Today science literacy - knowing how the world works, from the microscopic level to the farthest reaches of space - is more important than ever, but finding all the essential information in one place can be a daunting task. Enter The Nature of Science, the ultimate science handbook for the home, explaining in everyday terms the two hundred overarching laws, principles, and mechanisms that make sense of the physical world.
Cloning; black holes; Fermat's last theorem; genetic drift; the inflationary universe; Newton's laws of motion; string theories. With lively writing and whimsical analogies, science popularizer James Trefil leads a remarkable A-Z tour through the discovery, significance, and workings of the universe's major laws. Here are some two hundred essays on grand theories, such as Kepler's laws of planetary motion and Mendel's laws of genetics, and on more familiar phenomena, such as how airplanes fly and how polarized sunglasses work. Abundant cross-references make it easy to follow a law's connections across different fields, revealing a web of unifying theories that span the smallest cell and the largest galaxy. Timelines in each essay further spell out the evolution of each law, while biographical sidebars on scientists showcase the often quirky tales of discovery - the human stories behind nature's laws.
From atomic theory to Zeno's paradox, The Nature of Science makes understanding science a pleasure. For those who are familiar with the Big Bang (but maybe not the Big Crunch or the Big Splash), this book is essential reading - a key to unlocking the mysteries of the universe.