How does soap know what's dirt? How do magnets work? Why do ice cubes crackle in your glass? And how can you keep them quiet?
These are questions that torment us all. Now Robert L. Wolke, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, provides definitive - and amazingly simple - explanations for the mysteries of everyday life. Shattering myths (such as the common belief that salt melts the ice in your driveway)... providing insider secrets (like what lights up a neon sign)... and daring you to perform your own experiments (find out what happens when you use a sharp knife to scratch the inside of a beer glass filled with brew!), Dr. Wolke provides astounding facts, can't-lose bar bets, and sometimes shocking truths.
Why is the sky blue? A candle flame yellow? Or bleached clothes white? Don't stay in the dark. When it comes to unraveling the mysteries of modern living, maybe Einstein didn't know. But you can - even if you've never lit a Bunsen burner - with this fascinating, eye-opening book about our astonishing world.
©1997 Robert L. Wolke (P)2012 Tantor
Show More Show Less

Critic reviews

"Entertaining... a fun read." (The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Show More Show Less

Regular price: £25.09

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Privacy Notice.

Buy Now for £25.09

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Privacy Notice.
No Reviews are Available

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Theodore on 02-06-13

"Little Bit Of Everything" Science

This book is just a group of random science based questions about regular everyday phenomena. In all honesty you might never have thought about some of the "whys" that are answered in this book but once they are answered you find yourself nodding your head in agreement.

Robert Wolke simply seems to just think of random science questions related to everyday occurrences and answers them. I like Science... In fact I studied Chemistry at the University level so I very much liked this whole book. I was actually quite impressed at how he was able to make rather complex concepts sound quite easy. If I were doing High School level Science I believe this actually have been a good overview of everything science to make Science seem more relatable to everyday life and less abstract.

One thing I have to take away from this book is the lack of structure. Yes there was some semblance of what I just mentioned but it was generally broken up to inject some sense of humor or some added info. It was fun at times and did break up the monotony of what could easily have been a drawling book of random facts; however it also broke the flow at times. You will either love this about the book... hate this about the book or find it just plain annoying.

The narrator dry humor actually added to the listening value of the book and made it rather enjoyable to listen to. I might be a bit biased because I am a big fan of Sean Runnette from the Mark Tufo's Zombie Fallout books.

All in all, this was a nice book to listen to.

Read more Hide me

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Joseph on 01-10-12

A funny thing happened on the way to a great book

What Einstein Didn’t Know is a book filled with the wonders of science in an easily digestible meal of molecule sized bites. Robert Wolke knows how to explain the mysteries of every day life by demystifying the science behind it.

But this would have been a better book without the constant injections of humour. Most of these attempts, I thought, fell flat and distracted from the real value of the prose. In addition, the author seemed to have issues with a list of professions which were the butt of many of his quips; lawyers, marketers, government and other easy targets. Sean Runnette, an excellent narrator, also seemed to struggle with this mix of “science explained” and “stand up comedy”.

As I write this review I remember many of the excellent explanations of atoms, molecules and ions and a few of the analogies to explain them, but none of the jokes.

Read more Hide me

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

See all reviews