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The Strange Case of Mrs. Hudson's Cat: And Other Science Mysteries Solved by Sherlock Holmes (Helix Book) Hardcover – July, 1997

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A singular volume, Watson... the author has a flair for unorthodox methods of presentation. -- IAN STEWART, author of Does God Play Dice

Colin Bruce, a physicist in England, has a clever idea. What better way to explain to nonscientists the sometimes mystifying world of modern physics than by enlisting the aid of that master demystifier, Sherlock Holmes? Since so many advances in science have followed from attempts to explain puzzling anomalies in experimental observations, Bruce has little trouble recasting the puzzles as "cases" that fate drops into the lap of the famous detective.... Whether Bruce's attempt to explain modern physics in readable prose leads to illumination or not, readers of The Strange Case of Mrs. Hudson's Cat will enjoy pitting their wits against the universe in such stimulating company. -- The New York Times Book Review, Gerald Jones

What a great idea!... Starting with simple problems of motion and energy, Bruce takes his readers into very modern questions of quantum mechanics and relativity... Great fun and fine teaching. -- BEN BOVA, editor of Science Fiction Hall Of Fame
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Product Details

  • Series: Helix Book
  • Hardcover: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Perseus Books (July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201461390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201461398
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,133,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
First, I must warn you: this is not a Sherlock Holmes book. It is a science book using Sherlock Holmes charecters. It is also not realistic, in that there are anumber impossible situations (like a century-old atom bomb accidentaly being set off), and many scientific priciples discussed were not discovered until decades after the victorian era (the setting for the book) However, this does not make it a bad book. In fact it is an excelent book. It does a great job of explaining physics principles, even quantum mechanics, enjoyably and in layman's terms. It would probably be enjoyable for both adults who want to get an overall idea of the more unusual physics and for teaching high-school level physics. The earlier chapters can be used with younger students. Overall, a very good book.
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Format: Hardcover
I have to keep ordering copies of this book because I keep giving away my own. I find it a delightful walk through quantum for the layman--the other book I recommend for people who want an explanation and are spooked by the math is "The Strange Story of the Quantum" by Banesh Hoffmann, unfortunately now out of print.

Bruce also has obvious fun resurrecting other Doyle characters such as Prof. Challenger (who even Doyle obviously had fun with), who does a lovely job rampaging through the scenery and terrifying his colleagues. Mycroft shows up as a quasi-Einstein with his "thought-experiments".

Sherlock himself is more mathematically minded here than in Doyle's own stories, but what the heck, permissible for the cause. And Watson is wonderful.

Enjoy.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is great! As a physics teacher I plan on using many of the stories to add interest and depth to the different concepts we cover in the physics courses offered at our school. Most of the stories are very clever as well as very entertaining. I particulary enjoyed the story in which the mystery is solved by the realization that a person has been killed by a Focault pendulum which has rotated away from the scene of the accident
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By A Customer on December 11, 1997
Format: Hardcover
The strange case about physics is that the universe itself is stranger than one imagines, so that even after solving the mystery, the universe still seems wonderfully mysterious. As Sherlock Holmes observes, when you are left with only one explanation that is possible, then thats it, however improbable and strange it may be. You will never have a better ride through a better set of stories.
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Format: Hardcover
I love using this book in my high school classroom. I can reach students who normally think physics is boring and I can really appeal to the super geeks (like me.)
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