In The Incredible Stories of Modern Space Exploration, Nancy takes readers beyond the surface of what some of the most sophisticated space rovers, orbiters and telescopes are discovering in the sky above. This detailed guide provides information on these missions and the science surrounding them, as well as inside interviews with the scientists and engineers who conceive mission concepts, build the spacecraft, study the data and care for the spacecraft. From the center of our universe, the Sun, readers will see how the Solar Dynamics Observatory gives us the best look ever at the star of our solar system by taking images every 0.75 seconds and how that helps scientists understand the mysteries of its turbulent surface and unseen interior. From there, readers can learn more about other missions that are hot in the news such as the Mars Rover, Kepler and the Search for Other Worlds, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Unlocking Jupiter's Secrets through the Juno spacecraft.
It's the biggest question we've ever faced, one that has fascinated generations of humans: do aliens exist? If they did, what would they look like? How would they think? And - what would it mean for us if we found them? Here, Professor Jim Al-Khalili blasts off in search of answers. Featuring twenty pieces by top scientists and experts in the field, Aliens covers every aspect of the subject, from alien consciousness to the neuroscience behind alien abductions. And along the way he'll cover science fiction, the probability of us finding extra-terrestrial life, and whether recently-discovered exoplanets might support life. Engaging, authoritative and filled with scientific insights fresh from the far edges of the galaxy, Aliens is the perfect book for anyone who has ever looked up into the starry sky and wondered: are we alone?
Long-listed for the 2016 PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
An important book that provides insight into key new developments in our understanding of the nature of space, time and the universe. It will repay careful study. —John Gribbin, The Wall Street Journal
An endlessly surprising foray into the current mother of physics' many knotty mysteries, the solving of which may unveil the weirdness of quantum particles, black holes, and the essential unity of nature. — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
What is space? It isn't a question that most of us normally ask. Space is the venue of physics; it's where things exist, where they move and take shape. Yet over the past few decades, physicists have discovered a phenomenon that operates outside the confines of space and time: nonlocality-the ability of two particles to act in harmony no matter how far apart they may be. It appears to be almost magical. Einstein grappled with this oddity and couldn't come to terms with it, describing it as "spooky action at a distance." More recently, the mystery has deepened as other forms of nonlocality have been uncovered. This strange occurrence, which has direct connections to black holes, particle collisions, and even the workings of gravity, holds the potential to undermine our most basic understandings of physical reality. If space isn't what we thought it was, then what is it?
In Spooky Action at a Distance, George Musser sets out to answer that question, offering a provocative exploration of nonlocality and a celebration of the scientists who are trying to explain it. Musser guides us on an epic journey into the lives of experimental physicists observing particles acting in tandem, astronomers finding galaxies that look statistically identical, and cosmologists hoping to unravel the paradoxes surrounding the big bang. He traces the often contentious debates over nonlocality through major discoveries and disruptions of the twentieth century and shows how scientists faced with the same undisputed experimental evidence develop wildly different explanations for that evidence. Their conclusions challenge our understanding of not only space and time but also the origins of the universe-and they suggest a new grand unified theory of physics. Delightfully readable, Spooky Action at a Distance is a mind-bending voyage to the frontiers of modern physics that will change the way we think about reality.
A history of science distilled into 100 notable experiments - epic moments that have fuelled our understanding of Earth and the Universe beyond. The history of science is a fascinating and long one, covering thousands of years of history. The development of scientific experiments involves some of the most enlightened cultures in history, as well as some great scientists, philosophers and theologians. As the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman said, 'If it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong', the simplest summary of what science is all about. And science is nothing without experiments. Everything in the scientific world view is based on experiment, including observations of phenomena predicted by theories and hypotheses, such as the bending of light as it goes past the Sun. From the discovery of microscopic worlds to weighing the Earth, from making electricity to the accelerating Universe and gravitational waves, this stunning book by renowned science writers John and Mary Gribbin tells the fascinating history of science through the stories of 100 groundbreaking experiments.
