"One of our most versatile and gripping science writers." John Carey

An essay in Entangle: Physics and the Artistic Imagination ed. Ariane Koek. (Hatje Cantz Verlay, 2019). Available here.

Catalogue essay for the exhibition When Red Disappears by artist Elspeth Diederix (Fw:Books, 2019). See here. (The book is gorgeous!)

An essay for the exhibition The City is the City by the Dream Adoption Society, Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, Warsaw, 2019. Available here.

Essay for the book The Genealogy of Color by artist Emilia Azcarate (Turner Editions, 2019).

Contains my essays on the thermodynamics of life and on quantum reconstructions. MIT Press, November 2018.

A chapter in What's Next?, edited by Jim Al-Khalili. Profile Books, 2017. Available here.

Entries in 30-Second Einstein (ed. B. Clegg). Ivy Press, New York, 2016.

Entries in 30-Second Physics (ed. B. Clegg). Ivy Press, New York, 2016.


20160107 these are the discoveries that made stephen hawking famous

20160115 how many more chemical elements are there for us to find

20160229 the place where you can walk through the universe



20120217 how genetic origami shapes us all

20120302 body shock the energy inside

20120316 the soundtrack of our emotions

20120329 can the laws of physics change

20120413 climate control switches

20120427 when is a colour not a colour

20120511 pearls of wisdom

20120525 keeping eyes on litter

20120611 greener cleaner fireworks

20120622 a laser fix for asteroid threats

20120705 remote control protein factories

20120713 why all men are not created equal

20120816 can snoring reveal an illness

20120831 written in the stars

20120907 lasers made from silk

20120926 what causes lightening

20121012 combating cancers conversations

20121025 language lessons from twitter

20121109 the power of science friction

20121121 the sweet smell of whale poo

20121212 how to boost a vaccine campaign

20121220 science solves cutting edge issue

20130116 the hidden patterns in nature

20130124 will we ever get quantum theory

20130129 how are we wired for sound

20130218 diamond idea for quantum computer

20130304 the trouble with cloud seeding

20130313 science behind vaticans smoke

20130315 a better way to learn chinese

20130329 tiny glass bottles protect dna

20130411 want to be happy travel further

20130418 why does music make us feel good

20130429 how to teach a fish to count

20130510 nature maths better origami

20130524 zapping bacteria the wireless way

20130607 the accidental role of cow dung

20130623 how pearls get their round shape

20130709 unmask crime networks with data

20130722 revolution in paris street design

20130827 paper thin speakers on the cards

20130906 blow to idea of living on moon

20130920 how cold is space really

20131007 light control drugs to fight bugs

20131021 the medieval facebook revealed

20131105 is shape shifting possible

20131203 could black holes provide energy

20131219 can astronauts cook fries

20140115 sex in the brain fruitless hunt

20140212 why birds crash into car screens

20140313 the benefits of talking vague

20140409 why marathons are like road jams

20140423 is music really all about sex

20140520 winter weather more predictable

20140619 the hidden drugs under your feet

20140708 when crowd wisdom goes wrong

20140808 music like never heard before

20140915 is this the ultimate camouflage

20141024 what makes barcelona so special

20141204 the weirdness of everyday liquids

20150320 the best and oddest science music

20150610 blue energy how mixing water can create electricity

20150724 the problem with the turing test

20151014 the chinese are obsessed with building giant dams

"Nineteenth Century Colour: Chemistry and the New Rainbow", in Colour in the Making. Black Dog, 2013. -  Colore. Una biografia. Tra arte storia e chimica, la bellezza e i misteri del mondo del colore - di Philip Ball - Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Colour - Philip Ball

Entries in 30-Second Quantum Theory (ed. B. Clegg). Ivy Press, New York, 2014.

"From Symbol to Substance: The Technologies of Light", in Light Show (exhibition catalogue). Hayward Publishing, London, 2013.

Entries in 30-Second Elements (ed. E. Scerri). Metro Books, New York, 2013.

"Making Stuff: From Bacon to Bakelite", chapter in Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society, ed. Bill Bryson (HarperPress, 2010). Amazon Bestseller (Sales Rank 56 - at time of writing)

"Water in Science and Scientific Discovery", chapter in A History of Water, Series II, Vol. 1: Ideas of Water from Antiquity to Modern Times, eds Terje Tvedt & Terje Oestigaard. I.B. Tauris, London, 2010.

I was an author and editor of the European Commission Expert Group report on Synthetic Biology (2005), available from the EC at Office SDME 01/37, B-1049 Brussels, Belgium.

My article on "Climate change" from the February 2000 issue of Prospect is reprinted in the 2005 compilation Thinking Allowed: The Best of Prospect 1995-2005 (Atlantic, 2005).

"Molecular Biomimetics", chapter in Encyclopedia of Supramolecular Chemistry (Marcel Dekker, 2004).

Entries in Within The Stone, a selection of essays and texts to accompany images of minerals by photographer Bill Atkinson (BrownTrout, 2004).

"Life's matrix", chapter in Water (a compilation) (Hoffmann & Campe, 2003).

Book covers

News from Philip


"Why physics is not a discipline", Nautilus 21 April. Available here.