Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Recommend coffee table books

  1. Dec 3, 2004 #1
    Recommend "coffee table" books

    Could anyone recommend some good physics and mathematics "coffee table" books (ie. some "must reads".) I'm talking along the lines of "Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture" and "Euclid's Window".
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2004 #2

    arildno

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Well, Simon Singh's "Fermat's last theorem" is great, I also liked his "Codes" book.
     
  4. Dec 3, 2004 #3

    Integral

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Any and all of John Gribbins books also George Gamov is intertaining.
     
  5. Dec 3, 2004 #4

    honestrosewater

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    If you read this book, be prepared to spend every waking moment of the next few months searching for a "better, simpler" proof until finally deciding you've worked out the major steps and you'll "iron out the details later". Or was that just me? :rolleyes:
    Richard Feynman's "QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter" was enlightening and is "coffee table"-appropriate. Learn from the masters, as they say.
    Edit: Actually, the book I have is called "Fermat's Engima" by the same author. Google tells me the UK edition was called "Fermat's Last Theorem", but they're the same book.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2004
  6. Dec 3, 2004 #5

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Whoa!

    You people have a very interesting concept of what a "coffee table" book is. I thought coffee table book are large, heavy, lots-of-picture books that people can browse through during a rather short amount of time?

    In any case, my physics coffee table book is "Physics in the 20th Century" by Curt Suplee. It was produced in cooporation with the American Physical Society and the American Institute of Physics, in conjuction with the APS's 100'th Anniversary in 1999. The book first appeared at the APS March Meeting in Atlanta that year to celebrate tha centenial. I think 12,000 people showed up, making it the largest ever conglomeration of scientists in the history of human civilization.

    Zz.
     
  7. Dec 3, 2004 #6

    Integral

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Zz,

    I have traditionally called a coffee table physics book, anything that someone can read in week, which then makes them an expert in Relativity and/or QM. Of course lots of pictures does not impede this laborious line of study.
     
  8. Dec 3, 2004 #7

    Dr Transport

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Mandelbrot's book on Fractals comes to mind......
     
  9. Dec 3, 2004 #8
    Lawrence Krauss has written a few good books that qualify as coffee table literature. "The Physics of Star Trek" and "Quintessence" come to mind.
     
  10. Dec 3, 2004 #9

    honestrosewater

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Oh, like a dictionary? Okay, Kenneth Libbrecht's "The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty".
     
  11. Dec 4, 2004 #10

    arildno

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Well, not all of us have coffee tables made of mahogany.
    Some of us must cope with a rather more fragile construction.
     
  12. Dec 4, 2004 #11
    The Elegant Universe
    or fabric of the cosmos
    Brian Greene
     
  13. Dec 5, 2004 #12
    Thanks for all your recommendations. I can add some of these books to my christmas list :-).
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Recommend coffee table books
  1. Recommend a new book (Replies: 1)

Loading...