If you could bring back one living being from the whole of the history of time, what would you choose? Comedian and former stem-cell biologist Helen Pilcher has thought about this problem, a lot. In Bring back the King, Helen explains the cutting-edge science that makes the resurrection of extinct animals a very real possibility, and highlights her choices from eras gone by, from the King of the Dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus rex, to the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley, From dinosaurs to Dodos, Neanderthals to rock legends, Bring Back the King explains how the burgeoning field of DNA science is being used to help resurrect not just individual animals but entire species from their stony graves. Funny, intriguing and informative, Bring Back the King describes current initiatives and future plans to restore deceased animals, and uses both science and willful irreverence to assess how these genetic Lazarus's might fare in their brave new world. Could a pet dinosaur be trained to roll over? Would Neanderthals enjoy opera? Could a returning Dodo seek vengeance upon humanity? Blending the very latest de-extinction technology with cloning, dinosaurs with rock legends, and hard-core popular science with plenty of gags, Bring Back the King is a book that you will simply have to read.
A former Wall Street quant sounds the alarm on mathematical models that pervade our modern lives and threaten to rip our social fabric apart.
We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives - where we go to school, whether we get a loan, how much we pay for insurance - are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models.
In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: everyone judged according to the same rules, with bias eliminated.
And yet, as Cathy O'Neil reveals in this urgent and necessary book, the opposite is true.
The models used today are opaque, unregulated and incontestable, even when they're wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination.
Tracing the arc of a person's life, O'Neil exposes the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. These weapons of math destruction score teachers and students, sort CVs, grant or deny loans, evaluate workers, target voters and monitor our health.
O'Neil calls on modellers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy-makers to regulate their use. But in the end, it's up to us to become more savvy about the models that govern our lives.
This important book empowers us to ask the tough questions, uncover the truth and demand change.
The updated edition of Barron's SAT Subject Test: Chemistry includes: A full-length diagnostic test with explained answers; Four practice tests that reflect the actual SAT Subject Test Chemistry; All questions answered and explained; Detailed reviews covering all test topics; Appendixes, which include the Periodic Table; important equation, constant, and data tables; and a glossary of chemistry terms. Both teachers and test-taking students have praised earlier editions of this manual for its wealth of well-organized detail. The manual can be purchased alone or with an optional CD-ROM that presents two additional full-length practice exams with automatic scoring and fully explained answers.
Magnificent pictures tell the story of an unusual passion: storm chasing. Storm chasers are weather experts, photographers, and film-makers who fell for the fascination of unusual experiences of nature. You will find these extreme weather pilgrims worldwide in places where thunder and lightning, hail and whirlwinds come together. Every year, in spring and summer, storm chasers from all over the world meet in the Great Plains to chase thunderstorms, document them and give reports. But chasing is becoming more and more popular in European regions that are often affected by thunderstorms. Impressive close-up pictures show the enormous force and stunning beauty of extraordinary weather phenomenon. Subjects of the illustrated chapters range from the splendor of cloud shapes and sky colours to the fascination of lightning to the force of cloudburst and hailstorm. An extra chapter deals with deadly tornados. The next part of the book, which is also generously illustrated, offers ample background information on storm chasing. An excerpt from a storm chaser diary takes the reader along to an exciting storm chase.A severe weather expert describes how to prepare for a storm chase, and a severe weather photographer gives tips for perfect pictures. In addition, readers find extensive information on the formation of thunderclouds, large hailstones and tornados in the USA. This part of the book is rounded off by tips for books, films and websites about the international storm chaser scene.
In Molecular Red, McKenzie Wark creates philosophical tools for the Anthropocene, our new planetary epoch, in which human and natural forces are so entwined that the future of one determines that of the other. Wark explores the implications of Anthropocene through the story of two empires, the Soviet and then the American. The fall of the former prefigures that of the latter. From the ruins of these mighty histories, Wark salvages ideas to help us picture what kind of worlds collective labor might yet build. From the scientific pioneers who were trying to transform science during the Russia Revolution, to visionaries contemplating cyborg possibilities and science fiction dreams in late 20th century California, Molecular Red not only looks at the crisis of climate change that we face but also how we might be able to understand it, and how we might salvage some hope out of the wreckage.
