WorldCat Identities

Ball, Philip 1962-

Works: 115 works in 587 publications in 10 languages and 27,434 library holdings
Genres: History  Popular works  Biography  Criticism, interpretation, etc  Mathematical formulae 
Roles: Author, Editor
Classifications: QD466, 500.201185
Publication Timeline
Publications about  Philip Ball Publications about Philip Ball
Publications by  Philip Ball Publications by Philip Ball
Most widely held works about Philip Ball
Most widely held works by Philip Ball
Nature's patterns a tapestry in three parts by Philip Ball ( )
86 editions published between 2008 and 2012 in 3 languages and held by 3,946 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Patterns are everywhere in nature--in the ranks of clouds in the sky, the stripes of an angelfish, the arrangement of petals in flowers. Where does this order and regularity come from? As Philip Ball reveals in Nature's Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts, this order creates itself. The patterns we see come from self-organization. Indeed, scientists have found that there is a pattern-forming tendency inherent in the basic structure and processes of nature, whether living or non-living, so that from a few simple themes, and the repetition of simple rules, endless beautiful variations can arise
The music instinct : how music works and why we can't do without it by Philip Ball ( Book )
26 editions published between 2010 and 2012 in English and Italian and held by 2,462 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
In The Music Instinct Philip Ball provides the first comprehensive, accessible survey of what is known--and what is still unknown--about how music works its magic, and why, as much as eating and sleeping, it seems indispensable to humanity.--Publisher description
The self-made tapestry pattern formation in nature by Philip Ball ( )
23 editions published between 1998 and 2004 in English and Spanish and held by 2,417 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
"Nature commonly weaves its tapestry by self-organization, employing no master plan or blueprint but instead simple, local interactions between its component parts -- be they grains of sand, diffusing molecules or living cells. And the products of self-organization are typically universal patterns: spirals, spots, and stripes, branches, honeycombs. This book explains, in non-technical language, and with profuse illustrations, how nature's patterns are made."--Jacket
Stories of the invisible : a guided tour of molecules by Philip Ball ( Book )
17 editions published between 2001 and 2003 in 3 languages and held by 1,714 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Spiced with quotations from Primo Levi, Flann O'Brien, and Thomas Pynchon, Stories of the invisible takes us on a tour of a world few of us knew existed. The author describes, for instance, the remarkable molecular structure of spider's silk--a material that is pound for pound much stronger the steel--and shows how the Kevlar fibers in bulletproof vests were invented by imitating the alignment of molecules found in the spider's amazing thread. We also learn about the protein molecules that create movement, without which bacteria would be immobile, cells could not divide, there would be no reproduction and therefore no life. The book describes molecules shaped like miniature sculptures, containers, soccer balls, threads, rings, levers and geodesic domes, all made by sticking atoms together. Perhaps most important, Ball provides a fresh perspective on the future of molecular science, revealing how researchers are promising to reinvent chemistry as the central creative science of the 21st century
Critical mass : how one thing leads to another by Philip Ball ( Book )
39 editions published between 2003 and 2014 in 3 languages and held by 1,661 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
"Critical mass asks the question, Why is society the way it is? How does it emerge from a morass of individual interactions? Are there laws of nature that guide human affairs? Is anything inevitable about the ways humans behave and organize themselves, or do we have complete freedom in creating our societies? In short, just how, in human affairs, does one thing lead to another?" "In searching for answers, the science writer Philip Ball argues that we can enlist help from a seemingly unlikely source: physics. The first person to think this way was the seventeenth-century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes. His approach, described in Leviathan, was based not on utopian wishful thinking, but rather on Galileo's mechanics; it was an attempt to construct a moral and political theory from scientific first principles. Although his solution - absolute monarchy - is unappealing today, Hobbes sparked a new way of thinking about human behavior in looking for the "scientific" rules of society. Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant, Auguste Comte, and John Stuart Mill pursued this same idea from different political perspectives."--BOOK JACKET
Life's matrix : a biography of water by Philip Ball ( Book )
10 editions published between 2000 and 2001 in English and held by 1,601 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
"Life's Matrix tells of water's origins, its history, and its fascinating pervasiveness: there are, for example, at least fourteen different forms of ice. An exploration of water on other planets highlights the possibilities of life beyond Earth. Life's Matrix reveals the unexpected in the most ordinary places - a drop of dew, a frozen pond, a cup of coffee - and the familiar in unexpected settings. There is water on the sun and the moon, at the heart of molecular biology, at the core of a cell, and there may be enough of it beneath the surface of the Earth to refill the oceans thirty times over. Life's Matrix also surveys the grim realities of our natural resources, and shows how water will become a scarce commodity in the twenty-first century."--Jacket
