The four parts are
Part1: Universe, Solar system and Earth
Part2: The world of physics and energy: Learning physical principles.
Part3: The world of chemistry: Of molecules and materials, Air around us and all about water.
Part4: Biology and life
In part1 readers are taken through an imaginary journey in space to let them know that we are all a part of the vast Universe.
They are introduced to the wonderful stars and constellations that make up the universe. We explore the different planets that make up our solar system and ask questions such as: Is life possible on other planets? Is there life on Mars? What are the criteria for evolution of life on a planet? These and more questions are answered in this topic. What is unique about our planet?
Why is the earth round? What do earth quake waves reveal? are some of concepts addressed in the topic on Earth.
In this topic we also examine the motions of the earth and the seasons. The topic helps in understanding certain difficult concepts like the layers of the earth, the earth as a rock factory and how soil is a precious natural resource which is to be conserved so that our planet does not turn into a desert.
The world of physics and energy: learning physical principles. As the title suggests this part examines important physical principles that govern many things familiar to us. It talks about physics from BC to AD, physics in ancient and medieval India to the dawn of modern physics. It tells about different people like Archimedes, Galileo, Newton and Einstein who through the ages have contributed to the understanding of natural phenomena. The various topics dealt here include force, motion, heat, light, sound electricity and magnetism. With the aid of simple experiments, difficult to understand concepts have been explained along with appropriate visuals/graphics.
Brief insights into the life and work of famous scientists like Galileo, Einstein, Michael Faraday, Humphry Davy and Thomas Edison have been provided as a stimulant towards these subjects in young students.
In the topic on energy, we examine the different forms of energy and how it can be transformed from one form to another.
How energy from the sun is used by all living beings on earth in the form of food, stored natural energy sources like wood, coal, petroleum and natural gas is explained. It illustrates the unequal energy divide in the modern world and the urgent need for conservation of energy. It shows how the various discoveries of Marconi, Morse, and Graham Bell changed the way people communicate and the efforts and achievements of inventors and pioneers changed forever the way human beings use transportation. Finally, we look at some future options that could yet help in sustaining life on our planet.
In the third part, The world of chemistry: Of molecules and materials, we examine why we should learn chemistry? And show how chemistry is everywhere and used in everyday life. An understanding of an element from the Greek and Indian concepts to the modern idea are presented.
What is a compound? How are substances in a mixture separated? How do atoms exist in nature? are some of the questions posed in some of the topics. In the section on water, we show how water- the cradle of life on earth, is a unique liquid. A few gases, their preparation and properties are dealt with in detail. How can we identify acids and bases? What is valence? are some concepts that are dealt in a simple manner.
Carbon, the essential element in nature forms the backbone of natural polymers and is an essential ingredient of synthetic materials that are used extensively in the modern world. Metals, man-made materials like cement, glass, ceramics, soap and fertilizers are examined for their usefulness in the modern world.
In the topic on Air around us, we learn about what is air made up of? How oxygen is the breath of life on earth, the crucial carbon dioxide level that sustains life on earth, the major role played by minor gases like ozone. We examine the different elements of weather, weather forecasting and the alarming changes in the atmosphere due to air pollution.
All about Water looks at various aspects of water, its distribution and the various sources of water. We show how the water cycle is essential in keeping this precious liquid from diminishing rapidly from our planet. The different properties of water, water pollution, purification and conservation of water are examined in depth.
Part 4 in the series deals with Biology and life. In this book we hope to instill in young minds the concept of a living world made up of wonderful variety of plants and different animal species and their relationship to sustain and nurture life.
Why is biology important? The living and the non-living-what is life? are some of the questions posed in this topic. From the simplest bacteria to the large multi-cellular organisms, how did life evolve form simple inanimate inorganic substances? The amazing plant kingdom deals with the evolution of plants, their relationship to insects, the structure of plants, the food factory of life on earth- the leaf, flowers, seeds.
Plants - as sources of food, energy and medicine are some of the concepts examined in a very simple manner accompanied with rich visuals.
From the seas to the land, the evolution of the vertebrates and the key adaptations required for their survival are examined in the “Origin of the animal kingdom”. In the topic Biology and life processes, we learn how living species are characterized by cells which play a crucial role in life processes. This topic examines the different plant tissues and their crucial role in the growth of plants.
Life processes may be common to all animals, but different animals adopt different methods are shown in detail. An interesting analogy of the vertebrate animal to a city is brought out to show the importance of the different processes that go on in living organisms to maintain order and growth. What is high blood pressure? What is a heart attack? Can Kidneys be replaced? are some of the interesting questions posed and answered in this topic. It examines the importance of energy sensors and also examines how microbes can be good or bad.
Molecules provide the basis for different processes in living organisms. Biology is studied both at the cellular and molecular levels.
They will be marketed all over India by National Book Trust.
About the Authors
Mrs. Indumati Rao
Mrs. Indumati Rao has received degrees & certificate from the Universities of Mysore, Kanpur, Purdue and Oxford. She has worked for over four decades in the field of education & has contributed to developing new methods of teaching and teaching aids. Mrs. Rao has worked as a geography expert in many institutions. She has participated in several teacher orientation programs conducted by the Karnataka state. She has authored books in geography. At present, she is the Honorary coordinator of the multimedia group at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.
C. N. R. Rao
C. N. R. Rao is Linus Pauling Research Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research and honorary professor at the Indian Institute of Science.
He was at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and is a visiting professor at University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a member of many science academies. He was President of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and also President of the Third World Academy of Sciences. He has received several medals and prizes which include the Marlow Medal, Centenary Fellowship of the American Chemical Society, Einstein Gold Medal of UNESCO, the Centenary Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, London and the Hughes medal of the Royal Society. He has published more than 1300 papers and authored 38 books and has been active in science education. He was awarded the Karnataka Ratna in 2001. He is the first recipient of the India Science Prize, the highest scientific award recently instituted by the Government of India, and the Dan David International Prize for Science (2005). He was awarded the `Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur’, the highest civilian award of France (2005). He was also named the `Chemical Pioneer of 2005’ by the American Institute of chemists, USA.