#1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel returns with a captivating, little-known true story of women in science.
In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or ‘human computers’, to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the women turned to studying images of the stars captured on glass photographic plates, making extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what the stars were made of, divided them into meaningful categories for further research, and even found a way to measure distances across space by starlight.
Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, The Glass Universe is the hidden history of a group of remarkable women whose vital contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.
SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE New York Times Bestseller Set amid the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA's African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America's space program. Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as 'Human Computers', calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts, these 'coloured computers' used pencil and paper to write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Moving from World War II through NASA's golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women's rights movement, 'Hidden Figures' interweaves a rich history of mankind's greatest adventure with the intimate stories of five courageous women whose work forever changed the world.
Albert Einstein is an icon of the twentieth century. Born in Ulm, Germany, in 1879, he is most famous for his theory of relativity, which is considered the founding principle of modern physics. He also made enormous contributions to quantum mechanics and cosmology, and for his work he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921. A self-pronounced pacifist, humanist, and, late in his life, democratic socialist, Einstein was also deeply concerned with the social impact of his discoveries.
Much of Einstein's life is shrouded in legend. From popular images and advertisements to various works of theater and fiction, he has come to signify so many things: the quintessential absent-minded professor; the gentle eccentric; the pacifist; the super-human genius.
In Einstein: A Biography, Jurgen Neffe presents a clear and probing portrait of the man behind the myth. He recounts Einstein's life with detail and accuracy, presenting a comprehensive account of the educational, religious, psychological and historical conditions that enabled Einstein to become the ber-physicist of all time. Unearthing new documents, including a series of previously unknown letters from Einstein to his sons, which shed a new light on his role as a father, Neffe also paints a rich portrait of the tumultuous years in which Einstein lived and worked.
With a background in the sciences, Neffe describes and contextualizes Einstein's enormous contributions to our scientific legacy. He leads his readers through today's institutes and laboratories worldwide, where Einstein's work continues to thrill researchers and scholars.
A bestseller in Germany, Einstein is sure to be a classic biography of the man and proverbial genius who has been called the brain of the [twentieth] century.
The phenomenon of neuroplasticity - the discovery that the brain can change its own structure and function in response to mental experience - is the most important development in our understanding of the brain and mind since the beginning of modern science. Here, Doidge shows how the amazing process of neuroplastic healing really works. When it is understood, it is often possible to radically improve - and even cure - many conditions thought to be irreversible. Doidge introduces us to the doctors, therapists, and patients who are healing the brain without surgery or medication. We meet patients who have alleviated years of chronic pain; children on the autistic spectrum, or with ADD or learning disorders, who have used neuroplastic techniques to complete a normal education and become independent; and sufferers who have seen symptoms of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, brain injuries, and cerebral palsy radically diminish; and we learn how to lower our risk of dementia by 60 per cent. Through hopeful, astonishing stories, The Brain's Way of Healing explains how mind, brain, and body, and the energies around us, work together in health and healing.
Have you ever wondered why some sixty-year-olds look and feel like forty-year-olds, and why some forty-year-olds look and feel like sixty-year-olds? More importantly - can you choose which outcome will happen to you? Written by Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn and health psychologist Elissa Epel, The Telomere Effect reveals the ground-breaking science at the heart of ageing - and what you can do to help reverse it. While many factors contribute to ageing and illness, Elizabeth and Elissa's award-winning research has revealed that the length of our telomeres - the part of our chromosomes which determine how fast our cells age and die - can have a direct effect on how quickly or slowly we age. In this pioneering book, discover for the first time the many simple changes you can make to your diet, sleep and mental wellbeing to look after your telomeres. From which foods to eat, types of exercise to practise, various mind tricks to prevent stress - and how to shield your children from developing shorter telomeres from conception through to adolescence - start protecting your telomeres and your youth today.
Big History, the field that studies the entire known past of our universe to give context to human existence, has so far been the domain of historians. In A Most Improbable Journey, Walter Alvarez-best known for his Impact Theory explaining dinosaur extinction-makes a compelling case for a new, science-first approach to Big History. He brings a scientist's view to the human story, from the creation of our universe and our planet, the rise of life, the movement of our continents and its effect on human migration, to humanity's ascendance. Alvarez's observations and stories will give readers a new appreciation of the events that have led to the human situation. Through entertaining, bite-sized chapters, A Most Improbable Journey will send readers out in a thousand directions to learn more.
66 million years ago, a ten-mile-wide object from outer space hurtled into the Earth at incredible speed. The impact annihilated the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. But what if this catastrophe was the sign of something greater: an opening vista onto the interconnectedness of the universe itself? This is the story of the astounding forces that underpin our existence; a horizon-expanding tour of the cosmos that unifies what we know about the universe with new thinking. From the far-flung reaches of space, the make-up of the universe and our solar system's place within it, to the mysterious and elusive stuff of dark matter and how it affects life here on Earth.
