A New Map of Wonders by Caspar Henderson

Catching a mysterious pool of early morning sunlight playfully cast across his kitchen ceiling gave Caspar Henderson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caspar_Henderson) pause for wonder. The experience inspired him to think more closely about the nature of wonder. His reflections have issued in this enthusiastic tour of much that seems ordinary but which is upheld by the complex and wonderful. From light, for example, comes the mind-bending concept of the speed of light, the idea of refraction, and the explanation of the rainbow. Explanation, he insists, doesn’t deflate the wonder.

Displaying a command of physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering, the book also draws on philosophy, religion, culture and history showing how these subjects combine and contrast to help give meaning to the world. With this armoury Henderson explores the origins of the universe, and the intricacies of the human body, delving into wonders past and present, before paving the way for those yet to come with the emergence of technology, and the predication of changes to come.

This playful and enlightening book encourages us all to take a fresh look at the world around us. It can be read with pleasure in sections over time. Check if this work on the wonders of science is in stock at your local library by consulting the online catalogue at https://www.sllclibrary.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/OPAC/BSEARCH

A similar theme is pursued by Richard Dawkins in Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder (1998) (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unweaving-Rainbow-Science-Delusion-Appetite/dp/0141026189/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516453650&sr=8-1&keywords=unweaving+the+rainbow)

364 pages in Granta Books

First published 2017

ISBN  978-1783781331

Caspar Henderson

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