Ten Easy Ways to Avoid Being Misled by Numbers
Every day we are bombarded by numbers about politics, economics, health and the environment. This concise introduction by the BBC’s first head of statistics helps clarify the data and decide whether it presents a true picture. It explains the difference between a mean and a medium, correlation and causation, how to evaluate surveys and opinion polls, and the alarm-bell phrases to be wary of.
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.
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.
Rubik's Quest: Cube Countdown
The Rubik’s-cube core of the world’s most important computer has been stolen, and it is the reader’s mission to recover it. Rather than reading from front to back, young adventurers must use their knowledge of shape, geometry and patterns – as well as their common sense – to solve the puzzles and plot their own unique path through the story. Age 7+
Mathematics for the Curious
For readers who are free of exams and the stress of having to get it right, Peter Higgins offers a chance ‘to wonder at the mathematical scenery’. Exploring questions such as ‘How many matches are played in a tennis tournament?’ and ‘What are your chances of winning the lottery?’ he gives an entertaining account of what mathematics can do.
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.
Number Treasury 3
Investigations, Facts and Conjectures About More than 100 Number Families
Written as a resource for both teachers and students, this enlarged third edition of Number Treasury is designed to guide readers through the steps that will help them to think critically, to provide explanations and to formulate conjectures about different families of positive integers. Its 137 exercises and 28 'investigations', at three levels of difficulty, cover such intriguing topics as magic squares, palindromic numbers and twin primes. Detailed solutions are provided at the back of the book.
Any Number of Things You Didn't Know... and Some You Did
Money, music, movies, life on Earth and the human body, sport, science and space – everything, in fact, is governed by numbers. Arranged (numerically of course) in sections on subjects from the here and now of the modern world to infinity, Numeroids presents 1,300 pieces of numerical information. There is something for everyone, whether your interest is in the number of teeth a tortoise has (zero), or the size of the US defence budget (c.$689 billion).
Rogerson's Book of Numbers
The Culture of Numbers from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World
Barnaby Rogerson counts down from the many millions of angels who could dance on a pin to the ultimate zero of Nirvana. On the way he delves into the cultural significance of important integers, explaining why 13 is unlucky in the West but 14 is the number to avoid in China, how John Buchan decided to write about 39 steps and which six patrician families were Rome’s greatest.
Gunpowder and Geometry
From his humble beginning as a Newcastle pit boy in the 1740s, Charles Hutton rose to become a Fellow of the Royal Society by the time he was 40. This biography follows his meteoric ascent and describes his contributions to mathematics, including work on the force of gunpowder and calculating the mass of the Earth.
Gunpowder and Geometry
The Life of Charles Hutton: Pit Boy, Mathematician and Scientific Rebel
From his humble beginning as a Newcastle pit boy in the 1740s Charles Hutton rose to become a Fellow of the Royal Society by the time he was 40. This biography follows his meteoric ascent and describes his contributions to mathematics, including work on the force of gunpowder and calculating the mass of the Earth.
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.
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.
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.
The 50 Most Elemental Concepts in Chemistry, Each Explained in Half a Minute
Matter is broken down into its fundamentals in these 50 articles on subjects relating to the nature of atoms and molecules, the structure and uses of natural and synthetic materials, and the properties and behaviour of solids, liquids and gases.
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.
Get Smart: Maths
The Big Ideas You Should Know
Aiming to fire her reader’s mathematical imagination, Julia Collins presents an introduction to 50 concepts in mathematics, from ‘fundamental’ topics such as number systems and game theory to the ‘mind-blowing’, including the Riemann hypothesis and other Millennium Prize Problems. Each chapter has five questions to assess your understanding of a concept, ‘Ten Things a Genius Knows’ explaining it, and a bluffer’s guide to make you sound as if you know what you’re talking about.
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.
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 Curious Science of Our Bodies
Can the power of thought outwit ageing? What’s it like to be struck by lightning? Could 3D printers make body parts? These are among the intriguing questions discussed in stories that explore the stranger aspects of the human body. These 17 articles were originally published on mosaicscience.com, an online magazine created by Wellcome.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On the Origin of Species
By Means of Natural Selection
A landmark of scientific investigation and discovery by the pioneer of evolutionary biology, Origin of Species (1859) presented Darwin’s revolutionary theory that the process of natural selection ensures the survival of those species most efficiently adapted to their environment. This is a reprint of the sixth (1872) edition, the last published in Darwin’s lifetime.
The Strange and Infinite World of Numbers
For devotees of recreational mathematics, Tim Sole presents 28 numbers, starting with .301 (concerning Newcomb’s formula for the proportion of naturally occurring numbers beginning with the digit N) and ending ‘Beyond Infinity’ with Cantor’s amazing discovery that there are an infinite number of numbers bigger than infinity. Among chapters on topics such as the fundamental constant of music (1.059) and Euler’s identity, there are 38 conundrums (with answers) for the mathematically inclined.
