Light takes just eight minutes to reach Earth from the surface of the Sun - but its journey within the Sun takes hundreds of thousands of years. What is going on in there? How does the Sun produce light and heat - and how on earth did scientists find out? In this astonishing and enlightening adventure, you'll travel millions of miles from inside the Sun to its surface and to Earth, on the way discovering the latest research in solar physics, learning how the sun works and meeting the ground-breaking scientists who pieced this extraordinary story together.
On most measures that matter, we've never had it so good. Physically, life for humankind has improved immeasurably over the last fifty years. Yet there is a crisis of progress slowly spreading across the world. Perhaps this is due to a failure of vision; in the 1960s we dreamed of flying cars and moon hotels; today what we've ended up with are status updates and cat videos.
To a large degree, the history of the next fifty years will be about the relationship between people and technologies created by a tiny handful of designers and developers. These inventions will undoubtedly change our lives, but the question is, to what end?
What do we want these technologies to achieve on our behalf? What are they capable of, and — as they transform the media, the economy, healthcare, education, work, and the home — what kind of lives do we want to lead?
Richard Watson hereby extends an exuberant invitation for us to think deeply about the world of today and envision what kind of world we wish to create in the future. In a fascinating and accessible way, Digital vs Human examines the possible effects of technology on every area of our lives.
For decades, people have written off birds as largely witless, driven by instinct and capable of only the simplest mental processes. But this just isn't true.
In The Genius of Birds, popular science writer Jennifer Ackerman presents the latest research on bird intelligence and reveals that birds are much, much smarter than we ever supposed. Bird brains, it turns out, are mostly made of sophisticated information processing systems that work in much the same way as our own cerebral cortices. Whether it's making complex navigations, singing in regional accents, or joking around with humans, birds are capable of high-level abstract thinking, problem-solving, remembering, learning by example, recognising faces, and even conversing in a meaningful way - all with brains so tiny each would fit inside a walnut.
In this entertaining book, Ackerman explores the view of birds as 'thinkers', capable of being cunning, playful, witty, greedy, cranky, joyful, and competitive. Bringing together the latest science from lab and field, she reveals the intelligent bird behaviour that we can see in our own backyards, at birdfeeders, in parks, in city streets, and in country skies, if only we care to look. And in doing so, she reveals what a bird's intelligence may have to say about our own.
Lyrical and informative, The Genius of Birds is written in the spirit of Peter Matthiessen - and is packed with fascinating science that will appeal to bird lovers, nature enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the brain and animal behaviour.
Why is life the way it is? Bacteria evolved into complex life just once in four billion years of life on earth-and all complex life shares many strange properties, from sex to ageing and death. If life evolved on other planets, would it be the same or completely different? In The Vital Question, Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a cogent solution to conundrums that have troubled scientists for decades. The answer, he argues, lies in energy: how all life on Earth lives off a voltage with the strength of a bolt of lightning. In unravelling these scientific enigmas, making sense of life's quirks, Lane's explanation provides a solution to life's vital questions: why are we as we are, and why are we here at all? This is ground-breaking science in an accessible form, in the tradition of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species, Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, and Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel.
This comprehensive guide covers the history and development of mathematics, from the Ancient Egyptians and Pythagoreans to key figures such as Galileo, Dodgson, Babbage and Lovelace through to contemporary work of the 21st century. It tells of the remarkable stories that have shaped mathematics and also features sections on how maths can be used to solve the mysteries of the universe, what the Prisoner's Dilemma is as well as Fermat's Last Theorem amongst many more. Accessible, well-informed and fully-illustrated, this is a book that shows perfectly just how varied and fascinating mathematics is as a subject.
It is the hidden enemy, the one that challenges the very basis of civilization. This entropic menace destroys cars, fells bridges, sinks ships, sparks house fires, and nearly brought down the Statue of Liberty's torch. It is rust - and this book, full of wit and insight, disasters and triumphs - is its story. In Rust, Waldman travels from Key West to Prudhoe Bay, meeting people concerned with corrosion. He sneaks into an abandoned steelworks and nearly gets kicked out of Can School. He follows a high-tech robot through an arctic winter, hunting for rust in the Alaska pipeline. In Texas, he finds a corrosion engineer named Rusty, and in Colorado, he learns of the animosity between the galvanizing industry and the paint army. Along the way, Waldman recounts stories of flying pigs, Trekkies, rust boogers, and unlikely superheroes. The result is a man-versus-nature tale that's as fascinating as it is grand, illuminating a hidden phenomenon that shapes the modern world.
