Carlo Rovelli's "Reality is Not What it Seems" is a remarkable book that puts amateur science buffs on the front lines of the newest and most exciting ideas and discoveries in physics today. Both a trip into the past—Newton's laws, Einstein's theories of relativity, Bohr's quantum leaps—and a peek into the future—theories about quantum gravity, the Big "Bounce", and black holes just waiting to be proven—Rovelli explains impossibly complex ideas in poetic language and metaphor. Do I understand everything in this book? Absolutely not. Neither will you. But we're in good company—as theoretical physicist Richard Feynman said, "I think I can state that nobody really understands quantum mechanics." The perfect intro to advanced scientific ideas for the curious literary mind who likes to reach and be challenged.
An amazing book for both children and adults about the all too often overlooked women pioneers in STEM fields - from the ancient astronomer Hypatia to Ada Lovelace to Katherine Johnson to Mae Jemison to Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win the Fields Medal. This is the perfect gift for the budding scientist in your life, and a perfect book if you (like me) just want to know more about kickass women astronauts and mathematicians and engineer
When you think of war, and the innovations that keep soldiers alive, there are a few things that probably don't spring immediately to mind: chicken cannons, pamphlets full of "comforting facts" about sharks, red dyed underwear, maggots. That's why "Grunt" is such a fascinating and original book - Mary Roach shines a light on some of the military's most obscure research and overlooked concerns, and the people who address them, who take odors and insects and sea life and diarrhea just as seriously as weaponry and armor. "Grunt" was both hilarious and harrowing, eye-opening and riveting from beginning to end, and Mary Roach is so witty and down-to-earth, you'll feel like you're there beside her, comparing notes.
In their extraordinarily fun book "We Have No Idea," scientists Jorge Cham & Daniel Whiteson explain that we only understand about 5% of the universe we live in. We know that the universe has a speed limit, but not why. We know that antimatter exists, but not why. We know that 67% percent of the universe is made of something called "dark energy," but we don't know exactly what dark energy is. And we know that particle theory and general relativity are both proven, but can't seem to get them to work together. This book explains all the things we don't know about the universe by explaining all the amazing things we DO know (accompanied by fun cartoons and puns and easy-to-grasp explanations of impossibly difficult concepts), and how we might someday go about filling in the gaps