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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!
Bestselling author Marcus Chown explores some of the most profound and important science about us, our world and the universe with fifty fascinating and mind-bending facts. Our adventures in space, our deepening understanding of the quantum world and huge leaps in technology over the last century have 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 universe, 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.
We are unprepared for the greatest discovery of modern science. Scientists are confident that there is alien life across the universe yet we have not moved beyond our perception of 'aliens' as Hollywood stereotypes. The time has come to abandon our fixation on alien monsters and place our expectations on solid scientific footing. Using his own expert understanding of life on Earth and Darwin's theory of evolution - which applies throughout the universe - Cambridge zoologist Dr Arik Kershenbaum explains what alien life must be like: how these creatures will move, socialise and communicate. For example, by observing fishes whose electrical pulses indicate social status, we can see that other planets might allow for communication by electricity. As there was evolutionary pressure to wriggle along a sea floor, Earthling animals tend to have left/right symmetry; on planets where creatures evolved mid-air or in soupy tar they might be lacking any symmetry at all. Might there be an alien planet with supersonic animals? Will they scream with fear, act honestly, or have technology? Is the universe swarming with robots? Dr Kershenbaum uses cutting-edge science to paint an entertaining and compelling picture of extra-terrestrial life. The Zoologist's Guide to the Galaxy is the story of how life really works, on Earth and in space.
'INFORMATIVE AND PERSUASIVE ENOUGH TO ROUSE THE MOST ARDENT COUCH POTATO' (NEW SCIENTIST) IRISH TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER Walking upright on two feet is a uniquely human skill. It defines us as a species. It enabled us to walk out of Africa and to spread as far as Alaska and Australia. It freed our hands and freed our minds. We put one foot in front of the other without thinking - yet how many of us know how we do that, or appreciate the advantages it gives us? In this hymn to walking, neuroscientist Shane O'Mara invites us to marvel at the benefits it confers on our bodies and minds. In Praise of Walking celebrates this miraculous ability. Incredibly, it is a skill that has its evolutionary origins millions of years ago, under the sea. And the latest research is only now revealing how the brain and nervous system performs the mechanical magic of balancing, navigating a crowded city, or running our inner GPS system. Walking is good for our muscles and posture; it helps to protect and repair organs, and can slow or turn back the ageing of our brains. With our minds in motion we think more creatively, our mood improves and stress levels fall. Walking together to achieve a shared purpose is also a social glue that has contributed to our survival as a species. As our lives become increasingly sedentary, we risk all this. We must start walking again, whether it's up a mountain, down to the park, or simply to school and work. We, and our societies, will be better for it. SUNDAY INDEPENDENT BOOK OF THE WEEK AGreatRead and ArgosyBooks BOOK OF THE MONTH
When a computer goes wrong, we are told to turn it off and on again. In Am I Dreaming?, science journalist James Kingsland reveals how the human brain is remarkably similar. By rebooting our hard-wired patterns of thinking - through so-called 'altered states of consciousness' - we can gain new perspectives into ourselves and the world around us. From shamans in Peru to tech workers in Silicon Valley, Kingsland provides a fascinating tour through lucid dreams, mindfulness, hypnotic trances, virtual reality and drug-induced hallucinations. An eye-opening insight into perception and consciousness, this is also a provocative argument for how altered states can significantly boost our mental health.
'Revelatory ... convey[s] the technical brilliance and political significance of an achievement that hides in plain sight' Telegraph From satellites circling the Earth, to weather stations far out in the ocean, through some of the most ingenious minds and advanced algorithms at work today - In this gripping investigation, Andrew Blum takes us on a global journey. Our destination: the simulated models weather scientists have constructed of our planet, which spin faster than time, turning chaos into prediction, offering glimpses of our future with eerie precision. This collaborative invention spans the Earth and relies on continuous co-operation between all nations - a triumph of human ingenuity and diplomacy we too often shrug off as a tool for choosing the right footwear each morning. But in this new era of extreme weather, we may come to rely on its maintenance and survival for our own.
A fun, entertaining exploration of the ideas and people behind the growth of trigonometry Trigonometry has a reputation as a dry, difficult branch of mathematics, a glorified form of geometry complicated by tedious computation. In Trigonometric Delights, Eli Maor dispels this view. Rejecting the usual descriptions of sine, cosine, and their trigonometric relatives, he brings the subject to life in a compelling blend of history, biography, and mathematics. From the proto-trigonometry of the Egyptian pyramid builders and the first true trigonometry developed by Greek astronomers, to the epicycles and hypocycles of the toy Spirograph, Maor presents both a survey of the main elements of trigonometry and a unique account of its vital contribution to science and social growth. A tapestry of stories, curiosities, insights, and illustrations, Trigonometric Delights irrevocably changes how we see this essential mathematical discipline.
