- 95,00 kr
“Ruminations on every scientific subject over the sun—and plenty beyond it”—from the bestselling author of The Universe and the Teacup (The Boston Globe).
A San Jose Mercury News Best Book of the Year
A recipient of the American Institute of Physics Award for Best Science Writer, K. C. Cole offers a wide-ranging collection of essays about the nature of nature, the universals in the universe, and the messy playfulness of great science.
In witty and fresh short takes, she explores some of the world’s most intriguing scientific subjects—from particle physics to cosmology to mathematics and astronomy—and introduces a few of science’s great minds. Revealing the universe to be elegant, intriguing, and, above all, relevant to our everyday lives, this book is “an absolute delight [that] belongs on the bedside bookshelf of every science enthusiast” (San Jose Mercury News).
“Cole seeks the wondrous in the stuff we mistake for just ordinary.” —Publishers Weekly
K. C. Cole, the Los Angeles Times science writer and columnist, always has a fresh take on cutting-edge scientific discoveries, which she makes both understandable and very human. Reporting on physics, cosmology, mathematics, astronomy, and more, Cole's essays, culled from her popular Mind Over Matter columns, reveal the universe as simple, constant, and complex—and wholly relevant to politics, art, and every dimension of human life.
Cole (The Universe and the Teacup) gathers 92 short essays that first appeared primarily in her Los Angeles Timesscience column. The book's four sections are loosely ordered around the subjectivity of inquiry, the physical world, science in practice and the politics of science. Cole's technique is to set her stage with a scientific factoid or news blip and then ruminate on the unexpected insights, inversions or ironies she finds there. Her themes include uncertainty, the limitations of measure, fragility, illusion, humility before nature, complacency. A solar eclipse "exposes our fragility" and dispels illusion "like turning up the houselights during a movie." The millennium, indeed the notion of time itself, is an artificial concept, and "it's a fine line," the author writes, "between discovering something and making it up." Ever the navel gazer, Cole seeks the wondrous in the stuff we mistake for just ordinary. Her piece on clouds ("wind made visible") segues inevitably to dying stars ("a cosmic-scale cloudburst") and atoms (a nucleus "engulfed by a cloud of electrons"); her piece on wind leads her to the hurricanes on Jupiter and the complicated "weather" of galaxies. Her science is also a foil for left-of-center political commentary on Enron, daisy cutter bombs, the Kansas Board of Education's vote on Darwin and the American justice system, to name a handful of her targets. These light vignettes are doubtless welcome respite for readers of the L.A. Times, but this collection may be too much of a good thing. Readers are advised to take it in measured doses.