In the Rutherford and Fry’s comprehensive guidebook, they tell the complete story of the universe and absolutely everything in it – skipping over some of the boring parts. It’s a celebration of the weirdness of the cosmos, the strangeness of humans and the very fact that amid all the mess, we can somehow make sense of life.
What follows is a collection of our favourite stories of how our senses deceive us, of how reality is not quite what it seems, and how science is the one way that we can understand this otherwise bewildering world. Our brains have evolved to tell us all sorts of things that aren’t true: the world is flat, the stars are fixed in the heavenly firmament, a day is 24 hours, eating sugary sweets makes kids go nuts at parties. This book is crammed full of tales of how stuff really works. With the power of science, we have bypassed our monkey-brains, and we’re going on a journey from the origin of time and space, via planets, galaxies, evolution, the dinosaurs, all the way into our minds, with truly head-scratching questions, that only science can answer:
What is time, and where does it come from?
Why are animals the size and shape they are?
What is a thought?
How horoscopes work (Spoiler: they don’t, but you think they do)
Does my dog love me?
Why nothing is truly round
Do you need your eyes to see?
Can police use an algorithm to catch criminals, or even predict where a crime will occur? Mathematician and author of Hello World, Hannah Fry, looks at the possible uses of algorithms in law enforcement.