From the first particles of matter and atomic building-blocks to hydrogen fusion, large galaxies and supermassive black holes, with a healthy dose of history and fun facts to glue everything together, this is your very own guide to How to Build a Universe. Using a mixture of eye-catching graphics, humour and structured narrative, in How to Build a Universe, Metro columnist Ben Gilliland explains the complex concepts surrounding the birth and development of the galaxies, without overwhelming or patronising the reader. Gilliland demonstrates how the cosmos came to be - from the formation of the first particles in the Big Bang to the development of the first stars, galaxies, planets and leading up to the present day and where the future of the universe might lie. Each chapter has an ongoing narrative, building the universe piece by piece, with graphics and fact boxes interspersed throughout.
In his first book, The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge described the most important development in our understanding of the brain in four hundred years: the discovery that the brain can change its own structure and function in response to mental experience - what we call neuroplasticity.
In his new book he shows how this amazing discovery really works, significantly broadening the field from traumatic brain injury to all manner of diseases and conditions in which brain functioning is a factor.
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.
We have within us the potential if guided wisely to enhance human flourishing at the same time as we limit the impact of disease. Genetics, is constantly adapting and re-expressing itself in an ongoing interplay between the environment, mind and consciousness. The old way of looking at genetics was that we just got dealt a genetic hand by nature and we were either lucky or unlucky in what we got dealt.
Dr Hassed's book shows how we can get to play the genetic hand with a wealth of information on how this can be achieved. Chapters include: genetics; temoleres and the genetics of ageing gracefully; hand-me-down genes; the importance of the environment - physical, social, chemical exposure, radiation; the importance of exercise; substance abuse, prevent - how to keep our genes healthy; treatment - changing the course of chronic illness; stress, relaxation and meditation; caring for the next generation; the essence of health, the future.
Chapters include : genetics; telomeres and the genetics of ageing gracefully; hand-me-down genes; the importance of the environment - physical, social, chemical exposure, radiation; the mind-gene relationship; lifestyle medicine; the importance of nutrition, the importance of exercise; substance abuse, prevention - how to keep our genes healthy; treatment - changing the course of chronic illness; stress, relaxation and meditation; caring for the next generation; the essence of health, the future.
A comprehensive and comical illustrated guide to algebra.
Do you think that a Cartesian plane is a luxury jetliner? Does the phrase algebraic expression leave you with a puzzled look? Do you believe that the Order of Operations is an Emmy-winning medical drama? Then you need The Cartoon Guide to Algebra to put you on the road to algebraic literacy.
The Cartoon Guide to Algebra covers all of algebra's essentials - including rational and real numbers, the number line, variables, expressions, laws of combination, linear and quadratic equations, rates, proportion, and graphing - with clear, funny, and easy-to-understand illustrations, making algebra's many practical applications come alive.
This latest math guide from New York Times bestselling author Larry Gonick is an essential supplement for students of all levels, in high school, college, and beyond. School's most dreaded subject has never been more fun.
The bestselling editor of This Explains Everything brings together 175 of the world's most brilliant minds to tackle Edge.org's 2014 question: What scientific idea has become a relic blocking human progress?
Each year, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org - The world's smartest website (The Guardian) - challenges some of the world's greatest scientists, artists, and philosophers to answer a provocative question crucial to our time. In 2014 he asked 175 brilliant minds to ponder: What scientific idea needs to be put aside in order to make room for new ideas to advance? The answers are as surprising as they are illuminating.
Steven Pinker dismantles the working theory of human behavior; Richard Dawkins renounces essentialism; Sherry Turkle reevaluates our expectations of artificial intelligence; Geoffrey West challenges the concept of a Theory of Everything; Andrei Linde suggests that our universe and its laws may not be as unique as we think; Martin Rees explains why scientific understanding is a limitless goal; Nina Jablonski argues to rid ourselves of the concept of race; Alan Guth rethinks the origins of the universe; Hans Ulrich Obrist warns against glorifying unlimited economic growth and much more.
