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Physics for Poets 4th Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0070402485
ISBN-10: 0070402485
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Mcgraw-Hill College; 4th edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070402485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070402485
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,201,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
When I first read Robert March's `Physics for Poets', it reminded me much of the sense of science one gets from popular programming such as Carl Sagan's `Cosmos' - it presents the science theory and progress in elegant, poetic and non-mathematical terms. I have never been afraid of the mathematics (indeed, I studied mathematics to a good level at university) but have always been impressed with those who could describe for the numerically-challenged the intricacies of subjects such as physics and astronomy.
March covers topics in physics from the earliest investigations in the ancient world (back when the line dividing science from philosophy was not so distinct - as history repeats, there is a growing blurring of the line in modern physics once again). However, March does not spend inordinate time on ancient subjects or ideas such as classical mechanics (save to introduce later topics for which such concepts will be necessary). He gets to the heart of modern physics rather quickly.
March has an interesting development of various topics. For example, his discussion of the theory of relativity is very different from the typical `hard-science' physics books from which I studied. He develops intuitive descriptions, shying away from technical discussions of Lorentz transformations or frames of reference (I think this is a concept that students could grasp more readily than perhaps March believes). Despite this, March uses the traditional `frames of reference' model of travelers on a train, seeing thing in relative states as they are traveling against the more static countryside, which is itself traveling as the earth revolves on its axis, and orbits the sun, as the sun moves about the galaxy, as the galaxy spins around the local group, etc. Frames of reference can actually be fun!
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By A Customer on September 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
Robert H. March is a Proffessor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin. The text developed out of the course of the same name. There is not alot of poetry going on here. He aims to make the principles of physics as understandable to a comoner like my self, not initiated into the high scientific mysteries, understandable. There are formulas here, but some things can't be undertood without them. You don't need much more then a grasp of highschool algebra to follow along. Presumably even a poet has had this. It is a chronological review of Physics from its inception by the greeks to the curent edge of partical physics. Or at least what we can at least hope to understand. Clearly writen, and a supurb attempt to render this very difficult material understandable. It will take some effort on the reader's part to understand, but it is well worth doing so. He really can't make it any simpler without becoming inaccurate.
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Format: Paperback
The first emphasis is that this book succeeds to lead readers to the understanding of the particular relativism without any premises. The most important achievement is to make readers understand the Lorentz's transformation of time certainly. This book has completed it successfully by the careful step-by-step logical teaching in contrast with other many common texts using highly difficult mathematical equations. After reading it, you can say to everybody that the particular relativism is easy to understand and explain it logically. Because of this significance the unique and easy explanation of the quantum theory would seem superficial.
This book is what beginners must read before falling into the chaotic confusion of the physical knowledge.
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Format: Paperback
The history of physics from the ancients through quantum theory. Not an easy read and to fully get the benefit of it I would have needed to invest quite a bit more of myself. Excellently written for the layman, however, and while there is math here, it is only here when it needs to be, I think. Picked this up used, not realizing it was a textbook. It was not the book I thought it would be but I am glad I soldiered on.

If you have an interest in this topic but not the math, here is a good book.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book. I tutor physics and I want to be able to give students justification for learning physics and many times it's hard introducing ideas to them simplt with new formulas. This book has an intuitive and an inevitable driving force behind it that makes you want to keep reading and displays the historical context of the theories alongside the theories themselves.

The reason for four stars is because the book could have delved deeper into thermodynamics (currently my personal favorite) and electrodynamics. The book is a good buy and I love reading about the motivating historical forces behind the theories.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Helped me understand the basics of physics. I recommend this for those who have a passion for physics and need to wrap their heads around its vastness. Enjoy! (Cannot say a lot for the price, though...)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a retired college professor and nuclear physicist. This book, Physics for Poets by Robert March, is an interesting and well-written survey of physics for the non-specialist. I recommend it for anyone who wants to find out what physics is all about without first mastering calculus and differential equations. Good book.
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