Adam Becker - What is Real? - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781473675568
    • Publication date:31 May 2018
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    • ISBN:9781473661363
    • Publication date:27 Jun 2019

What is Real?

The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics

By Adam Becker

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The untold story of the heretical thinkers who challenged the establishment to rethink quantum physics and the nature of reality

Every physicist agrees quantum mechanics is among humanity's finest scientific achievements. But ask what it means, and the result will be a brawl. For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless. A mishmash of solipsism and poor reasoning, Copenhagen endured, as Bohr's students vigorously protected his legacy, and the physics community favoured practical experiments over philosophical arguments. As a result, questioning the status quo long meant professional ruin. And yet, from the 1920s to today, physicists like John Bell, David Bohm, and Hugh Everett persisted in seeking the true meaning of quantum mechanics. What is Real? is the gripping story of this battle of ideas and the courageous scientists who dared to stand up for truth.

Biographical Notes

Adam Becker is a science writer with a PhD in astrophysics and an undergraduate degree in philosophy. His writing has appeared in the BBC and New Scientist. He has recorded a video series with the BBC and several podcasts with the Story Collider. He is also a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley's Office for History of Science and Technology. He lives in Oakland, CA.

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  • ISBN: 9781473661349
  • Publication date: 31 May 2018
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  • Imprint: John Murray
A thorough, illuminating exploration of the most consequential controversy raging in modern science . . . Becker leads us through an impressive account of the rise of competing interpretations, grounding them in the human stories, which are naturally messy and full of contingencies. He makes a convincing case that it's wrong to imagine the Copenhagen interpretation as a single official or even coherent statement — New York Times
[A] fresh debut . . . Vivid biographical portraits enliven even dense theoretical explanations with wit and bite . . . With his crisp voice, Becker lucidly relates the complicated history of quantum foundations — Publishers Weekly, starred review
A useful introduction to the history of quantum theory for scientifically inclined readers — Kirkus
Adam Becker has written an excellent, accessible account of an intricate story. — The Wall Street Journal
Becker has done a great service in putting this fascinating story together into a single easily-digestible volume that is gripping, authoritative, and true. — Quantum Times
Hodder & Stoughton

Say Why to Drugs

Suzi Gage
Authors:
Suzi Gage

A definitive and authoritative guide to drugs and why we get high from the creator of the top-rated podcast, Say Why to Drugs.Drugs. We've all done them. Whether it's a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, a cigarette or a sleeping pill. But how well do we understand the effects of the drugs we take - legal or illegal?Say Why to Drugs investigates the science behind recreational drugs- debunking common myths and misconceptions, as well as containing the most recent scientific research. Looking at a range of drugs, this book provides a clear understanding of how drugs work and what they're really doing to your mind and body. Along the way you will find out why ketamine is on the WHO's list of essential medicines, why some researchers hope MDMA could treat PTSD, and much more.Enlightening, entertaining, and thought-provoking, Say Why to Drugs is a compelling read that will surprise and educate proponents on both sides of the drugs debate.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Your Brain, Explained

Marc Dingman
Authors:
Marc Dingman

Sleep. Memory. Pleasure. Fear. Language. We experience these things almost every day, but how do our brains create them? Your Brain, Explained is a personal tour around your grey matter. Neuroscientist Marc Dingman gives you a crash course in what goes on in your brain and explains the latest research on the brain functions (and malfunctions) that affect you on a daily basis. You'll also discover what happens when these systems don't work the way they should, causing problems such as insomnia, ADHD, depression or addiction, how neuroscience is working to fix these problems, and how you can build up your defences against the most common faults of the mind.Along the way you'll find out: ·Why brain training games don't prevent dementia (and what does)· What it's like to remember every day of your life as if it were yesterday· Which mental ailment used to be treated with German rocket fuel· What triggers sleep loss, or lapses in concentrationDrawing on the author's popular YouTube series, 2-minute Neuroscience, this is a friendly, engaging introduction to the human brain and its quirks from the perspective of a neuroscientist - using eye-opening illustrations and real-life examples. Your brain is yours to discover.

