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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

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13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time (Vintage)

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13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time (Vintage) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ninety-six per cent of the universe is missing. The effects of homeopathy don't go away under rigorous scientific conditions. The laws of nature aren't what they used to be. Thirty years on, no one has an explanation for a seemingly intelligent signal received from outer space. The US Department of Energy is re-examining cold fusion because the experimental evidence seems too solid to ignore. The placebo effect is put to work in medicine while doctors can't agree whether it even exists.

In an age when science is supposed to be king, scientists are beset by experimental results they simply can't explain. But, if the past is anything to go by, these anomalies contain the seeds of future revolutions. While taking readers on an entertaining tour d'horizon of the strangest of scientific findings - involving everything from our lack of free will to Martian methane that offers new evidence of life on the planet - Michael Brooks argues that the things we don't understand are the key to what we are about to discover.

This mind-boggling but entirely accessible survey of the outer limits of human knowledge is based on a short article by Michael Brooks for New Scientist magazine, It became the sixth most circulated story on the internet in 2005, and provoked widespread comment and compliments (Google 13 things that do not make sense to see).

Michael Brooks has now dug deeply into those mysteries, with extraordinary results.

Synopsis:

Spanning disciplines from biology to cosmology, chemistry to psychology to physics, Michael Brooks thrillingly captures the excitement of scientific discovery.Sciences best-kept secret is this: even today, thereare experimental results that the most brilliant scientists cannot explain. In the past, similar “anomalies” have revolutionized our world. If history is any precedent, we should look to todays inexplicable results to forecast the future of science. Michael Brooks heads to the scientific frontier to confront thirteen modern-day anomalies and what they might reveal about tomorrows breakthroughs.

About the Author

Michael Brooks, who holds a PhD in quantum physics, is an editor at New Scientist. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, Independent, Observer, Times Higher Educational Supplement, and even Playboy. He is a regular speaker and debate chair at the Science Festival in Brighton, UK.

Table of Contents

Prologue

1 THE MISSING UNIVERSE

We can only account for 4 percent of the cosmos

2 THE PIONEER ANOMALY

Two spacecraft are flouting the laws of physics

3 VARYING CONSTANTS

Destabilizing our view of the universe

4 COLD FUSION

Nuclear energy without the drama

5 LIFE

Are you more than just a bag of chemicals?

6 VIKING

NASA scientists found evidence for life on Mars. Then they changed their minds.

7 THE WOW! SIGNAL

Has ET already been in touch?

8 A GIANT VIRUS

Its a freak that could rewrite the story of life

9 DEATH

Evolutions problem with self-destruction

10 SEX

There are better ways to reproduce

11 FREE WILL

Your decisions are not your own

12 THE PLACEBO EFFECT

Whos being deceived?

13 HOMEOPATHY

Its patently absurd, so why wont it go away?

Epilogue

Acknowledgments

Notes And Sources

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307278814
Author:
Brooks, Michael
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Subject:
General
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Science Reference-General
Subject:
science;non-fiction;physics;cosmology;biology;popular science;homeopathy;astronomy;free will;evolution;death;history of science;dark matter;chemistry;placebo;mysteries;general science;mystery;dark energy;life;cold fusion;medicine;sex;reproduction;mars
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Publication Date:
20090831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
7.98x5.22x.55 in. .43 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » General
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Science and Mathematics » Popular Science » Essays

13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time (Vintage) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780307278814 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Spanning disciplines from biology to cosmology, chemistry to psychology to physics, Michael Brooks thrillingly captures the excitement of scientific discovery.Sciences best-kept secret is this: even today, thereare experimental results that the most brilliant scientists cannot explain. In the past, similar “anomalies” have revolutionized our world. If history is any precedent, we should look to todays inexplicable results to forecast the future of science. Michael Brooks heads to the scientific frontier to confront thirteen modern-day anomalies and what they might reveal about tomorrows breakthroughs.
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