Elegant solutions ten beautiful experiments in chemistry by Philip Ball ( )
14 editions published in 2005 in English and held by 1,556 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Devising and performing a scientific experiment is an art, and it is common to hear scientists talk about the 'beauty' of an experiment. What does this mean in chemistry, the experimental science par excellence? And what are the most beautiful chemical experiments of all time? This book offers ten suggestions for where beauty might reside in experimental chemistry. In some cases the beauty lies in the clarity of conception; sometimes it is a feature of the instrumental design. But for chemistry, there can also be a unique beauty in the way atoms are put together to make new molecules, substances not known in nature. The ten experiments described here offer a window into the way that chemists think and work, and how what they do affects the rest of science and the wider world. This book aims to stimulate the reader to think anew about some of the relationships and differences between science and art, and to challenge some of the common notions about particular 'famous experiments'. Elegant Solutions: Ten Beautiful Experiments in Chemistry is accessible to all readers, including those without a scientific background and can provide an unusual point of entry into some of the basic concepts of chemistry. Phillip Ball is a renowned, prolific, award winning science writer
Bright earth : art and the invention of color by Philip Ball ( Book )
22 editions published between 2001 and 2010 in 3 languages and held by 1,412 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
"Bright Earth provides a glimpse into a little-explored avenue in the history of art and science: the creation of pigments and dyes and their influence on painting, as well as on fashion, merchandising, and the textile and chemical industries. For as long as artists have turned their dreams into images, they have relied on technical knowledge to supply their materials. Today almost every shade imaginable is easily available in off-the-shelf tubes; every hue and tincture is manufactured and ready for immediate use by the painter. But up until the eighteenth century, most artists ground and mixed their own pigments, and by necessity had considerable skill as a practical chemists."--BOOK JACKET
The elements a very short introduction by Philip Ball ( )
9 editions published between 2002 and 2004 in English and held by 1,374 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
"This Very Short Introduction traces the history and cultural impact of the elements on humankind, and examines why people have long sought to identify the substances around them. Looking beyond the Periodic Table, the author examines our relationship with matter, from the uncomplicated vision of the Greek philosophers, who believed there were four elements - earth, air, fire, and water - to the work of modern-day scientists in creating elements such as hassium and meitnerium. Packed with anecdotes, The Elements is a highly engaging and entertaining exploration of the fundamental question: what is the world made from?"--Jacket
Designing the molecular world : chemistry at the frontier by Philip Ball ( Book )
20 editions published between 1994 and 1997 in 4 languages and held by 1,260 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
They have fashioned metals from plastics, drugs from crude oil, and have pinpointed the chemical pollutants affecting our atmosphere and are now searching for remedies for the imperiled planet. Philip Bail, an editor for the prestigious magazine Nature, lets the lay reader into the world of modern chemistry
Made to measure : new materials for the 21st century by Philip Ball ( Book )
17 editions published between 1997 and 1999 in English and Finnish and held by 1,152 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Now scientists literally put new materials together on the drawing board in the same way that a blueprint is specified for a house or an electronic circuit. But the designers are working not with skylights and alcoves, not with transistors and capacitors, but with molecules and atoms
The ingredients : a guided tour of the elements by Philip Ball ( Book )
7 editions published between 2002 and 2004 in English and held by 1,089 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
A guide to the elements discusses their discovery and properties and how they have shaped technology and civilization
Curiosity : how science became interested in everything by Philip Ball ( Book )
22 editions published between 2012 and 2014 in English and held by 1,064 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Looking closely at the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, Ball vividly brings to life the age when modern science began, a time that spans the lives of Galileo and Isaac Newton. In this entertaining and illuminating account of the rise of science as we know it, Ball tells of scientists both legendary and lesser known, from Copernicus and Kepler to Robert Boyle, as well as the inventions and technologies that were inspired by curiosity itself, such as the telescope and the microscope. The so-called Scientific Revolution is often told as a story of great geniuses illuminating the world with flashes of inspiration. But Curiosity reveals a more complex story, in which the liberation--and subsequent taming--of curiosity was linked to magic, religion, literature, travel, trade, and empire. Ball also asks what has become of curiosity today: how it functions in science, how it is spun and packaged for consumption, how well it is being sustained, and how the changing shape of science influences the kinds of questions it may continue to ask