John Murray

How To

Randall Munroe
Authors:
Randall Munroe
John Murray

Animal Languages

Eva Meijer
Authors:
Eva Meijer

Dolphins and parrots call each other by their names. Fork tailed drongos mimic the calls of other animals to scare them away and then steal their dinner. In the songs of many species of birds, and in skin patterns of squid, we find grammatical structures . . .If you are lucky, you might meet an animal that wants to talk to you. If you are even luckier, you might meet an animal that takes the time and effort to get to know you. Such relationships can teach us not only about the animal in question, but also about language and about ourselves.From how prairie dogs describe intruders in detail -- including their size, shape, speed and the colour of their hair and T-shirts -- to how bats like to gossip, to the impressive greeting rituals of monogamous seabirds, Animal Languages is a fascinating and philosophical exploration of the ways animals communicate with each other, and with us. Researchers are discovering that animals have rich and complex languages with grammatical and structural rules that allow them to strategise, share advice, give warnings, show love and gossip amongst themselves. Animal Languages will reveal this surprising hidden social life and show you how to talk with the animals.

Yellow Kite

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B.K.S. Iyengar
Authors:
B.K.S. Iyengar
John Murray Learning

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Mattias Ribbing, Per Sundin
Authors:
Mattias Ribbing, Per Sundin

Why do so many of us struggle to remember the maths we were taught at school? The answer is that we can successfully memorise things for a short period but we only retain those memories long term if we understand them. Mattias Ribbing is a Grand Master of Memory who will show you how to remember maths through truly understanding it. His methods are simple but will last for life, and unwrap the puzzle of maths forever.The key to confidence with numbers is not remembering complex rules surrounding long division or algebra; it's understanding the critical components of maths and being able to clearly visualise problems and solutions. This illuminating guide to improving your maths provides logical, long-term strategies that will enable you to finally get maths and hold on to that level of confidence thereafter.

John Murray

Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Stephen Hawking
Authors:
Stephen Hawking
Hodder & Stoughton

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

Steven Novella
Authors:
Steven Novella

'A fantastic compendium of skeptical thinking and the perfect primer for anyone who wants to separate fact from fiction.' Richard Wiseman, author 59 Seconds'Thorough, informative, and enlightening... If this book does not become required reading for us all, we may well see modern civilization unravel before our eyes.' Neil deGrasse Tyson, author of Astrophysics for People in a HurryIn this tie-in to their popular 'The Skeptics Guide to the Universe' podcast, Steven Novella, along with 'Skeptical Rogues' Bob Novella, Cara Santa Maria, Jay Novella and Evan Bernstein explain the tenets of skeptical thinking and debunk some of the biggest scientific myths, fallacies and conspiracy theories (anti-vaccines, homeopathy, UFO sightings, and many more.) They'll help us try to make sense of what seems like an increasingly crazy world using powerful tools like science and philosophy. The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is your guide through this maze of modern life. It covers essential critical thinking skills, as well as giving insight into how your brain works and how to avoid common pitfalls in thinking. They discuss the difference between science and pseudoscience, how to recognize common science news tropes, how to discuss conspiracy theories with that crazy colleague of yours, and how to apply all of this to everyday life.As fascinating as it is entertaining, this page turner is your essential guide to seeing through the fake news and media manipulation in our increasingly confusing world.

Sceptre

The Consolations of Physics

Tim Radford
Authors:
Tim Radford

'A beautiful, inspiring reflection on science, humanity, space, and matter - this would blow Boethius's mind.' SARAH BAKEWELLThe Consolations of Physics is an eloquent manifesto for physics. In an age where uncertainty and division is rife, Tim Radford, science editor of the Guardian for twenty-five years, turns to the wonders of the universe for consolation. From the launch of the Voyager spacecraft and how it furthered our understanding of planets, stars and galaxies to the planet composed entirely of diamond and graphite and the sound of a blacksmith's anvil; from the hole NASA drilled in the heavens to the discovery of the Higgs Boson and the endeavours to prove the Big Bang, The Consolations of Physics will guide you from a tiny particle to the marvels of outer space.

