Storm in a Teacup by Helen Czerski
(Transworld, 2016)

Storm in a Teacup

by Helen Czerski

Every chapter of this book begins with an utterly familiar object – corn popping in a pan, a coffee stain, a glass of lemonade. Each object is the starting point for a journey into a different aspect of the structure of the world: the gas laws, scale, time, waves and gravity. Helen Czerski will show you how popcorn emerges from the same matrix of physical laws that produces storms and cyclones, and how the bubbles in a cup of tea are produced by the very system that circulates energy around our planet’s atmosphere.

By linking the small things to the big things, The Storm in a Teacup will alter the way readers see the world. It is also a manifesto for a new sort of science writing: rather than simply handing down knowledge, Helen wants readers to come away from the book and feel empowered to make their own observations: “Once you’ve found a single loose thread, you can pull it to unravel a vast tapestry.”

Most importantly, it’s enormous fun.

This is a book about the underlying nature of the world for an audience of readers beyond popular science, by a writer who is becoming a star in her field.


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 OBE, Professor of Physics and the Public Engagement in Science, University of Surrey
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
This book is charming, accessible and enthusiastic. Helen invites you in to see the world through her eyes and understand how a physicist thinks. It's a wonderful way to discover the hidden scientific connections behind the ordinary and everyday.”
- Dr Hannah Fry
Helen Czerski has a remarkable knack for finding scientific wonders under every rock, alongside every raindrop, and inside every grain of sand.”
- Jordan Ellenberg
The written equivalent of a spectrum beaming out from a prism. Thanks to Helen’s brilliantly engaging book you’ll never consider anything to be mundane or ordinary again.”
- Jon Culshaw