By Brian Cox
In Wonders of existence: Exploring the main outstanding strength within the Universe, the definitive spouse to the invention technology Channel sequence, Professor Brian Cox takes us on a major trip to find the main advanced, assorted, and precise strength within the universe: existence itself.Through his voyage of discovery, international bestselling writer Brian Cox explains how the excellent inventiveness of nature took place and uncovers the milestones within the epic trip from the starting place of existence to our personal lives, with attractive full-color illustrations all through. From extraordinary fountains of superheated water on the backside of the Atlantic to the inner most rainforest, Cox seeks out the locations the place the most important questions about lifestyles will be responded: what's lifestyles? Why can we want water? Why does lifestyles end?Physicist and professor Brian Cox uncovers the secrets and techniques of existence within the so much unforeseen destinations and within the such a lot gorgeous aspect during this appealing full-color quantity.
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Extra info for Wonders of life: exploring the most extraordinary phenomenon in the Universe
Cenotes contain an abundance of life, and taking a dive into their crystal-clear, yet dark, world is a unique experience. SIMPLE BUT COMPLEX Water arguably exhibits the most complex behaviour of any known substance. This may come as a shock, because the ubiquitous familiarity of its chemical signature – H2O – is the stuff of the most basic of classroom chemistry lessons. Yet this familiarity hides a deep complexity that we are only now beginning to understand. The complexity doesn’t lie in the structure of water molecules themselves of course: each molecule is made of three atoms – two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.
But, really, the point is to show that I thought my chemistry teacher was brilliant. ELECTROLYSIS OF WATER WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE… Earth, the small blue planet, is unique within the Solar System in having liquid water on its surface today. Indeed, from space Earth is a water world, with 71 per cent of its surface covered by the liquid. This uniqueness is the result of Earth’s size and position in the Solar System, and not the scarcity of the life-giving molecule itself. Despite the fact that we have yet to discover another water world like our own, we know that, across the vast expanses of space, the seas, lakes and rivers of planet Earth are just a drop in the cosmic ocean – our Universe is literally awash with water molecules, and everywhere we look in space we can see that the Universe is wet.
Its active heart, however, is a series of rings of carbon atoms bound together by a sea of mobile electrons. When a high-energy photon from the Sun hits one of the electrons, it doesn’t break the molecule apart. Instead, the energy is dissipated in around a pico-second, which is very fast indeed. In a million millionths of a second, the potentially threatening photon has been adsorbed and all its energy has been converted to heat. The melanin molecule survives intact to fight another day. 9 per cent of the harmful UV radiation is adsorbed in this way, protecting cells from damage.
Wonders of life: exploring the most extraordinary phenomenon in the Universe by Brian Cox