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The Magicians

Great Minds and the Central Miracle of Science

Marcus Chown


In 1965 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered the heat afterglow of the big bang. - How Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein in 1924 predicted the existence of a weird state of matter close to absolute zero in which trillions of atoms behave as a single entity.
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"a tribute to our better natures"

The Guardian

'Marcus Chown rocks!' Brian May How does it feel to know something about the universe that no one has ever known before? And why is mathematics so magically good at revealing nature's secrets? This is the story of the magicians: the scientists who, using mathematics, predicted the existence of unknown planets, black holes, invisible force fields, ripples in the fabric of space-time, unsuspected subatomic particles, and even antimatter. The journey from prediction to proof transports us from seats of learning in Paris and Cambridge to the war-torn Russian front, to bunkers beneath nuclear reactors, observatories in Berlin and California, and huge tunnels under the Swiss-French border. From electromagnetism to Einstein's gravitational waves to Wolfgang Pauli's elusive neutrino, acclaimed science writer Marcus Chown takes us on a breathtaking, mind-altering tour of the major breakthroughs of modern physics and highlights science's central mystery: its astonishing predictive power. Praise for Marcus Chown: 'What good popular science writing is all about.' Jim Al-Khalili 'Pretty wonderful.' Richard Dawkins 'Entertaining and at times mind-boggling.' The Times
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Book publisherFaber & Faber
Publication date20 Feb 2020
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