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

by Marcus Chown

Popular Science The Real World

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

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?

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

'Entertaining and at times mind-boggling guide to the weakest of nature's fundamental forces, which also controls the fate of the universe'
Manjit Kumar The Times

'Chown is good company. He tells his story clearly and sets out the key ideas without recourse to jargon and intimidating mathematics ... There has never been a better time to study gravity, Arkani-Hamed insists, and Chown's eminently readable book helps us understand why'
Graham Farmelo Guardian

'Marcus Chown is one of the UK's best writers on physics and astronomy - it's excellent to see him back on what he does best ... no one has covered the topic with such a light touch and joie de vivre as Chown ... It gives what I think is the best introduction to string theory at this basic descriptive level I've ever seen ... a very readable exploration of humanity's gradual realisation of what gravity was about with all of Chown's usual sparkle ... a delight'
Brian Clegg popularscience
Everyone thinks it sucks but in most of the Universe it blows. That aphoristic introduction hints at the genial wit and scientific flair that await in Marcus Chown

's primer on gravity, which traces the historic arc of our understanding of the force. He shows how Isaac Newton's 1687 Principia - which distilled fundamental laws from the complexity of the cosmos - helps to explain phenomena such as tides. He analyses Albert Einstein's reformulation of gravity as warped space-time. And he gazes into the weird realm of quantum theory - and the undiscovered country of the next big questions'
Barbara Kiser Nature

'Compact and accessible while remaining comprehensive. A welcome addition to anyone's popular science library, written in a relaxed style and full of relevant quotations'
BBC Sky at Night Magazine

'A readable romp through the history of cosmology and its possible future, all tied together through the story of how we have understood gravity ... Chown is excellent on bringing out the temporary nature of theories, as well as the messy business of refining them'
thebookbag 'An accessible history of the most well known but least understood force
Big Issue North

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781474601863
Publication date: 06/04/2017
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781474601863
Publication date: 6th April 2017
Author: Marcus Chown
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 288 pages
Genres: Popular Science, The Real World,
Categories: Gravity, Popular science, History of science,

About Marcus Chown

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.

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