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Spanning disciplines from biology to cosmology, chemistry to psychology to physics, Michael Brooks thrillingly captures the excitement of scientific discovery.Science’s best-kept secret is this: even today, thereare experimental results that the most brilliant scientists cannot explain. In the past, similar “anomalies” have revolutionized our world. If history is any precedent, we should look to today’s inexplicable results to forecast the future of science. Michael Brooks heads to the scientific frontier to confront thirteen modern-day anomalies and what they might reveal about tomorrow’s breakthroughs.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published: VintageAnchor an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on Aug 12, 2008
ISBN: 9780385526739
List price: $11.99
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Disparate science topics of the sort covered in lots of other pop-sci books, described at a high-school level.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Brooks' exploration of science's current condundrums is provocative and at times satisfyingly eerie, examining the deadlocks we've reached, and positing that maybe these stumpers mean that we're on the brink of a revolution. 13 of today's bafflers, from dark energy to the placebo effect, are explained.Brooks starts out in one of my favorite realms to consider: cosmology, with the hint of quantum. These areas are wonderful playthings for the dilletante. I like to skip the math, education, logic and levelheadedness and go straight for the wacky and fun. And Brooks lets me do that, lets me revisit my favorite pop pet theories. The first few chapters are the most fun, covering those big, fun, universe-sized physics topics. The later paradoxes in the books, the ones involving biology and chemistry, lack the luster of these first topics. Somehow the inexplicable success of homeopathy's quackery and a perplexing giant virus don't stand up to the hair-raising queerness of the Viking crafts' extra-solarsystem trajectory oddities, nor the notion that our fundamental constants may be inaccurate on cosmic scales or simply not constant at all. Shortly, it's clear that Brooks is a physicist, and that's where he shines. A clear and entertaining read, unobtrusively constructed and well-researched.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Michael Brooks looks at 13 scientific mysteries, ranging from physics and our universe to the placebo effect and whether or not we really have free will. An interesting book to set you thinking. No subject is treated in full depth, but there is a section on futher reading and a good index for the particular topics that have inspired you to delve further.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

Disparate science topics of the sort covered in lots of other pop-sci books, described at a high-school level.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Brooks' exploration of science's current condundrums is provocative and at times satisfyingly eerie, examining the deadlocks we've reached, and positing that maybe these stumpers mean that we're on the brink of a revolution. 13 of today's bafflers, from dark energy to the placebo effect, are explained.Brooks starts out in one of my favorite realms to consider: cosmology, with the hint of quantum. These areas are wonderful playthings for the dilletante. I like to skip the math, education, logic and levelheadedness and go straight for the wacky and fun. And Brooks lets me do that, lets me revisit my favorite pop pet theories. The first few chapters are the most fun, covering those big, fun, universe-sized physics topics. The later paradoxes in the books, the ones involving biology and chemistry, lack the luster of these first topics. Somehow the inexplicable success of homeopathy's quackery and a perplexing giant virus don't stand up to the hair-raising queerness of the Viking crafts' extra-solarsystem trajectory oddities, nor the notion that our fundamental constants may be inaccurate on cosmic scales or simply not constant at all. Shortly, it's clear that Brooks is a physicist, and that's where he shines. A clear and entertaining read, unobtrusively constructed and well-researched.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Michael Brooks looks at 13 scientific mysteries, ranging from physics and our universe to the placebo effect and whether or not we really have free will. An interesting book to set you thinking. No subject is treated in full depth, but there is a section on futher reading and a good index for the particular topics that have inspired you to delve further.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The fringes of science, what's not to like
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A great book to wonder by. Michael Brooks does a great job in presenting the great scientific mysteries of our time. You will be surprised and be made to feel a bit uncomfortable with your understanding of reality. My favorite of the 13 things was the intelligent signal from space and section on free will.
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Very readable and interesting intro to some of the issues challenging scientists today: dark energy and missing matter in the universe, the search for life on Mars and elsewhere, the value of placebos and homeopathy, the evolutionary reasons for death and sex, and the contradictions being found in our notions of free will, the definition of life, and our understanding of physics.
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