Science Reference
Featured Items
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
What If?
Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
Hardcover      ISBN: 0544272994
From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have an enormous, dedicated following, as do his deeply researched answers to his fans' strangest questions. The queries he receives range from merely odd to downright diabolical: - What if I took a swim in a spent-nuclear-fuel pool? - Could you build a jetpack using downward-firing machine guns? - What if a Richter 15 earthquake hit New York City? - Are fire tornadoes possible? His responses are masterpieces of clarity and wit, gleefully and accurately explaining everything from the relativistic effects of a baseball pitched at near the speed of light to the many horrible ways you could die while building a periodic table out of all the actual elements. The book features new and never-before-answered questions, along with the most popular answers from the xkcd website. What If? is an informative feast for xkcd fans and anyone who loves to ponder the hypothetical.
Know It All Energy: The 50 Most Elemental Concepts in Energy, Each Explained in Under a Minute
Know It All Energy
The 50 Most Elemental Concepts in Energy, Each Explained in Under a Minute
Paperback      ISBN: 1577151615
From the first cavemen to light a fire to the elusive dark energy in outer space Know It All Energy explores energy in all its forms.

The Know-It-All series takes a revolutionary approach to learning about the subjects you really feel you should understand but have never gotten around to studying. Each title selects a popular topic and dissects it into the 50 most significant ideas at its heart. Each idea, no matter how complex, is explained in 300 words and one picture, all digestible in under a minute.

As a phenomenon that resides everywhere and in everything, energy is best understood by example. Exploring energy shows how it cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed--and how plankton and other ancient ocean-dwelling organisms can be used to power your car. Reducing the subject to its essential areas, Know-It-All Energy charts fascinating and fundamental topics, from the nuclear fusion reactor at the heart of the sun and civilization's discovery of our first hands-on energy source in fire almost 400,000 years ago, to the elusive dark energy which makes up most of the content of the universe.
The Infographic Guide to Science
The Infographic Guide to Science
Paperback      ISBN: 1770857915

Discover how the world really works in this spectacular journey through space and time that shows the development of the material Universe from the first cataclysmic moments to the emergence of human and machine intelligence. The Infographic Guide to Science presents the unfolding science that lies behind then and now.

Starting from the point of physical origin, the book moves through quarks, atoms, molecules and stars; to planet building, organic chemistry, the emergence of life, and finally on to sentience, the human mind, and its quest to understand the Universe.

Spectacular visuals give insight into how the world really works, covering all the major branches of scientific understanding. Using vast amounts of information to cross-reference a breadth of different subject areas, the book features physics, cosmology, chemistry, earth science, biology, non-science, medicine, engineering, and computer technology.

Four core sections follow the progression of scientific theory and discoveries over time. These chapters, with examples, are:

  • The Universe -- The Geometry of the Universe, Universal Matter, Thermodynamics, Chemical Bonds, Supernovas, Nuclear Fisson
  • Earth -- Planet Formation, Rocketry and exploration, The Lithosphere, Extreme weather, Aqueous chemistry, Nucleic acid
  • Life -- The Great Oxygenation Event, Chromosomes, Multicellular Precambrian Life, Gills vs. Lungs, Evolution of grasses
  • Humans -- Leakey-Laetoli Footprints, Language Instinct, Muscular-skeletal System, Brain development, Emotion, Futurology.

Even with the most skilled teacher, the sciences can be overwhelming to absorb and understand. The Infographic Guide to Science utilizes the power of visual design and succinct, authoritative text to illustrate and instruct such that readers can follow in the order and at the pace they prefer.

Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century
Visions
How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century
Paperback      ISBN: 0385484992

In Visions, physicist and author Michio Kaku examines the great scientific revolutions that have dramatically reshaped the twentieth century--the quantum mechanics, biogenetics, and artificial intelligence--and shows how they will change and alter science and the way we live.

The next century will witness more far-reaching scientific revolutions, as we make the transition from unraveling the secrets of nature to becoming masters of nature. We will no longer be passive bystanders to the dance of the universe, but will become creative choreographers of matter, life, and intelligence.

The first section of Visions presents a shocking look at a cyber-world infiltrated by millions of tiny intelligence systems. Part two illustrates how the decoding of DNA's genetic structure will allow humans the "godlike ability to manipulate life almost at will." Finally, VISIONS focuses on the future of quantum physics, in which physicists will perfect new ways to manipulate matter and harness the cosmic energy of the universe.

What makes Michio Kaku's vision of the science of the future so compelling--and so different from the mere forecasts of most thinkers--is that it is based on the groundbreaking research taking place in labs today, as well as the consensus of over 150 of Kaku's scientific colleagues. Science, for all its breathtaking change, evolves slowly; we can accurately predict, asserts Kaku, what the direction of science will be, based on the paths that are being forged today.

A thrilling, unique narrative that brings together the thinking of many of the world's most accomplished scientists to explore the world of the future, Visions is science writing at its best.
Know-It-All Biology: The 50 Most Elemental Concepts in Biology, Each Explained in Under a Minute
Know-It-All Biology
The 50 Most Elemental Concepts in Biology, Each Explained in Under a Minute
Paperback      ISBN: 1577151593
Dive into the gene pool and understand all the basics of biology with Know It All Biology. You'll have a scientific groundwork in less than a minute

The Know-It-All series takes a revolutionary approach to learning about the subjects you really feel you should understand but have never gotten around to studying. Each title selects a popular topic and dissects it into the 50 most significant ideas at its heart. Each idea, no matter how complex, is explained in 300 words and one picture, all digestible in under a minute.