Inside the epic quest to find life on the water-rich moons at the outer reaches of the solar system Where is the best place to find life beyond Earth? We often look to Mars as the most promising site in our solar system, but recent scientific missions have revealed that some of the most habitable real estate may actually lie farther away. Beneath the frozen crusts of several of the small, ice-covered moons of Jupiter and Saturn lurk vast oceans that may have been in existence for as long as Earth, and together may contain more than fifty times its total volume of liquid water. Could there be organisms living in their depths? Alien Oceans reveals the science behind the thrilling quest to find out. Kevin Peter Hand is one of today's leading NASA scientists, and his pioneering research has taken him on expeditions around the world. In this captivating account of scientific discovery, he brings together insights from planetary science, biology, and the adventures of scientists like himself to explain how we know that oceans exist within moons of the outer solar system, like Europa, Titan, and Enceladus. He shows how the exploration of Earth's oceans is informing our understanding of the potential habitability of these icy moons, and draws lessons from what we have learned about the origins of life on our own planet to consider how life could arise on these distant worlds. Alien Oceans describes what lies ahead in our search for life in our solar system and beyond, setting the stage for the transformative discoveries that may await us.
This popular science title will cover adhesion science in an easily accessible entertaining manner. As well as outlining types of adhesion and thier importance in everyday life, the book covers interesting future applications of adhesion and inspiration taken from nature. Ideal for students and the scientifically minded reader this book provides a fascinating introduction to the science of what makes things stick.
How the internet and powerful online tools are democratizing and accelerating scientific discovery Reinventing Discovery argues that we are living at the dawn of the most dramatic change in science in more than three hundred years. This change is being driven by powerful cognitive tools, enabled by the internet, which are greatly accelerating scientific discovery. There are many books about how the internet is changing business, the workplace, or government. But this is the first book about something much more fundamental: how the internet is transforming our collective intelligence and our understanding of the world. From the collaborative mathematicians of the Polymath Project to the amateur astronomers of Galaxy Zoo, Reinventing Discovery tells the exciting story of the unprecedented new era in networked science. It will interest anyone who wants to learn about how the online world is revolutionizing scientific discovery-and why the revolution is just beginning.
A cutting-edge examination of what it means to be human and to have a 'self' in the face of new scientific developments in genetic editing, cloning and neural downloading. After seeing his own cells used to grow clumps of new neurons - essentially mini-brains - Philip Ball begins to examine the concepts of identity and consciousness. Delving into humanity's deep evolutionary past to look at how complex creatures like us emerged from single-celled life, he offers a new perspective on how humans think about ourselves. In an age when we are increasingly encouraged to regard the 'self' as an abstract sequence of genetic information, or as a pattern of neural activity that might be 'downloaded' to a computer, he return us to the body - to flesh and blood - and anchors a conception of personhood in this unique and ephemeral mortal coil. How to Build a Human brings us back to ourselves - but in doing so, it challenges old preconceptions and values. It asks us to rethink how we exist in the world.
'Scales's genuine appreciation and awe for fish are contagious.' Science 'Delightful' New Scientist Seventy per cent of the earth's surface is covered by water. This vast aquatic realm is inhabited by a multitude of strange creatures and reigning supreme among them are the fish. There are giants that live for centuries and thumb-sized tiddlers that survive only weeks; they can be pancake-flat or inflatable balloons; they can shout with colours or hide in plain sight, cheat and dance, remember and say sorry; some rarely budge while others travel the globe restlessly. And yet the mesmerising and complex lives of fish remain largely underrated and unseen, living hidden beneath the waterline, out of sight and out of mind. Helen Scales is our guide on an underwater journey, as we fathom the depths and watch these animals going about the glorious business of being fish. As well as the fish, we meet devoted fishwatchers past and present, from voodoo zombie potion hunters and scientists who taught fish how to walk to nonagenarian explorers of the deep sea. Woven throughout are vignettes of Helen's own aquatic explorations, from eerie nighttime dives with glowing fish and up-close encounters with giant manta rays, to floating in the middle of a swirling shoal being watched by thousands of inquisitive eyes. As well as being a rich and entertaining read, this book will inspire readers to think again about these animals and the seas they inhabit, and to go out and appreciate the wonders of fish, whether through the glass walls of an aquarium or, better still, by gazing into the fishes' wild world and swimming through it. 'Engaging and informative' The Economist
'A truly fascinating - if unnerving - read' The Telegraph 'Acute, mind-opening, highly accessible - this book doesn't just explain how our lives might pan out, it helps us live better' Bettany Hughes 'A humane and highly readable account of the neuroscience that underpins our ideas of free will and fate' Professor David Runciman So many of us believe that we are free to shape our own destiny. But what if free will doesn't exist? What if our lives are largely predetermined, hardwired in our brains - and our choices over what we eat, who we fall in love with, even what we believe are not real choices at all? Neuroscience is challenging everything we think we know about ourselves, revealing how we make decisions and form our own reality, unaware of the role of our unconscious minds. Did you know, for example, that: * You can carry anxieties and phobias across generations of your family? * Your genes and pleasure and reward receptors in your brain will determine how much you eat? * We can sniff out ideal partners with genes that give our offspring the best chance of survival? Leading neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow draws vividly from everyday life and other experts in their field to show the extraordinary potential, as well as dangers, which come with being able to predict our likely futures - and looking at how we can alter what's in store for us. Lucid, illuminating, awe-inspiring The Science of Fate revolutionises our understanding of who we are - and empowers us to help shape a better future for ourselves and the wider world.