192 pages, 45 halftones
Time. Gravity. Night. So much of what surrounds us feels familiar and mundane. But each is a wonder that reveals profound insights into the world around us. C. Renee James' whimsical tour of seven everyday experiences - night, light, stuff, gravity, time, home, and wonder - opens the universe to fantastical contemplation. Light? Although we need it to see, there's much more to it than meets the eye. Stuff? When it comes down to it, things are almost entirely empty space - especially when you get to the atomic level. Home? James' contemplation of our place in the universe shows that it's not just a place to hang your hat - and that there really is nothing like it.
James introduces each of these seven wonders with a simple question that appears to be easily answered. The questions are deceptive, though - as is James' casual, light-hearted style. Underneath lie such concepts as relativity, matter and anti-matter, and the electromagnetic spectrum. Her layperson's discussion uses common analogies and entertaining illustrations to provide a bundle of detail on historical discoveries and to provoke serious pondering.
Professor James's enthusiasm for our universe has made me quite ashamed that I've so long pined for a parallel one. - Emo Philips "It is no small wonder that Renee James's small book is wonderful. Even readers with sciophobia (fear of science) will find this a fun read, as well as faithful and accurate. The writing shows that the author is wise in psychology, philosophy, and literature as well as science." - Peter Kreeft, Boston College"
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C. Renee James is an associate professor of physics at Sam Houston State University. An accomplished scholarly writer, her popular science essays have been published in Sky & Telescope, Astronomy, Current Science, and Mercury. She is the author of Science Unshackled: How Obscure, Abstract, Seemingly Useless Scientific Research Turned Out to Be the Basis for Modern Life.