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Great explanations

  1. Sep 29, 2009 #1

    I wanted to collate a list of either great explainers or great explanations. Would you like to suggest one or two? Style:

    Feynman - we on earth as a tiny insect in corner of swimming pool.
    Sagan - cube as shadow of a tesseract

    I'm sure these are familiar to people here. However, it need not be Physics or even just science.

    I'm also reading Modern Scientific Writing by Dawkins and trying to pull some out of there too.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2009 #2
    William Feller on probability
    Roger Penrose, somewhere in his Road to Reality book
    Jakob Bronowski in his Ascent of Man, especially explaining how Pythagoras' theorem may have come about.
  4. Aug 11, 2010 #3
    Sir Ray Lankester "Diversion of a Naturalist"
    D'Arcy Thompson "Growth and Form"
  5. Aug 11, 2010 #4
    Of course, Richard Dawkin's "Book of scientific writing" would appear to be the first port of call for somebody interested in quality scientific explanations, but here we encounter a problem: popularization tends to become the main priority. No bad thing in and of itself. However, the target audience is then different. Many of these explanations turn out to be for the layman, so the the reader interested in learnng in depth is left unsatisfied.
  6. Aug 11, 2010 #5
    Lisa Randall does a good job of explaining extra dimensions in her book Warped Passages.
  7. Sep 12, 2010 #6
    Buddha said something along these lines, concerning the fact YOU exist.
    ' Think of the World covered in water. Toss in one life preserver that gets blown from all 4 directions. Think of a turtle that surfaces every hundred years, [what the hey a thou], for a breath. The odds and/or circumstances of when the turtle's head will come up in the life preserver explains how YOU are here. '
  8. Sep 12, 2010 #7


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  9. Sep 13, 2010 #8
    Leon Lederman with his analogy of physics and an invisible soccer ball.
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