Search results: physics
This is a completely popular book about quantum physics: there is not a single equation in there, I think. What he does is to go through all the major ways in which we try to understand quantum physics, all the major interpretations. I think it’s the best, probably my favourite, popular account of all the things we argue about on the fundamental side of quantum physics.
Coinciding with the publication of his own ode to physics, The World According to Physics, theoretical physicist Jim Al-Khalili talks us through the books that inspired his own passion for physics, in an updated interview with Five Books.
“This book is an ode to physics. I first fell in love with physics when I was a teenager” —Jim Al-Khalili. In The World According to Physics, theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili continues his mission to explain physics so that the rest of us can understand it, taking readers through the three ‘pillars’ […]
This is a work of fiction that weaves in the whimsy of Einstein’s days as a patent clerk in Switzerland and the types of dreams he may have had. They are little fables that come from his dreams and that relate the theory of relativity to real life.
What are the best books for getting a teenager into physics? Kate Lee, Head of Physics at St Paul’s Girls School, recommends books about NASA, space travel, and the Big Bang—and puzzles the question of why it is so hard for young women to stay in physics as a profession.
Contemporary physics is so complex that no single physicist can be said to have a decent grasp of the full picture. This makes communicating physics a formidable challenge. Acclaimed popular science writer, Jim Baggott, talks us through this challenge by discussing his favourite physics books.
Blaming “the quants” for the 2008 financial crisis is simplistic and short-sighted, says the author of The Physics of Wall Street. He picks five books showing the contribution physics has made to understanding financial markets.
I think of this book as the gold standard of what ideas from mathematics and physics can do. He takes an incredibly difficult problem and applies an entirely novel way of thinking about it and offers concrete mathematical tools coming out of physics to bring that problem under control.
This book is perhaps the public debut of string theory – an attempt to explain how the best theories of the big and the small theories might be linked to explain the entire universe. The reason I think this is such a good book is that Greene does a very good job of explaining the current understanding physicists have of the universe. In other words I wanted to include a readable book about the universe.
Before Einstein, how the universe began was a question for theologians, not scientists. Over a century later, we know much more, but not enough to do more than guess at what happened at the moment of the Big Bang and immediately after. Astrophysicist Dan Hooper, author of At the Edge of Time—a book that explores dark energy, dark matter and other things we don’t yet understand—talks us through books about the Big Bang, and questions whether our entire understanding of the universe is about to be turned upside down.
We still understand very little about the workings of the brain, and yet we dismiss the tricks it can play on us as undeserving of the same sympathy as physical illness. Neurologist and author Suzanne O’Sullivan recommends the best books on psychosomatic illness.
The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next by Lee Smolin
His diagnosis about what’s happened in physics is that the string theory community became powerful when there was a lot of initial excitement about the programme, but then became entrenched and self-reinforcing.
Aah, the holidays! Time to lie on the grass and read the latest novel. Or are you looking for something more demanding? Physicist and popular science author Jim Al-Khalili, who has just written his first sci-fi thriller, Sunfall, suggests some highly readable science books for those who prefer their holiday reads to be nonfiction.
Postwar Europe was a scene of both physical and moral destruction. Keith Lowe, author of the award-winning Savage Continent, recommends essential reading for understanding the sheer scale of suffering, dislocation and fighting after the war was over.
Quizzical about the quantum? Convinced you can’t get your head around this seemingly baffling yet crucial area of modern science? The upcoming book Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime may well be your new go-to guide. In his latest book, Sean Carroll, physics professor at the California Institute of Technology, offers a […]
About ten years before Watson and Crick, Shroedinger asked this question: can I take this very simplistic way we have of thinking in physics, namely that we like to reduce everything to a very simple mathematical formula (which seems to work actually pretty well) and take that over to biology and start to understand some more complicated processes in terms of physics? The interesting thing there is that he concludes somewhere that classical Newtonian mechanics is probably not sufficient to understand biological things, and we might have to use the full quantum mechanics to understand that.
Public understanding of radiation needs to improve if people are to properly assess its benefits and risks argues author and academic, Timothy Jorgensen. From the discovery of radio to a cancer cluster in New Jersey, he chooses highly readable books illuminating different aspects of radiation.