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Featured Books: Health and Natural Sciences

A selection of new titles in Health and Natural Sciences.

New Books - Natural Sciences

These items are highlights from newly acquired materials selected to support the information needs of the College of Health and Natural Sciences (COHNS)

For more information on each of these books, click the link to see the book in the catalog.

The Periodic Table: Its story and significance

The periodic table of elements is among the most recognizable image in science. It lies at the core of chemistry and embodies the most fundamental principles of science. In this new edition, Eric Scerri offers readers a complete and updated history and philosophy of the periodic table. Writtenin a lively style to appeal to experts and interested lay-persons alike, The Periodic Table: Its Story and Its Significance begins with an overview of the importance of the periodic table and the manner in which the term "element" has been interpreted by chemists and philosophers across time.The book traces the evolution and development of the periodic table from its early beginnings with the work of the precursors like De Chancourtois, Newlands and Meyer to Mendeleev's 1869 first published table and beyond. Several chapters are devoted to developments in 20th century physics,especially quantum mechanics and and the extent to which they explain the periodic table in a more fundamental way. Other chapters examine the formation of the elements, nuclear structure, the discovery of the last seven infra-uranium elements, and the synthesis of trans-uranium elements. Finally,the book considers the many different ways of representing the periodic system and the quest for an optimal arrangement.

The Story of the Earth in 25 Rocks

Every rock is a tangible trace of the earth's past. This book tells the fascinating stories behind the discoveries that shook the foundations of geology. In twenty-five chapters--each about a particular rock, outcrop, or geologic phenomenon--Donald R. Prothero recounts the scientific detective work that shaped our understanding of geology.

The Essence of Mathematics Through Elementary Problems

It is increasingly clear that the shapes of reality - whether of the natural world, or of the built environment - are in some profound sense mathematical. Therefore it would benefit students and educated adults to understand what makes mathematics itself 'tick', and to appreciate why its shapes, patterns and formulae provide us with precisely the language we need to make sense of the world around us. The second part of this challenge may require some specialist experience, but the authors of this book concentrate on the first part, and explore the extent to which elementary mathematics allows us all to understand something of the nature of mathematics from the inside. The Essence of Mathematics consists of a sequence of 270 problems - with commentary and full solutions. The reader is assumed to have a reasonable grasp of school mathematics. More importantly, s/he should want to understand something of mathematics beyond the classroom, and be willing to engage with (and to reflect upon) challenging problems that highlight the essence of the discipline. The book consists of six chapters of increasing sophistication (Mental Skills; Arithmetic; Word Problems; Algebra; Geometry; Infinity), with interleaved commentary. The content will appeal to students considering further study of mathematics at university, teachers of mathematics at age 14-18, and anyone who wants to see what this kind of elementary content has to tell us about how mathematics really works.

How to give up plastic : a guide to changing the world, one plastic bottle at a time

"An accessible guide to the changes we can all make--small and large--to rid our lives of disposable plastic and clean up the world's oceans. It takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to fully biodegrade, and there are around 12.7 million tons of plastic entering the ocean each year. At our current pace, in the year 2050 there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish, by weight. These are alarming figures, but plastic pollution is an environmental crisis with a solution we can all contribute to. How to Give Up Plastic is a straightforward guide to eliminating plastic from your life. Going room by room through your home and workplace, Greenpeace activist Will McCallum teaches you how to spot disposable plastic items and find plastic-free, sustainable alternatives to each one. From carrying a reusable straw, to catching microfibers when you wash your clothes, to throwing plastic-free parties, you'll learn new and intuitive ways to reduce plastic waste. And by arming you with a wealth of facts about global plastic consumption and anecdotes from activists fighting plastic around the world, you'll also learn how to advocate to businesses and leaders in your community and across the country to commit to eliminating disposable plastics for good"-- Provided by publisher.

The Scientific Method: An evolution of thinking from Darwin to Dewey

The surprising history of the scientific method--from an evolutionary account of thinking to a simple set of steps--and the rise of psychology in the nineteenth century. The idea of a single scientific method, shared across specialties and teachable to ten-year-olds, is just over a hundred years old. For centuries prior, science had meant a kind of knowledge, made from facts gathered through direct observation or deduced from first principles. But during the nineteenth century, science came to mean something else: a way of thinking. The Scientific Method tells the story of how this approach took hold in laboratories, the field, and eventually classrooms, where science was once taught as a natural process. Henry M. Cowles reveals the intertwined histories of evolution and experiment, from Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection to John Dewey's vision for science education. Darwin portrayed nature as akin to a man of science, experimenting through evolution, while his followers turned his theory onto the mind itself. Psychologists reimagined the scientific method as a problem-solving adaptation, a basic feature of cognition that had helped humans prosper. This was how Dewey and other educators taught science at the turn of the twentieth century--but their organic account was not to last. Soon, the scientific method was reimagined as a means of controlling nature, not a product of it. By shedding its roots in evolutionary theory, the scientific method came to seem far less natural, but far more powerful. This book reveals the origin of a fundamental modern concept. Once seen as a natural adaptation, the method soon became a symbol of science's power over nature, a power that, until recently, has rarely been called into question.

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