Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
These are books we have ordered for the PopSci collection.
The Amazing Story of Lise Meitner: Escaping the Nazis and Becoming the World’s Greatest Physicist by The book describes how Lisa Meitner, of Jewish heritage, found herself working as a physicist at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin when the Nazis came to power in 1933; how she was hounded out of the country and forced to relocate to Sweden; how German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman continued with the project - on the effect of bombarding uranium (the heaviest known element at the time) with neutrons, a project which Lise herself had initiated, being the intellectual leader of the group.It describes how Hahn and Strassmann, with whom she kept in touch, came up with some extraordinary results which they were at a loss to explain; how Lise, and her nephew Otto Frisch, who was also a physicist, confirmed what they had achieved - the 'splitting of the atom', no less, and provided them with a theoretical explanation for it. This laid the foundation for nuclear power, medical-scanning technology, radiotherapy, electronics, and of course, the atomic bomb - the creation of which filled Lise with horror.It describes the crucial part that Lise played in our understanding of the world of atoms, and how deliberate and strenuous attempts were made to deny her contribution; to belittle her achievements, and to write her out of the history books, even though Albert Einstein said she was even 'more talented than Marie Curie herself'.The author is fortunate and honoured to have been granted several interviews with Lise's nephew Philip Meitner - himself a refugee from the Nazis - who with his wife Anne, provided much valuable information and many photographs.
Publication Date: 2021-07-08
The Best Writing on Mathematics 2021 by The year's finest mathematical writing from around the world This annual anthology brings together the year's finest mathematics writing from around the world--and you don't need to be a mathematician to enjoy the pieces collected here. These essays--from leading names and fresh new voices--delve into the history, philosophy, teaching, and everyday aspects of math, offering surprising insights into its nature, meaning, and practice, and taking readers behind the scenes of today's hottest mathematical debates. Here, Viktor Blåsjö gives a brief history of "lockdown mathematics"; Yelda Nasifoglu decodes the politics of a seventeenth-century play in which the characters are geometric shapes; and Andrew Lewis-Pye explains the basic algorithmic rules and computational procedures behind cryptocurrencies. In other essays, Terence Tao candidly recalls the adventures and misadventures of growing up to become a leading mathematician; Natalie Wolchover shows how old math gives new clues about whether time really flows; and David Hand discusses the problem of "dark data"--information that is missing or ignored. And there is much, much more.
Publication Date: 2022-02-01
An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us by Enter a new dimension--the world as it is truly perceived by other animals--from the Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times bestselling author of I Contain Multitudes. "A stunning achievement, steeped in science but suffused with magic."--Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Gene The Earth teems with sights and textures, sounds and vibrations, smells and tastes, electric and magnetic fields. But every kind of animal, including humans, is enclosed within its own unique sensory bubble, perceiving but a tiny sliver of our immense world. In An Immense World, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist Ed Yong coaxes us beyond the confines of our own senses, allowing us to perceive the skeins of scent, waves of electromagnetism, and pulses of pressure that surround us. We encounter beetles that are drawn to fires, turtles that can track the Earth's magnetic fields, fish that fill rivers with electrical messages, and even humans who wield sonar like bats. We discover that a crocodile's scaly face is as sensitive as a lover's fingertips, that the eyes of a giant squid evolved to see sparkling whales, that plants thrum with the inaudible songs of courting bugs, and that even simple scallops have complex vision. We learn what bees see in flowers, what songbirds hear in their tunes, and what dogs smell on the street. We listen to stories of pivotal discoveries in the field, while looking ahead at the many mysteries that remain unsolved. Funny, rigorous, and suffused with the joy of discovery, An Immense World takes us on what Marcel Proust called "the only true voyage . . . not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes."
