For millennia humanity has gazed in wonder at the night sky, tracked the motions of the planets and attempted to explain our place in the Universe. But only in our own time has the true scale, the astonishing variety and the remarkable strangeness of the cosmos come clearly into focus. The pace and sophistication of recent scientific discovery has been breathtaking, but breakthroughs are often difficult to understand and their impact is hard to fully appreciate. In 50 Ideas You Really Need to Know: Universe, Joanne Baker clearly and concisely explains all of the essential concepts, major discoveries and the very latest thinking in astrophysics, including: the basic principles of astronomy - from heliocentrism to Newton's theory of optics; the constituent parts of the Universe, its creation and evolution; the key concepts of cosmology including the theory of relativity, supermassive black holes and 'multiverses'; the very latest developments in our understanding of quasars, exoplanets and astrobiology. From dwarf planets to dark energy; and from the Big Bang to the death of stars, this book is the perfect introduction to the cutting-edge science that is shaping our understanding of our place in the Universe and that could lead to the next great discovery - the detection of life beyond Earth.
This latest book in Quercus' bestselling "50 Ideas" series is a wonderfully accessible overview of the only place we know of in the universe that is capable of sustaining life. Expert popular science writer Martin Redfern covers all the natural processes of the Earth: climate, ocean currents, air currents, the elements, plate tectonics, fossils, the evolution of life, volcanology, sea levels and the ultimate fate of the Earth.
From our own solar system to the edges of the universe, 50 Astronomy Ideas You Really Need to Know is your introduction to the most important concepts, discoveries and mysteries in astronomy. How did the universe begin? Where did the Moon come from? What happens in the heart of a black hole? Why are gravitational waves so significant? And is there life elsewhere in the cosmos? In fifty fascinating essays covering the central ideas of astronomy and cosmology, accompanied by diagrams, definitions of essential terms and timelines of key discoveries, this book examines the nature and variety of our universe - the life cycle of stars, the formation of planets, the structure of galaxies and the puzzles of dark matter and the multiverse. Expansive and illuminating, 50 Astronomy Ideas You Really Need to Know is the complete guide to the birth, life and possible death of the cosmos.
A guide to everything you need and want to know about quantum physics, how our universe works and our existence in it. Quantum physics is the most cutting-edge, important and fascinating area of modern science. We have all heard of Einstein's theory of relativity and Schrodinger's Cat - but do we really understand the mind-bending theories of our universe? In 50 concise chapters, Joanne Baker covers the foundation concepts of quantum physics and moves on to present clear explanations of complex theories and their advanced applications - from string theory to black holes, and quarks to quantum computing. With informative two-colour illustrations alongside key ideas in straightforward, bite-sized chunks, this book will teach you everything you need to know about quantum physics - and challenge the way you understand the world. The ideas explored include: Theory of relativity; Schrödinger's cat; Nuclear forces: fission and fusion; Antimatter; Superconductivity.
50 Science Ideas You Really Need to Know is your guide to the biggest questions and deepest concepts from across the whole of science. What was the Big Bang? How did life on Earth arise? What does quantum mechanics tell us about the universe? Is true artificial intelligence possible? And does life exist on other planets? Moving from the basics of atoms and molecules, Newton's laws of physics and the building blocks of life to the cutting edge of nanotechnology, Einstein's theories of relativity and cloning, this book makes the many worlds of science accessible and illuminating. Featuring fifty concise, insightful and illustrated essays covering physics and astronomy, Earth and life sciences, chemistry and materials, psychology and computing, and exploring the ways they connect with each other and impact on our lives, 50 Science Ideas You Really Need to Know is the ideal introduction to the questions which fascinate us all.
This latest book in Quercus's bestselling "50 Ideas" series is a wonderfully accessible overview of the only place we know of in the universe that is capable of sustaining life. Expert popular science writer Martin Redfern covers all the natural processes of the Earth: climate, ocean currents, air currents, the elements, plate tectonics, fossils, the evolution of life, volcanology, sea levels and the ultimate fate of the Earth.
Science first began as a branch of philosophy, but it has since grown up and moved out of the family home, and its successes have put its parent in the shade. Thanks to scientific knowledge we have walked on the Moon, cured once-fatal illnesses, and even identified the very building blocks of life and the universe. But it is these very successes that underline the need for philosophy. How much should we trust the pronouncements of scientists that we read in the media? What are the ethical implications of our delving into the foundations of our DNA, reproductive treatments, or artificially prolonging life? And are there limits to what science can tell us about the world we think we know? In straightforward and accessible terms, 50 Philosophy of Science Ideas You Really Need to Know explains the key philosophical questions that continue to lie at the heart of the nature and practice of science today. The ideas explored include: Appearance and reality; Knowledge; Anti-realism; Metaphysics; Science and gender; Phenomenology and science.
This latest book in the bestselling '50 Ideas' series is a wonderfully accessible overview of the only place we know of in the universe that is capable of sustaining life. Expert popular science writer Martin Redfern covers all the natural processes of the Earth: climate, ocean currents, air currents, the elements, plate tectonics, fossils, the evolution of life, volcanology, sea levels and the ultimate fate of the Earth. The 50 Ideas featured include: Geological formation; Rock layers; Formation of the atmosphere; Plate tectonics; Continental rifts; Volcanology; Simple life; Multi-cellular life; Snowball Earth; Gondwana and Pangea; Sexual selection; Complex life; The Cambrian revolution; The dinosaurs; Avalonia; The sauropod puzzle; End of the Mesozoic; The Cenozoic recovery; The Great Warming; The 'Great Flood'; The Holocene; Biodiversity and The fate of the Earth.
The need to understand religion and the role it plays in our world has never been more pressing. The beliefs and actions of the planet's 2 billion Christians, 1.2 billion Muslims, 800 million Hindus and 700 million followers of other religions has an impact on every aspect of war and peace, ethics, politics, reproduction, family and social structure across every civilization and continent. 50 Religion Ideas You Really Need to Know aims to lift the clouds of confusion surrounding religion and to address its key issues. What is the 'Golden Rule' and how does it unite religious people? How did the divisions arise between Catholics and Protestants and what do they mean for us today? What are the differences between Anglicanism, Methodism, Baptism and Presbyterianism? What separates Sunni Muslims from Shi'a Muslims? What does it mean to be Jewish? Award-winning writer Peter Stanford answers these and a myriad other questions in 50 Religion Ideas You Really Need to Know. Both readable and informative, it will appeal to anyone who wants to understand one of the most powerful and enduring forces shaping our world.
Questions of ethics - about how we should act, our responsibilities to one another, the difference between right and wrong - have long been debated by philosophers the world over and form the foundations of government, culture and religion. Here, in concise, easy-to-read chapters, Ben Dupré explains the fundamentals of this discipline and how it is relevant to our lives today. Covering essential ethical concepts, including relativism, the golden rule and utilitarianism, as well as high-profile issues such as terrorism, censorship and the death penalty, 50 Ethics Ideas You Really Need to Know will lead you through the moral maze - and rattle your conscience in the process.