Profound, engaging, thoughtful, and groundbreaking, This Idea Must Die will change your perceptions and understanding of our world today... and tomorrow.
Never before has such an ambitious series of talks, articles, and recollections been assembled to celebrate the human exploration of space. It is the result of the unique Starmus meeting in 2011 on Tenerife, where the legendary Russian and American pioneers of the space age met up for the fi rst time to share the moments that electrifi ed the human race. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Bill Anders, Yuri Baturin, Charlie Duke, Victor Gorbatko, Alexei Leonov, Jim Lovell, Claude Nicollier, and Sergei Zhukov tell their personal stories about the fi rst space walk, the lunar landing, the heroic recovery of Apollo 13, the repair of the Hubble Space Telescope, and much more. Our discovery of the Universe, our place within it, and the meaning of life on Earth also forged dramatic moments at Starmus through the presentations of some of the worlds leading scientists and thinkers.
Cassini-Huygens was the most ambitious and successful space journey ever launched to the outer Solar System. This book examines all aspects of the journey: its conception and planning; the lengthy political processes needed to make it a reality; the engineering and development required to build the spacecraft; its 2.2-billion mile journey from Earth to the Ringed Planet and the amazing discoveries from the mission. The author traces how the visions of a few brilliant scientists matured, gained popularity and eventually became a reality. Innovative technical leaps were necessary to assemble such a multifaceted spacecraft and reliably operate it while it orbited a planet so far from our own. The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft design evolved from other deep space efforts, most notably the Galileo mission to Jupiter, enabling the voluminous, paradigm-shifting scientific data collected by the spacecraft. Some of these discoveries are absolute gems. A small satellite that scientists once thought of as a dead piece of rock turned out to contain a warm underground sea that could conceivably harbor life. And we now know that hiding under the mist of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is a world with lakes, fluvial channels, and dunes hauntingly reminiscent of those on our own planet, except that on Titan, it's not water that fills those lakes but hydrocarbons. These and other breakthroughs illustrate why the Cassini-Huygens mission will be remembered as one of greatest voyages of discovery ever made.
The story of the men and women who drove the Voyager spacecraft mission - told by a scientist who was there from the beginning. The Voyager spacecraft are our farthest-flung emissaries - 11.3 billion miles away from the crew who built and still operate them, decades since their launch. Voyager 1 left the solar system in 2012; its sister craft, Voyager 2, will do so in 2015. The fantastic journey began in 1977, before the first episode of Cosmos aired. The mission was planned as a grand tour beyond the moon; beyond Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn; and maybe even into interstellar space. The fact that it actually happened makes this humanity's greatest space mission. In The Interstellar Age, award-winning planetary scientist Jim Bell reveals what drove and continues to drive the members of this extraordinary team, including Ed Stone, Voyager 's chief scientist and the one-time head of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab; Charley Kohlhase, an orbital dynamics engineer who helped to design many of the critical slingshot maneuvers around planets that enabled the Voyagers to travel so far; and the geologist whose Earth-bound experience would prove of little help in interpreting the strange new landscapes revealed in the Voyagers ' astoundingly clear images of moons and planets. Speeding through space at a mind-bending eleven miles a second, Voyager 1 is now beyond our solar system's planets. It carries with it artifacts of human civilization. By the time Voyager passes its first star in about 40,000 years, the gold record on the spacecraft, containing various music and images including Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode, will still be playable.
The cycle of day and night and the cycle of seasons are two familiar natural cycles around which many human activities are organized. But is there a third natural cycle of importance for us humans? On 13 March 1989, six million people in Canada went without electricity for many hours: a large explosion on the sun was discovered as the cause of this blackout. Such explosions occur above sunspots, dark features on the surface of the Sun that have been observed through telescopes since the time of Galileo. The number of sunspots has been found to wax and wane over a period of 11 years. Although this cycle was discovered less than two centuries ago, it is becoming increasingly important for us as human society becomes more dependent on technology. For nearly a century after its discovery, the cause of the sunspot cycle remained completely shrouded in mystery. The 1908 discovery of strong magnetic fields in sunspots made it clear that the 11-year cycle is the magnetic cycle of the sun. It is only during the last few decades that major developments in plasma physics have at last given us the clue to the origins of the cycle and how the large explosions affecting the earth arise. Nature's Third Cycle discusses the fascinating science behind the sunspot cycle, and gives an insider's perspective of this cutting-edge scientific research from one of the leaders of the field.
