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9780471384410

Unsolved Mysteries of Science : A Mind-Expanding Journey through a Universe of Big Bangs, Particle Waves, and Other Perplexing Concepts

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780471384410

  • ISBN10:

    0471384410

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2001-08-01
  • Publisher: Wiley

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Summary

In the tradition of Paul Aron's celebrated Unsolved Mysteries of American History, this fascinating book delves into twenty-one as-yet-unanswered questions of science. Drawn from across the scientific spectrum--from fields as diverse as biology, astronomy, physics, and geology--these unexplained phenomena include new questions about the fate of the universe along with ancient mysteries concerning life on Earth. For example: What is gravity? How did life on Earth begin? Are there multiple universes? Author John Malone touches on such current hot spots in science as cosmology, evolution, and the human brain in a way that is approachable and reader-friendly. Anyone curious about the way the world works will enjoy this thought-provoking book. A lively exploration of the biggest questions in science.

Author Biography

JOHN MALONE has authored or ghost-written more than forty books, including Predicting the Future: From Jules Verne to Bill Gates. He lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1(4)
How Did the Universe Begin?
5(11)
The Big Bang has been the accepted theory for two decades, but does it explain everything?
How Did Life on Earth Get Started?
16(11)
What triggered the cell division that started the evolutionary chain? Did life come from outer space, buried in a chunk of rock?
What Causes Mass Extinctions?
27(12)
Five mass extinctions have rocked the planet, each altering the shape of life on Earth. Volcanic eruptions, continental drift, asteroid impacts-all have been suggested as causes
What Is the Inside of the Earth Like?
39(11)
What exactly is happening beneath our feet, and can we learn enough to help predict earthquakes and volcanic eruptions?
What Causes Ice Ages?
50(9)
Are ice ages brought about by changes on the Earth or in the solar system? Is another one due?
Were Dinosaurs Warm-blooded?
59(11)
Instead, were they cold-blooded, or perhaps both? The answer could solve many mysteries surrounding evolution during the past 65 million years
Is There a Missing Link?
70(13)
The story of human evolution is not complete. In addition to hoaxes such as ``Piltdown Man'' and extraordinary finds such as ``Lucy,'' many puzzles remain. What, in the end, do we mean by a ``missing link''?
What Caused the ``Big Bang'' in Human Culture?
83(10)
Where did what we call ``culture'' come from, and how did it seemingly spring up overnight?
How Do We Learn Language?
93(12)
Is language acquisition an inborn biological ability, or does every child have to start from scratch?
Are Dolphins As Smart As We Are?
105(9)
According to brain-size rankings, they are very close to us in intelligence, but is there any chance of communicating with them?
How Do Birds Migrate?
114(9)
Some bird species travel 6,000 miles (9,600 kilometers) round trip on their yearly migrations. How can they possibly find their way?
What Is Red?
123(8)
Does color exist in nature, or is it all in our heads? If we study how the color-blind see, as well as many animals, we find that a sense of color is located in our brains
How Did Mayan Astronomers Know So Much?
131(9)
They Knew more than their European counterparts at the time, but how did they come by such knowledge?
What Is Gravity?
140(10)
Newton's apple just got the arguments started. Einstein made things more complicated. Just how does gravity fit in with qunatum theory?
What Is Light?
150(9)
The debate has raged for decades: Is light a wave, a particle, or both?
Why Is There So Much Quantum Frustration?
159(11)
Quantum physics works, but it is so bizarre that even Nobel Prize winners have trouble understanding it-why is that?
What Are Black Holes Really Like?
170(10)
Do black holes destroy everything that enters them, or could they be a tunnel to another universe?
How Old Is the Universe?
180(8)
Measurements keep coming up with a universe younger than its oldest stars. What's wrong here?
Are There Multiple Universes?
188(9)
There have to be, say some quantum physicists. Could we pay them a visit?
How Many Dimensions Are There?
197(9)
Einstein's spacetime continuum brought us up to 4; computers can visualize 10; and some scientists would be happier with 11, or even 26. Which way is up?
How Will the Universe End?
206(9)
Will it be with a bang or a whimper? Recent findings have further clouded the issue
Index 215

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The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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