Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life
Just as Freakonomics brought economics to life, so Storm in a Teacup brings physics into our daily lives and makes it fascinating.
Our world is full of patterns. If you pour milk into your tea and give it a stir, you'll see a swirl, a spiral of two fluids, before the two liquids mix completely. The same pattern is found elsewhere too. Look down on the Earth from space, and you'll find similar swirls in the clouds, made where warm air and cold air waltz.
In Storm in a Teacup, Helen Czerski links the little things we see every day with the big world we live in. Each chapter begins with something small - popcorn, coffee stains and refrigerator magnets - and uses it to explain some of the most important science and technology of our time.
This is physics as the toolbox of science - a toolbox we need in order to make sense of what is around us and arrive at decisions about the future, from medical advances to solving our future energy needs. It is also physics as the toy box of science: physics as fun, as never before.
"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 "This book is charming, accessible and enthusiastic. Helen invites you in to see the world through a her eyes and understand how a physicist thinks. It's a wonderful way to discover the hidden scientific connections behind the ordinary and everyday." Dr Hannah Fry "Helen Czerski's absorbing Storm in a Teacup stands head and shoulders above other popular science books. The little fascinations we left behind in childhood are but her jumping-off points for the really, really big picture ... Hers if the kind of self-assured, endearing nerdishness that doesn't wait to see if you're on board: she pulls you along, anticipating your head-scratching at every fluorescing scorpion and swirling drop of milk in your teacup." The Irish Times "In a friendly, chatty style that includes anecdotes from her personal and professional life, Czerski manages to make spilled coffee fascinating; tree growth astonishing; telecommunications intuitive." Physics World
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.