Book 20: 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense: The Most Intriguing Scientific Mysteries of Our Times by Michael Brooks – 224 pages
Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
Science starts to get interesting when things don't make sense. Even today there are experimental results that the most brilliant scientists can neither explain nor dismiss. In the past, similar anomalies have revolutionised our world: in the sixteenth century, a set of celestial irregularities led Copernicus to realise that the Earth goes around the sun and not the reverse. In 13 Things That Don't Make Sense Michael Brooks meets thirteen modern-day anomalies that may become tomorrow's breakthroughs. Is ninety six percent of the universe missing? If no study has ever been able to definitively show that the placebo effect works, why has it become a pillar of medical science? Was the 1977 signal from outer space a transmission from an alien civilization? Spanning fields from chemistry to cosmology, psychology to physics, Michael Brooks thrillingly captures the excitement and controversy of the scientific unknown.
I can’t quite remember where I discovered this book, but it sounded very interesting and I was in a science mood after all those teen romance novels. It also seemed like it might be a quick, short read. But it wasn’t. Despite it's relatively short length, it's a very dense book - probably more scientific than I was expecting. Brooks really gets into the technical side of the science behind the scientific mysteries he discusses, and though this is certainly interesting, it can be a little more challenging for those of us not quite across our physics. Nonetheless, Brooks covers some really interesting mysteries; some things I’d never heard of, and some things I simply didn’t realise weren’t established scientific fact (or theory, I guess). Moreover, I was really glad I read this book when I did, because it covered some of the science of the universe that I later found discussed when I attend World Science Festival in my home of Brisbane (the only World Science Festival held outside of New York - boom!). So, if you are an armchair science enthusiast (or have tickets to World Science Festival 2018), definitely give this one a read.
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