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Eureka! Discovering your inner scientist
by Chad Orzel

9780465074969Chad OrzelEureka!: Discovering Your Inner ScientistEven in the twenty-first century the popular image of a scientist is a reclusive genius in a lab coat, mixing formulas or working out equations inaccessible to all but the initiated few. The idea that scientists are somehow smarter than the rest of us is a common, yet dangerous, misconception, getting us off the hook for not knowing--or caring--how the world works. How did science become so divorced from our everyday experience? Is scientific understanding so far out of reach for the non-scientists among us? As science popularizer Chad Orzel argues in Eureka , even the people who are most forthright about hating science are doing science, often without even knowing it. Orzel shows that science isn't something alien and inscrutable beyond the capabilities of ordinary people, it's central to the human experience. Every human can think like a scientist, and regularly does so in the course of everyday activities. The disconnect between this reality and most people's perception is mostly due to the common misconception that science is a body of (boring, abstract, often mathematical) facts. In truth, science is best thought of as a process: Looking at the world, Thinking about what makes it work, Testing your mental model by comparing it to reality, and Telling others about your results. The facts that we too often think of as the whole of science are merely the product of this scientific process. Eureka shows that this process is one we all regularly use, and something that everybody can do. By revealing the connection between the everyday activities that people do--solving crossword puzzles, playing sports, or even watching mystery shows on television--and the processes used to make great scientific discoveries, Orzel shows that if we recognize the process of doing science as something familiar, we will be better able to appreciate scientific discoveries, and use scientific facts and thinking to help address the problems that affect us all. - Description from Syndetics

Cosmic apprentice: dispatches from the edges of science
by Dorion Sagan

9780816681358Dorion SaganCosmic Apprentice: Dispatches from the Edges of Science In the pursuit of knowledge, Dorion Sagan argues in this dazzlingly eclectic, rigorously crafted, and deliciously witty collection of essays, scientific authoritarianism and philosophical obscurantism are equally formidable obstacles to discovery. As science has become more specialized and more costly, its questing spirit has been constrained by dogma. And philosophy, perhaps the discipline best placed to question orthodoxy, has retreated behind dense theoretical language and arcane topics of learning. Guided by a capacious, democratic view of science inspired by the examples set by his late parents--Carl Sagan, who popularized the study of the cosmos, and Lynn Margulis, an evolutionary biologist who repeatedly clashed with the scientific establishment--Sagan draws on classical and contemporary philosophy to intervene provocatively in often-charged debates on thermodynamics, linear and nonlinear time, purpose, ethics, the links between language and psychedelic drugs, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and the occupation of the human body by microbial others. Informed by a countercultural sensibility, a deep engagement with speculative thought, and a hardheaded scientific skepticism, he advances controversial positions on such seemingly sacrosanct subjects as evolution and entropy. At the same time, he creatively considers a wide range of thinkers, from Socrates to Bataille and Descartes to von Uexk#65533;ll, to reflect on sex, biopolitics, and the free will of Kermit the Frog. Refreshingly nonconformist and polemically incisive, Cosmic Apprentice challenges readers to reject both dogma and clich#65533; and instead recover the intellectual spirit of adventure that should--and can once again--animate both science and philosophy. - Description from Syndetics

Renewable: the world-changing power of alternative energy
by Jeremy Shere

9780312643751Jeremy ShereRenewable: The World-Changing Power of Alternative Energy Where does the energy we use come from? It's absolutely vital to every single thing we do every day, but for most people, it is utterly invisible. Flick a switch and the lights go on. It might as well be magic. Science writer Jeremy Shere shows us in Renewable: The World-Changing Power of Alternative Energy that energy is anything but magical. Producing it in fossil fuel form is a dirty, expensive--but also hugely profitable-- enterprise, with enormous but largely hidden costs to the entire planet. The cold, hard fact is that at some point we will have wrung the planet dry of easily accessible sources of fossil fuel. And when that time comes, humankind will have no choice but to turn--or, more accurately, return--to other, cleaner, renewable energy sources. What will those sources be? Howfar have we come to realizing the technologies that will make these sources available? To find the answers, Shere began his journey with a tour of a traditional coal-fueled power plant in his home state of Indiana. He then continued on, traveling from coast to coast as he spoke to scientists, scholars and innovators. He immersed himself in the green energy world: visiting a solar farm at Denver's airport, attending the Wind Power Expo and a wind farm tour in Texas, investigating turbines deep in New York City's East River, and much more. Arranged in five parts--Green Gas, Sun, Wind, Earth, and Water-- Renewable tells the stories of the most interesting and promising types of renewable energy: namely, biofuel, solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower. But unlike many books about alternative energy, Renewable is not obsessed with megawatts and tips for building home solar panels. Instead, Shere digs into the rich, surprisingly long histories of these technologies, bringing to life the pioneering scientists, inventors, and visionaries who blazed the way for solar, wind, hydro, and other forms of renewable power, and unearthing the curious involvement of great thinkers like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Nicola Tesla. We are at an important crossroads in the history of renewable technologies. The possibilities are endless and enticing, and it has become increasingly clear that renewable energy is the way of the future. In Renewable , Jeremy Shere's natural curiosity and serious research come together in an entertaining and informative guide to where renewable energy has been, where it is today, and where it's heading. - Description from Syndetics

