Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have a large and passionate following. Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent of the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there were a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last?
"Just two words needed."
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is a magnificent treasury of the best short works of Richard P. Feynman, from interviews and speeches to lectures and printed articles. A sweeping, wide-ranging collection, it presents an intimate and fascinating view of a life in science - a life like no other. From his ruminations on science in our culture to his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, this book will delight anyone interested in the world of ideas.
"Narrator even sounds like Feynman!"
Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And finally, why is there something rather than nothing? Krauss’ answers to these and other timeless questions, in a wildly popular lecture on YouTube, has attracted almost a million viewers. One of the few prominent scientists to have actively crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss reveals that modern science is indeed addressing the question of why there is something rather than nothing—with surprising and fascinating results.
"If you are new to the subject, listen to it!"
Why we think it’s a great listen: You thought he was a stodgy scientist with funny hair, but Isaacson and Hermann reveal an eloquent, intense, and selfless human being who not only shaped science with his theories, but politics and world events in the 20th century as well. Based on the newly released personal letters of Albert Einstein, Walter Isaacson explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos.
"Surprise: Two books in one!"
Physicists have been exploring, debating, and questioning the general theory of relativity ever since Albert Einstein first presented itin 1915. Their work has uncovered a number of the universe's more surprising secrets, and many believe further wonders remain hidden within the theory's tangle of equations, waiting to be exposed. In this sweeping narrative of science and culture, astrophysicist Pedro Ferreira brings general relativity to life through the story of the brilliant physicists, mathematicians, and astronomers who have taken up its challenge.
"A Love Letter to General Relativity"
How much can we know about the world? In this audiobook physicist Marcelo Gleiser traces our search for answers to the most fundamental questions of existence, the origin of the universe, the nature of reality, and the limits of knowledge. In so doing he reaches a provocative conclusion: Science, like religion, is fundamentally limited as a tool for understanding the world. As science and its philosophical interpretations advance, we face the unsettling recognition of how much we don't know.
"Guidebook for cool things about physics and math"
Napoleon's Buttons is the fascinating account of 17 groups of molecules that have greatly influenced the course of history. These molecules provided the impetus for early exploration, and made possible the voyages of discovery that ensued. The molecules resulted in grand feats of engineering and spurred advances in medicine and law; they determined what we now eat, drink, and wear. A change as small as the position of an atom can lead to enormous alterations in the properties of a substance.
"Wish one of the authors would have read this book"
This landmark book is for those of us who prefer words to equations; this is the story of the ultimate quest for knowledge, the ongoing search for the secrets at the heart of time and space. Its author, Stephen W. Hawking, is arguably the greatest mind since Einstein. From the vantage point of the wheelchair, where he has spent the last 20 years trapped by Lou Gehrig's disease, Professor Hawking has transformed our view of the universe. A Brief History of Time is Hawking's classic introduction to today's most important scientific ideas.
"Great book, but...."
Here for the first time, in rich human, political, and scientific detail, is the complete story of how the bomb was developed, from the turn-of-the-century discovery of the vast energy locked inside the atom to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan. Few great discoveries have evolved so swiftly - or have been so misunderstood. From the theoretical discussions of nuclear energy to the bright glare of Trinity, there was a span of hardly more than 25 years.
"Fantastic book, very poor narration"
To better put into perspective the various issues surrounding energy in the 21st century, you need to understand the essential science behind how energy works. And you need a reliable source whose focus is on giving you the facts you need to form your own educated opinions.
In seven brief lessons, Italian theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli guides listeners with admirable clarity through the most transformative physics breakthroughs of the 20th and 21st centuries. This playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics, already a major best seller in Italy, explains general relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, and the role of humans in the strange world Rovelli describes.
"Great book for the scientifically curious"
Reporter Sam Kean reveals the periodic table as it’s never been seen before. Not only is it one of man's crowning scientific achievements, it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.
"Excellent, if unfocused"
No subject is bigger than reality itself, and nothing is more challenging to understand, since what counts as reality is undergoing continual revision and has been for centuries. The quest to pin down what's real and what's illusory is both philosophical and scientific, a metaphysical search for ultimate reality that goes back to the ancient Greeks. For the last 400 years, this search has been increasingly guided by scientists, who create theories and test them in order to define and redefine reality.
"Good overview of multiple areas of science"
"It doesn't take an Einstein to understand modern physics," says Professor Wolfson at the outset of these 24 lectures on what may be the most important subjects in the universe: relativity and quantum physics. Both have reputations for complexity. But the basic ideas behind them are, in fact, simple and comprehensible by anyone. These dynamic and illuminating lectures begin with a brief overview of theories of physical reality starting with Aristotle and culminating in Newtonian or "classical" physics.
