New and forthcoming

The Janus Point

Julian Barbour

What is time? Why is the past so different from the present and the future?

This simple question is in fact one of the deepest, most long-standing problems in physics. None of the known laws of the universe can explain it. In The Janus Point, Julian Barbour presents a bold new thesis and a possible solution, with radical implications for our understanding of the Big Bang and the nature of time itself.

His argument rests on two vital insights. The first is that the most common explanation for time – entropy – is flawed: firstly, because we have no way of explaining how the concentration of energy that would allow the Big Bang to take place came about, and secondly because none of our understanding of entropy takes into account the fact that the universe is infinitely expanding. In addition, our universe is actually becoming ever more complex and ordered as it expands, not less so. The second is a phenomenon which Barbour labels ‘The Janus Point’: any system of particles in motion will pass through a single moment of smallest size, never to be repeated.

Combining these two observations, Barbour argues that the universe, and therefore time itself, may not have begun at the Big Bang, but rather at The Janus Point, thus solving the conundrum of entropy.

Monumental in vision and scope, The Janus Point offers a ground-breaking challenge to our understanding of the universe and a brilliant solution of breath-taking elegance and import to this most fundamental of problems.

Sky at Night: Book of the Moon

Maggie Aderin-Pocock

How well do you know our closest neighbour?

The moon has fascinated humankind since the beginning of history. But far from being just a big rock out in space, the Moon has a phenomenal power over the earth, with it‘s ability to create great waves, dictate the length of the day and summon the seasons. It is a key player in the story of our planet.

In this unique celebration of the Moon, Dr Maggie Aderin Pocock takes readers on a journey through the Moon’s past, present and future. She uncovers the way the Moon has captured our imaginations, contemplates how it was formed, and uncovers why we need the Moon to protect our fragile earth. Drawing on the latest scientific research, she then looks forward to what might be to come – will we return to the moon or will it become a launch pad to go into the great unknown?

Filled with fascinating facts and anecdotes, and written with warmth and passion, The Book of the Moon is for scientists and stargazers alike. You'll never look at our closest neighbour in the same way again.

Exoplanets

Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, Exoplanets is a clear, simple and entertaining introduction to the hunt for strange new worlds.

Written by the celebrated space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Exoplanets illuminates how scientists are on the technological brink of answering the questions that have been asked for thousands of years:

Are there other planets like Earth? Is there life on these planets? And are they common?

Inside you'll learn just how quickly our picture of the universe is changing. In the past 10 years, scientists have estimated about 40 billion potentially Earth-like planets that sit in the habitable zone of stars not dissimilar to our own. This book details not only how scientists are detecting these planets, but asks, if we came across life, would we even recognise it?

Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture.

For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.

Origin Story

David Christian

How did we get from the Big Bang to today's staggering complexity, in which seven billion humans are connected into networks powerful enough to transform the planet? And why, in comparison, are our closest primate relatives reduced to near-extinction?

Big History creator David Christian gives the answers in a mind-expanding cosmological detective story told on the grandest possible scale. He traces how, during eight key thresholds, the right conditions have allowed new forms of complexity to arise, from stars to galaxies, Earth to homo sapiens, agriculture to fossil fuels. This last mega-innovation gave us an energy bonanza that brought huge benefits to mankind, yet also threatens to shake apart everything we have created.

This global origin story is one that we could only begin to tell recently, thanks to the underlying unity of modern knowledge. Panoramic in scope and thrillingly told, Origin Story reveals what we learn about human existence when we consider it from a universal scale.

How to Speak Science

Bruce Benamran

Be curious, and take the time to get it.

Benamran's on a mission to provide us all with a much deeper understanding of the world we live in. For him, science is about stories and characters. Why, for instance, did pirates wear eye patches? That's all to do with how the retina processes light. Pirates running down to the gun deck would have no time to let their eyes get used to the dark, so they kept one eye gun-deck ready.

Be curious, and with Bruce as your guide, you'll learn how to question things, how to be mindful of the scientific wonders that surround our daily lives. Embrace the principles of thermodynamics, electromagnetism, classical mechanics and relativity and you'll see the world in a different light.

The Order of Time

Carlo Rovelli

The bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics takes us on an enchanting journey to discover the meaning of time

'We are time. We are this space, this plain opened by the traces of memory inside the connections between our neurons. We are memory. We are nostalgia. We are longing for a future that will not come.'

Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at a different speed in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think, and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe.

With his extraordinary charm and sense of wonder, bringing together science, philosophy and art, Carlo Rovelli unravels this mystery. Enlightening and consoling, The Order of Time shows that to understand ourselves we need to reflect on time -- and to understand time we need to reflect on ourselves.

Big Bang: A Ladybird Expert Book

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, The Big Bang is an accessible, authoritative, and entertaining introduction to the greatest discovery in the history of science - the birth of the universe.

