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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-05-25 08:01
The Equations of Life by Charles S. Cockell
The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution - Charles S. Cockell

TITLE:  The Equations of Life: The Hidden Rules Shaping Evolution

 

AUTHOR:  Charles S. Cockell

 

PUBLICATION DATE:  2019

 

FORMAT:  Paperback

 

ISBN-13:   9781786493040

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DESCRIPTION:

"A groundbreaking new view on the theory of evolution, arguing that life develops in predictable ways.
We are all familiar with the popular idea of strange alien life wildly different from life on earth inhabiting other planets. Maybe it's made of silicon! Maybe it has wheels! Or maybe it doesn't. In The Equations of Life, biologist Charles S. Cockell makes the forceful argument that the laws of physics narrowly constrain how life can evolve, making evolution's outcomes predictable. If we were to find on a distant planet something very much like a lady bug eating something like an aphid, we shouldn't be surprised. The forms of life are guided by a limited set of rules, and as a result, there is a narrow set of solutions to the challenges of existence.
A remarkable scientific contribution breathing new life into Darwin's theory of evolution, The Equations of Life makes a radical argument about what life can--and can't--be.
"

 

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REVIEW:

 

In The Equations of Life, Cockell demonstrates that biology is dependent on, and thus constrained by, physics.  The book starts off examining the social life of ants, moves on to studying how all the basic anatomy units and habits of a ladybug are constructed in accordance with the laws of physics, to the movement of moles through soil, birds through the air,  and why animals don't have wheels or propellers.  Cockell also examines why life is cellular, the various properties of cells and their particular building blocks (lipid membranes, DNA/RNA, amino acids, respiration, enzymatic reactions, the molecules and also atoms of life), why water is the solvent for life rather than something else (benzene? ammonia?), and if life can be based on something other than carbon.  A few equations are thrown in to demonstrate a concept but there is nothing difficult to understand in this book.  A fascinating perspective on evolution and physics written in an engaging manner.

 

PS:  I love this cover.  All those delicious equations, molecular structures and mathematical formulae etc.

 

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url 2020-04-24 14:12
ICSE syllabus for Class 8 Physics are Available on the Extramarks App

The ICSE Physics Class 8 solutions from the Extramarks app is also an outstanding training for students preparing to pursue science-related companies, MBA Schools, Medical Schools or Law Schools.ICSE Class 8 Physics solutions consist of a range of sub-fields, including particle and nuclear physics, atomic and molecular spectroscopy, optics, solid-state physics, biological and medical physics, computational physics, acoustics, astrophysics and cosmology.if you wish to access your ICSE Solutions for Class 8 Physics from the Extramarks app to reinforce principles and theory, you might be stuck with it–you can do that. It's also much easier and faster to find the relevant sections and take notes via online navigation.

Source: www.articlebiz.com/preview.jsp
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review 2020-03-26 14:00
How to Find a Higgs Boson—and Other Big Mysteries in the World of the Very Small
How to Find a Higgs Boson—and Other Big Mysteries in the World of the Very Small - Ivo van Vulpen

[I got a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

A good, solid read about particle physics in general, and the confirmation of the Higgs boson at CERN. The beginning may seem deceptively simple for a layperson who already knows the basics, but it's obviously here to pave the way for what follows, which goes a little more into the nitty-gritty technical details. Maybe someone who really doesn't know anything about physics might find it difficult to follow, although I'm not convinced; the way it's explained should take care of that. It was really interesting, and a testament, too, to what a venture such as CERN can accomplish.

Also, yet another proof that we really, really need to stop funding research and experiments according to "how much money we can make off it", because if this keeps happening, we'll just stop making new discoveries altogether. Another interesting side of this book was how it illustrated in which (often unexpectedly) physics CAN actually lead to very useful applications, even though the research may have appeared as random at first--PET scanners, for instance: who would've known?

The author's writing is easy to follow, both when it comes to the book's structure and to its translation. I'll have no qualms recommending it to non-physicists, and to physicists as well, come to think of it.

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photo 2020-03-25 08:31
Get the Latest Syllabus like for ICSE solutions for Class 8 Physics only on the Extramarks App

 For online ICSE Solutions for Class 8 Physics learning, students don't have to compete with others and aren't favoured or measured as they do in classrooms. Also slow learners can process knowledge at their own speed and return to work. In eLearning, the ICSE Physics Class 8 solutions of the course have been updated regularly in real-time. Otherwise, seasoned teachers from all over the world will bring enormous knowledge and interest to the ICSE Class 8 Physics solutions course.

Source: www.extramarks.com/study-material/ICSE-Class-8/Physics-light-energy
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review 2020-03-23 11:08
Black Holes & Time Warps
Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy (Commonwealth Fund Book Program) - Frederick Seitz,Kip S. Thorne,Stephen Hawking

by Kip S. Thorne

 

Non-Fiction

 

I'm not what you would call an intellectual and I've never studied Physics, but I found this book easily accessible and even fascinating. I decided to read it because it was cited as one of the sources for the science behind a time travel series I follow, and I wanted to try to grasp the very real science behind the fictional events in the stories.

 

The book basically tells the story of the rise of Cosmology and Particle Physics since the 1920s, explaining in layman's terms the leading theories, discoveries and the scientists who initiated the theories that we now accept as fact, proven through mathematical formulae where physical proof is still beyond our reach.

 

It effectively starts with Einstein and his alternate ideas to Newtonian Physics and works forward from there. This sounds like it could have made for dry reading, but the personalities as well as trials and political conflicts that affected the personalities involved bring the events to life on a very human level. Sometimes it's even funny, like when Professor Thorne describes an incident where he made a bet with Stephen Hawking about the existence of black holes and when sufficient proof settled the bet, Hawking, with the help of a group of students, broke into Thorne's office at Cal Tech to sign off on the bet, which was written out on a document displayed on the office wall.

 

The book as a whole gave me a sense of the global scientific community, which can be co-operative beyond national lines or competitive on a more personal level and even riddled with as much ego as the acting world at times. It explains the process for acceptance of new ideas within that community, which I had no idea of before.

 

I found the book as interesting as many spy stories, and have only given it 4 stars instead of 5 because I had hoped to learn something about time loops from it, which was not really touched on despite mention in the description. It was written in an engaging style that is rare for writers on science, though the fictionalized Prologue suggests that the author had best stick to non-fiction.

 

I enjoyed the read, and I now know a lot more about the subject matter than I did before I read it. Whether I read more on the subject is yet to be seen.

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