756 pages, no illustrations
Drawing on interviews with more than 200 researchers, from graduate students to Nobel prize-winners, Magic Universe is a scientific tour covering modern science in all its glory, shedding light on the latest ideas in physics, biology, chemistry, medicine, astronomy, and many other fields.
Here's evidence of a steady hand, a cool nerve and a clear sense of what matters...Nigel Calder is a science writer with a superb record and immense experience...Dip and dart. Malcolm Smith, Guardian A must for every student of science, and the ideal compendium for non-scientists of any age trying to keep abreast. John Cornwell, Sunday Times In this compendium he deals seriously yet entertainingly with just about every sicientific subject you can imagine, and many that you cannot...a solid reference source for many years to come. Independent Review
INTRODUCTION: Welcome to the spider's web; OVER 130 ARTICLES, FROM..; ALCOHOL: Genetic revelations of when yeast invented booze; ALTRUISM AND AGGRESSION: Looking for the origins of those human alternatives; ANTIMATTER: Does the coat that Sakharov made really explain its absence?; ARABIDOPSIS: The modest weed that gave plant scientists the big picture; ASTRONAUTICS: Will interstellar pioneers be overtaken by their grandchildren?; BERNAL'S LADDER: Pointers; BIG BANG: The inflationary Universe's sleight-of-hand; BIODIVERSITY: The mathematics of co-existence; BIOLOGICAL CLOCKS: Molecular machinery that governs life's routines; BIOSPHERE FROM SPACE: 'I want to do the whole world'; BITS AND QUBITS: The digital world and its looming quantum shadow; BLACK HOLES: The awesome engines of quasars and active galaxies; BRAIN IMAGES: What do all the vivid movies really mean?; BRAIN RHYTHMS: The mathematics of the beat we think to; BRAIN WIRING: How do all those nerve connections know where to go?; BUCKYBALLS AND NANOTUBES: Doing very much more with very much less; ...TO..; SMALLPOX: The dairymaid's blessing and the general's curse; SOLAR WIND: How it creates the heliosphere in which we live; SPACE WEATHER: Why it is now more troublesome than in the old days; SPARTICLES: A wished-for superworld of exotic matter and forces; SPEECH: A gene that makes us more eloquent than chimpanzees; STARBURSTS: Galactic traffic accidents and stellar baby booms; STARS: Hearing them sing and sizing them up; STEM CELLS: Tissue engineering, natural and medical; SUN'S INTERIOR: How sound waves made our mother star transparent; SUPERATOMS, SUPERFLUIDS AND SUPERCONDUCTORS: The march of the boson armies; SUPERSTRINGS: Retuning the cosmic imagination; TIME MACHINES: The biggest issue in contemporary physics?; TRANSGENIC CROPS: For better or worse, a planetary experiment has begun; TREE OF LIFE: Promiscuous bacteria and the course of evolution; UNIVERSE: 'It must have known we were coming'; VOLCANIC EXPLOSIONS: Where will the next big one be?
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