Sceptre

Lost and Found

Jules Montague
Authors:
Jules Montague
John Murray

Bad Choices

Ali Almossawi
Authors:
Ali Almossawi

A relatable, interactive, and funny exploration of algorithms, those essential building blocks of computer science - and of everyday life - from the author of the wildly popular Bad Arguments.Algorithms -- processes that are made up of unambiguous steps and do something useful -- make up the very foundations of computer science. Yet, they also inform our choices in approaching everyday tasks, from managing a pile of clothes fresh out of the dryer to deciding what music to listen to.With Bad Choices, Ali Almossawi, presents twelve scenes from everyday life that help demonstrate and demystify the fundamental algorithms that drive computer science, bringing these seemingly elusive concepts into the understandable realms of the everyday.Readers will discover how:· Matching socks can teach you about search and hash tables· Planning trips to the store can demonstrate the value of stacks· Deciding what music to listen to shows why link analysis is all-important· Crafting a succinct Tweet draws on ideas from compression· Making your way through a grocery list helps explain priority queues and traversing graphs · And moreAs you better understand algorithms, you'll also discover what makes a method faster and more efficient, helping you become a more nimble, creative problem-solver, ready to face new challenges. Bad Choices will open the world of algorithms to all readers making this a perennial go-to for fans of quirky, accessible science books.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Mission Control Management

Paul Sean Hill
Authors:
Paul Sean Hill

Failure is always an option...For more than 50 years, NASA's Mission Control has been known for two things: perfect decision making in extreme situations and producing generations of steely-eyed missile men and women who continue that tradition. A key to that legacy of brilliant performance is a particular brand of leadership, especially at the working level in Mission Control.Take the ultimate insiders look at the leadership values and culture that created the best team on this planet. Paul Sean Hill was responsible for NASA's Mission Operations support for manned space flight from 2007-2011. In this candid book he shows that the secret to Mission Control's success has never been rocket science and that the real practice of perfect decision making can be applied to any organisation or team. By demonstrating how his Mission Control team nurtured a culture which has delivered impossible wins for decades, Hill provides a guide for all leaders to boost their company's performance at all levels.Whether failure means cost and schedule overruns, quality reduction, loss of market share, bankruptcy - or putting someone's life a risk, how we lead can determine whether even small mistakes are dealt with or are left to snowball out of control and destroy an enterprise. Discover how to take leadership from the Mission Control Room to your boardroom and beyond, and achieve this out-of-this-world leadership environment in your team.

Sceptre

The Delusions of Certainty

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt

Prizewinning novelist, feminist, and scholar Siri Hustvedt turns her brilliant and critical eye toward the metaphysical issues of neuropsychology in this lauded, standalone volume. Originally published in her collection A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women, The Delusions of Certainty exposes how the age-old, unresolved mind-body problem has shaped - and often distorted and confused - contemporary thought in neuroscience, psychiatry, genetics, artificial intelligence, and evolutionary psychology.

Coronet

Science and Spiritual Practices

Rupert Sheldrake
Authors:
Rupert Sheldrake

In this pioneering book Rupert Sheldrake shows how science helps validate seven practices on which all religions are built, and which are part of our common human heritage:· Meditation· Gratitude· Connecting with nature· Relating to plants· Rituals· Singing and chanting· Pilgrimage and holy places. The effects of spiritual practices are now being investigated scientifically as never before, and many studies have shown that religious and spiritual practices generally make people happier and healthier. Rupert Sheldrake summarizes the latest scientific research on what happens when we take part in these practices, and suggests ways that readers can explore these fields for themselves. For those who are religious, Science and Spiritual Practices will illuminate the evolutionary origins of their own traditions and give a new appreciation of their power. For the non-religious, this book will show how the core practices of spirituality are accessible to all, even if they do not subscribe to a religious belief system. This is a book for anyone who suspects that in the drive towards radical secularism, something valuable has been left behind. Rupert Sheldrake believes that by opening ourselves to the spiritual dimension we may find the strength to live more wholesome and fulfilling lives.

