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Atoms Under the Floorboards is now in paperback!

Physics World Top Ten Book 2015

Atoms under the floorboards hardback book cover.

If you like what you've read on Explain that Stuff, you're going to love my new book, Atoms under the Floorboards: The Surprising Science Hidden in Your Home, which is published worldwide by Bloomsbury (the guys who gave us Harry Potter).

From the bookshelf that's always dusty to the shiny shoes on your feet, I take you on a whistle-stop tour of your home, revealing fascinating science secrets like...

Just like Explain that Stuff, it's an easy read for non-scientists—adults and teenagers—and there's little or no math.

So what's inside this book?

Atoms Under the Floorboards is about 300 pages long, has 60 black-and-white artworks to liven things up a bit, and there's a short section of notes and further reading at the end to help you dig deeper into the bits that interest you.

Atoms under the floorboards hardback and paperback book covers.

There are 18 chapters—and here's a taster of the kinds of things they cover:

  1. Firm foundations: Why don't buildings fall down? Why do skyscrapers deliberately wobble in the wind?
  2. Upstairs downstairs: Everything you ever wanted to know about energy, including: How many hamsters running on wheels would you need to launch a rocket or haul a train?
  3. Superheroics: You might not think you're a superhero, but science can turn you into one! How do wheels really work... and why is Isaac Newton the best swimming teacher?
  4. The beauty of bikes: Why are cyclists like fish? Can shaving your legs really make you go faster?
  5. Car crazy: Why is your car like a chemistry lab on wheels? Why have electric cars still not caught on?
  6. Sticky stuff: How do glues really work? Why can you lift a person with one drop of superglue?
  7. The inside story: How do we know atoms exist if we can't see them?
  8. Amazing glazing: What's the science behind windows that clean themselves... and sunglasses that darken automatically outdoors?
  9. Saggy sofas, squeaky floors: Why do sofas sag and faces wrinkle? Why do floorboards squeak?
  10. Light delights: Why can't we see light? Why do polished shoes shine like mirrors?
  11. Radio gaga: Who was the "worm" who helped to invent radio? How did the Victorians almost invent mobile phones?
  12. Living by numbers: How can you send a photo down a phone line? Is it better to buy MP3s or CDs?
  13. Blowing hot and cold: How can you heat your home with nothing more than a candle? How can you make instant ice cream?
  14. Food miles: Is it true that you could "go to work on an egg"? Could we ever make an energy pill that gives us all the daily nutrition we need?
  15. Stirring stuff: What links wind turbines, dusty bookshelves, dirty cars, and rubbery custard?
  16. Water, water: What makes a drain gurgle—and how does that help us understand how pens work?
  17. Stain games: How can science get your jeans clean? Why can you dry clothes outdoors even in winter?
  18. Dressing to impress: Why don't sheep shiver in the cold? Why do jeans always wear out at the knees?

Like to read a sample?

No problem!

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What do reviewers say?

Atoms Under the Floorboards won The American Institute of Physics Science Writing Awards for Books 2016 and was named one of Physics World's Top 10 Physics Books of 2015!

“Chris Woodford's book stands out, both for its clarity and for the unusual phenomena he explains... Each short chapter contains gems of lucid, accessible science writing... Atoms Under the Floorboards is so well written that one can happily read it from cover to cover... both enjoyable and informative.”

Cary Seidman, NSTA Recommends, July 2015.

Buy it now!

"Atoms" is available worldwide in hardback, paperback, and as an ebook. Here's a selection of places where you can find it right now:

More to explore on our website...

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