The list author says: "My formal education culminated in a Ph.D. in Elementary Particle Physics, but many years ago. After obtaining this degree, I moved into the computer industry, and eventually into an academic position in Computer Science. The Computer industry served me well until I retired, when I found myself regaining interest in the latest in Particle Physics and Cosmology. This is a list of those books I've read in recent years."
"A fascinating account of the work and quirks of Murray Gell-Mann, and his interactions with the equally unusual Richard P. Feynman. Very different characters, the two worked together at Cal Tech for a number of years.
This book is equally interesting for its coverage of the physics (in layman's terms), and for the descriptions of the characters.
"Having read the author's "The Elegant Universe", I was hoping that this book would continue on in the same mold. However, I found it rather more difficult going, and as a result came away a little disappointed.
"An entertaining book by a Nobel prize-winning experimental physicist.
One of the reviews says "The funniest book about physics ever written." That may be a little overstated, but Lederman certainly does have a good sense of humor. It is also clear that he has an ego -- but I imagine that's not rare among Nobel prize winners.
"Having read Simon Singh's earlier books, "Fermat's Enigma" and "The Code Book", I was expecting a lot from his "Big Bang", but came away disappointed. His writing was good, but just when it was starting to get interesting, he stopped. There was precious little on the latest developments.
"A great book about the history of science, from Galileo to modern times. It is about the history and the personalities of all those sometimes amazing people who have contributed to science as we know it today.
Note: This is exactly the same book as "The Scientists" by the same author.
"I loved the Introduction to this book. So, I had high hopes for the rest of the book. I was slightly disappointed, but I think mainly because the rest of the book struck me as being a little advanced for the typical non-physicist (whatever that might mean). On the whole, I found that the book contained some very valuable information that I had not found before.
"I was hoping that this book would delve into the meaning of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. I was disappointed. Lots of philosophical discussions, but not much of real interpretation. I did find the coverage of Niels Bohr to be interesting -- he comes across as an overly pedantic bore (sic). I had not heard that elsewhere.
"This is a wonderful book. The text is very engaging, and the illustrations are outstanding.
I also found it rather peculiar. It purports to describe the universe to a layman, but it also moves into relatively advanced topics without much explanation. As one who has read a lot on these topics, I was comfortable, but I had to wonder how much a typical layman would become lost. Highly recommended!"
"I enjoyed this book. It's a well-written and reasonably up to date (2006) account of the Standard Model and the people whose discoveries and inventions contributed to it, with a focus mostly on the 20th century and beyond.
"This is a delightful book that I meant to read years ago, and only just did. Feynman tries to explain QED, including his "sum of all histories" approach, which he applies to explanations of reflection, refraction, diffraction, and the focusing lens. In the last chapter, he talks about some of the later dilemmas relating to QCD, Weak interactions, and so on.
"A very interesting book. Mario Livio writes well, and in an engaging manner, with good analogies. This book gives a very good overview of current models of the universe, although much has happened since its publish date (2000 in my edition).
"Martin Rees, Britain's Astronomer Royal, has written a fine book that is at once enlightening on Cosmological thinking (as of ~2000), and very understandable to the lay reader. I found it an easy and interesting read.
"I had high expectations of this book, given that I've seen some of Sean Carroll's written and video work, and mostly my expectations were met. It was just that the last ~20% was pretty difficult to understand. It seems that entropy is a hard subject to appreciate.
"This book started out very well, with clear explanations of recent cosmological discoveries. However, I found the last 20% to be rather repetitive and, while highly speculative, less interesting that I hoped.
"This is a delightful little book. It is written in very clear language, with very good analogies and amusing side-comments and references. It contains the clearest explanations I've read of many topics, including the origins of special relativity, how mass results from the (as yet undiscovered) Higgs boson, and even gauge symmetry in field theory (not an easy one!).
"Einstein's Telescope (which refers to lensing due to General Relativity) is a fascinating and well-written book about some of the latest discoveries about the cosmos and techniques that attempt to learn more about it.
It became a little harder to read towards the end, but it was all very interesting
"This is a very readable book that conveys the excitement and competition during the late 20th century, building up to the Standard Model of physics. The author is not afraid to tell about the personalities of some of the physicists involved, not all of which are positive.
"I liked this book a lot. It contains good explanations for some pretty abstract topics, plus the author's reminiscences were interesting -- he is the originator of the "inflationary theory". There were also some pretty speculative topics covered.
"This is an extremely interesting book. It succeeds in describing an extremely complex and often troubled man, together with the historical context through which he lived, and the characters (both scientific and other) he connected with. Furthermore, the author writes well, and engagingly.