62 results found - page 1 of 7

    • Alessandro Chiarucci   

      The Arks of Biodiversity

      How Can We Save Some Nature for the Future

      A scientific and ethical approach to the preservation of some completely virgin patches of nature, to safeguard the future of humankind.

      The book addresses the problem of the extinction of wildlife and plants by proposing solutions to mitigate the collapse in Anthropocene. For example, a deal to ensure the natural processes that guarantee the survival of biodiversity on just a small fraction (10%) of our planet.

      From Linnaeus to Alexander von Humboldt and Darwin, the history of nature and of evolution is described, also passing through the disappearance of species or the replacement of some species with others, in a constant adaptation process to keep life on Earth.

    • Paolo Alessandrini   

      Mathematics on the pitch

      Numbers and geometries in the game of football

      The author ranges from the geometry of soccer balls to the combinatorics of tournament calendars, going through the physics of goal shots, the mathematics of sports betting, and the theory of games in penalty kicks.

      The book is structured along the lines of a soccer match, with a pre-match stage, a first half, half-time, a second half, extra time, penalty kicks and the after match. That’s not all, since a lot of mathematics is embedded in the game of soccer: numbers, statistics and technology are now rapidly acquiring an important role on the pitches, as evidenced by the increasing significance of systems such as VAR or match analysis.

      Every chapter starts with a soccer anecdote, which paves the way to questions where mathematics plays the main role.

    • Gabriele Ghisellini   

      The Universe Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

      New Astronomies

      This is a guide to the exploration of the heavens and to the discoveries made thanks to powerful new telescopes, which have revealed a universe very different from the one we were used to.

      For thousands of years, astronomy relied on the human eye to observe the sky. But the stars do not just emit visible light: they also produce and radiate other types of light, from radio waves to gamma rays.

      Here, the author shows us a much more energetic, violent, variable and unpredictable cosmos, where neutron stars pack more mass than the Sun into a 10-km-radius sphere. He explains how infrared rays can be used to observe the birth of a star and the formation of a planet.

    • Simone Baroni   

      Nuclear Fusion. Myth or Reality?

      A possible Breakthrough for a new source of Energy

      This is a book to learn more about waste, ultra-safe reactors and attempts at energy efficiency, up to the search for Helium-3 on the Moon.

      After decades of testing, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California was able to produce more energy than the amount used to trigger the reaction, giving concrete evidence of a breakthrough in energy production.

      This book explains all the background to the discovery and its effects. Above all, it calls for transparency in the communication of a chequered news story. After showing how energy is produced by fusing deuterium and tritium nuclei, the author explains the myth of the Q-factor and presents the results of other ongoing experiments around the world.

    • Roberto Marangoni   

      I Told You so!

      A Journey through more or less predictable Systems

      This slim book is a reader-friendly overview of the predictability of various systems – physical, biological, economic or weather-related – and explains why it is often simply impossible to expect “certain” scientific forecasts.

      Formulating predictions about how a given phenomenon is going to evolve is something everyone falls for: from top-tier media to pub chat, as soon as an event manifests itself it is engulfed in a deluge of predictions, many of them unfounded.

      Can scientifically grounded predictions really be made, though? Well, it depends on the system we are considering. Indeed, very few systems can be predicted with a high degree of reliability; for the most part, any prediction is necessarily limited to a probabilistic estimate of multiple possible evolutions.

      In addition to the objective difficulties inherent in these systems, there are also subjective unconscious psychological mechanisms that make one a bad predictor. Finally, some systems are unpredictable by their very nature. This is why, very often, simply acknowledging “I don’t know" is the most honest and scientifically grounded answer to the question “What’s going to happen?”.

    • Alfonso Lucifredi   

      Sailor Cats and Soothsayer Octopuses

      Unusual Stories about famous Animals

      These adventure-packed, stunning and sometimes even dramatic stories show us how astounding and underrated the abilities, intelligence and social skills of so many animals we share our earthly existence with are.

      Paul the octopus predicted the outcome of football World Cup matches; Hachikō the dog was the symbol of loyalty to his master; Jumbo the elephant was the undisputed star of the Barnum Circus; Keiko the orca became an international celebrity after starring in the family film Free Willy.

      These and many other stories in Lucifredi’s book remind us that animals have often been veritable stars in human history, society and entertainment, helping us to better understand them and boosting our respect for them.

    • Francesco Adami   

      The Doctor’s Bag

      The history of the tools that changed medicine forever

      This is the fascinating story of ten instruments that changed medicine and our lives forever.

      How did Sherlock Holmes single out a doctor in the crowd? What links an eclectic French professor armed with a strange rifle without bullets, running horses and the measurement of blood pressure? What is the relationship between a Pink Floyd album and the development of the pulse oximeter, or between the Beatles and the invention of the CT scan? How do smart watches directly perform an electrocardiogram from the wearer’s wrist?

      Page after page of historical anecdotes, scientific curiosities, outstanding discoveries and bizarre experiments, we discover the extraordinary journey behind every medical instrument. Art, science and culture merged in the lives of creative and tenacious women and men who revolutionised their ages and laid the foundations of modern medicine.

    • Gianpaolo Bellini    Marco Bersanelli    Enrico Bonatti   

      From Quarks to Galaxies

      A Journey from micro- to macrocosm going through the Earth

      What makes up the matter that surrounds us? How did planet Earth form? How does the Universe evolve? Three academics, a subatomic physicist, an astrophysicist and a geophysicist, face the challenge to explain reality, going from microcosm to macrocosm.

      A book that examines from elementary particles to the stars: to show us that in the structure of matter there is nothing random and that our world is an infinitesimal point in the bottomless spaces of the Universe, among billions of stars. It is all enriched by the latest outcomes of the research project for which Bellini was a Nobel candidate: the Borexino experiment revealed the mystery of the neutrino, explaining why the sun and, in general all stars, shine.

      With a foreword by Roberto Battiston, physicist inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Astronautic Federation.

    • Bruno Codenotti    Giovanni Resta   

      The Logic of Uncertainty

      Close Encounters with the Paradoxes of Probability

      The calculation of probability can help significantly in the small and big decisions of life, and Cicero had already encouraged to face uncertainty by being guided by examining the probability of events happening.

      In this book, using simple probability tools, the authors show with examples and anecdotes how uncertainty situations can be faced rationally, with logical and mathematical skills.

      Some of the themes examined, for example the birthday paradox and the Monty Hall problem, will show that our intuitive understanding of probabilities is not good at all, especially when estimating how frequently extremely unlikely events will occur.

    • Gianluca Lentini   

      Climate Stories

      From Mesopotamia to the Exoplanets

      How many times has the climate changed in the past five thousand years? The book tells the complex and changing story of climatology, a science of nature as old as human civilisation.

      Ever since the Ice Age, the effects of climate change have affected the development of cultures and civilisations. Our journey begins in Mesopotamia, where special climatic conditions led to the first flourishing civilisations, and goes all the way to the latest research on the climate of planets far from Earth.

      Today, climatology is at the centre of the political and economic debate on global warming: while the climate triggered human development (rising temperatures are what made agriculture possible), now mankind is determining the climate.