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Homework Help: Can someone edit this

  1. May 9, 2004 #1
    Can someone edit this....

    I'm currently working on a book report. I have chosen the book "The Elegant Universe" for by project. I am required to " answer the following questions; what is the book about , who are the characters, what is their motivation, plot complications, what is your personal response to reading the book."

    I would like to make sure all the information is accurate. I also, I would like to point out that this is for my English class (so it needn't be technical), and I have made it as "un-technical" as I could.
    Though, I would like it if you did analyze it very technically, for my own benifit (that is, so I can learn).
    IOW, I would like it all to be edited if there are any errors.

    Here is the intro:

    Does it reside on Newtonian physics? What [pillar(s)]does it reside upon?

    Since it is a long essay (3 pgs.), I will post it periodically upon your request.

    Thank you. :biggrin:
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2004 #2


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    Okay, I'm Norwegian so I might not be well enough versed in English to offer appropriate criticisms, but here's a few spots I noted:
    1. "Pullitzer Prize winning finalist"
    Well, did he win or not?
    If he won, why not "Pullitzer Prize winner"?
    If he got only to the finals, why not "Pullitzer Prize finalist"?

    2. "on many a raison d'etre"
    Are you sure this is good English?
    It sounds a bit "snobbish" to me; in addition, the Norwegian connotations (at least) to "raison d'etre" jars with the intended meaning.

    What's wrong with "for many reasons"?

    3. Pillars of classical physics:
    That would be
    a) Newtonian mechanics
    b) Maxwell's electromagnetic theory

    (It might be worth to mention in your essay that these theories were in conflict, and that Einstein's theory of relativity was able to unite these theories)

    4. "elusive gravity", not "illusive gravity"
    5. Now, this is as far as I dare to offer criticisms, since I don't know a thing about modern physics (that's my own opinion at least!)..
  4. May 9, 2004 #3
    Okay, I will revise that.

    how is it snobbish? I will revise that as well, I am not familiar with French.

  5. May 9, 2004 #4


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    arildno, your English is excellent and your criticisms are spot on. "Raison d'etre" is French for "reason for existence" and makes no sense the way it was used.

    imparcticle. I would add that you need to change "This intricate biography of a new era of science that is in nascent has certainly made an enormous impact on the way the universe is viewed by the scientific community."
    First, I recommend you look up "nascent" and find out what it really means. "Nascence" might be grammatically correct but still doesn't sound good. In general, I recommend that you stop using fancy words (especially those that you don't quite understand!). Furthermore, if you are going to say this book "has certainly made an enormous impact on the way the universe is viewed by the scientific community", I would recommend you cite specific evidence. It may well have made an enormous impact on the way YOU view the universe but, personally, I would suspect that most scientists have never read "The Elegant Universe". Popularizations appear after the fact- they do change science themselves.
  6. May 9, 2004 #5
    Oh! I thought it just mean "reason". :rolleyes:

    I know exactly what nascent means. I learned the meaning a while back, and haven't exactly been able to understand how to use it in a sentence. I know it is a verb. Perhaps you can educate me?

    :smile: hehe. Ok.

    Okay, the bk report is supposed to be advertising a book. I can tell of John Schwarz and Michael Greene's discovery.
    Oh, and if you have statistics to support your suspicion, I will gladly use it. Also, I was refering to the idea of "M-theory" (the new era of science I spoke of) as having the impact; not the book. I will make it more clear.

    thanks for the corrections. :smile: This is really helpful.
  7. May 9, 2004 #6


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    A few more:
    1."intricate biography":
    Well, the mathematical meanderings leading up to modern physics are certainly intricate, but a biography ought to be "intriguing" in my opinion.
    (To be honest, I wouldn't want to read an "intricate biography" at all!)

    2."ideas projected"
    Projected onto what? An innocent public?
    "ideas proposed" seems much better!

    "Through much experiment, both theories have been indubitably proved true."
    This is overbold, I don't think any theoretical physicist will agree with you.
    You also undermine this statement later on when you say the contradict each other
    (at some level)

    "Their physical attributes are evident when looked at closely. "
    The meaning of this statement is nebulous, at best, when looked at closely.

    "fabric of space-time constitutes of " "consists of"

    "where the ultimate force is"
    What do you mean, that other forces converge, or coalesce into gravity?
    Use "dominant force"

    "illusive gravity"

    Another, more technical note here:
    As I understand it "the force of gravity" is conventionally used for the force acting upon an object in a constant, gravitational field.
    The general word would be "gravitational force", "force of gravitation"

    "quite dissimilar in terms of microscopic spatial geometry. "
    "quite dissimilar" is, to put it mildly, a gross understatement!
    Use "completely different"

    "These are one of the many conflicts that elude physicists."
    This is meaningless grammaticaly and with respect to content.
    It is the resolution of this conflict that eludes physicists, not the conflict itself!

    " at one point in the mid twentieth century been ignored."
    This is a much too important issue to be left hanging in the air as you do!
    Either expand on it, or don't refer to it at all!

    "Finally, the idea of finding a way to make these theories compatible has been revived."
    "Revived" is a thoroughly inappropriate word here (unless it has something to do with physics before the "ignoring point" in 10.)

    You have two better choices here:
    "Finally, the hope of finding a way to make these theories compatible has been revived."
    This alternative will suit a report which expands on 10.
    "Finally, an idea to make these theories compatible seems to be developing."
    "the fascinating ways M-theory ties in the microscopic universe with the macroscopic universe is explained in full detail."
    Really, in full detail!?!
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