Water is in crisis. We are in crisis. All life depends on water and we are running out of it, but where exactly is the water and where is it going? This book provides new insight into the world of water and contributes to a wider understanding of the current predicament. "Water: Exploring the Blue Planet" is essentially a map of water. It features astonishingly detailed photographs that reveal the watery health of the Blue Planet. Readers are taken aboard satellites circling the Earth from where the most technologically advanced cameras and remote sensors capture what lies below.
The photographs are accompanied by descriptions and organized in thematic chapters. "Water" reveals the damage wrought by nature cyclones, volcanoes, floods and the destruction wrought by humans vanishing reservoirs, receding glaciers, melting ice sheets. And what of our attempts to control water? How do the hydropower dams, shore stabilization structures and desert oases we build affect the movement and availability of water? How does our insatiable thirst and recklessness cause poisonous salination, desertification and the disappearance of seas, lakes, reservoirs, islands and shorelines?
In the text and captions, the expert authors explain current knowledge of life's essential element, from the biodiversity of the oceans to the inestimable value of drinking water. Readers can follow the tracings of Earth's most important resource as it travels around the globe, and acquire a new and deeper understanding of the water crisis. They will also marvel at the utter beauty of Earth. The photographs in "Water" are produced by the highest caliber satellite and remote-sensor imagery that current technology allows. The observation-based data covers 1.5 billion square miles (4 billion sq. km) and comprises a real-time map of the world's water.
These maps are used to support decision-makers in areas such as public safety, environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration, and infrastructure management. At the exceptional price of just $49.95, this important book is an essential purchase for academic collections (especially earth sciences, hydrology, environment, ecology, sustainability, economic development, cartography and remote sensing), for public libraries seeking an up-to-date reference, and for interested general readers.
In this readable and beautifully illustrated book, Cary Fowler reminds us of our debt to the world of plants and our responsibility for forward-looking stewardship of the variety of plant life, especially of the genetic variety of those plants that are the foundation of global agriculture. It is a personal and passionate reminder that we should not take our reliance on the world of plants for granted, and that in a changing and unpredictable world, the only way to make sure that agriculture remains productive and is resilient for the future, is to ensure that it is adaptable.
This book is a plea for the importance of diversity and the need for action to secure the future of plentiful and nutritious food for all. Along with water, food is a pre-requisite for our continuing human existence.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a key component of global efforts to secure the diversity of our most important crop plants to ensure that they meet our needs for the long term, and this book tells us the inside story of how the vault came to be. It is a more complex and nuanced story than the "Doomsday Vault" romanticized by the popular press, but in the end the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is an elegantly simple and pragmatic response to a pressing global need.
It is an insurance policy for the future of global agriculture. And one that we hope will rarely need to be cashed in.
This is an engaging book on a serious subject. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault began only a few years ago as a visionary concept. Today it is reality. Its importance for the long term is hard to overstate. If you doubt it, just stop for moment and reflect on two simple questions: can we afford to take chances with the future of agriculture? And what else that we are creating today will still be relevant, many centuries from now, not just for a select few, but also for all of humanity?
Named one of the notable nonfiction books of 2015 by The Washington Post A bracingly honest exploration of why there are still so few women in the hard sciences, mathematics, engineering, and computer science
In 2005, when Lawrence Summers, then president of Harvard, asked why so few women, even today, achieve tenured positions in the hard sciences, Eileen Pollack set out to find the answer. A successful fiction writer, Pollack had grown up in the 1960s and 70s dreaming of a career as a theoretical astrophysicist. Denied the chance to take advanced courses in science and math, she nonetheless made her way to Yale. There, despite finding herself far behind the men in her classes, she went on to graduate summa cum laude, with honors, as one of the university s first two women to earn a bachelor of science degree in physics. And yet, isolated, lacking in confidence, starved for encouragement, she abandoned her ambition to become a physicist. Years later, spurred by the suggestion that innate differences in scientific and mathematical aptitude might account for the dearth of tenured female faculty at Summer s institution, Pollack thought back on her own experiences and wondered what, if anything, had changed in the intervening decades.
