Books

Racing Green: How Motorsport Science Can Save the World

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A reminder of the crucial role that motorsport plays in the mission
to save our planet

Lucas di Grassi, FIA Formula E World Champion 2016-2017

Motor racing is already one of the most scientifically demanding sports: it involves a combination of peak physical and mental skill, world-class mechanical nous and perennial technological innovation. These innovations, first developed for racing, have been incorporated into everyday car designs to improve their safety – from ABS brakes to crash helmets – and ecological impact, via electric engines and more efficient fuels and tyres.

Author Kit Chapman is a lifelong motorsports fan. With help from his wide range of contacts in the industry, Kit criss-crosses the globe from Ohio to Monaco, Spain to Bahrain. He steps behind the scenes of current engineering breakthroughs, picking up extraordinary tales along the way, such as that of maverick designer Warren Mosler who designed a car so fast it was banned from racing.

Part travelogue, part historical retrospective, Racing Green combines visits to the experts with lively retellings of real-life incidents that became milestones in modern car development. Kit looks at the breadth of racing, both its glories and its tragedies, revealing the industry as a driving force for progress, and where it’s on track to take us next.

Superheavy: Making and Breaking the Periodic Table

Finalist for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books (Young adults)

Superheavy book Kit Chapman

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A must for anyone interested in how humans have expanded, and continue to expand, the boundaries of scientific knowledge

Publishers Weekly

Creating an element is no easy feat. It’s the equivalent of firing six trillion bullets a second at a needle in a haystack, hoping the bullet and needle somehow fuse together, then catching it in less than a thousandth of a second – after which it’s gone forever. Welcome to the world of the superheavy elements: a realm where scientists use giant machines and spend years trying to make a single atom of mysterious artefacts that have never existed on Earth.

From the first elements past uranium and their role in the atomic bomb to the latest discoveries stretching our chemical world, Superheavy will reveal the hidden stories lurking at the edges of the periodic table. Why did the US Air Force fly planes into mushroom clouds? Who won the transfermium wars? How did an earthquake help give Japan its first element? And what happened when Superman almost spilled nuclear secrets?

In a globe-trotting adventure that stretches from the United States to Russia, Sweden to Australia, Superheavy is your guide to the amazing science filling in the missing pieces of the periodic table. By the end you’ll not only marvel at how nuclear science has changed our lives – you’ll wonder where it’s going to take us in the future.