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Books on the History of Physics and Math

  • #1
BiGyElLoWhAt
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I'm looking for an entertaining book on the history of physics and math. I just want it to read for fun. A book that I really enjoyed (really, really) was Entanglement by Amir Aczel. It highlighted how everyone worked together, how they fought, etc.

Any suggestions?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
DrClaude
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Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!
 
  • #3
BiGyElLoWhAt
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Ha! Check the search results for that. Google shopping. The 3rd one down. I wonder what's so special?
Edit*
Ahh, I see. It's inscribed by Feynman.
 
  • #4
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Mathematics and the Physical World by Morris Kline is an interesting book. Not very technical, only a basic knowledge of HS mathematics is needed.
 
  • #5
BiGyElLoWhAt
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That actually sounds really neat! Nearly exactly what I was looking for in terms of mathematics. Thanks.
 
  • #6
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J. Stillwell wrote an excellent book in the history of mathematics.
 
  • #7
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Morris Kline's Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times is also an enjoyable read albeit at a higher level.
 
  • #9
George Jones
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"To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science" by Steven Weinberg,

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062346652/?tag=pfamazon01-20

The body of this non-mathematical but scholarly book starts with the the ancient Greeks and ends with Newton. There is also some more modern stuff in "Epilogue: The Grand Reduction" and a little math in "Technical Notes".

From the Preface:

"So this book is not solely about how we came to learn various things about the world. This naturally a concern of any history of science. My focus in this book is a little different - it is how we came to learn how to learn about the world."

We teach our kids a cartoon version of how to do science called the Scientific Method, Hypothesis ,,, Result, so I like

"Archimedes was smart enough to choose the right postulates, but scientific research is more honestly reported as a tangle of deduction, induction, and guesswork."
 
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  • #11
BiGyElLoWhAt
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Thanks for all the suggestions. A lot of these look really cool. The only question is: Where to begin? Lol
 
  • #12
vanhees71
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Thanks for all the suggestions. A lot of these look really cool. The only question is: Where to begin? Lol
In your situation the best is to go to a library and browse through books about the topic you are interested in. It's great fun, and you may find a book to read in more detail. At least it's the cheapest way to get started, because if you don't already exactly know what you are interested in, it's a pretty expensive way to just buy books from suggestions of others, which may have much different tastes and needs the you have :-)).
 
  • #13
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In your situation the best is to go to a library and browse through books about the topic you are interested in. It's great fun, and you may find a book to read in more detail. At least it's the cheapest way to get started, because if you don't already exactly know what you are interested in, it's a pretty expensive way to just buy books from suggestions of others, which may have much different tastes and needs the you have :-)).
Then again, you can never own enough books :wink:
 
  • #14
BiGyElLoWhAt
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I agree. I have a descent collection, but with all these 10ish dollar books, I gotta catch 'em all.
 

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