Inventions
Modern digital technology has seen gadgets predicted by early science fiction – such as videophones – become reality, and a host of ideas proposed in more recent productions, such as the Star Trek series, offer intriguing possibilities for the future. From the Terminator to the Death Star, this book investigates some of the most celebrated concepts of recent science fiction and explores the potential technology behind them, revealing that some are closer to reality than we might think.
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.
Why It's Not All Rocket Science
Scientific Theories and Experiments Explained
In 1983 Justin Schmidt recorded the degree of pain he felt when stung by different venomous insects, resulting in the ‘Schmidt Pain Index’. With chapters on medicine, psychology, society, and the universe, this book examines 100 experiments, ranging from the peculiar (like Schmidt’s) to the groundbreaking (the creation of Dolly the sheep), and appraises their significance for practical science.
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.
The Visible Spectrum and Beyond
The light penetrating our eyes, an incoming call on a mobile phone, or an X-ray at the dentist: all are different kinds of light, or electromagnetic radiation. This illustrated guide to the electromagnetic spectrum explores the nature of light wavelength by wavelength – radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X-rays and gamma-rays – revealing the properties, characteristics and practical applications of each type of radiation with incisive explanations, diagrams and hundreds of full-colour photographs.
From Myths to Knowledge
This book is a history of humanity’s long struggle towards the answers to two questions: how old is Earth and how does it move within the solar system? But the author also uses that story to delineate a philosophy of science. As he explains the bold innovations of thinkers such as Copernicus, Galileo, Halley and Darwin, he emphasizes the importance of Enlightenment values in facing the threat from modern fundamentalist movements of East and West. Foreword by Tariq Ali.
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.
Build Your Own Time Machine
The Real Science of Time Travel
Although HG Wells’s Victorian time machine would not have worked, there is no law of physics that prevents travel through the fourth dimension. Brian Clegg combines his enthusiasm for science fiction with his insights as a writer on real science to explore ways in which time travel could theoretically be achieved. He also traces the development of our modern understanding of time, from Einstein’s first daydreams about the speed of light to neutrino experiments and the latest theories about wormholes.
15 Million Degrees
A Journey to the Centre of the Sun
At the heart of the Sun, a vast nuclear furnace casts out the warmth, light and magnetism that nurture life on Earth. Supported by data from laboratories, telescopes, probes and thousands of years of naked-eye observations, solar physicist Lucie Green’s authoritative guide to the science of the Sun provides answers to questions posed since the dawn of history: Why does the Sun shine? What is the source of its heat? How long will it shine?
The Mice Who Sing For Sex
And Other Weird Tales From the World of Science
This humorous scientific miscellany is curated by the presenters of the podcast Geek Chic’s Weird Science and imparts the rationale behind all manner of inventions and phenomena, including solar-powered flight, self-lacing shoes, super-memory and addiction to healthy food (which can replace an addiction to fat and sugar). With frequent ‘chic fact’ boxes and cartoons, it also delves into outer space, wildlife and sex: are sound waves the new Viagra?
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.