Seven Pillars of Science (Hardback)
The Incredible Lightness of Ice, and Other Scientific Surprises
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John Gribbin, author of Six Impossible Things, shortlisted for the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize, presents a tour of seven fundamental scientific truths that underpin our very existence.
These ‘pillars of science’ also defy common sense. For example, solid things are mostly empty space, so how do they hold together? There appears to be no special ‘life force’, so how do we distinguish living things from inanimate objects? And why does ice float on water, when most solids don’t? You might think that question hardly needs asking, and yet if ice didn’t float, life on Earth would never have happened.
The answers to all of these questions were sensational in their day, and some still are. Throughout history, science has been able to think the unthinkable – and Gribbin brilliantly shows the surprising secrets on which our understanding of life is based.
‘[In] the last couple of years we have seen a string of books that pack bags of science in a digestible form into a small space. John Gribbin has already proved himself a master of this approach with his Six Impossible Things, and he’s done it again … [Seven Pillars of Science is] light, to the point and hugely informative. … It packs in the science, tells an intriguing story and is beautifully packaged.’