Synopsis: Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? How come concrete pours? Why does a paperclip bend? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? From the towering skyscrapers of our cities to the most ordinary objects in our homes, Stuff Matters tells enthralling stories that explain the science and history of materials we take entirely for granted, while introducing some of humankind’s most ingenious and improbable inventions. From the tea-cup to the jet engine, the silicon chip to the paper clip, the plastic in our appliances to the elastic in our underpants, world-leading materials scientist Mark Miodownik reveals the miracles of engineering and ingenuity that permeate every aspect of our lives.
Along the way, he introduces materials that can heal themselves, implants that become living bone, the explosive that made the movie business, materials that might one day save the world – and others that already have. Mark Miodownik recently appeared in The Times’ inaugural list of the 100 most influential scientists in the UK. He is Professor of Materials and Society at UCL and presenter of several BBC television documentaries, including How it Works and The Genius of Invention, as well as appearing as scientist-in-residence on Dara O Briain’s Science Club. In 2010, he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. He is Director of the UCL Institute of Making which is home to a materials library containing some of the most wondrous matter on earth, and has collaborated to make interactive events with many museums, such as Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery and Wellcome Collection.
Published: June 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-0670920549
Nominated for the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. The Judges’ said:
“A contemporary, sideways look at everyday stuff. Miodownik writes with a passionate ability to explain each subject. It’s packed full of excellent stories and is the only science book out there where the author gets stabbed on the London Underground!”
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