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Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology Hardcover – July 28, 2015

4.5 out of 5 stars 427 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for New York Times Bestseller Life on the Edge
 
"Remarkable...Life on the Edge is a fascinating and thought-provoking book that combines solid science, reasonable extrapolation from the known into the unknown, and plausible speculation to give an accessible overview of a revolutionary transformation in our understanding of the living world."
Wall Street Journal

"The elemental provocation of the book lies in the authors' ability to make the complex conceivable... McFadden and Al-Khalili give sure footing to the anything-goes bafflement of quantum theory."
Kirkus Reviews

"McFadden and Al-Khalili draw readers into a revolutionary new paradigm. . . An intellectually exhilarating visit to the baffling frontiers of science!"
Booklist [starred]

"The book elegantly opens up a new way of looking at nature."
The Independent; “Books of the Year”
 
"A really original science book about a new field of research ... Groundbreaking."
Financial Times, “Books of the Year”
 
"Coherence is just one of the complex phenomena that Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden set out to teach the reader. They succeed by using delightfully revealing analogies and similes, some borrowed from their prior work, that make slippery concepts sit still for study."
The Economist
 
"Hugely ambitious ... the skill of the writing provides the uplift to keep us aloft as we fly through the strange and spectacular terra incognita of genuinely new science."
The Times (UK)
 
"Physicist Jim Al-Khalili and molecular biologist Johnjoe McFadden explore this extraordinary realm with cogency and wit."
Nature Magazine
 
"This thrilling book is an overview of a field that barely exists ... Al-Khalili has a genius for illustrating complex ideas via imaginative sidetracks."
The Sunday Telegraph
 
“The great virtue of this book is its thesis – it sets out a clear and enthusiastic argument for the importance of quantum biology.”
New Scientist
 
"Life on the Edge gives the clearest account I've ever read of the possible ways in which the very small events of the quantum world can affect the world of middle-sized living creatures like us. With great vividness and clarity it shows how our world is tinged, even saturated, with the weirdness of the quantum."
—Philip Pullman
 
"This illuminating account of an important new field is a wonderfully educative read."
—A C Grayling
 
 

About the Author

Johnjoe McFadden is Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Surrey and is the editor of several leading text books. For over a decade, he has specialized in examining tuberculosis and meningitis, inventing the first successful molecular test for the latter. He is the author of Quantum Evolution and co-editor of Human Nature: Fact and Fiction.

Jim Al-Khalili OBE is an academic, author, and broadcaster. He is a leading theoretical physicist based at the University of Surrey, where he teaches and carries out research in quantum mechanics. He has written a number of popular science books, including Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science. He has presented several television and radio documentaries, including the BAFTA-nominated Chemistry: A Volatile History and The Secret Life of Chaos.

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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
427 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on April 1, 2018
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33 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on June 30, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on August 27, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2015
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Top international reviews

Marcus
5.0 out of 5 stars A clear and exciting introduction to quantum biology
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 7, 2018
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A. Frost
3.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 23, 2019
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Pen Name
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and an insight in what is to come?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 27, 2020
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Mr. G. Savage
5.0 out of 5 stars Pitched perfectly for an insight into a new science
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 24, 2019
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Myrra
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring book without answers - don't read if you're not prepared for this situation :-)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2017
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a must-read because of the fascinating content, but some things could have been presented better.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 27, 2016
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Lew Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars A quantum illumination of the processes that drive the natural world
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 7, 2017
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andrewmartin172
5.0 out of 5 stars and enjoy a challenge
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 11, 2015
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David Dwight
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and convincing presentation. I thought that most ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 19, 2014
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3.0 out of 5 stars Some possible answers
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 22, 2017
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Valentina Ferro
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for biophysicists
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 15, 2015
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Alex Y
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but inconsistent
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 9, 2015
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Michel Lesouris
5.0 out of 5 stars The Quantum World - weird but IT JUST WORKS
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 26, 2018
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stephen o'connor
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 11, 2019
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Peter Gawthorpe
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Fantastic, Wonderful. 10 stars, not 5.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 21, 2015
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