Containing over 3,100 entries on all aspects of both human and physical geography, this best-selling dictionary is the most authoritative single-volume reference work of its kind. It includes coverage of cartography, surveying, meteorology, climatology, ecology, population, industry, and development. Worked examples and diagrams are provided for many entries, including 15 new illustrations. All existing entries have been fully revised and updated for this new edition, and there is now expanded coverage of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and glacial geomorphology, as well as the inclusion of more international examples within definitions, broadening its coverage considerably. The dictionary includes more than 400 new entries, including economies of scope, marginalization, rurality, and tax havens and offshore financial centres. Recommended web links are suggested for many entries, accessible and kept up to date via the Dictionary of Geography companion website. Packed with clear, concise, and authoritative information, this A-Z reference is an essential companion for all students and teachers of geography.
Islands are contradictory places: they can be remote, mysterious spots, or lively centres of holiday revelry. They are associated alternately with escape, imprisonment, holiday and exile, and their alluring natural beauty and remoteness has inspired artists and writers across the centuries. Islands have been places of immense scientific, political and creative importance, from Darwin's enlightening voyage to the Galapagos Islands, which resulted in his groundbreaking theory of evolution, to the moated prisons that have incarcerated dangerous convicts and freedom fighters alike.In this cultural and scientific history of these alluring, often isolated, territories, Stephen A. Royle describes the great variety of islands scattered around the world, their economies, and the animals, plants and people living on them. He shows that despite the view of some islands as earthly paradises, they are often beset by severe limitations in both resources and opportunities. Many islands have faced population loss in recent decades, and some islanders have developed their homelands into tourist destinations in order to combat economic instability. Islands often conjure up exotic, otherworldly beauty and have provided both refuge and inspiration for artists and writers, such as Paul Gauguin in Tahiti and George Orwell on the Scottish island of Jura. Filled with intriguing illustrations, Islands is a compelling and comprehensive survey of the geographical and cultural aspects of island life.
Tsunamis - ferociously dangerous sea waves - have caused widespread destruction to countries, populations and natural landscapes since antiquity. Crashing upon land with the entire weight of an ocean behind them, tsunamis cause unimaginable havoc and are stark reminders of the uncontrollable chaos our planet can unleash. The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011, for example, took the lives of nearly 16,000 people, caused a meltdown at the Fukishima Dalichi nuclear power plant and left an economic toll of many billions. Such destructive waves can utterly overwhelm an area or a country not just with water but with economic, social and political devastation. But as Richard Hamblyn demonstrates in this cultural, historical and scientific engagement with these deadly natural events, tsunamis remain little understood - their triggers, from undersea earthquakes to nuclear weapons testing, have only begun to be studied scientifically over the last fifty years.Tsunami explores how these treacherous sea-surges happen, what makes them so powerful, and what can be done to safeguard vulnerable coastlines. Hamblyn assesses their importance in tsunami-prone regions such as Japan, Hawaii and Chile, while also considering their significance in the more seismically stable western world, where their appearances are mostly limited to popular culture and blockbuster films. From the legend of Atlantis to the violent tsunamis of the present day, this book casts new light on one of the world's most spectacular and destructive natural phenomena.
Michael S. Gazzaniga, one of the most important neuroscientists of the twentieth century, gives us an exciting behind-the-scenes look at his seminal work on that unlikely couple, the right and left brain. Foreword by Steven Pinker.
In the mid-twentieth century, Michael S. Gazzaniga, “the father of cognitive neuroscience,” was part of a team of pioneering neuroscientists who developed the now foundational split-brain brain theory: the notion that the right and left hemispheres of the brain can act independently from one another and have different strengths.