"Great primer for hard SF fans and physics laymen"
Why is red meat red? How do they decaffeinate coffee? Do you wish you understood the science of food but don't want to plow through dry, technical books? In What Einstein Told His Cook, University of Pittsburgh chemistry professor emeritus and award-winning Washington Post food columnist Robert L. Wolke provides reliable and witty explanations for your most burning food questions, while debunking misconceptions and helping you interpret confusing advertising and labeling.
"Everything you want to know about Kitchen Science"
In this irreverent and illuminating audiobook, acclaimed writer and scientist Leonard Mlodinow shows us how randomness, chance, and probability reveal a tremendous amount about our daily lives, and how we misunderstand the significance of everything from a casual conversation to a major financial setback. As a result, successes and failures in life are often attributed to clear and obvious causes, when in actuality they are more profoundly influenced by chance.
"Interested in statistics? This is the book."
In a rare blend of scientific insight and writing as elegant as the theories it explains, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away the layers of mystery surrounding string theory to reveal a universe that consists of 11 dimensions where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter-from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas-is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy.
"Very Very good"
From Schrodinger's cat to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, this book untangles the weirdness of the quantum world. Quantum mechanics underpins modern science and provides us with a blueprint for reality itself. And yet it has been said that if you're not shocked by it, you don't understand it. But is quantum physics really so unknowable? Is reality really so strange? And just how can cats be half alive and half dead at the same time?
"So far so good. It's not going to let down."
In this 12-lecture masterpiece of scientific reporting, you'll learn everything you need to know to fully grasp the significance of this discovery, including the basics of quantum mechanics; the four forces that comprise the Standard Model of particle physics; how these forces are transmitted by fields and particles; and the importance of symmetry in physics.
"Very well done"
Time rules our lives, woven into the very fabric of the universe-from the rising and setting of the sun to the cycles of nature, the thought processes in our brains, and the biorhythms in our day. Nothing so pervades our existence and yet is so difficult to explain. But now, in a series of 24 riveting lectures, you can grasp exactly why - as you take a mind-expanding journey through the past, present, and future, guided by a noted author and scientist.
"Familiar Ground, But Well Told"
More than 50 years ago, John Coltrane drew the 12 musical notes in a circle and connected them with straight lines, forming a five-pointed star. Inspired by Einstein, Coltrane had put physics and geometry at the core of his music. Physicist and jazz musician Stephon Alexander returns the favor, using jazz to answer physics' most vexing questions about the past and future of the universe.
When we look out into the depths of the cosmos, we see that matter isn't evenly distributed. Mixed in amongst the nebulae, galaxies, and whatnot, there are regions that contain massive voids. Some voids are billions of light years in length. One has to ask, then, how visible matter came to be so unevenly distributed. Moreover, why does hadronic matter only account for four percent of the stuff that makes up the universe? This audiobook takes a look at what nothingness is and asks the question - where did everything come from in the first place?
Despite the overwhelming diversity of life on Earth, one theme has dominated its evolution: the apparently simple act of moving from one place to another. Restless Creatures is the first book for a general audience telling the incredible story of locomotion in human and animal evolution.
Britain's most famous mathematician takes us to the edge of knowledge to show us what we cannot know. Science is king. Every week headlines announce new breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe, new technologies that will transform our environment, new medical advances that will extend our lives. Science is giving us unprecedented insight into some of the big questions that have challenged humanity ever since we've been able to formulate those questions.
The European Space Agency released a map of the afterglow of the big bang map, which contains anomalies that challenge our understanding of the universe. This is the first book to address what will be an epoch-defining scientific paradigm shift. Will we ever know what happened before the big bang? What's at the bottom of a black hole? Are there universes beyond our own? Does time exist? Are the once immutable laws of physics changing?
Drawing upon a lifetime of scientific expertise and an abiding love of nature, Richard Fortey uses his small wood to tell a wider story of the ever-changing British landscape, human influence on the countryside over many centuries and the vital interactions between flora, fauna and fungi. The trees provide a majestic stage for woodland animals and plants to reveal their own stories.
The more I learned, the more I realised this was an Australia I hardly knew. This was stormy weather Australia, an Australia of shipwrecks and sealers, of brutality and extermination, of folly and heroism, of wild weather and explorers in flimsy boats, of 1,000-foot cliffs and amazing birds and strange vegetation, of places well trodden and others believed never to have felt the impact of a human foot. This was a truly gothic Australia, as real and as valid as the gold and the drovers and the deserts yet known to almost no one.
Of all the things we know about the universe, what do we really know about the nature of space? For example, is there a beyond space? Can space exist in the absence of matter? Though it may seem like a dumb question - 'where' does space come from? This essay takes a look at what some scientists have to say on this issue; the work also contains many references on the topic of spacetime and relativity, which should be useful to physics students.
