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Paperback Physics For the Rest of Us Book

ISBN: 0809237164

ISBN13: 9780809237166

Physics For the Rest of Us

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Offers a humanistic and cultural view of modern physics.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A book your friends will try to borrow from you

I took this book on a beach vacation, and was so happy I did - it engrossed me more than I was expecting, and quickly became the envy of my trip-mates...the idea that I could now explain what the speed of light really was was so appealing.This book does just what it says it will - you'll come away with understanding of the major concepts in physics you always felt uneducated for not knowing.

Great introduction to physics

As I read this book, it clearly explained many of the things I wanted to finally know about and understand. From the equation E=mc2, to the concept of space-time and the quantum theory, this is a very great book, that was able to actually teach me about the theory of relativity and many other things. So I highly recommend this book to those whom are curious about what E=mc2 means, or what space-time is, or what the quantum theory is all about. The book also shows how all of this physics has impacted our lives and thus, why physics is so important, and even has a chapter on science v.s. religion. So this should be the #1 book for those whom are curious about the world of physics, whether they are experts on the subject or not. You need not be an expert on physics or even know anything of physics to understand and enjoy this book.

More than physics

From reading the earlier customer reviews (none more recent than Jan., 2001), one might assume that this book had reached its intended audience: "...The Rest of Us," i.e., those of us who are not trained physicists. Even the title of the book seems clearly to imply that audience. But the title and the comments of the earlier reviewers are misleading. I would argue that the author was hoping for (and deserves) a wider audience. In particular, his message should resonate strongly with the professional scientific community itself.The author does provide some of the most intelligible explanations of the major concepts of modern physics that I have ever read--and I've read quite a few. Although my own background includes much technical training--chemistry, mathematics, electronics engineering, and philosophy--I must admit to having stumbled badly over general relativity and quantum mechanics. The pictures the author paints of these theories are probably as close as the human mind can come to visualizing what (we must realize) can not be visualized.There are also excellent accounts of the Big Bang, quarks and bosons, the expanding universe, dark matter, the four fundamental forces of the physical world and the intense search for a theory that will demonstrate how they are all really different aspects of a single force: a grand unified theory that will explain everything.If this was all the book was about, the title would be accurate and the author could return to his job as a college professor, secure in the knowledge that he had produced an excellent book on physics for the lay public.Imagine my surprise when I discovered that interwoven in this excellent work on the concepts of modern physics was a profound and articulate criticism of the role of science in contemporary society. As I read further, it occurred to me that this critique of science was, in fact, the most important topic in the book.In the author's view, science has become the unofficial religion of our society, a new form of "idolatry." It pervades our institutions, our government, industries and educational policies...and it has done so at the expense of other vital human activities, especially those (e.g., religion and the humanities) that have traditionally vested human life with a sense of purpose and meaning. This is strange stuff coming from a scientist!Happily, Jones is not a religious fanatic or scientific Luddite who is arguing for a return to the days of old, with science replaced by alchemy, astrology and the Inquisition. His plea is for a balance between science and the humanities. Although science has proven its efficacy at manipulating the physical world, it can not generate those initial ideas or sparks of genius that lead to new, fertile theories; those come from the human mind. Nor can science tell us anything about what we should or shouldn't do with our discoveries--should we use our knowledge of radioactivity to make bigger bombs, or should we save lives with nuclear

Find out what physics is about and learn a great deal!

This was a wonderful book. Reading it I learned everything I could expect from a book introducing people to a new science. The book covered all the basics of physics and explained it so that anyone could fully understand the ideas, including a good explanation of General Relativity and the Quantom Theory. Over all good book.

Great Book for Lay Persons

In a world that is so very scientifically illiterate this book is a God-send. It clearly expounds upon aspects of science rarely seen by any but professionals. Any person with an interest in science should read this book and discover exactly how far-reaching the field of physics is in this highly technological society.
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