Reading a well-written popular science book is one of the great pleasures of modern times, and this guided tour through life, the universe, and everything affords that pleasure in abundance. Marcus Chown takes us by the hand and leads us through the labyrinthine mysteries of the origins of life, evolution, the cells of the body, the brain-boggling brain, electricity (I’ve never understood what that stuff is; I still don’t, but my ignorance is now better-defined), the crazy truths of quantum theory, gravity, time, stars, and black holes. You can get drunk on the sheer strangeness of the theories – for instance, you have an infinite number of doppelgangers, and the nearest one is 10^10^28 metres away. And we may all be holograms.
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Friday 20 September 2013
As a historian of 18th-century London, it would be too predictable to choose Samuel Johnson's great Dictionary of 1775 as my choice for a book with enduring impact. There is no doubt that Johnson's work had a pivotal role in defining our modern language, but in terms of cultural significance, there's another book which is almost equally important: Ephraim Chambers's Cyclopaedia.
Tuesday 17 September 2013
Foucault pendulum is a simple device introduced in 1851 to confirm that the earth rotated
World Championships 2013: No medal for 'new Ennis,' but Katarina Johnson-Thompson shows she is here to stay
Tuesday 13 August 2013
After missing bronze by just 28 points, she has a bright future to come
Saturday 10 August 2013
1. Pope Francis.
Thursday 18 July 2013
Mathematicians analysed the possibility that probes could travel through space in a study published in the Journal of Astrobiology
Sunday 14 July 2013
Tom Lehrer's spring isn't complete without poisoning them in the park; Dick Dastardly dratted and double-dratted himself to near-oblivion chasing one. For the rest of us, it's become all too easy to vilify them as "rats with wings".
Friday 12 July 2013
We carried a selection and you responded in kind - here are our favourite 25
Thursday 23 May 2013
The horse is part owned by Sir Alex Ferguson
Tuesday 14 May 2013
Top trainer suffering a Group One drought hopes Oaks fancy can shine in York rehearsal
Leonhard Euler - Swiss mathematician considered one of the greatest of all time - honoured by Google Doodle
Monday 15 April 2013
Euler is known for his work in fluid dynamics, optics and astronomy
Saturday 01 December 2012
The 'discovery' of the Higgs boson is a great event – but an anticlimax for lovers of the chase
- 1 Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 4 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 5 People will try to reduce Mandela to a lilting reggae tune about ‘love’. They will fail