Suitable for lay readers as well as students, this book discusses the 20th-century transition from classical to quantum physics - an event comparable to the impact on science from the work of Galileo, Newton, and Darwin. The insightful overview explores the origins of quantum physics and how the discipline changed our view of the physical world and forces of nature.
Praised by the American Journal of Physics as an outstanding and ambitious textbook for nonscience majors, this book introduces the uses of probability and statistics in the physical sciences, focusing on thermal and statistical physics. Only some familiarity with basic algebra is needed to understand explanations of many basic concepts.
All the winning and shortlisted images from the 2016 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, which is hosted by the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Foreword by German fine-art photographer, Wolfgang Tillmans. The images are submitted in one of the following categories: * Earth and Space * Our Solar System * Deep Space * Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year And can also be entered for one of the special prizes: * Best Newcomer * People and Space * Robotic Scope Each image is accompanied by caption, photographer, location and technical details. Exhibition Every year the Royal Observatory, Greenwich hosts a free exhibition of the winners of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, showcasing some incredible images of the sky.
On 21 March 2013, the European Space Agency released a map of the afterglow of the Big Bang. Taking in 440 sextillion kilometres of space and 13.8 billion years of time, it is physically impossible to make a better map: we will never see the early Universe in more detail. On the one hand, such a view is the apotheosis of modern cosmology, on the other, it threatens to undermine almost everything we hold cosmologically sacrosanct. The map contains anomalies that challenge our understanding of the Universe. It will force us to revisit what is known and what is unknown, to construct a new model of our Universe. This is the first book to address what will be an epoch-defining scientific paradigm shift. Stuart Clark will ask if Newton's famous laws of gravity need to be rewritten, if dark matter and dark energy are just celestial phantoms? Can we ever know what happened before the Big Bang? What's at the bottom of a black hole? Are there Universes beyond our own? Does time exist? Are the once immutable laws of physics changing?
Right now, above our heads nearly imperceptible to us but hugely important to how we live are thousands of man-made objects that we have sent into space. Ubiquitous but mysterious, satellites are the technological infrastructure of our globally connected world, helping us do everything from orient ourselves on a map to watch our favorite television shows. Yet we rarely ever think about them. In this book, Doug Millard pays overdue tribute to the stoic existence of the satellite, tracing its simultaneous pathways through the cold silence of space and the noisy turbulence of the past century. How satellites ever came to be is, in itself, a remarkable story. Telling an astonishing history of engineering experimentation and ingenuity, Millard shows how the Cold War space race made the earliest satellites ones like Sputnik, Telstar, and Early Bird household names. He describes how they evolved into cultural signifiers that represented not only our scientific capabilities but our capacity for imagination, our ability to broaden the scope of our vision to the farthest reaches. From there he follows the proliferation of satellites in the second half of the twentieth century, examining their many different forms, how they evolved, all the things they do, what they have enabled, and how they have influenced our popular culture. Ultimately, Millard asks what we can still expect, what sort of space age the satellite has initiated that is yet to be fully realized. Published in association with the Science Museum, London, this beautifully illustrated book will appeal to any fan of space exploration and technology.
In October 1968 Donn Eisele flew with fellow astronauts Walt Cunningham and Wally Schirra into Earth orbit in Apollo 7. The first manned mission in the Apollo program and the first manned flight after a fire during a launch pad test killed three astronauts in early 1967, Apollo 7 helped restart NASA's manned-spaceflight program.
Known to many as a goofy, lighthearted prankster, Eisele worked his way from the U.S. Naval Academy to test pilot school and then into the select ranks of America's prestigious astronaut corps. He was originally on the crew of Apollo 1 before being replaced due to injury. After that crew died in a horrific fire, Eisele was on the crew selected to return Americans to space. Despite the success of Apollo 7, Eisele never flew in space again, as divorce and a testy crew commander led to the three astronauts being labeled as troublemakers.
Unbeknownst to everyone, after his retirement as a technical assistant for manned spaceflight at NASA's Langley Research Center in 1972, Eisele wrote in detail about his years in the air force and his time in the Apollo program. Long after his death, Francis French discovered Eisele's unpublished memoir, and Susie Eisele Black (Donn's widow) allowed French access to her late husband's NASA files and personal effects. Readers can now experience an Apollo story they assumed would never be written as well as the story behind its discovery.
