Physics informs our understanding of how the world works – but more than that, key breakthroughs in physics have transformed everyday life. We journey back to ten separate days in history to understand how particular breakthroughs were achieved, meet the individuals responsible and see how each breakthrough has influenced our lives.
Succeeds where much of science writing fails, by creating a clear path between pivotal moments in scientific history and the world as we know it today.
All the matter and light we can see in the universe makes up a trivial 5 per cent of everything. The rest is hidden. This could be the biggest puzzle that science has ever faced.
All in all, it's hard to fault as a brief, easily digestible introduction to some of the biggest questions in the universe. *****
In 2003, Russian physicists André Geim and Konstantin Novoselov found a way to produce graphene – the thinnest substance in the world – by using sticky tape to separate an atom-thick layer from a block of graphite.
What these guys did not realise was that throwing away the Scotch tape they were throwing away the Nobel Prize as well.
In his most wide-ranging book, Brian Clegg builds up reality piece by piece, from space, to time, to matter, movement, the fundamental forces, life, and the massive transformation that life itself has wrought on the natural world. He reveals that underlying it all is not, as we might believe, a system of immovable absolutes, but the ever-shifting, amorphous world of relativity.
An absolute masterpiece.
In 2015, after 50 years of searching, gravitational waves were detected for the first time and astronomy changed forever. In 2017, the project's leading scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Transforms a frustrating, century-long tale of disappointment into a gripping human drama
The Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages, and the birth of steam and electricity, saw human life transformed by new materials and technology. Now we've reached the Quantum Age, the revolution led by our understanding of the very, very small.
TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Brian Clegg does a superb job of explaining complicated scientific concepts
Everything we know is governed by four physical forces, but there is only one of them that is immediately obvious - gravity. Although ludicrously weak compared to the other forces (a tiny magnet can hold up a piece of metal against the gravitational attraction of the whole Earth), gravity permeates our everyday life and being.
Every inquisitive person should read a book about it, preferably this one.
There is something special, something wonderful about light. What is it? How does it work? How has it inspired people over the centuries? How might it enable us to sent messages back in time?
This new, fully updated edition of Light Years take us on an exploration of humanity's fascination with light from the earliest recorded times to the most up-to-date science.
In 2008, the British Association for the Advancement of Science undertook a major survey to see which science questions the general public would most like answered. By far the most popular question was ‘What came before the Big Bang?’
A fascinating read, and one that validates that irresistible urge to ask: "But what came before that?"
An instant connection between quantum particles over any distance, this strangest phenomenon in all of science is already being used to develop codes that cannot be broken, to devise computers that would make finding a need in a haystack trivial, and even to learn how to create teleportation.
Quantum theory's most remarkable concept explained for the general reader.
An excellent job
Physics is the most fundamental of the sciences, describing how everything works, yet it is often seen as remote and technical. This pocket guide, produced with Scientific American, sets out to change that.
With 100 bite-sized articles on everything from relativity to quantum entanglement, and entertaining 'cocktail party tidbits' for every topic, it makes physics fun.
A joy to read