Physics, while undoubtedly fascinating as a means to understand the world, and the cosmos, can be a hard sell to the general public, and even to scientists trained in the natural sciences, such as Botany, or Ecology.
Science writers and journalists tend to be from natural science backgrounds, which probably doesn’t help, and there is a definite lack of passionate physicists that also happen to be great communicators.
That’s why Clifford Pickover, a profilic US author and scientist, is so important. He brings Physics to life in his latest book, The Physics Book, From the Big Bang to Quantum Resurrection 250 Milestones in the History of Physics.
Clifford charts the entire history of Physics, from the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago, through the most important discoveries made by mankind, right up to the present day. He also takes a look at the potential future for the Universe, whether it will continue to expand at an accelerating rate or not, as well as some possible futures for mankind.
He tackles questions like, Is time travel possible (theoretically – yes)?, Will scientists be able to create an invisibility cloak (yes again apparently)? and will all of us, after we die, reappear as ourselves again in the Universe, given enough time? – the idea of quantum resurrection.
Cleverly, he has decided to tackle his topics, one page at a time, so that if you are bored with quantum resurrection, then simply flip to the page on the Big Bang, or the one which discusses whether we are living in a computer simulation (alá the film The Matrix) or not.
This book is well written, and cleverly structured, and a good reference book to have for anyone interested in developing a basic understanding for the most important concepts and ideas in Physics.
Broadcast on 1.12.2011 on 103.2 Dublin City FM