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Popular Science

Get up to speed with the most popular developments in science, with everything from the tiniest atom to the farthest flung findings of the universe, and every scientific discovery in between. Our selection of books in this category will keep you up to date.

Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers

Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers

Author: Ian Stewart Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/02/2016

He explains the insights of the ancient mathematicians, shows how numbers have evolved through the ages, and reveals the way numerical theory enables everyday life. Under Professor Stewart's guidance you will discover the mathematics of codes, Sudoku, Rubik's cube, music, primes and pi. You may be surprised to find you live in eleven-dimensional space, that of the twenty-three people on a football pitch two are more likely than not to share the same birthday, and that forty-two is a very interesting number. Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers will delight everyone who loves numbers -- including those who currently think they don't.

ebook of the month
Life at the Speed of Light From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life

Life at the Speed of Light From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life

Author: J. Craig Venter Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/08/2014

In 2010, scientists led by J. Craig Venter became the first to successfully create 'synthetic life' -- putting humankind at the threshold of the most important and exciting phase of biological research, one that will enable us to actually write the genetic code for designing new species to help us adapt and evolve for long-term survival. The science of synthetic genomics will have a profound impact on human existence, including chemical and energy generation, health, clean water and food production, environmental control, and possibly even our evolution. In Life at the Speed of Light, Venter presents a fascinating and authoritative study of this emerging field from the inside -- detailing its origins, current challenges and controversies, and projected effects on our lives. This scientific frontier provides an opportunity to ponder anew the age-old question 'What is life?' and examine what we really mean by 'playing God'. Life at the Speed of Light is a landmark work, written by a visionary at the dawn of a new era of biological engineering.

ebook of the month
Genius

Genius

Author: Jack Challoner Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/08/2015

Published in association with the Science Museum, London, Genius: Great Inventors and Their Creations, gives readers an unprecedented insight into the minds and lives of some of the great men and women who have helped shape the modern world. The book transports the reader back in time to share the excitement and inspiration of some of the most important moments in the history of technology. Beautifully illustrated throughout, the book contains at 10 rare and removable facsimile documents.

Chance The Science and Secrets of Luck, Randomness and Probability

Chance The Science and Secrets of Luck, Randomness and Probability

Author: Jeremy Webb, Michael Brooks Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/10/2014

For you to be here today reading this requires a mind-boggling series of lucky breaks, starting with the Big Bang and ending in your own conception. So it's not surprising that we persist in thinking that we're in with a chance, whether we're playing the lottery or working out the likelihood of extra-terrestrial life.

Riveted The Science of Why Jokes Make Us Laugh, Movies Make Us Cry, and Religion Makes Us Feel One with the Universe

Riveted The Science of Why Jokes Make Us Laugh, Movies Make Us Cry, and Religion Makes Us Feel One with the Universe

Author: Jim Davies Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/08/2014

Why do some things pass under the radar of our attention, but other things capture our interest? Why do some religions catch on and others fade away? What makes a story, a movie, or a book riveting? Why do some people keep watching the news even though it makes them anxious?The past 20 years have seen a remarkable flourishing of scientific research into exactly these kinds of questions. Professor Jim Davies' fascinating and highly accessible book, Riveted, reveals the evolutionary underpinnings of why we find things compelling, from art to religion and from sports to superstition. Compelling things fit our minds like keys in the ignition, turning us on and keeping us running, and yet we are often unaware of what makes these keys fit. What we like and don't like is almost always determined by subconscious forces, and when we try to consciously predict our own preferences we're often wrong. In one study of speed dating, people were asked what kinds of partners they found attractive. When the results came back, the participants' answers before the exercise had no correlation with who they actually found attractive in person! We are beginning to understand just how much the brain makes our decisions for us: we are rewarded with a rush of pleasure when we detect patterns, as the brain thinks we've discovered something significant; the mind urges us to linger on the news channel or rubberneck an accident in case it might pick up important survival information; it even pushes us to pick up People magazine in order to find out about changes in the social structure. Drawing on work from philosophy, anthropology, religious studies, psychology, economics, computer science, and biology, Davies offers a comprehensive explanation to show that in spite of the differences between the many things that we find compelling, they have similar effects on our minds and brains.

Cure A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body

Cure A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body

Author: Jo Marchant Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/02/2016

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 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 far more profoundly than previously thought, there is now great promise too.

50 Physics Ideas You Really Need to Know

50 Physics Ideas You Really Need to Know

Author: Joanne Baker Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/07/2014

We encounter physics before we've even left the house in the morning; an alarm clock tracks time, a mirror reflects light waves and our mobile phones rely on satellites held in their orbit by gravity. Where would we be without the Bernoulli equation to explain how planes fly, electromagnetic waves enabling us to communicate around the world or the discovery of X-rays? In 50 Physics Ideas You Really Need to Know Joanne Baker will uncover the physics all around us, from basic concepts like gravity, light and energy through to the complexities of quantum theory, chaos and dark energy. Featuring short biographies of iconic physicists, explanatory diagrams and timelines showing discoveries within their historical context, this book is the perfect guide to the fundamental concepts of physics, making even the most challenging theories easy to understand. Contents include: Newton's law of gravitation, Brownian motion, Chaos theory, Fleming's right hand rule, Planck's law, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Schrodinger's cat, Superconductivity, Rutherford's atom, Nuclear fission and fusion, The God particle, String theory, Special and general relativity, The big bang and the Anthropic principle.

ebook of the month

Science has never been more popular. You don’t have to understand it to love it. We live in a golden age where we know more about the world and its origins than ever before. Here, some of the biggest questions ever asked find answers, as well as some of the smallest. This is a section bursting from its nucleus with protons of knowledge especially compiled for the lay enthusiast and the curious. Accessible science is no longer the domain of the scientist. We can all have a go at broadening our minds … and what’s more, we can do it from the relative comfort of our favourite chair. Relative comfort, because the chair is merely a mass of vibrating particles on a planet, hurtling through space and time, bending both as it goes in a Universe that may itself just be one of an infinite number of possible universes in an undefinable dimension of matter.

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