Today’s ‘recent read’ is We Need to Talk About Kelvin by Marcus Chown. A couple of years back I read another of Mr. Chown’s books – Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You – which I loved. And this book continues the love-in.
This book’s strap-line reads: what everyday things tell us about the universe. And, not surprisingly, the book lives up to this.
Kelvin is divided into 3 distinct parts which all begin with the line
What the everyday world is telling you about…
And ends with:
It turns out that the ‘everyday’ things we often take for granted are being surprisingly loquacious.
This is from the product description:
Look around you. The reflection of your face in a window tells you that the universe is orchestrated by chance. The iron in a spot of blood on your finger tells you that somewhere out in space there is furnace at a temperature of 4.5 billion degrees. Your TV tells you that the universe had a beginning. In fact, your very existence tells you that this may not be the only universe but merely one among an infinity of others, stacked like the pages of a never-ending book.
I knew a lot of what is presented in Kelvin, and some of it, even when presented in layman’s terms, was difficult to comprehend. But that’s half of the beauty of books such as Kelvin – you don’t need a thorough understand of calculus or be able to recite the periodic table verbatim – just a brain to take in the main concepts.
Kelvin does an admirable job of elucidating those concepts, and providing the reader with a base from which to investigate further.
I rate We Need To Talk About Kelvin a 5/5.