By the author of the best-selling, prize-winning Stuff Matters
'A truly delightful read' Jim Al-Khalili, author of Paradox
'Exciting, anarchic and surprising' Katy Guest, The Guardian
This fascinating new book by the bestselling scientist and engineer Mark Miodownik is an expert tour of the world of the droplets, heartbeats and ocean waves that we come across every day. Structured around a plane journey which sees encounters with substances from water and glue to coffee and wine, he shows how these liquids can bring death and destruction as well as wonder and fascination.
From Laszlo Biro's revolutionary pen and Abraham Gesner's kerosene to cutting-edge research on self-repairing roads and liquid computers, Miodownik uses his winning formula of scientific storytelling to bring the everyday to life. He reveals why liquids can flow up a tree but down a hill, why oil is sticky, how waves can travel so far, and how to make the perfect cup of tea. Here are the secret lives of substances that we rely on but rarely understand.
'An exhilarating, eye-opening ride' Philip Ball, science writer and author of H2O
'A thrilling read, from start to finish' Tim Radford, author of The Consolations of Physics
A Financial Times Master of Science and chosen by The Times as one of the 100 most influential scientists in the UK, Mark Miodownik is Professor of Materials and Society at University College London, where he is also Director of the Institute of Making. He is the author of the book Stuff Matters, a New York Times bestseller which won the Royal Society Winton Prize. Mark has also received the Michael Faraday Prize for his expertise in science communication. He presents BBC TV and Radio programmes on science and engineering such as Everyday Miracles, How It Works, Chefs vs Science, Secrets of the Super Elements and recently made a three-part BBC Radio 4 documentary called Plastic Fantastic.