Marcus Chown - Author

About the Author

Marcus Chown is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. Formerly a radio astronomer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, he is currently cosmology consultant of the weekly science magazine New Scientist. He is the author of the bestselling Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You, The Never Ending Days of Being Dead and The Magic Furnace. He also wrote The Solar System, the bestselling app for iPad, which won the Future Book Award 2011.

Featured books by Marcus Chown

The Ascent of Gravity The Quest to Understand the Force That Explains Everything

The Ascent of Gravity The Quest to Understand the Force That Explains Everything

Author: Marcus Chown Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/04/2017

Gravity is the weakest force in the everyday world yet it is the strongest force in the universe. It was the first force to be recognised and described yet it is the least understood. It is a 'force' that keeps your feet on the ground yet no such force actually exists. Gravity, to steal the words of Winston Churchill, is 'a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma'. And penetrating that enigma promises to answer the biggest questions in science: what is space? What is time? What is the universe? And where did it all come from?

What a Wonderful World Life, the Universe and Everything in a Nutshell

What a Wonderful World Life, the Universe and Everything in a Nutshell

Author: Marcus Chown Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/09/2014

Why do we breathe? What is money? How does the brain work? Why did life invent sex? Does time really exist? How does capitalism work - or not, as the case may be? Where do mountains come from? How do computers work? How did humans get to dominate the Earth? Why is there something rather than nothing? In What a Wonderful World, Marcus Chown, bestselling author of Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You and the Solar System app, uses his vast scientific knowledge and deep understanding of extremely complex processes to answer simple questions about the workings of our everyday lives. Lucid, witty and hugely entertaining, it explains the basics of our essential existence, stopping along the way to show us why the Atlantic is widening by a thumbs' length each year, how money permits trade to time travel why the crucial advantage humans had over Neanderthals was sewing and why we are all living in a giant hologram.

eBooks of the Month
What a Wonderful World One Man's Attempt to Explain the Big Stuff

What a Wonderful World One Man's Attempt to Explain the Big Stuff

Author: Marcus Chown Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/10/2013

November 2013 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. A brilliant book that makes you realise, with more than a hint of humour, how much you don’t know. Why do we breathe? What is money? How does the brain work? Why did life invent sex? Does time really exist? to name but a few. Dip into - or read the whole thing and really impress your friends.

Books of the Month

Other books by Marcus Chown

Breakthrough

Breakthrough

Author: Marcus Chown Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/08/2021

The spellbinding stories of the scientists whose eureka! breakthroughs in modern physics reveal science's astonishing predictive power. 'An excellent popular science book.' DARA O BRIAIN 'A thoroughly informative and entertaining read.' ANNA BURNS, Booker Prize-winning author of Milkman 'One of the best-written books about phsyics I have ever come across.' POPULAR SCIENCE 'Highly entertaining and accessible.' IRISH TIMES 'Fascinating, life enhancing entertainment.' PROSPECT 'Thoroughly enjoyable . . . Chown has done it again.' BBC SKY AT NIGHT Breakthrough takes us on a breathtaking, mind-altering tour of the eureka! moments of modern physics. Charting the spellbinding stories of the scientists who predicted and discovered the existence of unknown planets, black holes, invisible force fields, ripples in the fabric of space-time, unsuspected subatomic particles and even antimatter, Marcus Chown reveals science's greatest mystery: its astonishing predictive power. *** Breakthrough was previously published in 2020 in hardback under the title The Magicians.