On April 12, 1981 a revolutionary new spacecraft blasted off from Florida on her maiden flight. NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia was the most advanced flying machine ever built -- the high watermark of post-war aviation development. A direct descendant of the record-breaking X-planes the likes of which Chuck Yeager had tested in the skies over the Mojave Desert, Columbia was a winged rocket plane, the size of an airliner, capable of flying to space and back before being made ready to fly again. She was the world's first real spaceship.
On board were men with the Right Stuff. The Shuttle's Commander, moonwalker John Young, was already a veteran of five spaceflights. Alongside him, Pilot Bob Crippen was making his first, but Crip, taken in by the space agency after the cancellation of a top secret military space station programme in 1969, had worked on the Shuttle's development for a decade. Never before had a crew been so well prepared for their mission.
Yet less than an hour after Young and Crippen's spectacular departure from the Cape it was clear that all was not well. Tiles designed to protect Columbia from the blowtorch burn of re-entry were missing from the heatshield. If the damage to their ship was too great the astronauts would be unable to return safely to earth. But neither they nor mission control possessed any way of knowing.
Instead, NASA turned to the National Reconnaissance Office, a spy agency hidden deep inside the Pentagon whose very existence was classified. To help, the NRO would attempt something that had never been done before. Success would require skill, pinpoint timing and luck.
Drawing on brand new interviews with astronauts and engineers, archive material and newly declassified documents, Rowland White, bestselling author of Vulcan 607, has pieced together the dramatic untold story of the mission for the first time. Into the Black is a thrilling race against time; a gripping high stakes cold-war story, and a celebration of a beyond the state-of-the-art machine that, hailed as one of the seven new wonders of the world, rekindled our passion for spaceflight.
Everyone wonders what it's really like in space, but very few of us ever have the chance to experience it firsthand. This captivating illustrated collection brings together stories from dozens of international astronauts--men and women who've actually been there--bringing back accounts of the sometimes weird, often funny, and awe inspiring sensations and realities of being in space.With playful artwork accompanying each, here are the real stories behind backwards dreams, 'moon face,' the tricks of sleeping in zero gravity and aiming your sneeze during a spacewalk, the importance of packing hot sauce, and dozens of other cosmic quirks and amazements that come with travel in and beyond the Earth's orbit.
It was the astronomers and mathematicians of the Islamic world who provided the theories and concepts that paved the way from the geocentric theories of Claudius Ptolemy in the second century AD to the heliocentric breakthroughs of Nicholas Copernicus and Johannes Kepler in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Algebra, the Arabic numeral system, and trigonometry: all these and more originated in the Muslim East and undergirded an increasingly accurate and sophisticated understanding of the movements of the Sun, Moon, and planets. This nontechnical overview of the Islamic advances in the heavenly sciences allows the general reader to appreciate (for the first time) the absolutely crucial role that Muslim scientists played in the overall development of astronomy and astrology in the Eurasian world.
In 1984 President Ronald Reagan gave NASA the go-ahead to build a Space Station. A generation later, the International Space Station is an established and highly successful research centre in Earth orbit. The history of this extraordinary project is a complex weave of powerful threads - political, diplomatic, financial and technological among them - but none is more fascinating than the story of its design. This book provides the first comprehensive account of the Station's conception, design, development and assembly in space. It begins in 1979 with early NASA concepts based on the use of the Space Shuttle and ends with the final Space Shuttle mission in 2011. As a highly accessible chronicle of a complex piece of design and engineering, it is a book that will appeal to readers far beyond the space field.
You may not be able to go to Mars yourself, but thanks to Mars One, you can follow along as Mars's first permanent human settlers prepare for their mission—and now, with Mars One: The Human Factor, you can step inside the experience of these astronaut pioneers as they live out the dreams of millions.
In 2013, Mars One announced their intentions to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars beginning as early as 2024; they launched their astronaut selection program and received thousands of applications. In 2015, a documentary reality series will give the world a window into the captivating details of the crew selection and training process.