Publication Date: 2022-06-21
End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World by In this history of extinction and existential risk, a Newsweek and Bloomberg popular science and investigative journalist examines our most dangerous mistakes -- and explores how we can protect and future-proof our civilization. End Times is a compelling work of skilled reportage that peels back the layers of complexity around the unthinkable -- and inevitable -- end of humankind. From asteroids and artificial intelligence to volcanic supereruption to nuclear war, veteran science reporter and TIME editor Bryan Walsh provides a stunning panoramic view of the most catastrophic threats to the human race. In End Times, Walsh examines threats that emerge from nature and those of our own making: asteroids, supervolcanoes, nuclear war, climate change, disease pandemics, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and extraterrestrial intelligence. Walsh details the true probability of these world-ending catastrophes, the impact on our lives were they to happen, and the best strategies for saving ourselves, all pulled from his rigorous and deeply thoughtful reporting and research. Walsh goes into the room with the men and women whose job it is to imagine the unimaginable. He includes interviews with those on the front lines of prevention, actively working to head off existential threats in biotechnology labs and government hubs. Guided by Walsh's evocative, page-turning prose, we follow scientific stars like the asteroid hunters at NASA and the disease detectives on the trail of the next killer virus. Walsh explores the danger of apocalypse in all forms. In the end, it will be the depth of our knowledge, the height of our imagination, and our sheer will to survive that will decide the future.
Publication Date: 2019-08-27
The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans by A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of the Year A Library Journal Best Science and Technology Book of the Year A compelling history of seashells and the animals that make them, revealing what they have to tell us about nature, our changing oceans, and ourselves. Seashells have been the most coveted and collected of nature's creations since the dawn of humanity. They were money before coins, jewelry before gems, art before canvas. In The Sound of the Sea, acclaimed environmental author Cynthia Barnett blends cultural history and science to trace our long love affair with seashells and the hidden lives of the mollusks that make them. Spiraling out from the great cities of shell that once rose in North America to the warming waters of the Maldives and the slave castles of Ghana, Barnett has created an unforgettable account of the world's most iconic seashells. She begins with their childhood wonder, unwinds surprising histories like the origin of Shell Oil as a family business importing exotic shells, and charts what shells and the soft animals that build them are telling scientists about our warming, acidifying seas. From the eerie calls of early shell trumpets to the evolutionary miracle of spines and spires and the modern science of carbon capture inspired by shell, Barnett circles to her central point of listening to nature's wisdom--and acting on what seashells have to say about taking care of each other and our world.
Call Number: QL403 .B27 2021
Publication Date: 2021-07-06
A (Very) Short History of Life On Earth: 4.6 Billion Years in 12 Chapters by "[A]n exuberant romp through evolution, like a modern-day Willy Wonka of genetic space. Gee's grand tour enthusiastically details the narrative underlying life's erratic and often whimsical exploration of biological form and function." --Adrian Woolfson, The Washington Post In the tradition of Richard Dawkins, Bill Bryson, and Simon Winchester--An entertaining and uniquely informed narration of Life's life story. In the beginning, Earth was an inhospitably alien place--in constant chemical flux, covered with churning seas, crafting its landscape through incessant volcanic eruptions. Amid all this tumult and disaster, life began. The earliest living things were no more than membranes stretched across microscopic gaps in rocks, where boiling hot jets of mineral-rich water gushed out from cracks in the ocean floor. Although these membranes were leaky, the environment within them became different from the raging maelstrom beyond. These havens of order slowly refined the generation of energy, using it to form membrane-bound bubbles that were mostly-faithful copies of their parents--a foamy lather of soap-bubble cells standing as tiny clenched fists, defiant against the lifeless world. Life on this planet has continued in much the same way for millennia, adapting to literally every conceivable setback that living organisms could encounter and thriving, from these humblest beginnings to the thrilling and unlikely story of ourselves. In A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth, Henry Gee zips through the last 4.6 billion years with infectious enthusiasm and intellectual rigor. Drawing on the very latest scientific understanding and writing in a clear, accessible style, he tells an enlightening tale of survival and persistence that illuminates the delicate balance within which life has always existed.
Publication Date: 2021-11-09