Storm in a Teacup: the Physics of Everyday Life by Helen Czerski

Browser review

Sat, Dec 3, 2016, 06:00

   
 

Book Title:
Storm in a Teacup: the Physics of Everyday Life

ISBN-13:
9780593075425

Author:
Helen Czerski

Publisher:
Bantam Press

Guideline Price:
£18.99

If you could recapture a little of the sense of wonder you once had, wouldn’t you? Helen Czerski’s popular science book, Storm in a Teacup, instils just this, and stands head and shoulders above the rest of its ilk. The little fascinations that we left behind in childhood – “the science found in kitchens and gardens and city streets” – are but her jumping-off points for the really, really big picture. Each small idea, such as that ducks don’t get cold feet, gives us a fundamental piece of the physics puzzle, which comes together in a satisfying and inspiring picture of how things work. Genuinely absorbing, hers is the kind of self-assured, endearing nerdism that doesn’t wait to see if you’re on board; she’s pulling you behind her, anticipating your head-scratching at every fluorescing scorpion (really) and swirling drop of milk in your teacup. Sure, this is the stuff of pub quizzes and water-cooler chat, but as Czerski shows us, the rules that govern the everyday mysteries of life apply just as much to the engineering and medical science that will change our world for the better.