Over 90 percent of all visible living matter is plant life. Plants clean the air, provide food and fuel, fibers for clothing, and pharmaceuticals. Interweaving themes that emphasize biology and physics, the book explains how plants cannot be fully understood without examining how physical forces and processes influence growth, development, reproduction, evolution, and the environment.

In a "Chats in the Stacks" book talk, Karl J. Niklas, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Plant Biology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, discusses his new book "Plant Physics" (University of Chicago Press, April 2012). The book, the result of a long-term collaboration between plant evolutionary biologist Niklas and physicist Hanns-Christof Spatz, is unique in the field of biomechanics and a valuable reference for researchers interested in how plants work from a physical perspective.