John Murray

In Pursuit of Memory

Dr Joseph Jebelli
Authors:
Dr Joseph Jebelli

SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE 2017'When I was twelve, my grandfather began to act strangely. It started with inexplicable walks. He'd leave the dinner table and we would find him, half an hour later, aimlessly wandering around the neighbourhood. His smiles were gradually replaced by a fearful, withdrawn expression; as if he'd lost something irreplaceable. Before long, he didn't recognise any of us.'Alzheimer's is the great global epidemic of our time, affecting millions worldwide - there are over 850,000 people with the diagnosis in the UK alone. And its shockwaves extend far wider, through disbelieving families and friends. In 2016, it overtook heart disease as the number one cause of death in England and Wales, and as our populations age, scientists are working against the clock to find a cure. Neuroscientist Joseph Jebelli is among them. Determined to save other families from the experiences that had rocked his, he set out to write the book that explained what happened to his grandfather. Far more than the story of a disease, In Pursuit of Memory zooms inside the human brain to see how Alzheimer's works and out again to show, entwined with the history and science, a thrilling hunt for answers. His quest takes us from nineteenth-century Germany and post-war England, to the jungles of Papua New Guinea and the technological proving grounds of Japan; through America, India, China, Iceland, Sweden and Colombia. Its heroes are scientists from around the world, and the brave patients and families who have changed the way that researchers think about the disease. Jebelli's compelling insider's account shows vividly why he feels so hopeful about a cure but also why our best defence in the meantime is to understand the disease. In Pursuit of Memory is the definitive book on Alzheimer's: its past, present and future.

John Murray

We Have No Idea

Jorge Cham, Daniel Whiteson
Authors:
Jorge Cham, Daniel Whiteson

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Hodder & Stoughton

The Great Mystery

Alister McGrath
Authors:
Alister McGrath
Sceptre

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt

As well as being a prize-winning, bestselling novelist, Siri Hustvedt is widely regarded as a leading thinker in the fields of neurology, feminism, art criticism and philosophy. She believes passionately that art and science are too often kept separate and that conversations across disciplines are vital to increasing our knowledge of the human mind and body, how they connect and how we think, feel and see. The essays in this volume - all written between 2011 and 2015 - are in three parts. A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women brings together penetrating pieces on particular artists and writers such as Picasso, Kiefer and Susan Sontag as well as essays investigating the biases that affect how we judge art, literature, and the world in general. The Delusions of Certainty is an essay about the mind/body problem, showing how this age-old philosophical puzzle has shaped contemporary debates on many subjects and how every discipline is coloured by what lies beyond argument-desire, belief, and the imagination. The essays in the final section, What Are We? Lectures on the Human Condition, tackle such elusive neurological disorders as synesthesia and hysteria. Drawing on research in sociology, neurobiology, history, genetics, statistics, psychology and psychiatry, this section also contains a profound consideration of suicide and a towering reconsideration of Kierkegaard. Together they form an extremely stimulating, thoughtful, wide-ranging exploration of some of the fundamental questions about human beings and the human condition, delivered with Siri Hustvedt's customary lucidity, vivacity and infectiously questioning intelligence.

John Murray

New Scientist: The Origin of (almost) Everything

Stephen Hawking, Graham Lawton, Jennifer Daniel
Contributors:
Stephen Hawking, Graham Lawton, Jennifer Daniel
John Murray

Why Can't Elephants Jump?