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THE USBORNE ILLUSTRATED DICTIONARY OF SCIENCE. By C Stockley, C Oxlade and J Wertheim. Revision editor K Rogers Usborne. pound;14.99

Strictly speaking, this is a reference book, not a dictionary. It is divided into Physics, Chemistry and Biology, then subdivided into major themes and topics, so related entries appear together. Look up Radiation, for instance, and it appears with Conduction, Convection and related topics, presented as a meaningful package with excellent illustrations. This arrangement works because there is an extensive index.Good value.

Douglas Newton is Professor of Education at Newcastle University

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