The devil's doctor : Paracelsus and the world of Renaissance magic and science by Philip Ball ( Book )
23 editions published between 2006 and 2014 in 3 languages and held by 974 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
"Philip Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim - known to later ages as Paracelsus - stands on the borderline between medieval and modern; a name that is familiar but a man who has been hard to perceive or understand." "But who was Paracelsus and what did he really believe and practice? He has been seen both as a charlatan and as a founder of modern science, but Philip Ball's book reveals a more complex man - who used his eyes and ears to learn from nature how to heal, and who wrote influential books on medicine, surgery, alchemy and theology while living a drunken, combative, vagabond life. Above all Ball reveals a man who was a product of his time - an age of great change in which Christendom was divided, the classics were rediscovered and the earth was displaced from the centre of the cosmos - and whose bringing together of the seemingly diverse disciplines of alchemy and biology signalled the beginning of the age of rationalism."--BOOK JACKET
Universe of stone : a biography of Chartres Cathedral by Philip Ball ( Book )
17 editions published between 2008 and 2014 in English and held by 814 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Universe of Stone shows that the Gothic cathedrals encode a far-reaching shift in the way medieval thinkers perceived their relationship with their world. For the first time, they began to believe in an orderly, rational world that could be investigated and understood. This change marked the beginning of Western science and also the start of a long and, indeed, unfinished struggle to reconcile faith and reason
H₂O : a biography of water by Philip Ball ( Book )
37 editions published between 1999 and 2014 in 5 languages and held by 396 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Overzicht van de natuurkundige, meteorologische, biologische en geneeskundige aspecten van water
Why society is a complex matter meeting twenty-first century challenges with a new kind of science by Philip Ball ( )
7 editions published in 2012 in English and held by 366 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Society is complicated. But this book argues that this does not place it beyond the reach of a science that can help to explain and perhaps even to predict social behaviour. As a system made up of many interacting agents - people, groups, institutions and governments, as well as physical and technological structures such as roads and computer networks - society can be regarded as a complex system. In recent years, scientists have made great progress in understanding how such complex systems operate, ranging from animal populations to earthquakes and weather. These systems show behaviours that cannot be predicted or intuited by focusing on the individual components, but which emerge spontaneously as a consequence of their interactions: they are said to be 'self-organized'. Attempts to direct or manage such emergent properties generally reveal that 'top-down' approaches, which try to dictate a particular outcome, are ineffectual, and that what is needed instead is a 'bottom-up' approach that aims to guide self-organization towards desirable states.This book shows how some of these ideas from the science of complexity can be applied to the study and management of social phenomena, including traffic flow, economic markets, opinion formation and the growth and structure of cities. Building on these successes, the book argues that the complex-systems view of the social sciences has now matured sufficiently for it to be possible, desirable and perhaps essential to attempt a grander objective: to integrate these efforts into a unified scheme for studying, understanding and ultimately predicting what happens in the world we have made. Such a scheme would require the mobilization and collaboration of many different research communities, and would allow society and its interactions with the physical environment to be explored through realistic models and large-scale data collection and analysis. It should enable us to find new and effective solutions to major global problems such as conflict, disease, financial instability, environmental despoliation and poverty, while avoiding unintended policy consequences. It could give us the foresight to anticipate and ameliorate crises, and to begin tackling some of the most intractable problems of the twenty-first century
Serving the Reich : the struggle for the soul of physics under Hitler by Philip Ball ( Book )
15 editions published between 2013 and 2014 in English and held by 366 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Bright earth : the invention of colour by Philip Ball ( Book )
18 editions published between 2001 and 2013 in English and Finnish and held by 298 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Rich in anecdote, ranging from the ancient Greeks to the present day, Bright Earth reveals how art is more of a science and science more of an art than might be supposed
The new science of strong materials, or, Why you don't fall through the floor by J. E Gordon ( Book )
5 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 241 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
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  Kids General Special  
Audience level: 0.31 (from 0.23 for The ingred ... to 0.67 for Why societ ...)
Alternative Names
Ball, P. 1962-
Ball, Ph 1962-
Ball, Philip
Ball, Phillip.
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English (384)
German (12)
Italian (10)
Spanish (8)
French (7)
Japanese (6)
Finnish (3)
Chinese (2)
Dutch (1)
Czech (1)