The Magicians

The Magicians

Author: Marcus Chown Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/02/2020

The spellbinding stories of the scientists whose eureka! breakthroughs in modern physics reveal science's astonishing predictive power. 'An excellent popular science book.' DARA O BRIAIN 'A thoroughly informative and entertaining read.' ANNA BURNS, Booker Prize-winning author of Milkman 'One of the best-written books about phsyics I have ever come across.' POPULAR SCIENCE 'Highly entertaining and accessible.' IRISH TIMES 'Fascinating, life enhancing entertainment.' PROSPECT 'Thoroughly enjoyable . . . Chown has down it again.' BBC SKY AT NIGHT The Magicians takes us on a breathtaking, mind-altering tour of the eureka! moments of modern physics. Charting the spellbinding stories of the scientists who predicted and discovered the existence of unknown planets, black holes, invisible force fields, ripples in the fabric of space-time, unsuspected subatomic particles and even antimatter, Marcus Chown reveals science's greatest mystery: its astonishing predictive power.

Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand

Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand

Author: Marcus Chown Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/10/2018

Bestselling author Marcus Chown explores some of the most profound and important science about us, our world and beyond by examining some astonishing facts that reveal the vast complexities of the universe. There is much about our world that seems to make perfect sense, and important scientific breakthroughs have helped us understand ourselves, our planet and our place in the universe in fascinating detail. But our adventures in space, our deepening understanding of the quantum world and huge leaps in technology over the last century have also revealed a universe far stranger than we could ever have imagined. With brilliant clarity and wit, bestselling author Marcus Chown examines the profound science behind fifty remarkable scientific facts that help explain the vast complexities of our existence. Did you know that you could fit the whole human race in the volume of a sugar cube? Or that the electrical energy in a single mosquito is enough to cause a global mass extinction? Or that, out there in the cosmos, there are an infinite number of copies of you reading an infinite number of copies of this? Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand is a mind-bending journey through some of the most weird and wonderful facts about our universe, vividly illuminating the hidden truths that govern our everyday lives.

The Ascent of Gravity

The Ascent of Gravity

Author: Marcus Chown Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/04/2018

The Sunday Times Science Book of the Year 2017 'Does Einstein proud . . . Eminently readable' Guardian 'No one has covered the topic with such a light touch and joie de vivre . . . a delight' Brian Clegg Gravity was the first force to be recognised and described yet it is still the least understood. If we can unlock its secrets, the force that keeps our feet on the ground holds the key to understanding the biggest questions in science: what is space? What is time? What is the universe? And where did it all come from? Award-winning writer Marcus Chown takes us on an unforgettable journey from the recognition of the 'force' of gravity in 1666 to the discovery of gravitational waves in the twenty-first century. And, as we stand on the brink of a seismic revolution in our worldview, he brings us up to speed on the greatest challenge ever to confront physics.

Ascent of Gravity

Ascent of Gravity

Author: Marcus Chown Format: Ebook Release Date: 07/11/2017

Why the force that keeps our feet on the ground holds the key to understanding the nature of time and the origin of the universe.Gravity is the weakest force in the everyday world yet it is the strongest force in the universe. It was the first force to be recognized and described yet it is the least understood. It is a "e;force"e; that keeps your feet on the ground yet no such force actually exists.Gravity, to steal the words of Winston Churchill, is "e;a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."e; And penetrating that enigma promises to answer the biggest questions in science: what is space? What is time? What is the universe? And where did it all come from?Award-winning writer Marcus Chown takes us on an unforgettable journey from the recognition of the "e;force"e; of gravity in 1666 to the discovery of gravitational waves in 2015. And, as we stand on the brink of a seismic revolution in our worldview, he brings us up to speed on the greatest challenge ever to confront physics.

Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You

Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You

Author: Marcus Chown Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/09/2014

The two towering achievements of modern physics are quantum theory and Einstein's general theory of relativity. Together, they explain virtually everything about the world we live in. But, almost a century after their advent, most people haven't the slightest clue what either is about. Did you know that there's so much empty space inside matter that the entire human race could be squeezed into the volume of a sugar cube? Or that you grow old more quickly on the top floor of a building than on the ground floor? And did you realize that 1% of the static on a TV tuned between stations is the relic of the Big Bang? Marcus Chown, the bestselling author of What A Wonderful World and the Solar System app, explains all with characteristic wit, colour and clarity, from the Big Bang and Einstein's general theory of relativity to probability, gravity and quantum theory. 'Chown discusses special and general relativity, probablity waves, quantum entanglement, gravity and the Big Bang, with humour and beautiful clarity, always searching for the most vivid imagery.' Steven Poole, Guardian

