From Publishers Weekly
Popular science author Newton (Galileo's Pendulum) misses many nooks and crannies of his subject in this too brief survey of the history of physics. He focuses primarily on astrophysics and atomic physics, which no such book can be without, but which many excellent books focus on exclusively. A third of the way through, Newton spends a chapter on other subjects; it's hard to believe that there were no advances in, say, mechanics before 1800 worthy of discussion. Toward the end of the book, the author discusses advanced properties of magnetism. Developments in mathematics take up space that could have been given to the nooks and crannies. Capsule biographies of giants of physics, such as Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell, help them come alive for readers. Newton writes well enough for general readers, but they would be advised to leave that space on their shelf for a more comprehensive overview of the field. B&w illus., 1 map. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is an illuminating chronicle of mankind's adventures, over six millennia, in pursuit of physical laws. It is enhanced by lucid exposition of challenges and concepts, with engaging portraits of many avid actors in a grand, abiding drama. (Dudley Herschbach, Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science, Harvard University)
See all Editorial Reviews
Although there are several books on the history of physics, none is as up-to-date, comprehensive, and well-written as Newton's. Most other books either provide a very superficial explanation of the concepts and theories, or are too technical for most non-scientists to understand. Newton manages to maintain a consistent level and style, and to say just enough about the difficult issues to get the reader interested but not overwhelmed (Stephen G. Brush, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the History of Science, University of Maryland)
Newton's account is superb. He is magnificent at explaining the profound influence of mathematics on the development of physics. The historical relationships between subdisciplines, such as thermodynamics and statistical physics, are illuminated. Numerous biographical sketches add a lively dynamic to an enjoyable book. (Simon Mitton Times Higher Education Supplement 2007-01-12)
This book attempts in one volume to give a history of physics, from the dawn of mankind to the present day. It is a formidable task but one which I believe has been largely successful. (Peter Ford History of Physics Newsletter)
From the properties of matter to the constituents of the universe, this book illustrates how discoveries old and new have created modern physics. (Science News 2007-02-01)