Based on six years interviewing her former teachers and classmates, as well as dozens of other women who had dropped out before completing their degrees in science or found their careers less rewarding than they had hoped, The Only Woman in the Room is a bracingly honest, no-holds-barred examination of the social, interpersonal, and institutional barriers confronting women and minorities in the STEM fields. This frankly personal and informed book reflects on women s experiences in a way that simple data can t, documenting not only the more blatant bias of another era but all the subtle disincentives women in the sciences still face.
The Only Woman in the Room shows us the struggles women in the sciences have been hesitant to admit, and provides hope for changing attitudes and behaviors in ways that could bring far more women into fields in which even today they remain seriously underrepresented.
Why do your fingers go wrinkly in the bath? What kind of animal can have 21 limbs? Who would really win a fight between a T.Rex and Godzilla? Test your knowledge of all things scientific with the biggest, brightest and most mind-bending quiz book this side of the Big Bang. Featuring 100 brain-melting Q&As, with enlightening explanations provided throughout, this is the ultimate examination of what you know about space, chemistry, quantum physics, science fiction and much more.
John Horton Conway is a singular mathematician with a lovely loopy brain. He is Archimedes, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, and Richard Feynman all rolled into one--he boasts a rock star's charisma, a slyly bent sense of humor, a polymath's promiscuous curiosity, and an insatiable compulsion to explain everything about the world to everyone in it. At Cambridge, Conway wrestled with Monstrous Moonshine, discovered the aptly named surreal numbers, and invented the cult classic Game of Life--more than just a cool fad, Life demonstrates how simplicity generates complexity and provides an analogy for mathematics and the entire universe. As a mathemagician at Princeton, he used ropes, dice, pennies, coat hangers, even the occasional Slinky, as props to extend his winning imagination and share his many nerdish delights. He granted Roberts full access to his idiosyncrasies and intellect both, though not without the occasional grumble: Oh hell, he'd say. You're not going to put that in the book. Are you?!?
Why do giraffes have such long necks? Why are zebras striped? Why are buffalo herds broadly democratic while elephants prefer dictatorships? What explains the architectural brilliance of the termite mound or the complications of the hyena's sex life? And why have honey-badgers evolved to be one of nature's most efficient agents of mass destruction? Deploying the latest scientific research and his own extensive observations on the African savannah, Leo Grasset offers some answers to these and many other intriguing questions. Having shown that natural phenomena are rarely simple and that often they get more complex the more you look at them, he brings to bear a mix of evolutionary biology and lateral thinking to explain the mysteries of animal behaviour in terms that are simple but never simplifying. He ends by considering how our origins in the savannah and evolution as the hybrid of several species can shapes our habits. Leo Grasset is one of France's brightest young natural scientists. Prepare to be fascinated, delighted, surprised, shocked and, above all, entertained by his brilliantly original Darwinian Just So stories.
House cats rule back alleys, deserted Antarctic islands, and our bedrooms. Clearly, they own the Internet, where a viral cat video can easily be viewed upwards of ten million times. But how did cats accomplish global domination? Unlike dogs, they offer humans no practical benefit. The truth is they are sadly incompetent rat-catchers and pose a threat to many ecosystems. Yet, we love them still. To better understand these furry strangers in our midst, Abby Tucker travels to meet the breeders, activists, and scientists who've dedicated their lives to cats. Witty, intelligent, and always curious, Tucker shows how these tiny creatures have used their relationship with humans to become one of the most powerful animals on the planet. The appropriate reaction to a cuddly kitten, it seems, might not be aww but awe.