In Tales from Both Sides of the Brain, Gazzaniga tells the impassioned story of his life in science and his decades-long journey to understand how the separate spheres of our brains communicate and miscommunicate with their separate agendas. By turns humorous and moving, Tales from Both Sides of the Brain interweaves Gazzaniga’s scientific achievements with his reflections on the challenges and thrills of working as a scientist. In his engaging and accessible style, he paints a vivid portrait not only of his discovery of split-brain theory, but also of his comrades in arms - the many patients, friends, and family who have accompanied him on this wild ride of intellectual discovery.
How intelligent are dolphins? Is their communication system really as complex as human language? And are they as friendly and peaceful as they are made out to be? The Western world has had an enduring love affair with dolphins since the early 1960s, with fanciful claims of their 'healing powers' and 'super intelligence'. Myths and pseudoscience abound on the subject. Justin Gregg weighs up the claims made about dolphin intelligence and separates scientific fact from fiction. He puts our knowledge about dolphin behaviour and intelligence into perspective, with comparisons to scientific studies of other animals, especially the crow family and great apes. He gives fascinating accounts of the challenges of testing what an animal with flippers and no facial expressions might be animal behaviour, Gregg challenges many of the widespread beliefs about dolphins, while also inspiring the reader with the remarkable abilities common to many of the less glamorized animals around us - such as chickens.
Macro photography brings the world of bugs to life! These creatures are all around us, yet too diminutive to be observed by the human eye. The extreme photographic close-ups illustrate a hidden fauna of alien-looking critters from around the world. Bugs in Close-Up includes assassin bugs, rhinoceros beetles, insect swarms and societies (army ants, bees and so on), inter-species relationships (ants 'farming' caterpillars), and giants of the bug world (beetles, stick insects and the like). The incredible photography is supported by informative, extended captions detailing the subjects and, in some cases, how the images were taken.
The animal kingdom is staggeringly diverse, but the animals that most easily spring to mind the tigers, elephants, eagles and crocodiles, or perhaps amphibians, fish, insects and even humans account for only a tiny proportion of known species. Whats more, there are estimated to be many tens of millions still unknown to science. Animal Earth is an unbiased tour of this world, highlighting the bizarre appearances, hidden lives and mostly small scale of the creatures with whom we share our planet. The bewildering number of animal species are all offshoots from a relatively small number of lineages, all sharing a common body plan and evolutionary history. This book provides a broadly equal summary of each of these thirty-five lineages, and is structured according to the latest research on the evolutionary relationships of the animals. Every species is an integral component of the ecosystem we live in, and as intelligent beings it is our duty to protect and understand animal diversity not only for its own sake but also to maintain the natural systems that keep us and everything else alive.
The fascinating world of graph theory goes back several centuries and revolves around the study of graphs--mathematical structures showing relations between objects. With applications in biology, computer science, transportation science, and other areas, graph theory encompasses some of the most beautiful formulas in mathematics--and some of its most famous problems. For example, what is the shortest route for a traveling salesman seeking to visit a number of cities in one trip? What is the least number of colors needed to fill in any map so that neighboring regions are always colored differently? Requiring readers to have a math background only up to high school algebra, this book explores the questions and puzzles that have been studied, and often solved, through graph theory. In doing so, the book looks at graph theory's development and the vibrant individuals responsible for the field's growth. Introducing graph theory's fundamental concepts, the authors explore a diverse plethora of classic problems such as the Lights Out Puzzle, the Minimum Spanning Tree Problem, the Konigsberg Bridge Problem, the Chinese Postman Problem, a Knight's Tour, and the Road Coloring Problem. They present every type of graph imaginable, such as bipartite graphs, Eulerian graphs, the Petersen graph, and trees. Each chapter contains math exercises and problems for readers to savor. An eye-opening journey into the world of graphs, this book offers exciting problem-solving possibilities for mathematics and beyond.
