Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Some of the science inside The Geek Atlas

The Geek Atlas is not just about travel, it's also about the science behind the places that are worth visiting. Every place has an accompanying sidebar of one to three pages covering a relevant scientific, mathematical or technological topic.

The sidebars vary in complexity from the simple to the really complex. Every reader should find something to please them in the scientific sidebars and no one should feel ashamed if they decide to skip a piece of science that's too complex. Even if you never read a single sidebar you'll still enjoy The Geek Atlas because every place has a description that's ready to be digested by any reader.

But do delve into the sidebars where you can find out about things like:

1. How the Big Bang was accidentally verified using a large horn shaped antenna in New Jersey, and why the Big Bang is still sending out microwave radiation.

2. Archimedes' Principle and how it applies to the everyday problem of moving boats between canals of different heights.

3. How Charles Babbage's Difference Engine works and the mathematics behind it.

4. Alan Turing's proof that no computer can predict whether a computer program will work or not.

5. Why the cable on a suspension bridge forms the shape of a parabola.

6. How the human genome, and other genomes, are sequenced.

7. The chemical reactions that happen inside a coke blast furnace to produce high quality iron (which helped get the Industrial Revolution moving).

8. How the gasoline and diesel engines work and how they differ.

9. How the transistor is used to build up the basic bits of logic needed to make a computer.

10. What the human body's lymphatic system does and how it works.

And that's just 10 of 128 pieces of science that sit along side the 128 places worth visiting in the book.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank god that moving boats between canals of different heights is not one of my everyday problems.