Mars One: Humanity's Next Great Adventure, timed to release alongside the show, explores the various human dimensions of Mars One’s planned expeditions to Mars. Edited by Norbert Kraft, MD, Mars One’s Chief Medical Officer and head of crew selection and training, and James R. Kass, PhD, and Raye Kass, PhD, the other two members of the Mars One crew selection and training committee, the collection of scientists, psychologists, historians, and others provides a behind-the-scenes look at the process and criteria used to choose candidates, as well as fascinating details about their future life on Mars.
What essential skills and training with the Mars One astronauts need to get to and then survive on Mars?
What combination of genders and ages make for the most effective four-person crew? How do individuals’ cultural backgrounds factor in?
Will settlers be able to communicate with Earth?
What can the Mars One mission learn from past periods of human exploration?
What are the complexities of a group of four, and ultimately hundreds, operating with complete independence from human societies on Earth?
What are the psychological ramifications of knowing your actions are being watched by millions of people? What does Mars One hope watching the process will mean for viewers at home?
The book also includes excerpts from official Mars One documents, including candidate questionnaires, and excerpts of letters from prospective crew members.
An isotope is a variant form of a chemical element, containing a different number of neutrons in its nucleus. Most elements exist as several isotopes. Many are stable while others are radioactive, and some may only exist fleetingly before decaying into other elements.
In this Very Short Introduction, Rob Ellam explains how isotopes have proved enormously important across all the sciences and in archaeology. Radioactive isotopes may be familiar from their use in nuclear weapons, nuclear power, and in medicine, as well as in carbon dating. They have been central to establishing the age of the Earth and the origins of the solar system. Combining previous and new research, Ellam provides an overview of the nature of stable and radioactive isotopes, and considers their wide range of modern applications.
Gleaming and perfect, gold has beguiled humankind for many millennia, attracting treasure hunters, adorning the living and the dead, and symbolizing wealth, power, divinity and eternity. This book offers a lively, critical look at the cultural history of this most regal metal, from its use in religious ceremonies to colonial expeditions to modern science, examining its importance across many cultures and time periods and the many places where it has played a central role.Gold reveals this metal as a substance of paradoxes. Its softness makes it at once useless for the making of tools and highly suited for the exploration of form and the transmission of images, such as the faces of rulers on currency. It has been the icon of value - the surest bet in times of uncertain markets - yet also of valuelessness, a discovery that King Midas learned the hard way. Furthermore, Gold shows how this element has been at the centre of many clashes between cultures throughout history, the unfortunate catalyst of countless moments of bloodlust. Ultimately, this book shows that the questions posed by our relentless desire for gold are really questions about value itself. Lavishly illustrated, this book offers a shimmering exploration of the mythology, economy, aesthetics and perils at the centre of this simple yet irresistible substance.
Weather, water, and climate. How we feel, how productive we are, even our sheer existence, depends on these three things. The United States economic activity varies annually by 1.7% due to weather-that is more than $500 billion dollars each year! Weather applications on mobile devices are the second most popular 'apps' - more popular than social networking, maps, music,and news. In Treading on Thin Air, Dr. Elizabeth Austin, a world-renowned atmospheric physicist, reveals how the climate is intimately tied to our daily lives. The effects and impacts of weather on humans, society and the planet are changing with the times. Dr. Austin will demystify climate change, revealing what is really happening with our climate and why, whether it is El Nino, tornadoes, floods or hurricanes. Weather and society are at its most fascinating at extremes, and as Dr. Austin is one of a handful of forensic meteorologists around the globe. She has been called upon to investigate plane crashes, murders, wildfires, avalanches, even bombing cases. Drawing upon her rich experiences, Austin's Treading on Thin Air promises to be an enlightening and informative journey through the wild word of weather.
'Without countervailing voices, naming and challenging power, political freedom withers and dies. Without countervailing voices, a better world can never materialise. Without countervailing voices, wells will still be dug and bridges will still be built, but only for the few. Food will still be grown, but it will not reach the mouths of the poor. New medicines will be developed, but they will be inaccessible to many of those in need.'
George Monbiot is one of the most vocal, and eloquent, critics of the current consensus. How Did We Get into this Mess?, based on his powerful journalism, assesses the state we are now in: the devastation of the natural world, the crisis of inequality, the corporate takeover of nature, our obsessions with growth and profit and the decline of the political debate over what to do.
While his diagnosis of the problems in front of us is clear-sighted and reasonable, he also develops solutions to challenge the politics of fear. How do we stand up to the powerful when they seem to have all the weapons? What can we do to prepare our children for an uncertain future? Controversial, clear but always rigorously argued, How Did We Get into this Mess? makes a persuasive case for change in our everyday lives, our politics and economics, the ways we treat each other and the natural world.
