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Popular science

See below for a selection of the latest books from Popular science category. Presented with a red border are the Popular science books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Popular science books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

Reef Life An underwater memoir

Reef Life An underwater memoir

Author: Callum Roberts Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/11/2019

Reef Life is a marine science memoir - the story of how Britain's pre-eminent marine conservation scientist, fell in love with coral reefs. Callum Roberts begins as a young university student who had never been abroad, spending a summer helping to map the unknown reefs of Saudi Arabia. From the moment he first cleared his goggles, he's never looked back, moving on to survey Sharm al-Sheikh, and from there diving and researching all over the world, including the Australia's imperilled Great Barrier Reef and the more resilient reefs of the Caribbean, in a thirty-year career. His stories are astonishing, lyrical and laced with a wonderful wry humour - and they allow us privileged access to, and understanding of, the science of our oceans and reefs. Reading this book will also commit readers to support of Callum's goal to get marine reserve status for ten percent of the world's ocean.

Volume Control Hearing in a Deafening World

Volume Control Hearing in a Deafening World

Author: David Owen Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/10/2019

The Contact Paradox Challenging our Assumptions in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

The Contact Paradox Challenging our Assumptions in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Author: Keith Cooper Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/10/2019

In 1974 a message was beamed towards the stars by the giant Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico, a brief blast of radio waves designed to alert extraterrestrial civilisations to our existence. Of course, we don't know if such civilisations really exist. For the past six decades a small cadre of researchers have been on a quest to find out, as part of SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. So far, SETI has found no evidence of extraterrestrial life, but with more than a hundred billion stars in our Galaxy alone to search, the odds of quick success are stacked against us. The silence from the stars is prompting some researchers, inspired by the Arecibo transmission, to transmit more messages into space, in an effort to provoke a response from any civilisations out there that might otherwise be staying quiet. However, the act of transmitting raises troubling questions about the process of contact. We look for qualities such as altruism and intelligence in extraterrestrial life, but what do these mean to humankind? Can civilisations survive in the Universe long enough for us to detect them, and what can their existence, or lack thereof, reveal to us about our future prospects? Can we learn something about our own history when we explore what happens when two civilisations come into contact? Finally, do the answers tell us that it is safe to transmit, even though we know nothing about extraterrestrial life, or as Stephen Hawking argued, are we placing humanity in jeopardy by doing so? In The Contact Paradox, author Keith Cooper looks at how far SETI has come since its modest beginnings, and where it is going, by speaking to the leading names in the field and beyond. SETI forces us to confront our nature in a way that we seldom have before - where did we come from, where are we going, and who are we in the cosmic context of things? This book considers the assumptions that we make in our search for extraterrestrial life, and explores how those assumptions can teach us about ourselves.

The Contact Paradox Challenging our Assumptions in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

The Contact Paradox Challenging our Assumptions in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Author: Keith Cooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/10/2019

In 1974 a message was beamed towards the stars by the giant Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico, a brief blast of radio waves designed to alert extraterrestrial civilisations to our existence. Of course, we don't know if such civilisations really exist. For the past six decades a small cadre of researchers have been on a quest to find out, as part of SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. So far, SETI has found no evidence of extraterrestrial life, but with more than a hundred billion stars in our Galaxy alone to search, the odds of quick success are stacked against us. The silence from the stars is prompting some researchers, inspired by the Arecibo transmission, to transmit more messages into space, in an effort to provoke a response from any civilisations out there that might otherwise be staying quiet. However, the act of transmitting raises troubling questions about the process of contact. We look for qualities such as altruism and intelligence in extraterrestrial life, but what do these mean to humankind? Can civilisations survive in the Universe long enough for us to detect them, and what can their existence, or lack thereof, reveal to us about our future prospects? Can we learn something about our own history when we explore what happens when two civilisations come into contact? Finally, do the answers tell us that it is safe to transmit, even though we know nothing about extraterrestrial life, or as Stephen Hawking argued, are we placing humanity in jeopardy by doing so? In The Contact Paradox, author Keith Cooper looks at how far SETI has come since its modest beginnings, and where it is going, by speaking to the leading names in the field and beyond. SETI forces us to confront our nature in a way that we seldom have before - where did we come from, where are we going, and who are we in the cosmic context of things? This book considers the assumptions that we make in our search for extraterrestrial life, and explores how those assumptions can teach us about ourselves.

