The Ascent of Gravity
By Marcus Chown
Gravity is the weakest force in the everyday world yet it is the strongest force in the universe. It was the first force to be recognised and described yet it is the least understood. It is a 'force' that keeps your feet on the ground yet no such force actually exists.Gravity, to steal the words of Winston Churchill, is 'a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma'. And penetrating that enigma promises to answer the biggest questions in science: what is space? What is time? What is the universe? And where did it all come from?Award-winning writer Marcus Chown takes us on an unforgettable journey from the recognition of the 'force' of gravity in 1666 to the discovery of gravitational waves in 2015. And, as we stand on the brink of a seismic revolution in our worldview, he brings us up to speed on the greatest challenge ever to confront physics.
The Ageing Brain
By Lawrence Whalley
How and why our brains age, and what we can do to prevent brain ageing and mental deterioration.We joke about growing old. From the viewpoint of youth, old age holds few if any rewards - at best those of increased dignity and wisdom. But as Lawrence Whalley shows in this fascinating overview of the ageing brain, we now have cause to be optimistic about old age.In surveying the prospects of slowing or even preventing the worst effects of brain ageing, Whalley looks at the development of the brain and how this is influenced by environmental factors such as diet and stress; the biological and psychological mechanisms of brain injury and disease, and the range of possible treatments and preventatives; individual differences in brain ageing, and the relative roles of nature and nurture in determining our mental abilities.