One-hundred-fifty years later, the creation-evolution debate still rages. Both sides are half-right. And both are wrong. Meet the opponents: in one corner - Proponents of Intelligent Design like William Dembski, Stephen Meyer, and Michael Behe. Many defy scientific consensus, maintaining evolution is a fraud. They challenge decades of data in biology, chemistry, genetics, and paleontology.
"Best book on evolution I have ever read!"
Using interviews, NASA oral histories, and recently declassified material, Into the Black pieces together the dramatic untold story of the Columbia mission and the brave people who dedicated themselves to help the United States succeed in the age of space exploration. On April 12, 1981, NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral. It was the most advanced, state-of-the-art flying machine ever built, challenging the minds and imagination of America's top engineers and pilots.
Surely you have heard the story of the astronaut coming back to Earth, looking as young and fit as when he left, with everybody else on Earth hardly being able to walk because of the years added to their age as a result of the difference in how time passed on Earth as opposed to how time passed for the astronaut. Although not literally true, there is a scientific explanation for this. Indeed, Einstein's Theory of Relativity is perfectly applicable, and explains the particularities of the world we live in.
The field of mind-body medicine is plagued by wild claims that mislead patients and instil false hope. But as scientists in a range of fields uncover solid evidence that our minds influence our bodies quite profoundly, there is now great promise, too. Jo Marchant attempts to use scientific research to find out if alternative medicines work; if our thoughts, beliefs and emotions influence our physical health; and if we can train our brains to heal our bodies.
Christophe Galfard's mission in life is to spread modern scientific ideas to the general public in entertaining ways. Using his considerable skills as a brilliant theoretical physicist and successful young-adult author, The Universe in Your Hand employs the immediacy of simple, direct language to show us, not explain to us, the theories that underpin everything we know about our universe.
The authoritative story of the headline-making discovery of gravitational waves - by an eminent theoretical astrophysicist and award-winning writer.
""new" book crammed with old information"
The Flat Earth Clues book gives you 12 compelling reasons why you should rethink the globe model that you have been taught. Before you were born, before your parents, your grandparents, before you even had a family line. There was the illusion, the trick, the lie that you lived on a small spinning rock flying through space. You thought it was true, because children don't believe in lies. And you grew up, and it was still true, because science is never wrong....
"This is not a book."
The atom. The big bang. DNA. Natural selection. All ideas that have revolutionised science - and that were dismissed out of hand when they first appeared. The surprises haven't stopped: here, Michael Brooks, best-selling author of 13 Things That Don't Make Sense, investigates the new wave of unexpected insights that are shaping the future of scientific discovery. Through 11 radical new insights, Brooks takes us to the extreme frontiers of what we understand about the world.
Robyn Williams reflects on why science matters, after 40 years of ABC RN's The Science Show. The Science Show with Robyn Williams on Radio National is one of the longest running programs on Australian radio. Scientific issues, debates, events, personalities, exposing scientific fraud, discoveries and broadcasting pranks have been its hallmarks, and the show has given Australians fascinating insights into all manner of things.
Computer code and human code found inside the DNA molecule that is the core of every cell in our bodies are practically identical in what they attempt to accomplish. The only difference between the two types of code is that human code also includes the instructions to replicate the individual while the computer code has no such instruction set yet.
A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were - and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book.
"Better than prior reviews led me to believe"
What is the nature of the material world? How does it work? What is the universe and how was it formed? What is life? Where do we come from and how did we evolve? How and why do we think? What does it mean to be human? How do we know? There are many different versions of our creation story. This book tells the version according to modern science. It is a unique account, starting at the Big Bang and travelling right up to the emergence of humans as conscious intelligent beings, 13.8 billion years later.
A dazzling tour of the universe as Einstein saw it. How did Albert Einstein come up with the theories that changed the way we look at the world? By thinking in pictures. Michio Kaku, leading theoretical physicist (a cofounder of string theory) and best-selling science storyteller, shows how Einstein used seemingly simple images to lead a revolution in science. With originality and expertise, Kaku uncovers the surprising beauty that lies at the heart of Einstein's cosmos
Whether it is true or not that not more than 12 persons in all the world are able to understand Einstein's Theory, it is nevertheless a fact that there is a constant demand for information about this much-debated topic of relativity. The books published on the subject are so technical that only a person trained in pure physics and higher mathematics is able to fully understand them. In order to make a popular explanation of this far-reaching theory available, the present book was written.
"This "book" is a joke - a bad joke"
The laws of thermodynamics drive everything that happens in the universe. From the sudden expansion of a cloud of gas to the cooling of hot metal - everything is moved or restrained by four simple laws. Written by Peter Atkins, one of the world's leading authorities on thermodynamics, this powerful and compact introduction explains what these four laws are and how they work, using accessible language and virtually no mathematics.
