Start reading Stuff Matters on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Stuff Matters: The Strange Stories of the Marvellous Materials that Shape Our Man-made World
 
 

Stuff Matters: The Strange Stories of the Marvellous Materials that Shape Our Man-made World [Kindle Edition]

Mark Miodownik
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £6.64 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £3.35 (34%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £6.64  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £6.99  
Kindle Summer Sale: Over 500 Books from £0.99
Have you seen the Kindle Summer Sale yet? Browse selected books from popular authors and debut novelists, including new releases and bestsellers. Learn more


Product Description

Review

Utterly captivating. Every piece of 'stuff' we take for granted in our daily lives has a rich story to tell. A real delight (Jim Al-Khalili, author of Paradox)

Wonderful. Miodownik writes well enough to make even concrete sparkle (Financial Times)

Insightful, fascinating. The futuristic materials will elicit gasps. Makes even the most everyday substance seem exciting (Sunday Times)

Enthralling ... a mission to re-acquaint us with the wonders of the fabric that sustains our lives (Guardian)

Expert, deftly written, immensely enjoyable (Observer)

A certain sort of madness may be necessary to pull of what he has attempted here, which is a wholesale animation of the inanimate: Miodownik achieves precisely what he sets out to (The Times)

The Master of Materials strikes again. Professor Miodownik has a gift for exciting us with his unique combination of the science and the sensuality of the stuff that the world around is made from (Thomas Heatherwick, designer of the Olympic Flame)

Written with such informed and infectious zeal ... Stuff Matters doesn't just reveal the hidden and amazing structures behind much of what our world is made of, it tells the hidden and fascinating stories too (Quentin Cooper, BBC Radio 4)

Stuff Matters has reminded me that historians can spend too much time looking at what people have said and written, and not enough on the materials with which we have built modern society. I now understand why epochs in human history are defined by the stuff we have used (Dan Snow)

An ode to material science. Miodownik delves into the molecules and history of metal, paper, concrete and chocolate, finding poetry and beauty in the details. It's also about the ingenuity of humankind, the unique ability of humans to understand the materials around us, and to manipulate them (Alice Roberts)

Product Description

Stuff Matters by Mark Miodnownik is a unique and inspiring exploration of human creativity.



'Enthralling. A mission to re-acquaint us with the wonders of the fabric that sustains our lives' Guardian



Everything is made of something...



From the everyday objects in our homes to the most extraordinary new materials that will shape our future, Stuff Matters reveals the miracles of craft, design, engineering and ingenuity that surround us every day.



From the tea-cup to the jet engine, the silicon chip to the paper clip, from the ancient technologies of fabrics and ceramic to today's self-healing metals and bionic implants, this is a book to inspire amazement and delight at mankind's material creativity.



'A certain sort of madness may be necessary to pull off what he has attempted here, which is a wholesale animation of the inanimate: Miodownik achieves precisely what he sets out to' The Times



'Insightful, fascinating. The futuristic materials will elicit gasps. Makes even the most everyday substance seem exciting' Sunday Times



'Wonderful. Miodownik writes well enough to make even concrete sparkle' Financial Times



'I stayed up all night reading this book' Oliver Sacks



'Expert, deftly written, immensely enjoyable' Observer




Mark Miodownik is Professor of Materials and Society at UCL, scientist-in-residence on Dara O Briain's Science Club (BBC2) and presenter of several documentaries, including The Genius of Invention (BBC2). In 2010, he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, broadcast on BBC4. He is Director of the UCL Institute of Making, which is home to a materials library containing some of the most wondrous matter on earth, and has collaborated to make interactive events with many museums, such as Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery and Wellcome Collection.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1987 KB
  • Print Length: 259 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0241955181
  • Publisher: Penguin (6 Jun 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AM7E4L2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,490 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound stuff 9 Jun 2013
By B. M. Clegg TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
In my head there is a spectrum of interestingness for science that runs from geology to the really weird bits of physics. I have never yet found a popular science writer, however good, who can make geology truly interesting, while something like quantum physics is so fascinating (and strange) that it takes little effort to make it fascinating (though it's hard to make it comprehensible). Materials science - what I call `how stuff works' when talking to junior school children generally sits near to geology on that spectrum. But Mark Miodownik has managed the near-impossible and made it a deeply enjoyable read.

I thought things were going to be a bit dire when he starts with the story of how he was attacked as a teen with a razor blade on the London Underground and developed a fascination with the nature of metal, an opinion that wasn't helped by the rather self-indulgent approach of basing the book around a photograph of the author sitting on his roof terrace. But very soon the superb storytelling took over and we were into the fascinating world of Bessemer and the making of steel. In fact so well are the stories told throughout the book that the author's photograph of himself becomes an old friend and interesting as a focus. It really works.

The book has ten sections, covering metals, paper, concrete, chocolate, foam (particularly aerogel), plastic, glass, graphite, porcelain and rather bizarrely `implant' covering both bones and artificial items in the body like screws. These are all delightful excursions into the subjects with plenty of diversions along the way.