In one hundred years, or even fifty, the Arctic will look dramatically different than it does today. As polar ice retreats and animals and plants migrate northward, the arctic landscape is morphing into something new and very different from what it once was. While these changes may seem remote, they will have a profound impact on a host of global issues, from international politics to animal migrations. In Future Arctic, journalist and explorer Edward Struzik offers a clear-eyed look at the rapidly shifting dynamics in the Arctic region, a harbinger of changes that will reverberate throughout our entire world.
Future Arctic reveals the inside story of how politics and climate change are altering the polar world in a way that will have profound effects on economics, culture, and the environment as we know it. Struzik takes readers up mountains and cliffs, and along for the ride on snowmobiles and helicopters, sailboats and icebreakers. His travel companions, from wildlife scientists to military strategists to indigenous peoples, share diverse insights into the science, culture and geopolitical tensions of this captivating place. With their help, Struzik begins piecing together an environmental puzzle: How might the land?s most iconic species?caribou, polar bears, narwhal?survive? Where will migrating birds flock to? How will ocean currents shift? And what fundamental changes will oil and gas exploration have on economies and ecosystems? How will vast unclaimed regions of the Arctic be divided?
A unique combination of extensive on-the-ground research, compelling storytelling, and policy analysis, Future Arctic offers a new look at the changes occurring in this remote, mysterious region and their far-reaching effects.
Biogeography, the study of the distribution of life on Earth, has undergone more conceptual changes, revolutions and turf wars than any other scientific fields.
Australasian biogeographers are responsible for several of these great upheavals, including debates on cladistics, panbiogeography and the drowning of New Zealand, some of which have significantly shaped present-day studies. Australasian biogeography has been caught in a cycle of reinvention that has lasted for over 150 years. The biogeographic research making headlines today is merely a shadow of past practices, having barely advanced scientifically. Fundamental biogeographic questions raised by naturalists a century ago remain unanswered yet are as relevent today as they were then. Scientists still do not know whether Australia and New Zealand are natural biotic areas or if they are in fact artifical amalgamations of areas. The same question goes for all biotic areas in Australasia: are they real?
Reinvention of Australasian Biogeography tells the story of the history of Australasian biogeography, enabling understanding of the cycle of reinvention and the means by which to break it, and paves the way for future biogeographical research.
This book is the first major study of the history of environmentalism, from its origins in romanticism and the nature cults of the late 18th century to the global environmental movements of today. Radkau shows that this is not a single story of the steady ascent of environmentalism but rather a multiplicity of stories, each with its own dramatic tension: between single-issue movements and the challenges posed by the interconnection of environmental issues, between charismatic leaders and bureaucratic organizations, and between grassroot movements and global players. While the history can be traced back several centuries, environmentalism has flourished since the 'environmental revolution' of 1970, spurred on by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 and the growing concern about global warming. While environmentalists often opposed the scientific mainstream, they were also often led by scientific knowledge. Environmentalism is the true Enlightenment of our time D so much so that we can call our era 'the age of ecology'. This timely and comprehensive global history of environmentalism will be essential reading for anyone concerned with the most pressing global issues of our time.
Forget about wilderness, Tim Low says, nature lives in our cities and gardens, exploiting everything we do. Many endangered species now live in industrial zones and cities. In our forests, native creatures have become pests. Fifteen years on, The New Nature continues to challenge the way we view the interactions between human beings and nature, and pushes us to review our relationship with Australia's wilderness.
In the midst of the current ecological crisis, there is often lofty talk of the need for humanity to ‘overcome its divisions’ and work together to tackle the big challenges of our time. But as this new book by Razmig Keucheyan shows, the real picture is very different. Just take the case of the siting of toxic waste landfills in the United States: if you want to know where waste is most likely to be dumped, ask yourself where Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and other racial minorities live and where the poorest neighbourhoods are. This kind of ‘environmental racism’ is by no means restricted to the United States: it is very much a global phenomenon.
Keucheyan show how the capitalist response to the crisis has been marked by a massive expansion in ‘environmental finance’. From ‘carbon markets’ to ‘pollution permits’, ‘climate derivatives’ and ‘catastrophe bonds’, we are seeing a proliferation of nature-related financial products. Instead of tackling the root of the problem, the neoliberal strategy seeks to profit from environmental risks.
Moreover, with the rise in natural disasters, resource scarcity, food crises, the destabilization of the poles and oceans and the prospect of tens of millions of ‘climate refugees’, Western powers are increasingly adopting a military response to ecological problems. The Cold War is over: welcome to the ‘green wars’. From New Orleans to the Siachen glacier via the Arctic floes, Keucheyan explores the landmark sites of this new ‘climate geostrategy’.
Through a sharp critique of the way capitalism responds to environmental disaster, this innovative book provides a fresh perspective on some of the most critical issues confronting our societies today.
