Nicki Hayes, CCO, The Communications Practice, author of First Aid for Feelings.
“Only a few writers have managed to turn the highly technical jargon of science into language accessible for interested lay readers. Isaac Asimov showed us how it could be done, and Carl Zimmer and Brian Greene are continuing today. In Molecular Storms, his first book, Liam Graham has shown that he has the essential quality required to join this group, a love of first learning then explaining how the universe works."
David Deamer, Professor of Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz, author of Assembling Life.
Why is the universe the way it is? Wherever we look, we find ordered structures: from stars to planets to living cells. This book shows that the same driving force is behind structure everywhere: the incessant random motion of the components of matter. Physicists call it thermal noise. Let’s call it the molecular storm.
This storm drives the fusion reactions that make stars shine. It drives whirlpools and currents in atmospheres and oceans. It spins and distorts molecules until they are in the right orientation to react and form new substances. In living cells, it drives proteins to fold and molecules to self-assemble. It is behind every detail of the astonishing molecular machines that control cellular processes.
Using cutting-edge research, “Molecular Storms” takes us on a dazzling journey from the early universe to the interior of the smallest living things. There, in a nanoscale world of biological devices, it explains the physics behind the chemical system which we call Life.
Whether you're someone with a general interest in science or a student looking to add context to your studies, this book is for you. "Molecular Storms" is an accessible and captivating read that will deepen your appreciation of the power of science to explain the world.
|Springer Nature Switzerland
|1st ed. 2023
|6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)
About the Author
Liam’s 15 year academic career was mostly spent as an Associate Professor at University College London, working in one of Europe’s top Economics departments. His research involved building mathematical models of an extremely complex system, the macroeconomy, and his work was published in all the top macroeconomics journals. Whether working on philosophy or economics, he never stopped reading science and exchanging with scientists. In 2018 he left UCL to concentrate on his original question and the wide-ranging, multidisciplinary and endlessly fascinating project it has become.
Table of ContentsIntroduction.- Random Patterns.- The Molecular Storm.- The Joy of Thermodynamics.- The Engines of Creation.- From Big Bang to Big Freeze.- How Chemistry Works.- Lively Molecules.
What People are Saying About This
“Only a few writers have managed to turn the highly technical jargon of science into language accessible for interested lay readers. Isaac Asimov showed us how it could be done, and Carl Zimmer and Brian Greene are continuing today. In Molecular Storms, his first book, Liam Graham has shown that he has the essential quality required to join this group, a love of first learning then explaining how the universe works.” (David Deamer, Professor of Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz, author of Assembling Life)
“Following in the footsteps of Stephen Hawking's ‘A brief history of time’ and Simon Singh's ‘Fermat’s Last Theorem’ this exceptionally accessible book will leave you marvelling at the wonders of the world and, if you didn't listen to your science teachers, wishing you had. Graham writes with the mind of a physicist and the soul of a poet.” (Nicki Hayes, CCO, The Communication Practice, author of First Aid for Feelings)
“A great place to start if you are interested in the origin of life! Graham skillfully presents an up-to-date account of some of the deepest problems in science: how does living matter work, and how might it have come to be? With clear explanations, simply presented and intuitively appealing, the level is accessible to a curious non-expert yet still a profitable introductory read for an undergraduate or interdisciplinary researcher in life or physical sciences.” (Nigel Goldenfeld, Professor of Physics, University of California, San Diego)
“This book should be called ‘Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Thermodynamics (But Were Afraid To Ask)’. Through humour and powerful images, it took me on an enlightening and enjoyable guided tour through a hitherto obscure corner of physics. Reading it changed the way I think about the world and my reasons for being in it.” (Valentine Allen, actor, director, author of Rondeurs)
“I'm delighted to see thermodynamics portrayed as a source of 'joy' and I'd have appreciated finding this book as a senior in college.” (Nicole Yunger Halpern, Professor of Physics, University of Maryland, author of Quantum Steampunk)
“Liam Graham has that rare ability to take a seemingly staggeringly subject – life itself – and strip it down into a set of smaller problems. He then shows you, by argument, analogy, vivid examples and good-humoured persuasion, that each of these smaller problems is much more manageable, and can be related back to a few key concepts. Taken one at a time, each then becomes a staging point in your journey towards understanding the big picture. Like all the best guides, his enthusiasm and sense of wonder are infectious.” (Stephen Wright, Professor of Economics, Birkbeck College, University of London)