"Accessible, but needs the figures"
In this illuminating book, the renowned theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that fundamental physics - the search for the laws of nature - is losing its way. Ambitious ideas about extra dimensions, exotic particles, multiple universes, and strings have captured the publics imagination -- and the imagination of experts.
At the dawn of the 20th century, humanity was facing global disaster. Mass starvation, long predicted for the fast-growing population, was about to become a reality. A call went out to the worlds scientists to find a solution. This is the story of the two enormously gifted, fatally flawed men who found it: the brilliant, self-important Fritz Haber and the reclusive, alcoholic Carl Bosch. Together they discovered a way to make bread out of air, built city-sized factories, controlled world markets, and saved millions of lives.
The Quantum Rules applies the laws of physics to explain everything from relationships and human nature to the effects of globalization. It achieves the impossible task of making quantum physics deeply relevant to all listeners - even those with no interest in science. With a lively and engaging tone, author Kunal Das ponders the underlying truths and patterns in our shared and common life experiences, using insights derived from the fundamental laws of physics.
"More Self-Help than Science"
Quantum theory is the most revolutionary discovery in physics since Newton. This book gives a lucid, exciting, and accessible account of the surprising and counterintuitive ideas that shape our understanding of the sub-atomic world. It does not disguise the problems of interpretation that still remain unsettled 75 years after the initial discoveries. The main text makes no use of equations, but there is a Mathematical Appendix for those desiring stronger fare.
"A Good Overall Review"
The first insider account of the work at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the discovery of the Higgs particle - and what it all means for our understanding of the laws of nature. The discovery of the Higgs boson made headlines around the world. Two scientists, Peter Higgs and François Englert, whose theories predicted its existence, shared a Nobel Prize. The discovery was the culmination of the largest experiment ever run, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.
"Surprisingly accessible and full of personality!"
Paul Dirac was among the great scientific geniuses of the modern age. One of the discoverers of quantum mechanics, the most revolutionary theory of the past century, his contributions had a unique insight, eloquence, clarity, and mathematical power. His prediction of antimatter was one of the greatest triumphs in the history of physics.
"Excellent, well written and narrated biography"
Combining elements of Rocket Boys and Elegant Universe, Time Traveler follows Mallett's discovery of Einstein's work on space-time, his study of Godel's work on a solution of Einstein's equation that might allow for time travel, and his own research in theoretical physics spanning 30 years that culminated in his recent discovery of the effects of circulating laser light and its application to time travel.
"Moving Story, Fascinating Science"
E=mc2: It may be Einstein’s most well-known contribution to modern science, but how many people understand the thought process or physics behind this famous equation? In this collection of his seven most important essays on physics, Einstein guides the listener step-by-step through the many layers of scientific theory that formed a starting point for his discoveries.
"Pure Einstein but not an introduction"
At once elegant and riveting, Sync tells the story of the dawn of a new science. Steven Strogatz, a leading mathematician in the fields of chaos and complexity theory, explains how enormous systems can synchronize themselves, from the electrons in a superconductor to the pacemaker cells in our hearts. He shows that although these phenomena might seem unrelated on the surface, at a deeper level there is a connection, forged by the unifying power of mathematics.
"Engaging, but maybe better suited for non-audio"
For a physicist, all the world is information. The universe and its workings are the ebb and flow of information. We are all transient patterns of information, passing on the recipe for our basic forms to future generations using a four-letter digital code called DNA. In this engaging and mind-stretching account, Vlatko Vedral considers some of the deepest questions about the universe and considers the implications of interpreting it in terms of information.
"Excellent on all counts."
In the aftermath of the First World War, Einstein writes about his hopes for the League of Nations, his feelings as a German citizen about the growing anti-Semitism and nationalism of his country, and his myriad opinions about the current affairs of his day. In addition to these political perspectives, The World as I See It reveals the idealistic, spiritual, and witty side of this great intellectual as he approaches topics including "Good and Evil", "Religion and Science", "Active Pacifism", "Christianity and Judaism", and "Minorities".
"Enter a headline for your review"
Utterly beautiful. Profoundly disconcerting. Quantum theory is quite simply the most successful account of the physical universe ever devised. Its concepts underpin much of the 21st-century technology that we now take for granted. But at the same time it has completely undermined our ability to make sense of the world at its most fundamental level.
"Not for the Casual Reader"
What is science? Is there a real difference between science and myth? Is science objective? Can science explain everything? This Very Short Introduction provides a concise overview of the main themes of contemporary philosophy of science. Beginning with a short history of science to set the scene, Samir Okasha goes on to investigate the nature of scientific reasoning, scientific explanation, revolutions in science, and theories such as realism and anti-realism.