We live in a world that is increasingly difficult to understand. It is not just changing: it is metamorphosing. Change implies that some things change but other things remain the same capitalism changes, but some aspects of capitalism remain as they always were. Metamorphosis implies a much more radical transformation in which the old certainties of modern society are falling away and something quite new is emerging. To grasp this metamorphosis of the world it is necessary to explore the new beginnings, to focus on what is emerging from the old and seek to grasp future structures and norms in the turmoil of the present.
Take climate change: much of the debate about climate change has focused on whether or not it is really happening, and if it is, what we can do to stop or contain it. But this emphasis on solutions blinds us to the fact that climate change is an agent of metamorphosis. It has already altered our way of being in the world the way we live in the world, think about the world and seek to act upon the world through our actions and politics. Rising sea levels are creating new landscapes of inequality drawing new world maps whose key lines are not traditional boundaries between nation-states but elevations above sea level. It is creating an entirely different way of conceptualizing the world and our chances of survival within it.
The theory of metamorphosis goes beyond theory of world risk society: it is not about the negative side effects of goods but the positive side effects of bads. They produce normative horizons of common goods and propel us beyond the national frame towards a cosmopolitan outlook.
Everyone has heard of Albert Einstein and everyone knows that he was a genius. Yet only a few people understand his work. In fact, he was just one of many brilliant scientists grappling with the deepest problems of theoretical physics during the first half of the twentieth century. He may not have been the most important or influential of them - the point is arguable - but there is no doubt he was the most revolutionary. Almost single-handed, he transformed the way the world thinks about light, matter, space and time. In the sixty years since his death Einstein has become a legend. The profound obscurity of his theories has contributed to this, as has his archetypal mad scientist appearance. His philosophical and political utterances - both real and imagined - are regularly used to clinch arguments online or in the pub. So how can a modern reader separate myth from reality? This short book attempts to do just that!
In 1956, geophysicist and Shell Oil researcher Marion King Hubbert forecast that American oil production would peak surprisingly soon and decline steadily thereafter. Hubbert's prediction outraged the architects of the US oil industry at the time but it was largely correct. Amid a twenty-first century shale boom, Hubbert's logic remains a source of debate. Richly researched, The Oracle of Oil rescues the history of a man who shocked the scientific community with his brilliance, eccentricity and controversy. Mason Inman shows Hubbert was a man of his era: a time of great intellectual ferment and discovery tinged by dark undercurrents of intellectual witch hunts. A portrait of a man whose prescient ideas about sustainability still resonate today, The Oracle of Oil looks to the past to find a guiding philosophy for our energy future.
Beneath the original Venetian glass and rosewood case at La Specola in Florence lies Clemente Susini's Anatomical Venus (c. 1790), a perfect object whose luxuriously bizarre existence challenges belief. It - or, better, she - was conceived of as a means to teach human anatomy without need for constant dissection, which was messy, ethically fraught and subject to quick decay. This life-sized wax woman is adorned with glass eyes and human hair and can be dismembered into dozens of parts revealing, at the final remove, a beatific foetus curled in her womb. Sister models soon appeared throughout Europe, where they not only instructed the specialist students, but also delighted the general public.
Deftly crafted dissectable female wax models and slashed beauties of the world's anatomy museums and fairgrounds of the 18th and 19th centuries take centre stage in this disquieting volume. Since their creation in late 18th-century Florence, these wax women have seduced, intrigued and amazed. Today, they also confound, troubling the edges of our neat categorical divides: life and death, science and art, body and soul, effigy and pedagogy, spectacle and education, kitsch and art. Incisive commentary and captivating imagery reveal the evolution of these enigmatic sculptures from wax effigy to fetish figure and the embodiment of the uncanny.
A unique insight into the Museum of the History of Science, offered by the Director's choice of favourite items. The stunning seventeenth-century 'Old Ashmolean Building' on Broad Street in Oxford houses one of the finest collections of early instruments from Europe and the Islamic world. Together with a fascinating range of material from the eighteenth century to the present day, these artefacts offer an intriguing insight into ingenuity and creativity, and tell amazing stories of human scientific endeavour in a wider cultural and social context. The Director, Silke Ackermann, hand-picks her favourite items and provides an intimate, idiosyncratic guide to a remarkable collection.
