Bodanis writes the "biography" of one of the greatest scientific discoveries in history, and through his skill as a writer and teacher, he turns a seemingly impenetrable theory into a dramatic and accessible human achievement. 20 photos & drawings.Bodanis writes the "biography" of one of the greatest scientific discoveries in history, and through his skill as a writer and teacher, he turns a seemingly impenetrable theory into a dramatic and accessible human achievement. 20 photos & drawings.Read Less
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Well written body and the notes are just as fasinating as the body of the book.
Apr 15, 2007
Not even good for a Physics for Poets and lovers
This is really a very poor effort, in many instances clearly providing the author a platform for his own biased feelings on atomic energy etc; it seems a rather blatant effort to earn an easy buck on the work of Einstein at the time of his 100 year anniversary. Although several years old now, it apparatnly sold reasonably weel, but truely does a very poor and at times very biased job of describing the physics and the environment it which quantum physics and the BOMB was developed. Any reader with prior exposure to the phyisics, the history or the personalities described will see it for the shallow attempt. The chapters on the WW2 efforts to the develop the bomb etc are really a lightly veiled hatched job by an apparently anti- war anti bomb writer. Don't waste your time. Read Rhodes or Pais or the variety of good efforts on realtivity (even Einstien's own descriotions). The olde Clarke biography of Eonstein is also excellent
Publishers Weekly, 2000-09-15 Most people know this celebrated equation has something to do with Einstein's theory of relativity, but most nonscientists don't know what it means. This very approachable yet somewhat limited work of popular science explains, and adorns with anecdote and biography, the equation and its place in history. Oxford lecturer Bodanis (The Secret Family) shows what happened to Einstein on the way to the discovery, what other scientists did to bring it about and how the equation created the atom bomb. Part Two tackles separately the components of the equation (E, =, m, c and "squared"), which means that it covers 18th- and 19th-century physics. "`E' Is for Energy" opens with Michael Faraday, whose unusual religious beliefs helped him discover that electricity and magnetism were the same force. "`m' Is for Mass" brings in French chemist Lavoisier, who established the law of conservation of matter. Bodanis then turns to Einstein's life and work. The middle third of the book covers the exploration of the atom and the making of the atom bomb; the cast of characters here includes Marie Curie, Lise Meitner and Enrico Fermi. A concluding section considers how E=mc2 powers the sun, and how our sun and all others will eventually run out of gas. Capsule biographies here include one of the engaging English astronomer Cecilia Payne, who wouldn't let institutional sexism stop her from finding the hydrogen in the sun. Bodanis's writing is accessible to the point of chattiness: he seeks, and deserves, many readers who know no physics. They'll learn a handful?more important, they'll enjoy it, and pick up a load of biographical and cultural curios along the way. 20 photos and drawings not seen by PW. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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