Fibonacci's Rabbits And 49 Other Breakthroughs that Revolutionised Mathematics

Fibonacci's Rabbits And 49 Other Breakthroughs that Revolutionised Mathematics

Author: Adam Hart-Davis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/10/2019

The word mathematics comes from the Greek word mathema, meaning knowledge or learning. And indeed mathematics is at the heart of almost all processes and patterns that occur in the modern world, yet many still find the discipline hard to fathom. Fibonacci's Rabbits solves this problem in bite-sized `hops', de scribing the 50 most critical discoveries and revolutionary moments in the history of mathematics from Ancient Greece to the present day.

The Crowd and the Cosmos Adventures in the Zooniverse

The Crowd and the Cosmos Adventures in the Zooniverse

The world of science has been transformed. Where once astronomers sat at the controls of giant telescopes in remote locations, praying for clear skies, now they have no need to budge from their desks, as data arrives in their inbox. And what they receive is overwhelming; projects now being built provide more data in a few nights than in the whole of humanities' history of observing the Universe. It's not just astronomy either - dealing with this deluge of data is the major challenge for scientists at CERN, and for biologists who use automated cameras to spy on animals in their natural habitats. Artificial intelligence is one part of the solution - but will it spell the end of human involvement in scientific discovery? No, argues Chris Lintott. We humans still have unique capabilities to bring to bear - our curiosity, our capacity for wonder, and, most importantly, our capacity for surprise. It seems that humans and computers working together do better than computers can on their own. But with so much scientific data, you need a lot of scientists - a crowd, in fact. Lintott found such a crowd in the Zooniverse, the web-based project that allows hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic volunteers to contribute to science. In this book, Lintott describes the exciting discoveries that people all over the world have made, from galaxies to pulsars, exoplanets to moons, and from penguin behaviour to old ship's logs. This approach builds on a long history of so-called 'citizen science', given new power by fast internet and distributed data. Discovery is no longer the remit only of scientists in specialist labs or academics in ivory towers. It's something we can all take part in. As Lintott shows, it's a wonderful way to engage with science, yielding new insights daily. You, too, can help explore the Universe in your lunch hour.

Jet Stream A Journey Through our Changing Climate

Jet Stream A Journey Through our Changing Climate

A number of extreme weather events have struck the Northern Hemisphere in recent years, from scorching heatwaves to desperately cold winters, and from floods and storms to droughts and wildfires. These events have fuelled intense discussions in scientific conferences, government agencies, cafes, and on street corners around the world. Why are these events happening? Is this the emerging signal of climate change, and should we expect more of this? Media reports vary widely, but one mysterious agent has risen to prominence in many cases: the jet stream. The story begins on a windswept beach in Barbados, from where we follow the ascent of a weather balloon that will travel along the jet stream all around the world. From this viewpoint we observe the effect of the jet in influencing human life around the hemisphere, and witness startling changes emerging. What is the jet stream and how well do we understand it? How does it affect our weather and is it changing? These are the main questions tackled in this book. We learn about how our view of the wind has developed from Aristotle's early theories up to today's understanding. We see that the jet is intimately connected with dramatic contrasts between climate zones and has played a key historical role in determining patterns of trade. We learn about the basic physics underlying the jet and how this knowledge is incorporated into computer models which predict both tomorrow's weather and the climate of future decades. And finally, we discuss how climate change is expected to affect the jet, and introduce the vital scientific debate over whether these changes have contributed to recent extreme weather events.

The Story of Codes The History of Secret Communication

The Story of Codes The History of Secret Communication

Author: Stephen Pincock, Mark Frary Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/10/2019

From the Bible code to the Voynich manuscript, from subtly altered hieroglyphs carved into ancient Egyptian monuments to clues hidden in Renaissance paintings, we are surrounded by mysterious codes bearing hidden messages from the past. What does it take to write a fail-safe code? What does it take to break one? Taking in the full history of code making, from the scribes of ancient Egypt to modern-day computer programmers, Codebreaker provides a fascinating insight into this most secret and mysterious of crafts. It shows just how Julius Caesar cunningly obscured the meaning of vital wartime messages and explains the way that Sir Francis Walsingham was able to use coded letter to foil plots against Elizabeth I. It gives an account of the ever-more complicated ciphers that were devised - and cracked - during the Cold War and investigates how codebreaking is being used today to fight crime and terrorism. And it shows you how to decipher codes from all periods of history, including many that are still employed today.