Here is the essential how-to guide for communicating scientific research and discoveries online, ideal for journalists, researchers, and public information officers looking to reach a wide lay audience. Drawing on the cumulative experience of twenty-seven of the greatest minds in scientific communication, this invaluable handbook targets the specific questions and concerns of the scientific community, offering help in a wide range of digital areas, including blogging, creating podcasts, tweeting, and more. With step-by-step guidance and one-stop expertise, this is the book every scientist, science writer, and practitioner needs to approach the Wild West of the Web with knowledge and confidence.
A self-professed "comprehensive anticipatory design scientist," the inventor Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was undoubtedly a visionary. Fuller's creations often bordered on the realm of science fiction, ranging from the freestanding geodesic dome to the three-wheel Dymaxion car to a bathroom requiring neither plumbing nor sewage. Yet in spite of his brilliant mind and life-long devotion to serving mankind, Fuller's expansive ideas were often dismissed, and have faded from public memory since his death.
You Belong to the Universe documents Fuller's six-decade quest to "make the world work for one hundred percent of humanity." Critic and experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats sets out to revive Fuller's unconventional practice of comprehensive anticipatory design, placing Fuller's philosophy in a modern context and dispelling much of the mythology surrounding Fuller's life. Keats argues that Fuller's life and ideas, namely doing "the most with the least," are now more relevant than ever as humanity struggles to meet the demands of an exploding world population with finite resources.
Delving deeply into Buckminster Fuller's colorful world, Keats applies Fuller's most important concepts to present-day issues, arguing that his ideas are now not only feasible, but necessary. From transportation to climate change, urban design to education, You Belong to the Universe demonstrates that Fuller's holistic problem-solving techniques may be the only means of addressing some of the world's most pressing issues. Keats's timely book challenges each of us to become comprehensive anticipatory design scientists, providing the necessary tools for continuing Fuller's legacy of improving the world.
Over the course of two decades, John Hargrove worked with 20 different whales on two continents and at two of SeaWorld's US facilities. For Hargrove, becoming an orca trainer fulfilled a childhood dream. However, as his experience with the whales deepened, Hargrove came to doubt that their needs could ever be met in captivity. When two fellow trainers were killed by orcas in marine parks, Hargrove decided that SeaWorld's wildly popular programs were both detrimental to the whales and ultimately unsafe for trainers.
After leaving SeaWorld, Hargrove became one of the stars of the controversial documentary Blackfish. The outcry over the treatment of SeaWorld's orca has now expanded beyond the outlines sketched by the award-winning documentary, with Hargrove contributing his expertise to an advocacy movement that is convincing both federal and state governments to act.
In Beneath the Surface, Hargrove paints a compelling portrait of these highly intelligent and social creatures, including his favorite whales Takara and her mother Kasatka, two of the most dominant orcas in SeaWorld. And he includes vibrant descriptions of the lives of orcas in the wild, contrasting their freedom in the ocean with their lives in SeaWorld.
Beloved as a herald of spring, cuckoos have held a place in our hearts for centuries. But for many other birds the cuckoo is a signal of doom, for it is nature's most notorious cheat. In this enormously engaging book, naturalist and scientist Nick Davies reveals how cuckoos deceive other species, uncovering an evolutionary race between cuckoos and the hosts. Cuckoo offers a new insight not only into the secret lives of these extraordinary birds, but also how cheating evolves and thrives in the natural world.
How could a relatively simple chemical code give rise to the complexity of a human being? How could our human genome have evolved? And how does it actually work?
Over the past 50 years we have deciphered the inner workings of the human genome. From the basic structure of DNA through to the complete sequence of the code, what first appeared to be simple is actually a complex and beautiful three-dimensional world that makes each of us who we are. In The Mysterious World of the Human Genome acclaimed science writer Frank Ryan leads us through the most exciting scientific discoveries of the last 50 years, revealing how this science has unlocked the cure of some genetic diseases, developed the use of DNA in forensic science and paternity testing, helped us trace our ancestors and provided a definitive map for the movement of humans out of Africa. This scientific journey has had a profound impact on our understanding of the evolution of life itself, through the role of the most ancient of organisms in our basic biology all the way to the revelation that our most recent ancestor, Homo neanderthalensis, lives on in many of us.
