How To Pick From Our Top Science Books For Adults

In our impressive range of science books, you can learn loads of amazing new facts about physics, biology and chemistry. So, whatever your interests are or your specialist is, you will find plenty of brilliant books on the subject. Or, if you haven't studied science since school but have just found a renewed interest, you can discover which books need a place on your scientific reading list. We've divided up this list of great science books into the 3 main subjects so you can easily pick which book is right for you.

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Physics

1. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Carlo Rovelli

Uncover the mind-bending world of modern physics with Carlo Rovelli's 7 lessons. Taking you through Einstein's Theory of Relativity to the development of quantum mechanics, Carlo gives you a fascinating insight into the history of our understanding of physics. Thought-provoking and entertaining, this book is sure to turn you into a physics fan.

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2. The Universe in Your Hand

Christophe Galfard

Even if you know very little about physics, Christophe Galfard's book can open your eyes to the wonders of the universe. Written in a fun and easily understandable style, you can learn about quantum mechanics, parallel universes and the theory of relativity from the basics. Discover the history of the universe, from the beginning of time to present day and onwards into what the future holds.

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3. How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog

Chad Orzel

Physicist Dr Chad Orzel's dog Emmy is a very special pet. Chad believes she may be able to understand the complicated world of quantum physics! In this funny and unusual science book, Chad and Emmy, the talking dog, teach you the history of quantum physics, including quarks and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Explore the universe with this quirky teaching team.

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Biology

1. 50 Plants That Changed the Course of History

Bill Laws

This is the perfect book for anyone with an interest in plants and how they have shaped our human history. From their medicinal properties to their uses in ceremonies and traditions, plants have played a huge role. Bill Laws' book includes 50 plants that he believes to have changed the course of history and he has judged each plant based on its influence in 4 different categories (Edible, Medicinal, Commercial and Practical). Unearth the amazing power of plants with this fascinating book.

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2. The Human Body: A Family Reference Guide

This brilliant biology book is written by medical experts and is a must for every household. Concise and easy to read, this book will help you all you need to know about the human body. Plus, it's fully illustrated with helpful diagrams to make understanding these biological systems easy. If you need to know the basics of biology, this book is just what you need.

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3. On the Origin of Species

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin's immensely famous - and controversial - On the Origin of the Species is a must-read for biologists with an interest in the theory of evolution. Using his research on the lifeforms of the English countryside and his studies in the Galapagos Islands, Darwin's theories about how we, and all other creatures on Earth, have evolved into the beings we are today greatly challenged the popular beliefs of his day. However, we now regard Darwin's influence on scientific thought to be invaluable. Become acquainted with one of the most influential books in science history.

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Chemistry

1. 50 Chemistry Ideas You Really Need to Know

Hayley Birch

This book is a fascinating insight into the crazy world of chemistry. Hayley Birch presents 50 ideas you really need to know related to this branch of science, including details about nanotechnology, thermodynamics, microfabrication and more. As it's chopped up into 50 sections, this book is easy-to-read and a great place to start for anyone just getting into chemistry.

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2. The Periodic Table

Paul Parsons

Using the periodic table is one of the most well-remembered parts of studying chemistry at school (alongside doing experiments with Bunsen burners!) and in this book the history and uses of each of the 118 elements is explored in rich detail. From its first creation by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869, the periodic table has been a key tool for our understanding of chemistry and of the makeup of the whole universe. This book makes an excellent present for chemistry fans everywhere.

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3. The Disappearing Spoon

Sam Kean

Find out about the most bizarre true stories surrounding the elements of the periodic table in Sam Kean's quirky science book. Discover why Gandhi hated iodine and how lithium cured Robert Lowell of madness in this great book of obscure facts and stories. Written in a witty format, this book is a great addition to every chemist's bookshelf.

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We have brilliant science books on all topics of scientific study for you to enjoy, whether you're a newbie or a professional chemist, physicist or biologist, there's something for everyone.

