The One Thing You Need to Know The Simple Way to Understand the Most Important Ideas in Science

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From gravity to black holes, special relativity to global warming, this authoritative and entertaining book from bestselling author Marcus Chown breaks down complex science into manageable chunks, explaining the one thing you really need to know to get to grips with the subject.

Rather than trying to bend your mind around all the vast and confounding details of things such as gravitational waves, electricity and black holes, wouldn’t it be easier to understand just one central concept from which everything else follows?

If you’ve ever found yourself fascinated by the idea of quantum computing but feel a little overwhelmed by the mindblowing subject of quantum mechanics or concerned by climate change but haven’t been able to get to grips with the details of global warming, this book is for you. Let’s take atoms, for example – what on earth are they? Well, if you start to think of them less like things you can’t see with complex little nuclei and more like the alphabet of nature, which in different configurations can make a rose, a galaxy or a newborn baby, they might start to feel a little more understandable. Or gravitational waves – they sound poetic, but why are they creating so much excitement? Think of them as the voice of space, vibrations on the drumskin of space-time – before delving into all their complexities.

In twenty-one short and engaging chapters, Chown explains the one thing you need to know to understand some of the most important scientific ideas of our time. Packed full of astounding facts, scientific history and the entertaining personalities at the heart of the most pivotal discoveries about the workings of our universe, this is an accessible guide to all the tricky stuff you’ve always wanted to understand more about.

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19cm x 12cm








Michael O'Mara Books


01 October 2024


Marcus Chown