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Liquid: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives Hardcover – 6 Sept. 2018

4.7 out of 5 stars 67 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • Liquid: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives
  • +
  • Stuff Matters: The Strange Stories of the Marvellous Materials that Shape Our Man-made World
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  • Exactly: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World
Total price: £42.70
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Review

Miodownik packs this delightful book with so much 'well, I never knew that' information. Not only does he know his stuff but, just as importantly, he knows how to tell a good story. A truly delightful read (Jim Al-Khalili, author of Paradox)

It's a little known fact that liquids are the coolest state of matter. And if anyone can spread that message all around him, it's Mark Miodownik. From ink to saliva, coffee to soap, this is an exhilarating, eye-opening ride. (Philip Ball, science writer and author of H2O: A Biography of Water)

A brilliantly navigated journey through the scientific marvels of the fluid world, from coffee to kerosene, from tea to tar, from honey to hydrophobia, from peanut butter to perfluorocarbons. A thrilling read, from start to finish (Tim Radford, author of The Consolations of Physics: Why the Wonders of the Universe Can Make You Happy)

Miodownik is a materials scientist, but really he is an alchemist; he transforms knowledge of everyday stuff into literary gold. His book on liquids oozes brilliance on every page (Alex Bellos, author of Alex Through the Looking Glass)

This book delivers exactly what it promises . . . It's a treat. I lost count of the number of "but why?" questions it answers . . . This is a winning and hugely readable book (James McConnachie The Sunday Times)

Once again, Miodownik has written a book much like the substances it describes: exciting, anarchic and surprising. Like the sea, it covers a lot of ground. And like a perfectly made cup of tea, it is warm, comforting and very refreshing (Katy Guest The Guardian)

Miodownik yet again makes the seemingly mundane awe-inspiring. I'll never look at a ballpoint pen the same way again (Kelly and Zach Weinersmith, New York Times-bestselling authors of Soonish)

Mark Miodownik flies high again in Liquid. It's a treat to see the world through his eyes as he flows from topic to topic, and under his gaze even the most mundane things-ballpoint pens, ketchup bottles, a cup of tea-sizzle with significance (Sam Kean, New York Times-bestselling author of The Disappearing Spoon and Caesar’s Last Breath)

Miodownik's appeal comes not only from his ability to explain the complexities of science and engineering but also from his acute social observations . . . original and entertaining (Clive Cookson Financial Times)

Miodownik uses a routine transatlantic flight from London to San Francisco - and the liquids that he encounters on the way - as a vehicle for a sparkling exposition of materials in science and engineering. His lively analysis takes in kerosene fuel, wines from the drinks trolley, glues holding the aircraft together, the entertainment system's liquid crystal display, clouds outside the cabin, and much more besides.) (FT Books of the Year 2018)

From the Inside Flap

By the author of the prize-winning Stuff Matters

A series of glasses of transparent liquids is in front of you: but which will quench your thirst and which will kill you? And why? Why does one make us drunk, and another power a jumbo jet?

This fascinating new book by the bestselling scientist and engineer Mark Miodownik is an expert tour of the world of the droplets, heartbeats and ocean waves that we come across every day. Structured around a plane journey which sees encounters with substances from water and glue to coffee and wine, he shows how these liquids can bring death and destruction as well as wonder and fascination.

From László Bíró's revolutionary pen and Abraham Gesner's kerosene to cutting-edge research on self-repairing roads and liquid computers, Miodownik uses his winning formula of scientific storytelling to bring the everyday to life. He reveals why liquids can flow up a tree but down a hill, why oil is sticky, how waves can travel so far, and how to make the perfect cup of tea.

Here are the secret lives of substances that we rely on but rarely understand.


From the Publisher

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
67 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 January 2019
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Top international reviews

shreekant joshi
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating laws of nature about how and why liquids behave the way they do.
Reviewed in India on 25 February 2020
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Gianluca Cicala
4.0 out of 5 stars Liquid: the delightful and dangerous substances
Reviewed in Italy on 24 December 2018
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AQUARIUS
2.0 out of 5 stars Congealed
Reviewed in Australia on 23 January 2019
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tony wool
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and informative
Reviewed in Italy on 26 July 2019
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book about materials
Reviewed in India on 3 November 2019
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Robert Ray
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun and interesting but not very deep
Reviewed in the United States on 9 November 2018
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RexD
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book of 2018
Reviewed in the United States on 13 January 2019
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Adam Childs
3.0 out of 5 stars Neither here nor there
Reviewed in the United States on 7 January 2019
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Happyasaclam
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to learn about material science
Reviewed in the United States on 18 April 2019
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A M
5.0 out of 5 stars The book explains many phenomena in a clear and "user-friendly" language.
Reviewed in the United States on 31 May 2019
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Walter Hentze
5.0 out of 5 stars Miodownik Does It Again!
Reviewed in the United States on 20 August 2019
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Fastcat
4.0 out of 5 stars Good flight!
Reviewed in the United States on 1 November 2019
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John Fernandes
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon has the best deals anywhere.
Reviewed in the United States on 8 February 2019
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