A Beekeeper s Year follows the progress of three novice beekeepers with three different types of hive, as they navigate their way through their first year of beekeeping. Follow their journey as they set up and manage their Top Bar, Warre and Flow hives from obtaining bees to inspecting their hives, extracting honey and closing down the hive for the winter.</p> A Beekeeper s Year is an ideal introduction to backyard beekeeping, with everything you need to know about what equipment is required, managing your hives, keeping your bees healthy and pest and disease control. It is packed with stunning yet practical photographs to help you understand these fascinating creatures that are essential to the production of our food.</p>
The fastest animal alive, the falcon deserves attention not just for the combination of speed, power, beauty and ferocity that has made it an object of fascination for thousands of years, but for the light it sheds on the cultures through which it has flown. This book, bridging science and cultural history, surveys the practical and symbolic uses of falcons in human culture in new and exciting ways. Bestselling natural history writer Helen Macdonald follows the movements of the falcon, her personal experience and knowledge of falconry enriching the history and lore of this bird of prey. She ranges across the globe and over many millennia, taking in natural history, myth and legend, falconry, science and conservation, and falcons in the military, in urban settings and the corporate world. Along the way we discover how falcons were mobilized in secret military projects, their links with espionage, the Third Reich and the space programme, and even how they have featured in erotic stories. Originally published in 2006, this revised 2016 edition features a new introduction. Combining in-depth practical, personal and scientific knowledge, Macdonald offers a fascinating account of the place of these birds in human history. Falcon is for lovers of the countryside, birdwatchers or anyone who has ever wondered why falcons are so compelling.
The animal world is full of mysteries. Why do dogs slurp from their drinking bowls while cats lap up water with a delicate flick of the tongue? How does a tiny turtle hatchling from Florida circle the entire northern Atlantic before returning to the very beach where it hatched? And how can a Komodo dragon kill a water buffalo with a bite only as strong as a domestic cat's? These puzzles - and many more besides - are all explained by physics. From heat and light to electricity and magnetism, Furry Logic unveils the ways that more than 30 animals exploit physics to eat, drink, mate and dodge death in their daily battle for survival. Along the way, science journalists Matin Durrani and Liz Kalaugher introduce the great physicists whose discoveries helped us understand the animal world, as well as the animal experts of today who are scouring the planet to find and study the animals that seem to push the laws of physics to the limit. Presenting mind-bending physics principles in a simple and engaging way, Furry Logic will appeal both to animal lovers and to those curious to see how physics crops up in the natural world. It's more of a 'howdunit' than a whodunit, though you're unlikely to guess some of the answers.
From the best-selling authors of London: The Information Capital comes the first book to use big data to map the movements and behaviour of wild animals all over the world For thousands of years, tracking animals meant following footprints. Now satellites, drones, camera traps, cellphone networks, apps and accelerometers allow us to see the natural world like never before. Geographer James Cheshire and designer Oliver Uberti take you to the forefront of this animal-tracking revolution. Meet the scientists gathering wild data - from seals mapping the sea to baboons making decisions, from birds dodging tornadoes to jaguars taking selfies. Join the journeys of sharks, elephants, bumblebees, snowy owls, and a wolf looking for love. Find an armchair, cancel your plans and go where the animals go.
Photographer Beth Moon revisits the world's oldest trees in the darkest places on earth, using colour photography to capture vibrant night time skies
Throughout much of the world, night skies are growing increasingly brighter, but the force that protects the remaining naturally dark sky, unpolluted by artificial light, is the same that saves its ancient trees - isolation. Staking out some of the world's last dark places, photographer Beth Moon uses a digital camera to reveal constellations, nebulae, and the Milky Way, in rich hues that are often too faint to be seen by the naked eye. As in her acclaimed first volume, Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time, these magnificent images encounter great arboreal specimens, including baobabs, olive trees, and redwoods, in such places as South Africa, England, and California.
In her artist's statement, Beth Moon describes the experience of shooting at night in these remote places. An essay by Jana Grcevich, postdoctoral fellow of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, provides the perspective of a scientist racing to study the stars in a world growing increasingly brighter. Clark Strand, the author of Waking Up to the Dark: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age, takes a different tack, illuminating the inherent spirituality of trees.