We Need to Talk About Kelvin

We Need to Talk About Kelvin

Author: Marcus Chown Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2010

Look around you. The reflection of your face in a window tells you that the universe is orchestrated by chance. The iron in a spot of blood on your finger tells you that somewhere out in space there is furnace at a temperature of 4.5 billion degrees. Your TV tells you that the universe had a beginning. In fact, your very existence tells you that this may not be the only universe but merely one among an infinity of others, stacked like the pages of a never-ending book. Marcus Chown, author of Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You, What a Wonderful World and The Solar System, takes familiar features of the world we know and shows how they can be used to explain profound truths about the ultimate nature of reality. His new book will change the way you see the universe: with Chown as your guide, cutting-edge science is made clear and meaningful by a falling leaf, or a rose, or a starry night sky... We Need To Talk About Kelvin: What Everyday Things Tell Us About The Universe is a hugely accessible exploration of quantum theory, relativity, cosmology, biology and chemistry. Taking our everyday experiences, Marcus Chown quickly and painlessly explains the unltimate truths of reality.

Afterglow of Creation

Afterglow of Creation

Author: Marcus Chown Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/01/2010

Stephen Hawking described it as 'the discovery of the century, if not of all time', yet the scientists who first detected the cosmic radiation that was identified as the afterglow of the big bang had to admit that it was more by accident than intention. At first its discoverers mistook the readings for the disruption caused by the droppings of pigeons that had nested in their telescope, and yet they went on to win the Nobel prize. In the mid-1990s New Scientist writer Marcus Chown drove across America to interview the key scientists who had made this astonishing discovery. Their account and Chown's description of their achievement was published to much acclaim. But now, over a decade later, in this new and fully revised edition he goes behind the hype and the hysteria to provide a clear and lively explanation of one of the biggest discoveries in modern science - and a brilliant picture of what happened next.

Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You

Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You

Author: Marcus Chown Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/09/2008

The two towering achievements of modern physics are quantum theory and Einstein's general theory of relativity. But, almost a century after their advent, most people haven't the slightest clue what either is about. Did you know that there's so much empty space inside matter that the entire human race could be squeezed into the volume of a sugar cube? Or that you grow old more quickly on the top floor of a building than on the ground floor? Get set for the most entertaining science book of the year.

The Never-Ending Days of Being Dead

The Never-Ending Days of Being Dead

Author: Marcus Chown Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/09/2007

In Chown's most ambitious book to date he sets out to answer some of the most provocative questions of today: - Is Elvis alive and kicking in another space domain? - Will we ever find ET? - What's beyond the edge of the Universe? - Did aliens build the stars? - Can we live forever?

The Magic Furnace

The Magic Furnace

Author: Marcus Chown Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/08/2000

Every atom in our bodies has an extraordinary history. Our blood, our food, our books, our clothes - everything contains atoms forged in blistering furnaces deep inside stars, which were blown into space by those stars' cataclysmic explosions and deaths. From red giants - stars so enormous they could engulf a million suns - to supernova explosions - the most violent events in the universe - the birth of every atom was marked by cosmic events on an enormous scale, against a backdrop of unimaginable heat and cold, brightness and darkness, space and time. But how did we discover the astonishing truth about our cosmic origins? THE MAGIC FURNACE is Marcus Chown's extraordinary account of how scientists unravelled the mystery of atoms, and helped to explain the dawn of life. It is one of the greatest detective stories in the history of science. In fact, it is two puzzles intertwined, for the stars contain the key to unlocking the secret of atoms, and the atoms the solution to the secret of stars.

Author Info

Author's Website

https://www.marcuschown.com/

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