Relax: no one understands technical mathematics without lengthy training but we all have an intuitive grasp of the ideas behind the symbols. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), this book is designed to showcase the beauty of mathematics – including images inspired by mathematical problems – together with its unreasonable effectiveness and applicability, without frying your brain.
Heart of Darkness describes the incredible saga of humankind’s quest to unravel the deepest secrets of the universe. Over the past thirty years, scientists have learned that two little-understood components–dark matter and dark energy–comprise most of the known cosmos, explain the growth of all cosmic structure, and hold the key to the universe’s fate. The story of how evidence for the so-called’Lambda-Cold Dark Matter’model of cosmology has been gathered by generations of scientists throughout the world is told here by one of the pioneers of the field, Jeremiah Ostriker, and his coauthor Simon Mitton.
Today we know what no previous generation knew: the history of the universe and of the unfolding of life on Earth. Through the astonishing combined achievements of natural scientists worldwide, we now have a detailed account of how galaxies and stars, planets and living organisms, human beings and human consciousness came to be. And yet… we thirst for answers to questions that have haunted humanity from the very beginning.
An introductory tour into the stranger-than-fiction world of genetic engineering, a scientific realm inhabited by eager researchers intent upon fashioning a prodigious medley of genetically modified (GM) organisms to serve human needs.
Written for general readers, teachers, journalists, and policymakers, this volume explores four controversial topics in science and technology, with commentaries from experts in such fields as sociology, religion, law, ethics, and politics: • Antibiotics and Resistance, Genetically Modified Maize and Gene Flow, Hormone Replacement Theory and Menopause, Smallpox
Certainly chimps are our closest genetic relatives. But relatively small differences in genetic code can lead to profound differences in cognition and behaviour. Our abilities give us the responsibility to protect and preserve the natural world, including endangered primates. But for the purposes of human society and human concepts such as rights, let’s not pretend that chimps are humans uneducated and undressed. We’ve changed a lot in those 12 million years.
This is a highly interdisciplinary book straddling physics and complex systems such as living organisms. The presentation is from the perspective of physics, in a manner accessible to those interested in scientific knowledge integrated within its socio-cultural and philosophical backgrounds. Two key areas of human understanding, namely physics and conscious complex systems, are presented in simple language.
A falling apple inspired the law of gravity—or so the story goes. Is it true? Perhaps not. But why do such stories endure as explanations of how science happens? Newton’s Apple and Other Myths about Science brushes away popular misconceptions to provide a clearer picture of scientific breakthroughs from ancient times to the present.
Although everyone is familiar with the concept of time in everyday life and has probably given thought to the question of how time began, recent scientific developments in this field have not been accessible in a simple understandable form. This book is important as it presents to readers current ideas about the role of time in theoretical cosmology.Recent observational discoveries, especially that the expansion rate of the universe is accelerating, have revolutionized the understanding of the energy content of the universe. This development leads to new possibilities for the beginning and end of cosmological time.
Have you ever daydreamed about digging a hole to the other side of the world? Robert Banks not only entertains such ideas but, better yet, he supplies the mathematical know-how to turn fantasies into problem-solving adventures. In this sequel to the popular Towing Icebergs, Falling Dominoes (Princeton, 1998), Banks presents another collection of puzzles for readers interested in sharpening their thinking and mathematical skills. The problems range from the wondrous to the eminently practical. In one chapter, the author helps us determine the total number of people who have lived on earth; in another, he shows how an understanding of mathematical curves can help a thrifty lover, armed with construction paper and scissors, keep expenses down on Valentine’s Day.