Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Highlights from the New Books List: June

With the month almost over, the new books acquired during the month of June will be available for checkout. Below is just a sample of some of the great works that you can check out!

Beyond a swell turn of phrase, Stephen Hawking's newest offering The Dreams that Stuff is Made Of gives the reader a fantastic overview of last century's quantum revolution. The edited collection offers a more or less chronological tour through quantum physics through the writings of those that defined it. Collected here are writings by Planck, Einstein, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, Bohr, Bell, and Born--to name but a few. The Wall Street Journal review of the book noted that it's $30 price tag was a "remarkably good value." That may be, but you can find it here for free!

Perhaps relativity is more your bag, but you are a newcomer to the field. Then Andrew M. Steane's Relativity Made Relatively Easy (continuing our turns of phrase) is for you. Steane, a professor at Oxford, has set his sights on a "gentle (but exact)" introduction to relativity that is geared primarily toward undergraduate students and weekend science buffs.

So you've made it through the twentieth century breakthroughs above? Interested more in the revolutions of now? Then Jim Baggot's Higgs: The Invention and Discovery of the 'God Particle' is a great new book for you. Though its title is lacking the linguistic playfulness of the above books, Baggot's book, released just on the heals of the discovery of the particle, shows just how everything happened and why we should care. Here are a few further readings on Baggot's book:

A sample from The New York Review of Books

A blog by Baggot titled "What Is the Higgs Boson and Why Does It Matter?"

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Neil deGrasse Tyson's Latest Book, as Discussed With Jon Stewart

The very popular astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, whose books line our library shelves, has been on a tour of sorts promoting his latest book, Space Chronicles. Receiving almost a half year's worth of praise from critics, deGrasse Tyson's work promotes a future for space exploration and drive for discovery in general. Here are a few interviews with the ever-entertaining astrophysicist with the ever-entertaining Daily Show host.

Link to interview

And, because he's such a good time, Stewart had him back a second time.

Link to second interview

Friday, June 21, 2013

Highlights From April's New Books

History and restlessness seemed to have driven Benoit Mandelbrot, the developer of fractal geometry. After fleeing the Nazis across Europe, Mandelbrot came to the United States where is interests pushed him from IBM to academia and back. While at M.I.T, he recounts in his memoir The Fractalist, he crossed path with Noam Chomsky and contemplated going into linguistics before realizing that Chomsky already "dominated" that field. What we recognize Mandelbrot for today, almost three years after his death, was what he called, "mathematics [not] cut off from the mysteries of the real world, but [one that] dealt with questions once reserved for poets and children.” Read The New York Times review here.

This continuing effort of Princeton University Press to publish the amazing amount of writings left by Albert Einstein has come to its 13th volume. Still in his Berlin years, the latest edition of The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein culls his letters and various writings from January 1922-March 1923. As always, this volume is in both German and English.


These books are now available for checkout at the Physics Library. To see the new books currently on display, please click here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

NPR's 2013 Summer Reading List

Wow -- talk about a little bit of something for everyone.  NPR has posted their summer reading list here:

From the civil war (The Good Lord Bird by James MacBride) to the biography of a cheese (The Telling Room: A Tale Of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, And The World's Greatest Piece Of Cheese by Michael Paterniti) I'm thinking there's a little bit of something for everyone.  More summer reading lists as I find them.