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Searching for some good popular science books

  1. Mar 10, 2009 #1
    Hi all,

    I read "The New World of Mr Tompkins" by George Gamov and Russell Stannard and "Flatland/Sphereland" by Edwin Abbott and Dionys Burger. Would any of you have some more very good and interactive vulgarization science books, mainly on physics? (I have a Master in Elec Eng and did a few course on Quantum, but I am also looking for story kind of books.)

    Many thanks for your help :D

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2009 #2


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    Gold Member

    I enjoyed "The Stuff of Thought" by Steven Pinker.
  4. Aug 28, 2010 #3
    More of a comic book kind of sci-fi guy. I highly recommend "MARVELS" with art by Alex Ross (the series, not just the company).

    "Civil War" was very engaging too.

    As far as the classics go, I like Flatter Land, The Time Machine, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
  5. Aug 28, 2010 #4


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    Since you mention Gamow, I'll suggest his Thirty Years That Shook Physics, about the early days of quantum physics (basically 1900-1930), because he knew many of the key players.

    I love the physicists' version of Goethe's Faust that appears as an appendix! :!!) It was actually written (not by Gamow) and performed at Niels Bohr's institute in Copenhagen, in the 1930s.


    (Google Books excerpt)
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2010
  6. Aug 29, 2010 #5


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    Most of Gamow's books are great (1, 2, 3, ... Infinity, the Tompkins series, etc), as are Feynman's. Speaking of poetry, I particularly like this one (below) by Gamow's wife, Barbara:

    "Your years of toil,"
    Said Ryle to Hoyle,
    "Are wasted years, believe me.
    The steady state
    Is out of date.
    Unless my eyes decieve me,
    My telescope
    Has dashed your hope;
    Your tenets are refuted.
    Let me be terse:
    Our universe
    Grows daily more diluted!"
    Said Hoyle, "You quote
    Lemaitre, I note,
    And Gamow. Well, forget them!
    That errant gang
    And their Big Bang --
    Why aid them, and abet them?
    You see, my friend,
    It has no end
    And there was no beginning,
    As Bondi, Gold,
    And I will hold
    Until our hair is thinning!"​
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