Physics of the Future
by Kaku, Michio

9780385530804Michio KakuPhysics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 Imagine, if you can, the world in the year 2100. In Physics of the Future , Michio Kaku--the New York Times bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible --gives us a stunning, provocative, and exhilarating vision of the coming century based on interviews with over three hundred of the world's top scientists who are already inventing the future in their labs. The result is the most authoritative and scientifically accurate description of the revolutionary developments taking place in medicine, computers, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, energy production, and astronautics. In all likelihood, by 2100 we will control computers via tiny brain sensors and, like magicians, move objects around with the power of our minds. Artificial intelligence will be dispersed throughout the environment, and Internet-enabled contact lenses will allow us to access the world's information base or conjure up any image we desire in the blink of an eye. Meanwhile, cars will drive themselves using GPS, and if room-temperature superconductors are discovered, vehicles will effortlessly fly on a cushion of air, coasting on powerful magnetic fields and ushering in the age of magnetism. Using molecular medicine, scientists will be able to grow almost every organ of the body and cure genetic diseases. Millions of tiny DNA sensors and nanoparticles patrolling our blood cells will silently scan our bodies for the first sign of illness, while rapid advances in genetic research will enable us to slow down or maybe even reverse the aging process, allowing human life spans to increase dramatically. In space, radically new ships--needle-sized vessels using laser propulsion--could replace the expensive chemical rockets of today and perhaps visit nearby stars. Advances in nanotechnology may lead to the fabled space elevator, which would propel humans hundreds of miles above the earth's atmosphere at the push of a button. But these astonishing revelations are only the tip of the iceberg . Kaku also discusses emotional robots, antimatter rockets, X-ray vision, and the ability to create new life-forms, and he considers the development of the world economy. He addresses the key questions: Who are the winner and losers of the future? Who will have jobs, and which nations will prosper? All the while, Kaku illuminates the rigorous scientific principles, examining the rate at which certain technologies are likely to mature, how far they can advance, and what their ultimate limitations and hazards are. Synthesizing a vast amount of information to construct an exciting look at the years leading up to 2100, Physics of the Future is a thrilling, wondrous ride through the next 100 years of breathtaking scientific revolution. - Description from Syndetics

3D printing for dummies
by Kalani Kirk Hausman

9781118660775Kirk Hausman3D Printing for Dummies Get started printing out 3D objects quickly and inexpensively! 3D printing is no longer just a figment of your imagination. This remarkable technology is coming to the masses with the growing availability of 3D printers. 3D printers create 3-dimensional layered models and they allow users to create prototypes that use multiple materials and colors.  This friendly-but-straightforward guide examines each type of 3D printing technology available today and gives artists, entrepreneurs, engineers, and hobbyists insight into the amazing things 3D printing has to offer. You'll discover methods for the creation of 3D printable objects using software, 3D scanners, and even photographs with the help of this timely For Dummies  guide. Includes information on stereolithography, selective sintering, fused deposition, and granular binding techniques Covers the potential for the transformation of production and manufacturing, reuse and recycling, intellectual property design controls, and the commoditization of traditional products from magazines to material goods Walks you through the process of creating a RepRap printer using open-source designs, software, and hardware Addresses the limitations of current 3D printing technologies and provides strategies for improved success 3D Printing For Dummies is the must-have guide to make manufacturing your own dynamic designs a dream come true! - Description from Syndetics

Hubble: The Mirror on the Universe
by Kerrod, Robin

9781554079728Robin Kerrod; Carole Stott; David S. Leckrone (Foreword by)Hubble: The Mirror on the Universe The latest images from the Hubble Space Telescope's recent discoveries and fascinating updates. In its 20 years of viewing the heavens NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has traveled 2.8 billion miles, made more than 930,000 observations and snapped over 570,000 images of 30,000 celestial objects. It has forever changed how we view the universe and our place in it. This third edition of Hubble picks up the journey where the last edition left off. It includes a fascinating discussion on how the latest discoveries are revising scientific understanding of the universe, such as: The first direct observation of an "exiled" star. For every 100 million stars in the galaxy there is perhaps one hypervelocity star. A long-exposure image that captured the faint details of spiral galaxy NGC 4911 within the Coma Cluster of galaxies, which is 320 million light-years from Earth. A composite "mash-up" image of two colliding galaxies located about 62 million light-years from Earth, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope along with the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope. Since the 2007 edition of Hubble , the Hubble Space Telescope has clocked millions more miles and taken thousands more images. This new edition describes how, like the Hubble Space Telescope's missions, our view of the universe is a constantly evolving journey. - Description from Syndetics

