In 2003, Russian physicists André Geim and Konstantin Novoselov found a way to produce graphene – the thinnest substance in the world – by using sticky tape to separate an atom-thick layer from a block of graphite.
What these guys did not realise was that throwing away the Scotch tape they were throwing away the Nobel Prize as well.
In his most wide-ranging book, Brian Clegg builds up reality piece by piece, from space, to time, to matter, movement, the fundamental forces, life, and the massive transformation that life itself has wrought on the natural world. He reveals that underlying it all is not, as we might believe, a system of immovable absolutes, but the ever-shifting, amorphous world of relativity.
An absolute masterpiece.
The Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages, and the birth of steam and electricity, saw human life transformed by new materials and technology. Now we've reached the Quantum Age, the revolution led by our understanding of the very, very small.
TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Brian Clegg does a superb job of explaining complicated scientific concepts
Everything we know is governed by four physical forces, but there is only one of them that is immediately obvious - gravity. Although ludicrously weak compared to the other forces (a tiny magnet can hold up a piece of metal against the gravitational attraction of the whole Earth), gravity permeates our everyday life and being.
Every inquisitive person should read a book about it, preferably this one.
There is something special, something wonderful about light. What is it? How does it work? How has it inspired people over the centuries? How might it enable us to sent messages back in time?
This new, fully updated edition of Light Years take us on an exploration of humanity's fascination with light from the earliest recorded times to the most up-to-date science.
Physics is the most fundamental of the sciences, describing how everything works, yet it is often seen as remote and technical. This pocket guide, produced with Scientific American, sets out to change that.
With 100 bite-sized articles on everything from relativity to quantum entanglement, and entertaining 'cocktail party tidbits' for every topic, it makes physics fun.
A joy to read