While it is responsible for today s abundance of flat screens on televisions, computers, and mobile devices most of us have only heard of it in the ubiquitous acronym, LCD, with little thought as to exactly what it is: liquid crystal. In this book, Esther Leslie enlightens us, offering an accessible and fascinating look at not a substance, not a technology but a wholly different phase of matter. As she explains, liquid crystal is a curious material phase that organizes a substance's molecules in a crystalline form yet allows them to move fluidly like water. Observed since the nineteenth century, this phase has been a deep curiosity to science and, in more recent times, the key to a new era of media technology. In between that time, as Leslie shows, it has figured in cultural forms from Romantic landscape painting to snow globes, from mountaineering to eco-disasters, and from touchscreen devices to DNA. Expertly written but accessible, Liquid Crystals recounts the unheralded but hugely significant emergence of this unique form of matter.
This well-written and engaging volume introduces knot theory, an area of growing interest in contemporary math teaching. The hands-on approach features many exercises to be completed by readers and requires only a basic familiarity with algebra. Topics include knot definition and equivalence, families of links and braids, knot notation, virtual knots, and related subjects.
This introductory treatment provides insightful expositions of specific applications as well as elements of mathematical history and culture. The in-depth coverage of key mathematical topics is presented in clear terms and at an informal level that relates classic concepts to readers' everyday lives. Some knowledge of high school algebra would be useful for a full appreciation of the book, which is suitable for advanced high school students and college undergraduates in all fields as well as readers with an interest in mathematics and its history.The first five chapters, as published in the book's first edition, deal somewhat unconventionally with probability, statistics, voting systems, game theory, and linear programming. This new edition adds chapters on geometry in two and three dimensions, Egyptian arithmetic, the evolution of the normal distribution, and other subjects. Readers are certain to acquire a heightened awareness of many aspects of contemporary mathematics and its subject matter, relevant applications, and history.
Have you ever played the addictive card game SET? Have you ever wondered about the connections between games and mathematics? If the answer to either question is "yes," then The Joy of SET is the book for you! The Joy of SET takes readers on a fascinating journey into this seemingly simple card game and reveals its surprisingly deep and diverse mathematical dimensions. Absolutely no mathematical background is necessary to enjoy this book - all you need is a sense of curiosity and adventure!
Originally invented in 1974 by Marsha Falco and officially released in 1991, SET has gained a widespread, loyal following. SET's eighty-one cards consist of one, two, or three symbols of different shapes (diamond, oval, squiggle), shadings (solid, striped, open), and colors (green, purple, red). In order to win, players must identify "sets" of three cards for which each characteristic is the same - or different - on all the cards. SET's strategic and unique design opens connections to a plethora of mathematical disciplines, including geometry, modular arithmetic, combinatorics, probability, linear algebra, and computer simulations. The Joy of SET looks at these areas as well as avenues for further mathematical exploration. As the authors show, the relationship between SET and mathematics runs in both directions - playing this game has generated new mathematics, and the math has led to new questions about the game itself.
The first book devoted to the mathematics of one of today's most popular card games, The Joy of SET will entertain and enlighten the game enthusiast in all of us.
Updated throughout, the 6th edition of Bradt's Antarctica: a Guide to Wildlife is the most practical guide to the flora and fauna available for those going south . Celebrating the amazing and often unique species of this spectacular environment, the title features chapters on the region's famous whales and penguins, and also on lesser known species such as skuas and sheathbills, with full coverage of plumage and identification. Each chapter is accompanied by vibrant illustrations from Dafila Scott to help bring species to life. In the last 10 years visitors to Antarctica have trebled to 30,000, and there are now 35 tour operators visiting the region. Tony Soper's immaculate and engaging text remains the indispensible choice for the intrepid wildlife enthusiast.
Dinosaurs have filled us with wonder since the first monstrous bones were pulled from the earth thousands of years ago. For centuries, we imagined dinosaurs as giant, clumsy brutes—but science has since revealed them to be so much more. They were living, breathing animals that had moments of great power and ferocity, but also periods of quiet beauty. Of course, science cannot tell us how they behaved or how they interacted with their environments. For that, we need our imaginations.
The Amazing World of Dinosaurs is an intersection where imagination and knowledge meet. It features breathtaking dinosaur paleoart that accurately reflects our current knowledge. These captivating images are paired with the author?s research and insights, which make dinosaurs and the Mesozoic Era accessible to anyone.
From famous creatures like Tyrannosaurus rex to lesser-known species such as Monolophosaurus, dinosaurs continue to spark the imaginations of children and adults everywhere. Let The Amazing World of Dinosaurs guide you through this incredible time in history.