The stone age, the iron age, the steam and electrical ages all saw the reach of humankind transformed by new technology. Now we are living in the quantum age, a revolution in everyday life led by our understanding of the very, very small. Today, technologies based on quantum physics account for 30 per cent of US GDP, and yet quantum particles such as atoms, electrons and photons remain enigmatic, acting totally unlike the objects we experience directly. Weird quantum behaviour is also essential to nature. From the mechanism of the Sun to quantum biology in our eyesight, photosynthesis in plants and the ability of birds to navigate, quantum effects are key. Quantum physics lies at the heart of every electronic device, every smartphone and laser, and now quantum superconductors have moved out of the lab to make levitating trains and MRI scanners possible, while soon superfast, ultra-secure quantum computers may be a reality. Acclaimed popular science author Brian Clegg brings his trademark clarity and enthusiasm to a book that will give the world around you a new sense of wonder.
Brian's most recent book is The Quantum Age. He has written many other science titles, including the bestselling Inflight Science, The God Effect, Before the Big Bang, Ecologic, A Brief History of Infinity, Build Your Own Time Machine, The Universe Inside You, Gravity, Extra Sensory and Dice World, which is on the longlist for the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.
Born in Rochdale, Lancashire, UK, Brian read Natural Sciences (specializing in experimental physics) at Cambridge University. After graduating, he spent a year at Lancaster University where he gained a second MA in Operational Research, a discipline developed during the Second World War to apply mathematics and probability to warfare and since widely applied to business problem solving.
From Lancaster, he joined British Airways, where he formed a new department tasked with developing hi-tech solutions for the airline. His emphasis on innovation led to working with creativity guru Dr. Edward de Bono, and in 1994 he left BA to set up his own creativity consultancy, running courses on the development of ideas and the solution of business problems. His clients include the BBC, the Met Office, Sony, GlaxoSmithKline, the Treasury, Royal Bank of Scotland and many others.
Brian has also written regular columns, features and reviews for numerous magazines and newspapers, including The Observer, Playboy, Nature, The Times, Personal Computer World, BBC Focus, BBC History, Good Housekeeping and House Beautiful. His books have been translated into many languages, including German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Norwegian, and Indonesian.
Brian has given sell-out lectures at the Royal Institution in London and has spoken at venues from Oxford and Cambridge Universities to Cheltenham Festival of Science. He has also contributed to radio and TV programs, and is a popular speaker at schools. Brian is also editor of the successful www.popularscience.co.uk book review site and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Brian lives in Wiltshire with his wife and twin children. When not writing, he spends time on music, having a passion for Tudor and Elizabethan church music.