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.
Mapping the Oceans
Discovering the World Beneath Our Seas
Produced in association with the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, Mapping the Oceans records millennia of human efforts to navigate and chart the seas, first for trade and more recently for research. Illustrated with historic maps, paintings and prints, it explores the development of navigational instruments, the principles of latitude and longitude, marine biology, and the new technologies that have allowed scientists to probe the oceans’ depths.
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.
How the World Works
From the creation of Stonehenge to the invention of telescopes and the emerging field of astrobiology, this volume traces humanity’s fascination with the cosmos and our place in it, recording the advances in technology that have expanded our knowledge but also revealed new areas to explore.
How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World
‘Precision is an integral, unchallenged, and seemingly essential component of our modern social, mercantile, scientific, mechanical, and intellectual landscapes’ – yet most people are not entirely sure what precision is. From John ‘Iron-Mad’ Wilkinson’s work on steam engines in late 18th-century Britain to Seiko’s factory in Morioka, Japan and its quartz watches that proved too precise for some people, Simon Winchester’s history of precision describes inventors and inventions as diverse as guns, jet engines and Leica lenses.
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.
Einstein's Unfinished Symphony
The Story of a Gamble, Two Black Holes, and a New Age of Astronomy
MIT professor Bartusiak explains how the LIGO Scientific Collaboration in Italy first observed the gravitational waves from the merger of two black holes, which in spite of Einstein’s doubts provided proof of the last measurable prediction of the general theory of relativity.
Mission Moon 3-D
Reliving the Great Space Race
With a foreword by the 1972 Lunar Module Pilot Charlie Duke and an Afterword by Jim Lovell, Commander of the Apollo 13 mission, this volume tells the story of the space race in the USSR and the West that culminated in the Apollo 11's lunar landing and Neil Armstrong’s ‘giant leap’ in July 1969. The whole scientific adventure is lavishly illustrated with photographs, including many ‘side-by-side’ stereoscopic pairs offering a 3-D lunar experience. A Lite Owl stereoscopic viewer is included.
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+
A Biographic Portrait
From his early childhood, when his intelligence and maverick thinking led him into mischief, to his early death from pancreatic cancer in 2011, this biography presents Steve Jobs’s life and career in a blend of narrative and infographics. Recalling turning points such as his first meeting with Steve Wozniak, it examines the ambition and passion that made him one of the world’s most influential people.
Up-to-the-Minute Discoveries, Facts and Inventions
Exploring some of the most remarkable recent innovations in science and understanding of the natural world. Colin Barras explains them in simple terms and offers insights into the impact they could have. Covering fields including space, technology and human behaviour, he reaches some surprising conclusions, showing for example how farming may have been humankind’s biggest mistake, or how nasal cells can improve spinal injuries.
How Do You Get an Egg Into a Bottle
Scientific Puzzles to Baffle and Bemuse Your Brain
The egg problem is one of the 60 weird and wonderful science puzzles in this set of question and answer cards. You can challenge yourself or friends to work out why boomerangs come back or how to drive on ice: the solution of each problem is explained on the reverse of the card.
How to Code a Human
With easily accessible text and hundreds of photographs and diagrams, geneticist and journalist Kat Arney presents the story of our genes. Following an insight into how traces of Neanderthal DNA still exist in modern humans, she explains in simple terms how genetics determine our appearance, health and personality, and the benefits offered by scientific progress in the field.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 Enlightened Mr. Parkinson
The Pioneering English Surgeon Who Identified Parkinson's Disease
In 1817 James Parkinson defined the disease that bears his name so precisely that it is still diagnosed today by recognizing the symptoms he identified. In this study, the story of Parkinson’s significant contributions to the Age of Enlightenment is told through his three passions – medicine, radical politics and fossils. The book restores a neglected pioneer to his rightful place in history and creates a vivid portrait of life as an ‘apothecary surgeon’ in Georgian London.
13 Journeys Through Space and Time
Christmas Lectures from the Royal Institution
With a foreword by the British astronaut Tim Peake, this collection of Christmas Lectures by world-class scientists and astronomers includes Bernard Lovell and Martin Ryle on the exploration of the universe, Carl Sagan on the planets, and Kevin Fong on how to survive in space.
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 Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome
Only 2 per cent of our DNA contains the codes to produce proteins, so for many years scientists assumed that the rest of the genome was simply 'junk'. However, modern research is finally identifying the many vital functions performed by these 'dark' regions. In this book Carey introduces the most significant insights, with clear explanations for the general reader, and looks forward to the opportunities they provide for revolutionary developments in the treatment of a range of medical conditions.