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The One Thing You Need to Know

Marcus Chown

From gravity to black holes, special relativity to global warming, this authoritative and entertaining book from bestselling author Marcus Chown breaks down complex science into manageable chunks, explaining the one thing you really need to know to get to grips with the subject.

Rather than trying to bend your mind around all the vast and confounding details of things such as gravitational waves, electricity and black holes, wouldn't it be easier to understand just one central concept from which everything else follows?

If you've ever found yourself fascinated by the idea of quantum computing but feel a little overwhelmed by the mindblowing subject of quantum mechanics or concerned by climate change but haven't been able to get to grips with the details of global warming, this book is for you. Let's take atoms, for example - what on earth are they? Well, if you start to think of them less like things you can't see with complex little nuclei and more like the alphabet of nature, which in different configurations can make a rose, a galaxy or a newborn baby, they might start to feel a little more understandable. Or gravitational waves - they sound poetic, but why are they creating so much excitement? Think of them as the voice of space, vibrations on the drumskin of space-time - before delving into all their complexities.

In twenty-one short and engaging chapters, Chown explains the one thing you need to know to understand some of the most important scientific ideas of our time. Packed full of astounding facts, scientific history and the entertaining personalities at the heart of the most pivotal discoveries about the workings of our universe, this is an accessible guide to all the tricky stuff you've always wanted to understand more about.

Marcus Chown is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. Formerly a radio astronomer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, he is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Brunel University. His books include Breakthrough, The Ascent of Gravity, which was the Sunday Times 2017 Science Book of the Year; Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand; What A Wonderful World; Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You; We Need to Talk About Kelvin and Afterglow of Creation, both of which were runners-up for the Royal Society Book Prize. Marcus has also won the Bookseller's Digital Innovation of the Year for Solar System for iPad.

Category:  Popular Science
ISBN:  9781789294804
Publisher:  Michael O’Mara Books Ltd
On sale:  March 2023
Format:  Hardback
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