In the ever more complicated world of the human genome, this is the first book to explain how the human genome actually works as a whole and how that knowledge will have a profound effect on our understanding of where we have come from and where we are likely to be going in the future.
Seashells are the sculpted homes of a remarkable group of animals: the molluscs. These are some of the most ancient and successful animals on the planet, and they have fascinating tales to tell. Spirals in Time charts the course of shells through history, from the first jewelry and the oldest currencies through to their use as potent symbols of sex and death, prestige and war, not to mention a nutritious (and tasty) source of food. In this book, Helen Scales leads us on a journey into the realm of these undersea marvels. She goes in search of everything from snails that 'fly' underwater to octopuses accused of stealing shells and giant mussels with golden beards. Shells are also bellwethers of our impact on the natural world. The effects of overfishing and pollution are, of course, serious concerns, but perhaps more worrying is ocean acidification, which causes shells to simply melt away. Spirals in Time urges you to ponder how seashells can reconnect us with nature, and heal the rift between ourselves and the living world.
A captivating profile of 100 animals across 100 years at Taronga Zoo. Time at Taronga shares intimate stories from the Zoo's own extensive archives and striking images from more than 20 professional photographers, as well as unforgettable moments photographed by the zoo keepers themselves over the decades. It is a fascinating insight into the significance of each animal species, why they are at Taronga, and how the role of the Zoo has changed since it first opened its gates.
It also reveals how Taronga is no longer defined by the boundaries of its Sydney harbourside location, providing valuable field conservation initiatives, education and resources in wildlife projects, on the ground, in four continents. Among its many conservation projects, Taronga helps in educating local Zambian communities against lion poaching; provides assistance to fill in old wells in Sumatra that have killed elephants, tigers and rhinoceros; works in partnership with organisations such as the Jane Goodall Institute in the Congo Basin to release orphaned chimpanzees back into a secure sanctuary; as well as being able to breed and release various Australian species back into the wild where they were previously on the brink of extinction.
An absorbing study of how birds think, revealing how science is exploding the myth of our feathered friends being 'bird brained', and how recent discoveries may call for us to re-evaluate how we identify and classify intelligence in other animals. Bird Brain will start by looking at the structures and functions of the avian brain, and move on to examine different types of intelligence by profiling the extraordinary behaviours of a broad range of the species, studying the masterminds of the avian world, and examining what types of behaviour can be interpreted as 'intelligence' as we would recognize it. Bird Brain will not only look at the well-studied species such as New Caledonian crows and parrots, but also cast a broader eye over the behaviour of a wide range of species from around the world.
The fine text distinguishes the diverse marsupial group from other mammals and places it in its geographic context. It covers all species in Australia and draws together many unique biological traits that characterise these marsupials. We see how marsupials interact with each other and with other living things, and how they survive in the adverse conditions of the Australian continent; they often modify their environment to make it more suitable for themselves, and their impacts can be startling. The tangled interactions of marsupials and people are also examined. Marsupials are integral components of the natural environment and of human endeavour in Australia and this book makes a compelling case for a new, more inclusive attitude towards them. Six notable species are highlighted in feature pages, and the text is completed with thumbnail accounts of all species of Australian marsupials, outlining size, distinguishing features, distribution and key aspects of their biology. this new edition has been updated to include new species and changes in conservation status that have been recognised since the first edition, and the new text reflects all relevant research in the interim.
Jellyfish are mysterious creatures, luminously beautiful with remarkably varied life cycles. These simple, ancient animals are found in every ocean at every depth, and have lived on Earth for at least the last 500 million years. Ominously, they are also increasing in number as they adapt well to marine environmental degradation. Jellyfish is a timely title that looks at their anatomy, life history, taxonomy and ecology, and includes species profiles featuring stunning marine photography that will have you scanning the depths with renewed interest.
Speculation by an ever-growing band of Tasmanian tiger devotees that the thylacine still exists has not wavered, despite the dogmatic stance by the scientific fraternity that the animal is extinct.
This collection of actual accounts and anecdotal yarns originated from discussions the author had with an old Tasmanian tiger trapper, Reg Trigg, who in the early days of the twentieth century established a mutual friendship with Lucy, a tiger he rescued from a trap. Covering a century and a half during which this animal's status has changed from being a despised sheep killer to a magnificent survivor, these enthralling stories are for both the curious and the enthusiast. A collection of wonderful stories, yarns and tales by Australia's pre-eminent tiger enthusiast.
