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4.3 out of 5 stars
Instant Physics: From Aristotle to Einstein, and Beyond
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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews (4 star)show all reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a lot like other 'physics for beginners' books, with a few important differences. First, Tony Rothman is a good writer. He keeps the text light and fun. Exploring the secrets of matter and energy is easier when you have a sense of humor, and he knows it. Second, the basic facts appear at the beginning and end of each chapter for easy review. It's a convenient way to organize the book.
Third and finally, Rothman dives right into the mathematics of physics without apology. Sure, this stuff can boggle your mind if you don't have a head for it. But I'd rather have them there, in the book, so I can see them. I've read too many 'physics for beginners' books without any equations and I had no idea just how complex the math is. With this book, I can see that it's not THAT hard. I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in physics. It's one of the better introductions to the subject.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 1997
Format: Paperback
Although his tounge-in-cheek style occasionally gets out of hand, Tony Rothman gives us a book with abundant scientific insight that is also digestible by non-scientists. Basic demos of the most important principles give the mathematically inclined a nice treat, while giving the rest of us intuitive explanations that actually make sense. If you can handle his slightly annoying, nerdy humor, this is a good place to learn - or review - everyting in physics from the nemesis Aristotle to the quark
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one the best books on physics for the non-physicist I have ever seen. Written in a light, sardonic tone, Rothman dares to believe that a person might be sufficiently interested in learning esential physics to grapple with some basic algebra. Particularly interesting is how he manages to do this in the context of the unfolding history of physics; i.e. he teaches you the elements of physics at the same time as he teaches you much of its history. Stickle #1: The wisecracking can be obtrusive at times. Stickle#2: He gives philosophy much to short a shrift and squanders a lot of ink blaming Aristotle for physics' failure to advance faster. One wonders if he has ever read Thomas Kuhn's The Strucure of Scientific Revolutions or Michael Polanyi's Personal Knowledge. I personally would be interested to know what Dr. "Philosophy Is For Muddleheads" has to say about the quantum interpretation problem. Does he take the Copenhagen evasion? In sum: Why are these kinds of books on the shelves of Waldenbooks but not the University Bookstore? Learn physics from this book and do your own philosophy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
I don't understand physics very well. After reading this book, I think I understand physics better. It can be a difficult topic and Mr. Rothman's presentation was very clear, easy to follow, and fun. He has a good sense of humor which moves the book along and makes it much more enjoyable to read.
In particular, in Instant Physics, Mr. Rothman covers a history of physics from the Ancient Greeks to the Modern World. In Greece, Mr. Rothman details the mistakes they made, and the great breakthroughs. He also takes the time to explain a little bit about the people who made these breakthroughs, and the events around them. Basically the world we come from influences how we view the Universe. Without changes in our world, many of the changes and advances in physics would not have happened. Mr. Rothman has written a good book, which explains physics well.
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on March 24, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If you are really interested in reading a book that gives and provides an in depth preview about physics, this would the most imitable book to read. I didn't know a whole bunch about physics before I read this book. But once I read the book, I can now tell you all about thermodynamics, the founders and scientists most associated with physics, and Einstein's theories of relativity. I recommend that a person with little to no knowledge of physics, should read this book, because it will answer all of your questions with easy explanations. There are even a wide range of examples from kinetic and potential energy, to why we have Newton's three laws of motion. This book will take off a ton of weight that are on your shoulders when you think about the difficulties of quantum physics. Instant Physics by Tony Rothman even provides the fascinating history of physics from the discovery of planetary orbits, to the discovery of the atom. Seeing isn't believing, you may have never seen an atom, but you know that it exists. When you read this book, you will overcome inertia and finally understand as to why e=mc^2, as to why there is gravity and its 9.8m/s^2, and as to how physics is used in the world today.
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on November 1, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Item is as described, shipped out in timely manner.
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