From a leading computer scientist, a unifying theory that will revolutionize our understanding of how life evolves and learns. How does life prosper in a complex and erratic world? While we know that nature follows patterns--such as the law of gravity--our everyday lives are beyond what known science can predict. We nevertheless muddle through even in the absence of theories of how to act. But how do we do it? In Probably Approximately Correct, computer scientist Leslie Valiant presents a masterful synthesis of learning and evolution to show how both individually and collectively we not only survive, but prosper in a world as complex as our own. The key is probably approximately correct algorithms, a concept Valiant developed to explain how effective behavior can be learned. The model shows that pragmatically coping with a problem can provide a satisfactory solution in the absence of any theory of the problem. After all, finding a mate does not require a theory of mating. Valiant's theory reveals the shared computational nature of evolution and learning, and sheds light on perennial questions such as nature versus nurture and the limits of artificial intelligence. Offering a powerful and elegant model that encompasses life's complexity, Probably Approximately Correct has profound implications for how we think about behavior, cognition, biological evolution, and the possibilities and limits of human and machine intelligence.
In the 1930s a series of seminal works published by Alan Turing, Kurt Godel, Alonzo Church, and others established the theoretical basis for computability. This work, advancing precise characterizations of effective, algorithmic computability, was the culmination of intensive investigations into the foundations of mathematics. In the decades since, the theory of computability has moved to the center of discussions in philosophy, computer science, and cognitive science. In this volume, distinguished computer scientists, mathematicians, logicians, and philosophers consider the conceptual foundations of computability in light of our modern understanding. Some chapters focus on the pioneering work by Turing, Godel, and Church, including the Church-Turing thesis and Godel's response to Church's and Turing's proposals. Other chapters cover more recent technical developments, including computability over the reals, Godel's influence on mathematical logic and on recursion theory and the impact of work by Turing and Emil Post on our theoretical understanding of online and interactive computing; and others relate computability and complexity to issues in the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of science, and the philosophy of mathematics. Contributors:Scott Aaronson, Dorit Aharonov, B. Jack Copeland, Martin Davis, Solomon Feferman, Saul Kripke, Carl J. Posy, Hilary Putnam, Oron Shagrir, Stewart Shapiro, Wilfried Sieg, Robert I. Soare, Umesh V. Vazirani
Computation and its Limits is an innovative cross-disciplinary investigation of the relationship between computing and physical reality. It begins by exploring the mystery of why mathematics is so effective in science and seeks to explain this in terms of the modelling of one part of physical reality by another. Going from the origins of counting to the most blue-skies proposals for novel methods of computation, the authors investigate the extent to which the laws of nature and of logic constrain what we can compute. In the process they examine formal computability, the thermodynamics of computation, and the promise of quantum computing.
It is hard to believe that there was once a time when zero didn't exist, but zero was a relatively recent invention; born as an Eastern philosophical concept its history is one of struggle and intrigue. This informative and easy-to-read book is the story of the people who battled over the meaning of the mysterious number - the scholars and mystics, the scientists and clergymen - who each tried to understand zero. It involves Archimedes, Aristotle, Newton and Stephen Hawking, and is a history of the paradoxes posed by this innocent-looking number, rattling even this century's biggest minds and threatening the unravel the whole framework of scientific thought. The story of zero involved not only mathematics but history. The clashes over zero were the battles that shook the foundations of philosophy, of science, of mathematics, and of religion. Underneath every revolution in the last millennium lay a zero.
Throughout history, people have tried to construct 'theories of everything': highly ambitious attempts to understand nature in its totality. This account presents these theories in their historical contexts, from little-known hypotheses from the past to modern developments such as the theory of superstrings, the anthropic principle, and ideas of many universes, and uses them to problematize the limits of scientific knowledge. Do claims to theories of everything belong to science at all? Which are the epistemic standards on which an alleged scientific theory of the universe - or the multiverse - is to be judged? Such questions are currently being discussed by physicists and cosmologists, but rarely within a historical perspective. This book argues that these questions have a history and that knowledge of the historical development of 'higher speculations' may inform and qualify the current debate on the nature and limits of scientific explanation.