Two of the sections, paper and plastic, are weaker than the other because Miodownik decided to try a different format for the chapter.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making materials interesting 20 July 2013
By M. D. Holley TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an absolute joy to read from first to last, and is full of fascinating facts about materials science.

It is very thought provoking too, for example:

- how sharp is the division between living and non living matter?;
- should history be rewritten to take more account of materials?;
- has the relationship between humans, and the materials they use, been understated?
- will new materials science create unimagined futures for humankind?

Several examples are given of old fashioned materials staying in use despite the advantages of more modern materials. It got me pondering over the future of e books...

Although this is a book about science, Mark Miodownik retains a very human side throughout. He constantly stresses the human response to materials, to their sensuous properties. And he makes each chapter interesting though the human touch. A good example is the chapter on porcelain, introduced by a lovely little story of his own parents' wedding day, the bone china tea set they were given as a present, and the tea cup that fell of the floor without breaking on that first day.

I loved the chapter on concrete and the construction of the Shard!

The author was limited by the size of his book to only ten types of material. I do hope he writes a second instalment - there is surely a lot more he can teach us.

Thoroughly recommended
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple Science 9 Aug 2013
By G. Hood
Format:Hardcover
A scientist who writes so ordinary mortals can understand & much of the subjects were completely unknown to me before - I'll be reading it again very shortly
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating! 12 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A fascinating read that has encouraged me to rethink a lot. I genuinely walked around looking at some things a little differently just after I finished. I suspect someone more academic than me could gain more from this book, nevertheless I found more than enough in it to interest me, and I feel sure I will gain more each time I re-read it. Thanks Mark :o)
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stuff Matters 27 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting book and I have enjoyed reading it. It makes you appreciate the everyday things around you.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for nerds 8 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Absolutely excellent. Reveals the magic, the complexity and sometimes amazing history of materials that we take for granted in our everday lives. It also raises the question as to how some of the absolutely non-intuitive developments of stuff like glass and porcelain ever happed simply through random experimentation in the days when the physical and chemical properties of materials were hardly known.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There is a scene in Clayhanger when the hero and his school friend pause on a bridge to overlook the Five Towns, and Arnold Bennett comments on their ignorance of the industry that underpins their lives. This rang bells with me as I was born in the Black Country, but my school taught me little or nothing about the industries where my father and uncles worked. This is a book for all those whose education was similarly lacking. It is a fascinating story told with clarity and humour. Read it and deepen your understanding of the science and technology that make our world, and appreciate the miracles that have made our life so comfortable and expanded it so much.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great book 29 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book gives us both the history and the science surrounding 10 substances we nowadays exploit in our daily lives - or in some cases at the edge of science. Steel, paper, chocolate, aerogels, plastic, glass, and bodily implants (hip replacements and so on) in turn come under the microscope. The final chapter, attempting to bring together some themes, for me was the weakest spot - I did not find it that memorable.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Science is all "stuff" and it does matter!
Up to date for science teachers who are looking for stem based material. Excellent research resource for properties of matter and project work.
Published 17 days ago by Esther Feldman
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't pass this book up;buy it.
If you like popular science "stuff" as I do, this book ticks all the boxes. Martin Modownk has a lovely turn of phrase whilst explaining the various materials he brings... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Gene Savage
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended.
This is an easy to read informative trip around and through everyday materials that we have just taken for granted and a glimpse of what is coming down the track to change our... Read more
Published 2 months ago by veseylodge
5.0 out of 5 stars We love this book
After searching for eons for a popular science book on this fascinating subject, we saw Mark Miodownik do a talk at the Royal Institution and saw that he had written a book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by V. Berlin
5.0 out of 5 stars A Marvelous Read
I have not enjoyed a book so much in a very long time. 'Stuff matters' is beautifully written, and a number of the shorter sections - on paper for example - remind me of Primo... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dr. R. J. Simmonds
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining romp through the science of stuff
Mark Miodownik has written a highly entertaining and fascinating account of a subject that sounds like it ought to be really boring (my wife thought I was mad when I started to get... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mike in Sussex
5.0 out of 5 stars Why "Stuff Matters" matters
This is an excellent book, an introduction to the importance of materials in many aspects of modern life and the core of technical development in the history of our civilization. Read more
Published 4 months ago by ColinL
5.0 out of 5 stars Stuff Matters
I bought this book to use as research for my A level coursework but it is great for everyone to read! Miodownik is just as good a writer as he is a presenter. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Clare Proctor
5.0 out of 5 stars Very engaging
I read this book in one sitting. 'Interesting' is the best way to describe it. Things I haven't really thought about before were brought to life and you begin to look at things in... Read more
Published 8 months ago by RetroBinary
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book
A brilliant book. he makes it easy to understand wht materials act and look as they do. Well done Mark!
Published 9 months ago by Helen Pitman
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category