Life on the Edge - Johnjoe McFadden & Jim Al-Khalili

Life on the Edge

By Johnjoe McFadden & Jim Al-Khalili

  • Release Date: 2015-07-28
  • Genre: Physics
Score: 4.5
From 21 Ratings


New York Times bestseller • Life on the Edge alters our understanding of our world's fundamental dynamics through the use of quantum mechanics.

Life is the most extraordinary phenomenon in the known universe; but how did it come to be? Even in an age of cloning and artificial biology, the remarkable truth remains: nobody has ever made anything living entirely out of dead material. Life remains the only way to make life. Are we still missing a vital ingredient in its creation?

Using first-hand experience at the cutting edge of science, Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe Macfadden reveal that missing ingredient to be quantum mechanics. Drawing on recent ground-breaking experiments around the world, each chapter in Life on the Edge illustrates one of life's puzzles: How do migrating birds know where to go? How do we really smell the scent of a rose? How do our genes copy themselves with such precision? Life on the Edge accessibly reveals how quantum mechanics can answer these probing questions of the universe.

Guiding the reader through the rapidly unfolding discoveries of the last few years, Al-Khalili and McFadden describe the explosive new field of quantum biology and its potentially revolutionary applications, while offering insights into the biggest puzzle of all: what is life? As they brilliantly demonstrate in these groundbreaking pages, life exists on the quantum edge.

Winner, Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication


  • A Good Read

    By TDQMReader
    Engagingly written, explaining the theories of quantum mechanical processes in the living world. Fascinating, fun reading. At the very end, the discussion about creating life - living buildings and living entities that would remove the drudgery from our lives - avoids any mention of negative consequences, like what happens if these things evolve, as living things do. Still, a thoroughly enjoyable, thought-provoking book.