The Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life
This book links the little things - the unexpected pinkness of blueberry jam or the way the air smells before it rains - with the big in a book that will alter the way you see the world. Helen Czerski shows how the familiar, from coffee stains to ketchup bottles, can shed light on Antarctic winds, medical tests and our future energy needs. Did you know that it is the small amount of water contained in popcorn that, when heated, blows the kernel inside out? Or that this science also explains the lungs of a whale, a popping champagne cork and a supersonic jet? Hidden in familiar, everyday objects is the science that explains the human body, planet Earth and the way our civilisations works. And once you know the principle involved in boiling an egg, or sticking a magnet to a fridge, or jumping into a pool of water, pieces of a much larger puzzle will slot into place. Beautifully written and accessible for all, this leaves the reader empowered to make their own observations, and most importantly it is enormous fun.
"A quite delightful book on the joys, and universality, of physics. Czerski's enthusiasm is infectious because she brings our humdrum everyday world to life, showing us that it is just as fascinating as anything that can be seen by the Hubble Telescope or created at the Large Hadron Collider." Jim Al-Khalili "If you've ever felt like understanding how things work is just too big a mountain to climb then read this book. It'll carry you gently to the peak and show you how stunning and beautiful the view is. It is rare that someone can explain that which seems endlessly complex and makes you feel like in fact you'd understood it all along. Helen Czerski's book does just that. Fun, fascinating and brilliantly well written - 'Right there, in my teacup, I can see the storm.' Me too and I know what it is now." Marcus Brigstocke
Helen Czerski was born in Manchester. She is a lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department at University College London. As a physicist she studies the bubbles underneath breaking waves in the open ocean to understand their effects on weather and climate. Helen regularly presents BBC programmes on physics, the ocean and the atmosphere - recent series include Colour: The Spectrum of Science, Orbit, Operation Iceberg, Super Senses, Dara O'Briain's Science Club, as well as programmes on bubbles, the sun and our weather. She is also a columnist for Focus magazine, shortlisted for PPA columnist of the year in 2014, and has written numerous articles for national newspapers. She lives in London.