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.
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.
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.
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.
Plato's Alarm Clock
And Other Amazing Ancient Inventions
From underwater breathing equipment (as described by Aristotle) to star charts (drawn on the walls of the Lescaux caves, 33,000–10,000 years ago), James Russell describes the inventions of ancient times. There are chapters on everyday life, with items as diverse as alarm clocks, make-up, games and chewing gum; mechanical and industrial technology, including the spoked wheel and movable type; military inventions; medical breakthroughs; scientific advances; and mysterious lost inventions such as Greek fire, Maya blue and the Baghdad battery.