Know-It-All Biology tackles the vital science of life, dissecting the 50 most thought-provoking theories of our ecosystem and ourselves. At a time when discoveries in DNA allow us to feel more connected than ever to the natural world, this is the fastest route to an understanding of the tree of life.

Whether you're dipping into the gene pool, unlocking cells, or conversing on biodiversity, this is all the knowledge you need to bring life to any dinner-party debate.
The Big Book of Science: Facts, Figures, and Theories to Blow Your Mind
The Big Book of Science
Facts, Figures, and Theories to Blow Your Mind
Hardcover      ISBN: 0785835997

The well-known "a bee in a cathedral" analogy describes the size of an atom and its nucleus in understandable terms. The analogy goes that if an atom were expanded to the size of a cathedral, the nucleus would be only about the size of a bee.

The Big Book of Science uses analogies to demonstrate 100 basic scientific truths and principles in new and exciting ways, describing the unbelievably massive, the inconceivably tiny and the unfathomably complex in everyday terms. Readers will be drawn to the book by its combination of intuitive reasoning and a highly visual presentation style. It's bursting with facts, figures, diagrams, charts, and illustrations. Each page helps readers understand fundamental scientific principles and theories by using analogies that describe abstract ideas using everyday objects.

Each analogy is explained in direct terms and clearly illustrated. A range of facts and figures -- presented in uniquely accessible "infographics" -- complements the analogies. The book covers a wide array of scientific topics: physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, earth sciences, anatomy and technology. The analogies include:

  • If an atomic nucleus expanded to the size of a marble, it would weigh about 100 million tons, or roughly the equivalent of 16 Great Pyramids of Egypt.
  • It would take a human heart less than 18 days to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
  • The volcanic blast of Mount St. Helens released thermal energy 1,600 times the size of Hiroshima. Krakatoa's 1883 eruption was roughly 13,000 times as powerful as that same bomb.
Informative and engaging, The Big Book of Science gives readers a deeper appreciation of the forces and facts that govern the universe and everything in it.
This Is Improbable Too: Synchronized Cows, Speedy Brain Extractors and More WTF Research
This Is Improbable Too
Synchronized Cows, Speedy Brain Extractors and More WTF Research
Paperback      ISBN: 1780743610
The mind behind the infamous Ig Nobel Prizes presents an addictive collection of improbable research all about us - and you

Marc Abrahams collects the odd, the imaginative and the brilliantly improbable. Here he turns to research on the ins and outs of the very improbable evolutionary innovation that is the human body (brain included):

- What's the best way to get a monkey to floss regularly?

- How much dandruff do Pakistani soldiers have?

- If you add an extra henchman to your bank-robbing gang, how much more money will you 'earn'?

- How many dimples will be found on the cheeks of 28,282 Greek children?

- Who is the Einstein of pork carcasses?
How Does a Bee Make Honey & Other Curious Facts
How Does a Bee Make Honey & Other Curious Facts
Paperback      ISBN: 0806516275
What We Believe But Cannot Prove: Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty
What We Believe But Cannot Prove
Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty
Paperback      ISBN: 0060841818

More than one hundred of the world's leading thinkers write about things they believe in, despite the absence of concrete proof

Scientific theory, more often than not, is born of bold assumption, disparate bits of unconnected evidence, and educated leaps of faith. Some of the most potent beliefs among brilliant minds are based on supposition alone -- yet that is enough to push those minds toward making the theory viable.

Eminent cultural impresario, editor, and publisher of Edge (www.edge.org), John Brockman asked a group of leading scientists and thinkers to answer the question: What do you believe to be true even though you cannot prove it? This book brings together the very best answers from the most distinguished contributors.

Thought-provoking and hugely compelling, this collection of bite-size thought-experiments is a fascinating insight into the instinctive beliefs of some of the most brilliant minds today.

Women of Invention: Life-Changing Ideas by Remarkable Women
Women of Invention
Life-Changing Ideas by Remarkable Women
Hardcover      ISBN: 0785835008

Hypatia was a Greek mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who invented the hydrometer in about 400 AD. Described as a charismatic teacher, she was seen as an evil symbol of the pagan science of learning and she was eventually murdered by Christian zealots.

For many women in years gone by, the invention process was fraught with danger and difficulty. Not only did they face the hardship and obstacles of inventing, they also had to contend with the sexism and gender discrimination of a male world that believed women had nothing to contribute.

Scientific women came to the fore with momentous innovations which were impossible for men to ignore. During World War Two, Austrian actress Hedy Lamarr became a pioneer in wireless communications, developing a "Secret Communications System."

More recently, 20-year-old Ann Makosinski has invented the ingenious Hollow Flashlight which converts radiant body heat into electricity. Meanwhile other women continued inventing in the domestic sphere with Miracle Mops, long-lasting lipsticks, and magic knickers.

In every walk of twenty-first century life women have been challenging themselves (and men) to shape the way we live. Some of the incredible innovators featured include Myra Juliet Farrell, Sally Fox, Rosalind Franklin, Helen Murray, Anna Pavlova, M ria Telkes, Giuliana Tesoro, Halldis Aalvik Thune, Ann Tsukamoto, Margaret A. Wilcox, Ada Lovelace, and many more.

The 150 remarkable women in this book show all too clearly that not only can invention no longer be described as a male dominated domain but that a woman's inspiration and ingenuity will probably be driving the life-changing ideas of tomorrow's world.