The Hungry Mind: The Origins of Curiosity in Childhood
HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS: 2018. 232 PP. £12.95
Curiosity is the cornerstone of learning and can be a powerful tool when leveraged correctly by educators as well as science communicators. Susan Engel explores in a scientifically robust way how curiosity comes about in children, how it manifests and how potentially it can be inadvertently squelched by well-meaning parents and teachers. Beyond the classroom, there are lessons to be learned about keeping natural curiosity alive for university students and adults alike.
Conjuring the Universe: The Origins of the Laws of Nature
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS: 2018. 208 PP. £14.99
In his book, Peter Atkins asks how one can seemingly end up with a Universe like ours when starting with something as chaotic as that which was there at its very beginnings. How do natural laws such as thermodynamics and electromagnetism emerge? Atkins essentially traces the scientific effort of reducing natural complexity to its bare essentials, illuminating in the process the simplicity and elegance underlying the creation of a Universe (and its laws) in the absence of a Creator.
A Student’s Guide to Python for Physical Modeling
Jesse M. Kinder and Philip Nelson
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS: 2018. 168 PP. £19.95
Python is quickly becoming the number one programming language in astronomy, academia in general and beyond, due to its adaptability, versatility, ease of use and, perhaps most importantly for casual developers, because of the extensive libraries and third party modules available. Jesse Kinder and Philip Nelson present a fully updated version of their book that aims to teach the fundamentals on how to handle, visualize and model physical data with Python.
PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE: 2018. 384 PP. £20.07
Apollo 8 was launched just fifty years ago with a destination that only a few months before was unimaginable: the Moon. Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, the three astronauts who crewed Apollo 8, were the first to demonstrate that such a journey was feasible. Robert Kurson details their story and the story of their families in the manner of a thriller. A page-turner, this book highlights the vision, courage and sheer audacity of both NASA and these three astronauts.