Philip Ball

  • De la spirale des escargots à celle des galaxies, des nervures des feuilles aux méandres des rivières, des rayures du zèbres à celles des poissons-anges... En s'appuyant sur une incroyable galerie de photos, Philip Ball nous fait prendre conscience de la beauté de ces plans d'organisation récurrents et nous en révèle les causes.

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  • A cutting-edge examination of what it means to be human and to have a ''self'' in the face of new scientific developments in genetic editing, cloning and neural downloading. After seeing his own cells used to grow clumps of new neurons - essentially mini-brains - Philip Ball begins to examine the concepts of identity and consciousness. Delving into humanity''s deep evolutionary past to look at how complex creatures like us emerged from single-celled life, he offers a new perspective on how humans think about ourselves. In an age when we are increasingly encouraged to regard the ''self'' as an abstract sequence of genetic information, or as a pattern of neural activity that might be ''downloaded'' to a computer, he return us to the body - to flesh and blood - and anchors a conception of personhood in this unique and ephemeral mortal coil. How to Build a Human brings us back to ourselves - but in doing so, it challenges old preconceptions and values. It asks us to rethink how we exist in the world.

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  • If you could be invisible, what would you do? The chances are that it would have something to do with power, wealth or sex. Perhaps all three.

    But there's no need to feel guilty. Impulses like these have always been at the heart of our fascination with invisibility: it points to realms beyond our senses, serves as a receptacle for fears and dreams, and hints at worlds where other rules apply. Invisibility is a mighty power and a terrible curse, a sexual promise, a spiritual condition.

    This is a history of humanity's turbulent relationship with the invisible. It takes on the myths and morals of Plato, the occult obsessions of the Middle Ages, the trickeries and illusions of stage magic, the auras and ethers of Victorian physics, military strategies to camouflage armies and ships and the discovery of invisibly small worlds.

    From the medieval to the cutting-edge, fairy tales to telecommunications, from beliefs about the supernatural to the discovery of dark energy, Philip Ball reveals the universe of the invisible.

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  • PHYSICS WORLD 2018 BOOK OF THE YEAR 'A clear and deeply researched account of what's known about the quantum laws of nature, and how to think about what they might really mean' Nature 'I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.' Richard Feynman wrote this in 1965 - the year he was awarded the Nobel prize in physics for his work on quantum mechanics. Over the past decade, the enigma of quantum mechanics has come into sharper focus. We now realise that quantum mechanics is less about particles and waves, uncertainty and fuzziness, than a theory about information: about what can be known and how.

    The quantum world isn't a different world: it is our world, and if anything deserves to be called 'weird', it's us. This exhilarating book is about what quantum maths really means - and what it doesn't mean.

    'Gorgeously lucid...takes us to the edge of contemporary theorizing about the foundations of quantum mechanics... Easily the best book I've read on the subject' Washington Post

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  • If you could be invisible, what would you do? The chances are that it would have something to do with power, wealth or sex. Perhaps all three. But there's no need to feel guilty. This title tells the history of humanity's turbulent relationship with the invisible.

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  • While some scientists tried to create an Aryan physics that excluded any 'Jewish ideas', many others made compromises and concessions as they continued to work under the Nazi regime. Among them were three world-renowned physicists: Max Planck, Peter Debye and Werner Heisenberg.

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  • While some scientists tried to create an Aryan physics that excluded any 'Jewish ideas', many others made compromises and concessions as they continued to work under the Nazi regime. This book tells the story of physics under Hitler.

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  • Is there a physics of society? Ranging from Hobbes and Adam Smith to traffic flow and market trading, and across economics, sociology and psychology, Ball shows how much we can understand of human behaviour when we cease trying to predict and analyse behaviour of individuals and look to the impact of millions of individual human decisions.

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  • Raconter l'histoire des couleurs comme un roman, sans rien sacrifier de leur composition chimique. Sans omettre le coût que le lapis-lazuli représentait au Moyen Âge pour un commanditaire, abbé ou prince. Etudier les teintes préférées de Titien, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, Vélazquez, Vermeer, Monet ou Kandinsky. Définir quelles ont été les dominantes chromatiques des différentes écoles de peinture en fonction des matériaux à leur disposition. Expliquer une partie de l'avant-garde, dont le nouveau réalisme de Klein, par l'accès aux couleurs industrielles tout comme notre conditionnement et notre relative capacité de perception visuelle aujourd'hui par le « technicolor »,cinématographique et la gamme grossière du spectre cathodique de la télévision. Tel est le tour de force que réussit Philippe Ball en quelque 14 chapitres d'un feuilleton qui ne cessera jamais, tant que fonctionnera notre oeil.
    Ce faisant Philippe Ball revisite l'histoire de l'art non pas en iconoclaste mais en « sourcier ». En homme de science qu'il est, spécialiste de la peinture comme « substance », ce chimiste ne s'en laisse pas compter en matière de miracle créatif et d'invention stylistique.

    Une histoire de l'art terriblement matérialiste défile ainsi sous nos yeux où, par exemple, l'apparition à partir de la fin du XVIe siècle de plusieurs nouveaux pigments jaune, ocre, brun et argent plus transparents et plus chauds que la terre de Sienne coïncide étrangement de l'essor du Sfumato, du Corrège et du ténébrisme d'un Caravage et d'un Rembrandt ? Tout le caravagisme européen tiendrait ainsi à une proportion plus ou moins supérieure de manganèse à l'intérieur de l'oxyde de fer dans la célèbre terre d'ombre ? Non, certes pas. Mais elle y contribue et beaucoup plus que l'on a l'habitude de le dire ou de l'écrire.
    Est-ce que la peinture de « plein air » qui va révolutionner la vision et la technique des impressionnistes aurait existé sans l'apparition des tubes de peinture, au milieu du XIXe siècle ? Van Gogh sans les pigments chimiques d'un maniement plus aisé, que l'on pouvait appliquer tel quels, à l'état pur, dans la fulgurance du geste oe

  • Philip Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim - known to later ages as Paracelsus - stands on the borderline between medieval and modern. This book reveals this complex man - who used his eyes and ears to learn from nature how to heal, and who wrote influential books on medicine, surgery, alchemy and theology while living a vagabond life.

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  • Why have all human cultures - today and throughout history - made music? Why does music excite such rich emotion? And how do we make sense of musical sound? This title explores how the research in music psychology and brain science is piecing together the puzzle of how our minds understand and respond to music.

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  • What if you had developed a machine that generated energy for free and no-one belived you? That is the lot of Kurt Neder, once Einstein's accomplice and the brightest young physicist of his generation, now a lost soul wandering Europe in the hope that someone will pay him heed. Enter Lena - an intrepid young British journalist, hoping for a story to kick-start her stalled career, and driven by her own needs and beliefs, and her own need to believe. Her trail takes her from the cafes of Vienna via the castles of Transylvania and the labs of Princetown to the blasted borderlands of the old Soviet Union, in search for truth and coherence.

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  • Anglais H20 ; A Biography of Water

    Philip Ball

    • Phoenix
    • 5 Octobre 2000

    The story of the most familiar - yet, poorly understood - substance in the universe: Water.

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