'Col Bailey has written a fascinating collection of folklore stories about the Tasmanian tiger. For those who like a good, natural-history mystery and a bit of entertaining Aussie folklore, the book is no waste of time.' - Sunday Mail on Col's first book
A follow up to Col Bailey's best-selling memoir Shadow of the Thylacine. Includes rare photographs and never-before-shared information.
At a time when the world faces increasing pressures from climate change and biodiversity loss, seeds have never been more important. Highly complex, they have evolved in myriad ways to adapt to their environments. In this book we explore how seed-bearing plants evolved, and unravel the science behind the seed. We also show how scientists are working around the world to gather and bank seeds to save rare and valuable varieties from extinction.
Exquisite images from award-winning National Geographic photographer Robert Clark offer a captivating perspective on the vast beauty and myriad functions of a seemingly simple thing: the bird feather. Each detailed close-up is paired with informative text about the utility and evolution of the feather it depicts, making this handsome marriage of art and science the ideal gift for bird lovers, natural history buffs, and photography enthusiasts.
Playful and inquisitive, seals have long been interested in humans - and humans have reciprocated that interest, falling for their beauty, grace, and charm as they frolic alongside our boats or loll on sandy shores. In this newest entry in the Animal series, Victoria Dickenson traces the history of our interaction with these beautiful, fascinating swimmers, from the centuries of hunting - in which people killed countless seals for their skin, oil, and meat - to the present, when the white-furred baby seal has become one of the most potent symbols of the need for ecological conservation. Along the way, she offers an approachable account of seal biology and behavior, and she delineates the threats they face from habitat destruction and climate change. Beautifully illustrated and packed with stories from folklore, myth, and history, Seal offers a richly immersive view of a much-loved, storied creature.
The Egyptians worshipped them, the Romans dressed them in fitted coats, the Christians made the shepherd synonymous with their divine saviour. In Sheep, Philip Armstrong traces the natural and cultural history of both the wild and domestic species of Ovis: from the Old World mouflon to the corkscrew-horned flocks of the Egyptians, to the 'Trojan sheep' of Homer's Odyssey, to the vast migratory mobs of Spanish merinos - all the way to Dolly the cloned ewe and the sheep-human hybrids of Haruki Murakami. Above all else, Sheep demonstrates that sometimes the most mundane animals turn out to be the most surprising.
Life is the most extraordinary phenomenon in the known universe; but how does it work? Even in this age of cloning and synthetic biology, the remarkable truth remains: nobody has ever made anything living entirely out of dead material. Life remains the only way to make life. Are we missing a vital ingredient in its creation?
Like Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, which provided a new perspective on evolution, Life on the Edge alters our understanding of life's dynamics as Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe Macfadden reveal the hitherto missing ingredient to be quantum mechanics. Drawing on recent ground-breaking experiments around the world, they show how photosynthesis relies on subatomic particles existing in many places at once, while inside enzymes, those workhorses of life that make every molecule within our cells, particles vanish from one point in space and instantly materialize in another.
Each chapter in Life on the Edge opens with an engaging example that illustrates one of life's puzzles – How do migrating birds know where to go? How do we really smell the scent of a rose? How do our genes manage to copy themselves with such precision? – and then reveals how quantum mechanics delivers its answer. Guiding the reader through the maze of rapidly unfolding discovery, Al-Khalili and McFadden communicate vividly the excitement of this explosive new field of quantum biology, with its potentially revolutionary applications, and also offer insights into the biggest puzzle of all: what is life?
How many possible sudoku puzzles are there? In the lottery, what is the chance that two winning balls have consecutive numbers? Who invented Pascal's triangle? (it was not Pascal) Combinatorics, the branch of mathematics concerned with selecting, arranging, and listing or counting collections of objects, works to answer all these questions. Dating back some 3000 years, and initially consisting mainly of the study of permutations and combinations, its scope has broadened to include topics such as graph theory, partitions of numbers, block designs, design of codes, and latin squares. In this Very Short Introduction Robin Wilson gives an overview of the field and its applications in mathematics and computer theory, considering problems from the shortest routes covering certain stops to the minimum number of colours needed to colour a map with different colours for neighbouring countries.
