Science in Society Archive

“Probably the Most Important Book for the Coming Scientific Revolution”

The Rainbow and the Worm
The Physics of Organisms

Third Edition now available

Now in its Third Edition
First Edition 1993
Second Edition 1998, reprinted 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006

This highly unusual, widely acclaimed book began as a serious enquiry into quantum physicist Erwin Schrõdinger's question, “What is life”, and as a celebration of life itself. It takes you through many areas of contemporary physics, from non-equilibrium thermodynamics and quantum optics to liquid crystals and fractals, all necessary for illuminating the problem of life. In the process, the reader is treated to a rare and exquisite view of the organism, gaining novel insights not only into the physics, but also “the poetry and meaning of being alive.”

This much enlarged third edition includes new findings on the central role of biological water in organising living processes, and also completes the author's theory of the organism and its applications in ecology, physiology and brain science.


  • What is It to be Alive?
  • Do Organisms Contravene the Second Law?
  • Can the Second Law Cope with Organized Complexity?
  • Energy Flow and Living Cycles
  • How to Catch a Falling Electron
  • Towards a Thermodynamics of Organized Complexity
  • Sustainable Systems as Organisms
  • The Seventy-Three Octaves of Nature's Music
  • The Coherent Excitation of the Body Electric
  • The Solid State Cell
  • "Life is a Little Electric Current"
  • How Coherent is the Organism? The Heartbeat of Health
  • How Coherent is the Organism? Sensitivity to Weak Electromagnetic Fields
  • Life is All the Colours of the Rainbow in a Worm
  • The Liquid Crystalline Organism
  • Crystal Consciousness
  • Liquid Crystalline Water
  • Quantum Entanglement and Coherence
  • The Ignorance of the External Observer
  • Time and Freewill

More details on the book can be found here

Special offers on the book and the Quantum Jazz DVD can be found here

Article first published 08/08/08

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