Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand: Fifty Wonders That Reveal an Extraordinary Universe

Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand: Fifty Wonders That Reveal an Extraordinary Universe

by Marcus Chown


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A mind-bending journey through some of the most weird and wonderful facts about our universe, vividly illuminating the hidden truths that govern our everyday lives.

"The tone is consistently light and addictive, intriguing, and entertaining read...a handy guide for anyone yearning to spice up their conversational skills." — Booklist

Fact: You could fit the whole human race in the volume of a sugar cube.

Fact: The electrical energy in a single mosquito is enough to cause a global mass extinction.

Fact: You age more quickly on the top floor than on the ground floor.

So much of our world seems to make perfect sense, and scientific breakthroughs have helped us understand ourselves, our planet, and our place in the universe in fascinating detail. But our adventures in space, our deepening understanding of the quantum world, and our leaps in technology have also revealed a universe far stranger than we ever imagined.

With brilliant clarity and wit, bestselling author Marcus Chown examines the profound science behind fifty remarkable scientific facts that help explain the vast complexities of our existence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635765946
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication date: 04/23/2019
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 782,271
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Marcus Chown is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. Formerly a radio astronomer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, he is cosmology consultant of New Scientist. His books include The Ascent of Gravity (named the Sunday Times' 2017 Science Book of the Year), What A Wonderful World, Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You, and We Need to Talk About Kelvin (shortlisted for the 2010 Royal Society Book Prize). Marcus has also tried his hand at apps and won the Bookseller Digital Innovation of the Year award for Solar System for iPad.

Table of Contents

Foreword 1

Part 1 Biological Things

1 The Common Thread 7

2 Catch Me if You Can 10

3 The Oxygen Trick 13

4 Seven-year Itch 18

5 Living With the Alien 21

6 The Dispensable Brain 24

Part 2 Human Things

7 Interaction, Interaction, Interaction 31

8 The Grandmother Advantage 34

9 Lost Tribe 38

10 Missed Opportunity 41

Part 3 Terrestial Things

11 The Alphabet of Nature 47

12 Rock Sponge 50

13 Deep Impact 52

14 Secret of Sunlight 55

Part 4 Solar System Things

15 Celebrating Mass 61

16 Killer Sun 65

17 Light of Other Days 69

18 A Brief History of Falling 72

19 The Planet That Stalked the Earth 75

20 Please Squeeze Me 79

21 Hex Appeal 82

22 Map of the Invisible 84

23 Lord of the Rings 87

24 Stargate Moon 91

Part 5 Fundamental Things

25 Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand 97

26 Bungalow Benefits 101

27 The Incredible Exploding Mosquito 105

28 The Unknowable 108

29 Double Trouble 113

30 Loopy Liquid 119

31 Unbreak My Heart 122

32 Who Ordered That? 126

33 A Wonderful Thing Is a Piece of String 130

34 No Time Like the Present 133

35 How to Build a Time Machine 136

Part 6 Extraterrestial Things

36 Ocean Worlds 143

37 Alien Garbage 147

38 Interplanetary Stowaways 151

39 Stardust Made Flesh 154

40 The Fragile Blue Dot 157

Part 7 Cosmic Things

41 The Day Without a Yesterday 161

42 Ghost Cosmos 165

43 Heart of Darkness 168

44 Afterglow of Creation 171

45 Masters of the Universe 175

46 Flipping Gravity 180

47 The Voice of Space 183

48 Pocket Universe 187

49 Credit Card Cosmos 190

50 The Universe Next Door 194

Notes 199

Acknowledgments 213

About the Author 214

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