This volume comprises two classic essays on the mathematical theories of elasticity and plasticity by authorities in this area of engineering science. Undergraduate and graduate students in engineering as well as professional engineers will find these works excellent texts and references. The Mathematical Theory of Elasticity covers plane stress and plane strain in the isotropic medium, holes and fillets of assignable shapes, approximate conformal mapping, reinforcement of holes, mixed boundary value problems, the third fundamental problem in two dimensions, eigensolutions for plane and axisymmetric states, anisotropic elasticity, thermal stress, elastic waves induced by thermal shock, three-dimensional contact problems, wave propagation, traveling loads and sources of disturbance, diffraction, and pulse propagation. The Mathematical Theory of Plasticity explores the theory of perfectly plastic solids, the theory of strain-hardening plastic solids, piecewise linear plasticity, minimum principles of plasticity, bending of a circular plate, and other problems.
Already internationally acclaimed for his elegant, lucid writing on the most challenging notions in modern physics, Sean Carroll is emerging as one of the greatest humanist thinkers of his generation as he brings his extraordinary intellect to bear not only on Higgs bosons and extra dimensions but now also on our deepest personal questions.
Where are we? Who are we? Are our emotions, our beliefs, and our hopes and dreams ultimately meaningless out there in the void? Does human purpose and meaning fit into a scientific worldview?
In short chapters filled with intriguing historical anecdotes, personal asides, and rigorous exposition, readers learn the difference between how the world works at the quantum level, the cosmic level, and the human level - and then how each connects to the other. Carroll's presentation of the principles that have guided the scientific revolution from Darwin and Einstein to the origins of life, consciousness, and the universe is dazzlingly unique. Carroll shows how an avalanche of discoveries in the past few hundred years has changed our world and what really matters to us. Our lives are dwarfed like never before by the immensity of space and time, but they are redeemed by our capacity to comprehend it and give it meaning.
The Big Picture is an unprecedented scientific worldview, a tour de force that will sit on shelves alongside the works of Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Daniel Dennett, and E. O. Wilson for years to come.
More than fifty years ago, John Coltrane drew the twelve musical notes in a circle and connected them by straight lines, forming a five-pointed star. Inspired by Einstein, Coltrane had put physics and geometry at the core of his music. Physicist and jazz musician Stephon Alexander returns the favor, using jazz to answer physics most vexing questions about the past and future of the universe.
Following the great minds that first drew the links between music and physicsa list including Pythagoras, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, and Rakim "The Jazz of Physics" revisits the ancient realm where music, physics, and the cosmos were one. This cosmological journey accompanies Alexander s own tale of struggling to reconcile his passion for music and physics, from taking music lessons as a boy in the Bronx to studying theoretical physics at Imperial College, London s inner sanctum of string theory. Playing the saxophone and improvising with equations, Alexander uncovered the connection between the fundamental waves that make up sound and the fundamental waves that make up everything else. As he reveals, the ancient poetic idea of the music of the spheres, taken seriously, clarifies confounding issues in physics. Whether you are more familiar with Brian Greene or Brian Eno, John Coltrane or John Wheeler, the Five Percent Nation or why the universe is less than five percent visible, there is a new discovery on every page.
Covering the entire history of the universe from its birth to its fate, its structure on the smallest and largest scales, "The Jazz of Physics" will fascinate and inspire anyone interested in the mysteries of our universe, music, and life itself."
John Stewart Bell (1928-1990) was one of the most important figures in twentieth-century physics, famous for his work on the fundamental aspects of the century's most important theory, quantum mechanics. While the debate over quantum theory between the supremely famous physicists, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr, appeared to have become sterile in the 1930s, Bell was able to revive it and to make crucial advances - Bell's Theorem or Bell's Inequalities. He was able to demonstrate a contradiction between quantum theory and essential elements of pre-quantum theory - locality and causality. The book gives a non-mathematical account of Bell's relatively impoverished upbringing in Belfast and his education. It describes his major contributions to quantum theory, but also his important work in the physics of accelerators, and nuclear and elementary particle physics.
Insects of South-Eastern Australia is a unique field guide that uses host plants and behavioural attributes as the starting point for identifying insects. Richly illustrated with colour photographs, the different species of insects found in Australia's temperate south-east, including plant feeders, predators, parasites and decomposers, are presented. The guide is complemented by an introduction to the insects of the region, including their environment, classification, life history, feeding strategies and behaviour. Fascinating boxes on camouflage, mimicry and many other topics are also included throughout.