The universe within: discovering the common history of rocks, planets and people
by Neil Shubin

9780307378439Neil ShubinThe Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People ** Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)** From one of our finest and most popular science writers, and the best-selling author of Your Inner Fish, comes the answer to a scientific mystery as big as the world itself: How are the events that formed our solar system billions of years ago embedded inside each of us? In Your Inner Fish, Neil Shubin delved into the amazing connections between human bodies--our hands, heads, and jaws--and the structures in fish and worms that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. In The Universe Within, with his trademark clarity and exuberance, Shubin takes an even more expansive approach to the question of why we look the way we do. Starting once again with fossils, he turns his gaze skyward, showing us how the entirety of the universe's fourteen-billion-year history can be seen in our bodies. As he moves from our very molecular composition (a result of stellar events at the origin of our solar system) through the workings of our eyes, Shubin makes clear how the evolution of the cosmos has profoundly marked our own bodies. WITH BLACK-AND-WHITE LINE DRAWINGS THROUGHOUT - Description from Syndetics

The Periodic Table: A visual guide to the elements
by Paul Parsons

9781623651107Paul ParsonsThe Periodic Table: A Visual Guide to the ElementsAs one of the most recognizable images in science, the periodic table is ingrained in our culture. First drawn up in 1869 by Dmitri Mendeleev, its 118 elements make up not only everything on our planet but also everything in the entire universe. The Periodic Table looks at the fascinating story and surprising uses of each of those elements, whether solid, liquid or gas. From the little-known uses of gold in medicine to the development of the hydrogen bomb, each entry is accompanied by technical data (category, atomic number, weight, boiling point) presented in easy-to-read headers, and a colour coding system that helps the reader to navigate through the different groups of elements. A remarkable display of thought-provoking science and beautiful photography, this guide will allow the reader to discover the world afresh. - Description from Syndetics

Timelines of science
by Peter Frances

9781465414342Dorling Kindersley Publishing StaffTimelines of ScienceFrom the discovery of penicillin to the advent of the Internet, science has been an invaluable part of the human experience. Produced in association with the Smithsonian Institution and highlighting the theories, breakthroughs, and key thinkers that shaped the history of science, Timelines of Science is an informative guide to the history of scientific discovery and technology that follows the path chronologically, and explores everything from ancient Greek geometry to quantum physics. Filled with striking visuals, including specially commissioned photography, arresting infographics, and illustrations that illuminate technological discovery, Timelines of Science includes major advances in all the sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy. - Description from Syndetics

Urban astronomy: stargazing from towns and suburbs
by Robin Scagell

9781770853256Robin ScagellUrban Astronomy: Stargazing from Towns and SuburbsThe ideal introduction to astronomy in the city. These days, skywatchers do not have to live close to a city or town center to suffer from the effects of light pollution. According to the National Park Service, city lights as far as 200 miles away diminish views of night skies. So even in a remote field, the sky above may be part of the "sky glow" of the surrounding city or town. Weather might be an issue too, as it is for all skywatchers. Nevertheless, there are many celestial delights to be seen. Urban Astronomy shows that nighttime lighting and the resultant brightening of the sky can be combatted and demonstrates how to make the best of poor conditions. Although the unaided eye may be able to pick out only a few hundred stars, binoculars or a small telescope will reveal many times that number. A little optical aid can also give you good views of every type of major astronomical object, including star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. For example, there are special filters that let through the light from distant nebulae while blocking out wavelengths infested by unwanted stray light from streetlights. Modern CCDs allow modest amateur telescopes to penetrate the urban sky glow and reveal sights that would have taxed larger instruments 30 years ago. The book also covers: How weather and pollution affect observing Specific tips to combat urban streetlighting The best objects to observe from cities and towns Deep-sky objects visible from urban locations in both the northern and southern hemispheres The range of telescopes and accessories for light-polluted skies CCDs and the rebirth of astronomy from cities and towns How to find dark skies. The book's nine chapters cover the basics of successful urban viewing, its "enemies" -- weather and streetlights -- and explain how to choose viewing targets and arm yourself with the right "weapons and ammunition" to find them. The book also covers indoor astronomy. Urban Astronomy is an ideal guide to skywatching while combating light pollution. It will show you how to get the most out of almost any sky. - Description from Syndetics

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