Equal parts nature guide, adventure story, and coffee table book! People are captivated by wild animals by their strength and their size and by the things they do to stay alive. In Wildlife Spectacles zoologist Vladimer Dinetsdives deep into this wonder, allowing curious readers to discover just how spectacular wild animals can be.In the rich, fully illustrated pages you ll discover the migration of gray whales along the Pacific coast, the scuba diving of spiny lobsters in Florida, the synchronized blinking of fireflies near Tennessee, the swarms of feeding bats over the Mississippi River, the blue-glowing scorpions of the Southwest desert, hundreds of wintering tundra swans in New Jersey, and much more.
The Mathematics of Secrets takes readers on a fascinating tour of the mathematics behind cryptography - the science of sending secret messages. Most books about cryptography are organized historically, or around how codes and ciphers have been used, such as in government and military intelligence or bank transactions. Joshua Holden instead shows how mathematical principles underpin the ways that different codes and ciphers operate. Holden focuses on both code making and code breaking and he discusses the majority of ancient and modern ciphers currently known.
Holden begins by looking at substitution ciphers, built by substituting one letter or block of letters for another. Explaining one of the simplest and historically well-known ciphers, the Caesar cipher, Holden establishes the key mathematical idea behind the cipher and discusses how to introduce flexibility and additional notation. Holden goes on to explore polyalphabetic substitution ciphers, transposition ciphers, including one developed by the Spartans, connections between ciphers and computer encryption, stream ciphers, and ciphers involving exponentiation.
He also examines public-key ciphers, where the methods used to encrypt messages are public knowledge, and yet, intended recipients are still the only ones who are able to read the message. He concludes with a look at the future of ciphers and where cryptography might be headed. Only basic mathematics up to high school algebra is needed to understand and enjoy the book.
With a plethora of historical anecdotes and real-world examples, The Mathematics of Secrets reveals the mathematics working stealthily in the science of coded messages.
This concise and classic volume presents the main results of integral equation theory as consequences of the theory of operators on Banach and Hilbert spaces. In addition, it offers a brief account of Fredholm's original approach. Other material discusses applications to second order linear differential equations and Fourier integral techniques.
Ideas about numbers, magnitudes and frequencies shape and give texture to almost everything we feel, say, dream and do. In Living by Numbers, Steven Connor explores the many ways in which we live in, and by, a world of numbers.Connor homes in on the unsuspected weirdness of the number one, the links between horror, counting and the uncountable, and the close associations of numbers and death. He considers the way we make sense of crowds, swarms, masses and multitudes, and demonstrates the work of calculation that is always present in poems, jokes, laughter and pleasure. He shows how we use numbers to adjust ourselves to chance and uncertainty, examines the pressure of numbers in the experience of music, explains how they exert their force in painting, and reveals the many different ways in which numbers and quantities have taken visual form in diagrams, charts and infographics. Against the lazy and conventional assumption that human life needs to be defended against the alien and malign power of numbers, this book illustrates how essential the feeling for numbers is in all aspects of contemporary existence, arguing that no creativity or invention are in fact possible without numbers. Living by Numbers opens up for the first time the richness, variety and subtlety of how we do things with numbers and, just as importantly, how they do things with us.
The ideal textbook for non-science majors, this lively and engaging introduction encourages students to ask questions, assess data critically and think like a scientist. Building on the success of the previous editions, Dinosaurs has been reorganised and extensively rewritten in response to instructor and student feedback. It continues to make science accessible and relevant through its clear explanations and extensive illustrations. Updated to reflect recent fossil discoveries and to include new taxa, the text guides students through the dinosaur groups, emphasising scientific concepts rather than presenting endless facts. It is grounded in the common language of modern evolutionary biology - phylogenetic systematics - so that students examine dinosaurs as professional paleontologists do. The key emerging theme of feathered dinosaurs, and the many implications of feathers, have been integrated throughout the book, highlighted by the inclusion of stunning new photographs in this beautifully illustrated text, now in full colour throughout.