About Magic Universe

Occasional postings will comment on news of fundamental discoveries. This introduction indicates the breadth of my interest.

About Magic Universe

Welcome to the spider’s web

Magic Universe: A Grand Tour of Modern Science, is published by the Oxford University Press. The original hardback sub-title was “The Oxford Guide to Modern Science”). It’s made up of 119 short stories about fundamental research and where it seems to be heading, with lots of cross-references between them.

The magic of the Universe reveals itself in those interconnections. As my introduction remarks: “A repertoire of tricks let loose in the Big Bang will make you a planet or a parakeet. … Natural conjuring that links comets with life, genomes with continental drift, iron ore with dementia, and particle physics with cloudiness, mocks the specialists.”

To celebrate a re-union of the many sub-divisions of science that is now in progress, a spider’s web provides the hidden software of the book.

Everything connects, not by sentimental holism, but in physical and chemical processes that gradually reassemble dem dry bones of Mother Nature. To find out how a swallow knows where to go in the winter, and to solve many other obstinate mysteries, only the cross-disciplinary routes may do.”

In a close-up of the centre of the web, each tag is a story

The segment on human evolution

Comments on Magic Universe

Calder’s own trick is that in a mere instant he can apparently transform the general reader into a superbrain. His dispatches from some of the farthest outreaches of contemporary science are concise and precise, as opposed to simple, but he has a gift for making the conceptually baffling seem approachable. Laurence Phelan, The Independent on Sunday

Nigel Calder remains supreme in his range and depth … he goes to immense trouble to get things right, and also takes pains with the clarity and elegance of his writing. Martin Rees (Lord Rees, Astronomer Royal & President of the Royal Society)

A must for every sixth-form and student of science, it is also the ideal compendium for non-scientists of any age who are trying to keep abreast. John Cornwell, Sunday Times

You can buy Magic Universe: A Grand Tour of Modern Science at:

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Magic-Universe-Grand-Modern-Science/dp/0192806696/ref=pd_cp_b_0

US: http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Universe-Grand-Modern-Science/dp/0192806696/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Or see it on Google Books at: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=kbPmQX-OoBgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22Magic+Universe%22&source=bl&ots=s1BhRIHtGI&sig=FnQQTAQepBlx-2hn5sWoN5zqszA&hl=en&ei=lRzAS7GKHpH20gTx84CeCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

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