Storm in a Teacup: The physics of everyday life

Published by Transworld in UK & Commonwealth
- available from November 2016

What is it that helps both scorpions and cyclists to survive? What do raw eggs and gyroscopes have in common? And why does it matter? In an age of string theory, fluid dynamics and biophysics, it can seem as if the science of our world is only for specialists and academics. Not so, insists Helen Czerski – and in this sparkling new book she explores the patterns and connections that illustrate the grandest theories in the smallest everyday objects and experiences. Linking what makes popcorn pop to Antarctic winds, coffee stains to blood tests or ketchup bottles to aliens in space, every thread you pull in the fabric of everyday life shows you something new about the intricate patterns of our world. Read "Storm in a Teacup" and you will see and understand the world as you never did before.


"A quite delightful book on the joys, and universality, of physics. Czerski’s enthusiasm is infectious because she brings our humdrum everyday world to life, showing us that it is just as fascinating as anything that can be seen by the Hubble Telescope or created at the Large Hadron Collider." (Jim Al-Khalili)

"If you've ever felt like understanding how things work is just too big a mountain to climb then read this book. It'll carry you gently to the peak and show you how stunning and beautiful the view is. It is rare that someone can explain that which seems endlessly complex and makes you feel like in fact you'd understood it all along. Helen Czerski's book does just that. Fun, fascinating and brilliantly well written - 'Right there, in my teacup, I can see the storm.' Me too and I know what it is now." (Marcus Brigstocke)

Buy online: Amazon, Waterstones, Hive.

Or get the unabridged audio book here, narrated by Chloe Massey. (10 hours 14 minutes)

Published by WW Norton in the US
- available from January 2017

A physicist explains daily phenomena from the mundane to the magisterial.

Did you know you can unveil the secrets of our universe using your toaster? Have you ever wondered how water travels from the roots of a redwood tree to its crown, how ducks keep their feet warm when walking on ice, or why milk, when added to tea, looks like billowing storm clouds?

In Storm in a Teacup, Helen Czerski answers the “whys” behind everyday life and shows the surprisingly simple ways to test the properties that govern our universe. By linking ordinary objects and occurrences―like popcorn popping, coffee stains, or refrigerator magnets―to big ideas like climate change, the energy crisis, or innovative new medical testing, she gives us the tools to alter the way we see the world. In an engaging voice that is at once warm and witty, Czerski shares her stunning breadth of knowledge to lift the veil of familiarity from the ordinary.

Review in The Wall Street Journal

" ideal gift for any scientifically inquisitive person, including children or adults who retain a child's sense of wonder. Robert Hooke would have loved it."
John Gribbin

John Gribbin reviews “Storm in a Teacup”($). Also available here.

"Storm in a Teacup" is available now in the US here, or via iBooks.