5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
In Honor of IndiAndy's Part One Review,
By A Customer
This review is from: Instant Physics: From Aristotle to Einstein, and Beyond (Paperback)
Here are a few features of the format:
1. Each chapter has an attention grabbing box titled `YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS' - the first one states, `Don't memorize, understand'.
2. Throughout each chapter, there are these beautifully succinct little indented notes. For example the, `GUIDING PRINCIPLE: To know physics is to do physics.' and `PRINCIPLE OF LITERARY OVERSIGHT: textbooks may be straightforward and succinct, but the path of science is crooked and tortuous.'
3. Key words are highlighted in bold text throughout the book to grab your attention along with slapstick or sit-com pronouncements like `THE YOUNG AND THE RADIOACTIVE' and `PHOTOEFFECT OPENS SUPERMARKET DOORS AND CONFIRMS THE QUANTUM HYPOTHESIS' just to give you an occasional chuckle
4. There is a `Who's Who' box in each chapter which humorously highlights the historical principle players in physics (This book is not just a history of the physics & the men & women who made it.)
5. There are a few photographs, some good diagrams to convey important visual illustrations and cute (ok mostly silly) little cartoons help break up the seriousness of the subject. This book never takes itself too seriously. A humble virtue that he deeply admires!
6. There are a series of `math lite' demonstrations interspersed throughout the text appropriately labeled, `DEMO' which the author assures you will only require high-school algebra (he says that, "We use nothing more than addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division--promise! (well, maybe the occasional taking of a square root...))" This scared IndiAndy a little because he's borderline incompetent in some of the intermediate algebra mathematics. Nevertheless, he need not worried, the demos are not required to get the concepts. He subsequently went over some of the demos when he read the book a second time and they were, as promised, relatively `lite'.
7. There are a few of these amusing `COCKTAIL PARTY CONVERSATIONS' which consist of a funny but pointed dialog between You and a Physicist.
8. At the end of each chapter is yet another cool box titled, `ESOTERIC TERMS' and a summary of the key words, definitions, and key concepts you should glean form the generous text.
Here is the Table of Contents:
INTRODUCTION (LESSONS FROM PHYSICS), PROLOGUE (SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANSESTORS: It's All Greek to Me), CHAPTER 1 (TOWARDS A CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE: Putting the Earth in Its Place), CHAPTER 2 (THE ELUSIVE ATOM: I've Got Gas), CHAPTER 3 (THE ENERGY CRISIS: Scientists in Heat), CHAPTER 4 (ELECTROMAGNATISM: A Current Affair), CHAPTER 5 (SPECIAL RELATIVITY: Einstein Sees the Light), CHAPTER 6 (INSIDE THE NUCLEUS: Curies and Curiouser), CHAPTER7 (QUANTUM MECHANICS: Physics Walks the Planck), CHAPTER 8 (DIVERSITY AND UNITY: Stirring the Particle Soup), CHAPTER 9 (GENERAL RELATIVITY AND COSMOLOGY: Gravity's Big Draw), CHAPTER 10 (THE END).
This review cannot do the book justice, but if you think that you might like what you see and you are a little bit like IndiAndy (scary thought!) just pick up a copy, read the introduction, and then decide if you can avoid being hooked! You may not enjoy this if we do not share the same sense of edutainment. IndiAndy's capable of suspending stuffy & cynical contempt for a humorous treatment of such a serious subject such that he can maximize his enjoyment while he learns. If you too can pull this off then he's confident you'll grow to love this little gem! Don't just take his word for it. Read the other reviews of the book as well to figure out for yourself if you might like it.
This was the first science book he could recall exposing himself to willingly. Ever since he has come across this book, he's begun boldly exploring the uncharted seas of his ignorance in the physical sciences with a curious sense of adventure... Thank you Tony!
Please take a moment to investigate IndiAndy's Amazon `about IndiAndy page by clicking the `IndiAndy (see more about IndiAndy)' link above. Look around for more friendly books geared towards the mere mortal by looking for his `Friendly Physics' Listmania List.
Drop him a line and tell him what you think.
Thanks! Friends of IndiAndy