Written by award-winning broadcaster and cosmologist Marcus Chown, The Big Bang details how 13.82 billion years ago all matter, energy, space - and even time - erupted into being in a titanic fireball.

In this mind-bending book, you'll learn how scientists have approached the questions: What was the big bang? What drove the big bang? And what happened before the big bang? The evidence it turns out, is all around us...

Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture.

For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.

The Future of Humanity

Michio Kaku

Human civilization is on the verge of spreading beyond Earth. More than a possibility, it is becoming a necessity: whether our hand is forced by climate change and resource depletion or whether future catastrophes compel us to abandon Earth, one day we will make our homes among the stars.

World-renowned physicist and futurist Michio Kaku explores in rich, accessible detail how humanity might gradually develop a sustainable civilization in outer space. With his trademark storytelling verve, Kaku shows us how science fiction is becoming reality: mind-boggling developments in robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology could enable us to build habitable cities on Mars; nearby stars might be reached by microscopic spaceships sailing through space on laser beams; and technology might one day allow us to transcend our physical bodies entirely.

With irrepressible enthusiasm and wonder, Dr. Kaku takes readers on a fascinating journey to a future in which humanity could finally fulfil its long-awaited destiny among the stars - and perhaps even achieve immortality.

A Galaxy of Her Own

Libby Jackson

From small steps to giant leaps, A Galaxy of Her Own tells fifty stories of inspirational women who have been fundamental to the story of humans in space, from scientists to astronauts to some surprising roles in between.

From Ada Lovelace in the nineteenth century, to the women behind the Apollo missions, from the astronauts breaking records on the International Space Station to those blazing the way in the race to get to Mars, A Galaxy of Her Own reveals extraordinary stories, champions unsung heroes and celebrates remarkable achievements from around the world.

Written by Libby Jackson, a leading UK expert in human space flight, and illustrated with bold and beautiful artwork from the students of London College of Communication, this is a book to delight and inspire trailblazers of all ages.

Packed full of both amazing female role models and mind-blowing secrets of space travel, A Galaxy of Her Own is guaranteed to make any reader reach for the stars.

Moon Journal

Sandy Sitron

From soulful self-reflection to boisterous jubilation, harness the changing energies of the moon and start living the life you’ve always wanted. This journal will show you how.

A beautiful hardback, complete with a pearlescent foil finish and ribbon marker, offering daily, weekly and monthly astrological guidance, affirmations, rituals and journal excercises alongside space to record your journey of self-discovery. Adapt your lifestyle to the phases of the moon and align yourself with the universe to live your life to the full every day.

Endurance

Scott Kelly

*As featured on BBC Breakfast, Radio 5Live and Steve Wright in the Afternoon on BBC Radio 2*


From the Nasa astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station – what it’s like out there and what it’s like now, back here. Enter Scott Kelly's fascinating world and dare to think of your own a little differently.

As soon as you realize you aren’t going to die, space is the most fun you’ll ever have...

The veteran of four space flights and the American record holder for most consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few of us ever have and very few of us ever will.

Kelly's humanity, compassion, humour, and passion shine as he describes navigating the extreme challenge of long-term spaceflight, both existential and banal. He touches on what’s happened to his body, the sadness of being isolated from everyone he loves; the pressures of constant close cohabitation; the catastrophic risks of colliding with space junk, and the still more haunting threat of being absent should tragedy strike at home.

From a natural storyteller Endurance is one of the finest examples the triumph of the human imagination, the strength of the human will, and the boundless wonder of the galaxy.

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What readers are saying...

'Takes you up into space and lets you be a part of astronaut life'
'Tough to put down! Tells a side you don't often hear or read about for that matter'
'Mind blowing . . . up there with Ernest Shackleton for me'
'My husband said it is the next best thing to going into space yourself'
'Six stars!'

Ask an Astronaut

Tim Peake

The awe-inspiring Sunday Times Bestseller from astronaut Tim Peake

How does it feel to orbit the earth ten times faster than a speeding bullet?
What’s it like to eat, sleep and go to the toilet in space?
And where to next – the Moon, Mars or beyond?

Ask an Astronaut is Tim’s personal guide to life in space, based on his historic Principia mission, and the thousands of questions he has been asked since his return to Earth.

Accessible, in-depth, and written with his characteristic warmth, Tim shares his thoughts on every aspect of his mission. From training to launch, from his historic spacewalk to re-entry, he reveals for readers of all ages the cutting-edge science behind his ground-breaking experiments, and the wonders of day-to-day life on board the International Space Station.

The public were invited to submit questions using the hashtag #askanastronaut, and a selection are answered by Tim in the book, which will be accompanied with illustrations, diagrams and never-before-seen photos.

Tim is pleased to announce that, as with his previous book, royalties received from the book will be donated to The Prince’s Trust.