  • ACGXJ
    • £8.89
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    When Quantum Physics expert Dr Chad Orzel went to adopt a dog he never imagined he would end up with one as inquisitive as Emmy. Could she use quantum tunnelling to get through the neighbour's fence and chase bunnies? What about quantum teleportation to catch squirrels before they climb out of reach? In this witty and informative book, Orzel and Emmy - the talking dog - discuss the key theories of Quantum Physics and its fascinating history. From quarks and gluons to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, this is the perfect introduction to the fundamental laws which govern the universe.
  • ACBEQ
    Sam Kean
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    Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium (Cd, 48)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why did tellurium (Te, 52) lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history? The periodic table is one of our crowning scientific achievements, but it's also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, betrayal and obsession. The fascinating tales in "The Disappearing Spoon" follow carbon, neon, silicon, gold and every single element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. Why did a little lithium (Li, 3) help cure poet Robert Lowell of his madness? And how did gallium (Ga, 31) become the go-to element for laboratory pranksters? "The Disappearing Spoon" has the answers, fusing science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, discovery and alchemy, from the big bang through to the end of time.
  • AAEDO
    Charles Darwin
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    'can we doubt ...that individuals having any advantage, however slight, over others, would have the best chance of surviving and of procreating their kind?' In the Origin of Species (1859) Darwin challenged many of the most deeply held beliefs of the Western world. His insistence on the immense length of the past and on the abundance of life-forms, present and extinct, dislodged man from his central position in creation and called into question the role of the Creator. He showed that new species are achieved by natural selection, and that absence of plan is an inherent part of the evolutionary process. Darwin's prodigious reading, experimentation, and observations on his travels fed into his great work, which draws on material from the Galapagos Islands to rural Staffordshire, from English back gardens to colonial encounters. The present edition provides a detailed and accessible discussion of his theories and adds an account of the immediate responses to the book on publication. The resistances as well as the enthusiasms of the first readers cast light on recent controversies, particularly concerning questions of design and descent.
  • AHTXE
    Paul Parsons
    (1)
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    As 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.
  • UIYH
    Christophe Galfard
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    Unlock the secrets of astrophysics - including the complex and confusing theories of quantum mechanics, general relativity and parallel realities - with Christophe Galfard's The Universe in Your Hand.

    Written in an approachable style that brings to mind The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the book finds Christophe taking the reader on a wonder-filled journey through the past, present and into the future of the universe.

    All steeped in scientific fact, the book explains the mysteries of physics in a way that any reader can understand, bringing to mind the way Brian Cox and Chris Hadfield cover their subjects. The book also looks into humanity's position within the universe, the beginning of time and what our future holds...
  • AG1044 7 years +
    7 years +
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    From head to toe, this book takes the whole family on a journey through the natural wonder that is the human body.

    Comprehensive and fully illustrated, it explains all aspects of the anatomy with detailed and informative text and each of the body's individual systems and functions are described in colour-coded sections.

    Written by medical experts and consultants, the text in this book is clear and concise and there are also full-colour diagrams to pore over.
  • AQGQB
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    Chemistry is at the cutting ege of our lives. How does a silicon chip work? How can we harness natural products to combat human disease? And is it possible to create artificial muscles? Providing answers to these questions and many more, 50 Chemistry Ideas You Really Need to Know is an engaging guide to the world of chemistry. From the molecules that kick-started life itself to nanotechnology, chemistry offers some fascinating insights into our origins, as well as continuing to revolutionize life as we know it. In 50 short instalments, this accessible book discusses everything from the arguments of the key thinkers to the latest research methods, using timelines to place each theory in context - telling you all you need to know about the most important ideas in chemistry, past and present. Contents include: Thermodynamics, Catalysts, Fermentation, Green Chemistry, Separation, Chrystallography, Microfabrication, Computational Chemistry, Chemistry Occurring in Nature, Manmade Solutions: Beer, Plastic, Artificial Muscles and Hydrogen Future.
  • PCCH
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    Plants may be all around us, but have you ever stopped and thought about what kind of impact they have on our day-to-day life?

    From turning them into medicine to giving them on special occasions, this beautifully presented guide looks at the effect flowers have had on human civilisation throughout our history. Each plant featured in the book is judged by its influence in the categories of Edible, Medicinal, Commercial and Practical.

    We're also dependent on flowers for sustenance, and this book celebrates everything from crop staples like wheat and rice to herbs and spices that have medicinal qualities.
  • AUHMF
    Carlo Rovelli
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    THE PHENOMENAL BESTSELLER Everything you need to know about modern physics, the universe and our place in the world in seven enlightening lessons 'Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world. And it's breathtaking' These seven short lessons guide us, with simplicity and clarity, through the scientific revolution that shook physics in the twentieth century and still continues to shake us today. In this mind-bending introduction to modern physics, Carlo Rovelli explains Einstein's theory of general relativity, quantum mechanics, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, elementary particles, gravity, and the nature of the mind. Not since Richard Feynman's celebrated Six Easy Pieces has physics been so vividly, intelligently and entertainingly revealed.