From the speed of light to moving mountains--and everything in between--ZOOM explores how the universe and its objects move.
If you sit as still as you can in a quiet room, you might be able to convince yourself that nothing is moving. But air currents are still wafting around you. Blood rushes through your veins. The atoms in your chair jiggle furiously. In fact, the planet you are sitting on is whizzing through space thirty-five times faster than the speed of sound.
Natural motion dominates our lives and the intricate mechanics of the world around us. In ZOOM, Bob Berman explores how motion shapes every aspect of the universe, literally from the ground up. With an entertaining style and a gift for distilling the wondrous, Berman spans astronomy, geology, biology, meteorology, and the history of science, uncovering how clouds stay aloft, how the Earth's rotation curves a home run's flight, and why a mosquito's familiar whine resembles a telephone's dial tone.
For readers who love to get smarter without realizing it, ZOOM bursts with science writing at its best.
Veteran astronomy columnist Berman (Strange Universe) traverses the world as well as the archives to assemble a cheerful collection of popular science essays connected by their relation to movement. Whether it is the expansion of the universe or the growth of a fingernail, he explores significant truths like the fact that scientists are still baffled by what constitutes dark matter and dark energy which make up most of our universe's mass-energy while providing ammunition for trivial pursuits (the speed of the fastest human: 23 mph), myth-busting (water does not swirl in opposite directions north and south of the equator), and weird lists (animals killed by meteors). The book presents a vast amount of stimulating material in breezy, accessible prose that even precocious adolescents can understand. Berman belongs to the school of writers who feel that education must be leavened by humor, best for readers who can appreciate this approach.