Science Publications

We are a start-up with a big dream: increase the global scientific literacy as a means to support and promote education among the underrepresented.

To achieve this we have started Quaternion, a small publishing company that works with a simple business model: we create books to disseminate scientific knowledge and we dedicate part of the revenue to fund projects that promote diversity and inclusion in the STEM field.

A group of code-breakers worked at Bletchley Park, a top secret British decryption center created during World War II. Scientists like Alan Turing, Hugh Alexander and William Tutte have been extensively celebrated and are known to many. However, the names of a large number of women code-breakers remained in the shadow. About two thirds of all code-breakers working at Bletchley Park were indeed women. They had a variety of expertises, some being mathematicians, programmers or linguist experts. Their role was essential to the success of the British intelligence operations. More on this project →

Several of you might have heard about NASA’s human computers, the story of the African American women who helped NASA lead the space program. This story was brilliantly brought on screen in 2016 by film directory Theodore Melfi with the movie “Hidden Figures”. Our current project is a tribute book to Katherine Johnson, the leader of the “human computers” who worked behind the scene for NASA during the 60s and through the 80s. Katherine Johnson’s Story is a tribute book that presents a selection of the 26 scientific papers and reports written by K. Johnson, retyped and restyled. New high quality figures are included and the volume presents a new biography of the great scientist plus a detailed commentary on each report that will help the reader to understand the meaning and significance of her calculations. More on this project

The first project we produced with original content is a journey through the solar system. The past few decades have seen a leap forward in our understanding of the objects that populate our neighborhood. Remember those old days when the solar system had nine planets, few moons and a bunch of rocks orbiting in the asteroid belt? Tens of minor planets beyond Neptune, moons with subsurface oceans with more water than it exists on Earth, deep lakes of methane scattered across the surface of Titan are among the new wonders of the solar system. In this book we have described all new findings for every known object of the solar system: the Sun, the eight main planets & their moons, trojans, centaurs, dwarf planets and comets and much more. We have extended the book with an appendix on the fabulous recent discoveries on exoplanets, with a special focus on those with high Earth similarity index. Thanks to our expertise in computer graphics, we have included some new illustrations of exoplanets like the famous Trappist-1 system.

In 2020 we also published a new translation of the PhD thesis written in French by Marie Skłodowska Curie. Although the first version of her dissertation can be found in several existing English translations, we discovered that the revised (and thus final) version had never been translated to English. In this new version you will find several corrections to her previous work, new illustrations and her speech at the Vassar College, NY, in which she describes the struggles she went through during her brilliant career.

In the works: a new textbook on radiative processes for students of physics and astronomy. Our goal is to modernize classical textbooks (such as Radiative Processes by Rybicki & Lightman) and is based on the lectures given in the past five years at the University of Leiden and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

The Classics

We also restored and republished several scientific books of historical significance. Sketch of the Analytical Engine. Translation and Notes by Ada Lovelace is a masterpiece that contains the first computer program ever written. The First Six Books of the Elements is a wonderfully illustrated explanation of the first six books of Euclid’s Elements by the author Oliver Byrne. Worlds within Worlds is a concise and clear explanation of nuclear energy by the great author and chemist Isaac Asimov. The Origin of Continents and Oceans is the original work of the German scientist Alfred Wegener who introduced the idea of continental drift, that was at first rejected by his peers.

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