Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Physics: An Illustrated History of the Foundations of Science

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Review - Physics: An Illustrated History of the Foundations of Science

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About the Book
Just in time for the holidays...the fourth book from the new Ponderables™ series is here! Great gifts for anyone from 9.... to 99....

Physics: An Illustrated History of the Foundations of Science (Shelter Harbor Press, Oct 2013) is an authoritative reference book and timeline, filled with 100 milestone facts upon which all scientific knowledge rests. Without physics, everything else – from astronomy to zoology – would be meaningless conjecture.

The thoughts and deeds of great thinkers always make great stories. Each story relates a confounding puzzle, a “ponderable”, a weighty problem that became a discovery and changed the way we understand the world and our place in it.

Our high-tech, inter-connected world is built on these Ponderables™, growing, changing step-by-step into an ever clearer picture of reality. "PHYSICS" is one of these great stories.

"PHYSICS" follows physics through the ages as great scientists, such as Thales, Galileo, Feynman, and many others, gradually unpick the fabric of the Universe to reveal an array of fundamental forces, intangible particles and indestructible energy. Today, physics discoveries make headline news as we confirm the fresh mysteries of the Higgs boson, supersymmetry, and dark energy.

Physics deals with basics – space, matter, energy – and combines them to create forces, motion, heat, light, and everything else in the Universe. The development of physics is a story of many chapters, each adding to our understanding of the way the Universe functions:

  • Archimedes has the original Eureka moment while taking a bath when he figures out the way objects float or sink.
  • By complete accident, Luigi Galvani turns freshly cut frogs legs into a simple battery and sparks humankind’s link to electricity.
  • Heinrich Hertz invents a way to send and receive invisible radio waves, and his name is immortalized in the frequencies of the world’s radio stations.
  • In just one miraculous year, Albert Einstein provides the first observable proof that atoms exist, reveals the mechanism behind light, and explains how space and time are really the same thing!

PHYSICS is an authoritative and lively text lavished with exciting imagery and helpful diagrams accompany each of the steps along the way to make complex physics accessible to everyone. It includes a removable fold-out concertina neatly housed at the back of the book: a 12-page Timeline History of Physics on one-side and 12 pages detailing the Système International (SI), a set of units that can measure anything in the Universe, on the other side.

Tom Jackson is a science author based in the United Kingdom. He has written more than 80 books and contributed to many more, covering everything from axolotls to Zoroastrianism. He studied zoology at the University of Bristol, and still lives in that city with his wife and three children, where he can be found mainly in the attic.

My Take on the Book
This was a great book that taught me so much! I never took Physics when I was younger, and while I knew some of the concepts, I was floored by how much I did not know. Another thing that I really liked was how this book talked directly to the reader and explained the concepts in a way that everyone could understand. Filled with amazing images you get drawn further into the book with each page that goes by. Each page itself makes you think about the issue/question that was being asked. As you "ponder" these issues, you learn so much! This makes me want to check out some of the other Ponderables books too!

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