IFLScience Molecular Magnet Set: Say It With Science!

IFLScience Molecular Magnet Set: Say It With Science!

Author: Paul Parsons Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 17/10/2019

Chocolate, coffee, hot sauce, wine, sleep, love -- these are a few of our favorite things. And they're just a few of magnets in this one-of-a-kind set that lets you express yourself with science! Perfect for science-lovers, this kit includes: 15 molecular magnets, each highlighting a beloved indulgence. Magnet size is 1-3/4 x 2 .32-page book on the science behind the world's favorite molecules, with full-color illustrations throughout

Energy, the Great Driver Seven Revolutions and the Challenges of Climate Change

Energy, the Great Driver Seven Revolutions and the Challenges of Climate Change

Author: Gareth Wyn, Ph.D. Jones Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/10/2019

This book describes the long-term four billion-year context of anthropogenic climate change, and seeks to explain our inability to respond positively to its challenges. It argues that the availability of energy and the consequential capacity to do work and exert power has, over this time, defined the trajectory of life on planet Earth as well as many of its physiochemical characteristics. Six major historic energy revolutions are recognised - energising of the first living cell; harvesting the Sun's energy; emergence of complex eukaryotic cells; hominid use of fire/cooking for brains not brawn; agriculture, more food and urban life; fossil fuel bonanza and the industrial revolution - and we are now in the midst of the seventh revolution, responding albeit reluctantly to anthropogenic global climate change.

The Tectonic Plates are Moving!

The Tectonic Plates are Moving!

Author: Roy (Associate Lecturer, Associate Lecturer, The Open University) Livermore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/10/2019

Plate tectonics is a revolutionary theory on a par with modern genetics. Yet, apart from the frequent use of cliches such as 'tectonic shift' by economists, journalists, and politicians, the science itself is rarely mentioned and poorly understood. This book explains modern plate tectonics in a non-technical manner, showing not only how it accounts for phenomena such as great earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, but also how it controls conditions at the Earth's surface, including global geography and climate. The book presents the advances that have been made since the establishment of plate tectonics in the 1960s, highlighting, on the 50th anniversary of the theory, the contributions of a small number of scientists who have never been widely recognized for their discoveries. Beginning with the publication of a short article in Nature by Vine and Matthews, the book traces the development of plate tectonics through two generations of the theory. First generation plate tectonics covers the exciting scientific revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, its heroes and its villains. The second generation includes the rapid expansions in sonar, satellite, and seismic technologies during the 1980s and 1990s that provided a truly global view of the plates and their motions, and an appreciation of the role of the plates within the Earth 'system'. The final chapter bring us to the cutting edge of the science, and the latest results from studies using technologies such as seismic tomography and high-pressure mineral physics to probe the deep interior. Ultimately, the book leads to the startling conclusion that, without plate tectonics, the Earth would be as lifeless as Venus.

Glacier Nature and Culture

Glacier Nature and Culture

Author: Peter G. Knight Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/10/2019

As major actors in the unfolding drama of climate change, glaciers feature prominently in Earth's past and its future. Wherever on the planet we live, glaciers affect each of us directly. They control the atmospheric and ocean circulations that drive the weather; they supply drinking and irrigation water to millions of people; and they protect us from catastrophic sea-level rise. The very existence of glaciers affects our view of the planet and of ourselves, but it is less than 200 years since we realised that ice ages come and go, and that glaciers once covered much more of the planet's surface than they do now. An inspiration to artists, a challenge for engineers, glaciers mean different things to different people. Crossing the boundaries between art, environment, science, nature and culture, this book uniquely considers glaciers from a myriad perspectives, revealing their complexity, majesty and importance, but also their fragility.