The first popular book to tell the story of the dramatic history of Quantum Theory. Without quantum theory the world we live in would not exist. Yet for sixty years most physicists accepted that quantum theory denied the very existence of reality itself. This bizarre state of affairs led the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann to describe quantum theory as ‘that mysterious, confusing discipline which none of us really understands but which we know how to use’.
And use it we have. Without the quantum none of our computers, televisions or washing machines would work. Quantum theory drives the modern world. But despite the unprecedented success of quantum theory and the widespread fascination with quantum-inspired ideas, the origins of the quantum revolution remain largely unknown.
Quantum will be the first popular book to tell the story of the dramatic history of quantum theory. You can buy the book today for only 99p.
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Zero, zip, nada, zilch. It’s all too easy to ignore the fascinating possibilities of emptiness and non-existence, and we may well wonder what there is to say about nothing. But scientists have known for centuries that nothing is the key to understanding absolutely everything, from why particles have mass to the expansion of the universe – so without nothing we’d be precisely nowhere.
Absolute zero (the coldest cold that can exist) and the astonishing power of placebos, light bulbs, superconductors, vacuums, dark energy, ‘bed rest’ and the birth of time – all are different aspects of the concept of nothing. The closer we look, the bigger the subject gets. Why do some animals spend all day doing nothing? What happens in our brains when we try to think about nothing?
This fascinating and intriguing book revels in a subject that has tantalised the finest minds for centuries, and shows there’s more to nothing than meets the eye. Buy it today for only 85p.
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In the aftermath of the horrific trench warfare of the First World War, the poppy – sprouting across the killing fields of France and Belgium, then immortalised in John McCrae’s moving poem – became a worldwide icon. Yet the poppy has a longer history, as the tell-tale sign of human cultivation of the land, of the ravages of war and of the desire to escape the earthly realm through inspired Romantic opium dreams or the grim reality of morphine drips.
This is a story spanning three thousand years, from the ancient Egyptian fights over prized medicinal potions to the addicted veterans returning home from the American Civil War, from the British political machinations during the Opium Wars with China to the struggle to end Afghanistan’s tribal narcotics trade. Through it all, there stands the transformative poppy.
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Witness the drama of eagles catching giant bats on the wing, lizards stalking their prey on the backs of lions, antelope-hunting monkeys and a nail-biting giraffe fight. Share the discovery of the world’s rarest fish species and the first-ever access to an island sanctuary for the elusive African penguin. Marvel at a Congo fish that flies like a butterfly and a love-struck beetle who thinks he’s James Bond. Nowhere is more savage, more dangerous, yet more beautiful and alive than Africa. Join a unique expedition to the most extreme parts of this vast continent.
Buy this book of photography for only £1.49. You will want to read this on your Fire.
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This stunning collection of images and essays surveys the key breakthroughs that have shaped our understanding of the universe around us – from the discovery of the solar system, to Supermassive black holes and the remote depths of the cosmos. Beginning with the theories put forward for the origin of our universe – the Big Bang and its rivals – and ending with what the eventual fate of our cosmos might be, this overview of 100 landmark discoveries tells the story of how we have endeavoured to understand the place of our own planet in the wider universe.
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In Born Liars, Ian Leslie takes the reader on an exhilarating tour of ideas that brings the latest news about deception back from the frontiers of psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy, and explores the role played by lies – both black and white – in our childhoods, our careers, and our health, as well as in advertising, politics, sport and war.
Drawing on thinkers as varied as Augustine, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud and Joni Mitchell, the author argues that, far from being a bug in the human software, lying is central to who we are; that we cannot understand ourselves without first understanding the dynamics of deceit.
After reading Born Liars you’ll never think about lies – or life – in quite the same way again. Buy this book today for just 92p.
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Paul Dirac was one of the leading pioneers of the greatest revolution in 20th-century science: quantum mechanics. The youngest theoretician ever to win the Nobel Prize for Physics, he was also pathologically reticent, strangely literal-minded and legendarily unable to communicate or empathize. Through his greatest period of productivity, his postcards home contained only remarks about the weather.
Based on a previously undiscovered archive of family papers, Graham Farmelo celebrates Dirac’s massive scientific achievement while drawing a compassionate portrait of his life and work. Farmelo shows a man who, while hopelessly socially inept, could manage to love and sustain close friendship.
The Strangest Man is an extraordinary and moving human story, as well as a study of one of the most exciting times in scientific history. You can buy this biography for £1.79 today.
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This book is from the Kindle Autumn Harvest Sale. You must buy it today to get the great price of 99p.
Stephen Oppenheimer’s extraordinary scientific detective story combining genetics, linguistics, archaeology and historical record shatters the myths we have come to live by. It demonstrates that the Anglo-Saxon invasions contributed just a tiny fraction (5%) to the English gene pool. Two-thirds of the English people reveal an unbroken line of genetic descent from south-western Europeans arriving long before the first farmers.
As for the Celts – the Irish, Scots and Welsh – history has traditionally placed their origins in Iron Age Central Europe. Oppenheimer’s genetic synthesis shows them to have arrived via the Atlantic coastal route from Ice Age refuges including the Basque country; with the modern languages we call Celtic arriving later.
There is indeed a deep divide between the English and the rest of the British. But as this book reveals the division is many thousands of years older than previously thought. Buy it today for only 99p.
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Darwin might have thought twice about publishing his theories if he had had access to today’s medical and microbiological discoveries. Drawing on years of research, Dr. Simmons demonstrates that the almost infinite complexity of the human anatomy simply could not have developed by chance. For example:
• the body runs on “battery power”…from the hundreds of mitochondria in each cell
• the two sexes—evolutionary theory cannot explain why they exist
• every cell is its own pharmacist, chemist, and metallurgist
Accessible, clearly presented, and utterly fascinating, What Darwin Didn’t Know shows the human body to be a marvelous system constructed by an infinitely wise Designer. You can buy this book today for the Kindle for £1.28.
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In this, the second volume in an important new series presenting core concepts across a range of critical areas of human knowledge, author Joanne Baker unravels the complexities of 20th-century scientific theory for a general readership.
From Hubble’s law to the Pauli exclusion principle, and from Schrödinger’s cat to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, she explains ideas at the cutting-edge of scientific enquiry, making them comprehensible and accessible to the layperson.
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Click here to purchase 50 Physics Ideas You Really Need to Know