Penguin Book

Stuff Matters

Mark Miodownik

Since the dawn of civilisation, humankind owes its unique success to one simple but remarkable skill: the ability to make stuff.

Throughout our history, we have transformed the raw produce of the earth into materials that satisfy our needs and desires - fibres for clothes, metals for tools, ceramics for storage, paper for communication - inventions that have in turn transformed the world. In the twenty-first century, we now inhabit a man-made environment of such astonishing ubiquity, variety and sophistication that it rivals, and in many instances defies, nature itself. And yet we take it almost entirely for granted.

From the steel in our skyscrapers to the elastic in our underpants, from the lead in our pencils to the alloys in our engines, leading materials scientist Mark Miodownik tells the stories and explains the science behind some of the most fascinating and important inventions of our species. Along the way, he introduces us to metals that can heal themselves, implants that become living bone, liquids that flow upwards and ceramics that could save the world.

Mark Miodownik recently appeared in The Times' inaugural list of the 100 most influential scientists in the UK. He received his PhD in jet engine alloys from Oxford University in 1996 and is the Research Director of the Materials Library at King's College London, home to some of the most wondrous matter on earth.

Publication date
  • History
  • Science and Technology
Format TPS
216 x 135mm
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Audio (Unabridged)
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