Beauty: Murray Gell-Mann and the Revolution in
Twentieth-Century Physics by George Johnson
Gell-Mann won the Nobel Prize in physics for discovering the theory of
quarks. He also used his power to protect string theory back when it was
an endangered species of physics theories. But those two facts just scratch
the surface of the complex man revealed in this book. This book is a must
read in the history of 20th century physics.
Q Is for Quantum: An Encyclopedia of Particle Physics by John R.
Gribbin, Mary Gribbin (Editor), Jonathan Gribbin (Illustrator)
the deal with 20th-century physics? How and why did it get so complicated,
so abstract, that even Einstein had trouble believing in it? Most of us
need someone to come along and explain it all in words that make sense;
fortunately, astrophysicist and science writer extraordinaire John Gribbin
has seized that role with a flair and passion unequalled.
Curie: A Life (Radcliffe Biography Series) by Susan Quinn
brilliant, often surprising portrait--based on new information--that is
sure to be the definitive work on one of history's greatest scientists.
Quinn shows in this richly textured work, a well-rounded, in-depth view
of Curie as a scientist, a woman, a wife and a lover.
A Tour of the Subatomic Zoo: A Guide to Particle Physics by Cindy
Schwarz, Sheldon Glashow (Introduction)
on a six-week course given by the author at Vassar for non- science students.
Glashow, who wrote the introduction, shared the Nobel Prize in physics
with Steven Weinberg and Abdus Salam for the theory behind electroweak
unification. This book is organized for the self-learner. Chapters begin
with an overview of concepts and end with a summary and self-tests. A
great little book, and if every physics textbook were like this, physics
classrooms would be crowded.
Naked to the Bone: Medical Imaging in the Twentieth Century by Bettyann
an age when the word "leg" was considered indelicate and even
the appendages on chairs and piano benches were covered up, the invention
of the X-ray must have been shocking. This wonderful book describes both
the scientific and social sides of the revolution in medical imaging brought
about by the age of particle physics.
Elusive Neutrino : A Subatomic Detective Story by Nickolas Solomey
of Chicago physicist Nickolas Solomey takes readers through the history
of particle physics from the discovery of radioactivity to present theoretical
speculation about the mass and origin of elementary particles.
Beamtimes and Lifetimes: The World of High Energy
Physicists by Sharon Traweek
is a fascinating anthropological study of high energy physics communities
in the U.S. and Japan. Most books about physics sing the praises of physics,
and don't objectively examine the practice itself as a human communal
practice. If you'd like to see a physics community examined under the
lens of scientific scrutiny, this makes an interesting read.
Quarks to the Cosmos: Tools of Discovery by David N. Schramm,
Leon M. Lederman
Schramm, who died tragically last year when his plane crashed on the way
to Aspen, teamed with particle experimentalist Lederman for this nice
volume describing the way measurements made by astronomers and particle
physicists have worked together to enrich the understanding in both fields.
Atoms in the Family : My Life With
Enrico Fermi by Laura Fermi
book about Italian particle physicist Enrico Fermi, after whom fermions
and Fermi statistics were named. Written by his wife, a look back into
simpler days for particle physics, when Fermi could carry an entire physics
experimental budget in cash in one pocket.