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Physics for Poets

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Very accessible, brief, introduction to physics for the non-science major. A text written for the curious, non-scientist who wants to know how modern physics came to be, and figure out what lies behind the stories in the science columns of their newspapers.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 22nd 2002 by McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math (first published December 1st 1978)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  138 ratings  ·  14 reviews


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Catherine Gillespie
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science
I remembered that my freshman year roommate took a class nicknamed Physics for Poets in order to get one of her lab science requirements out of the way. When I found a book by that title, I dove in. In hindsight, I wish I had not. Physics for Poets is disappointingly not enough detail about physics and not enough beauty to satisfy even the most casual armchair poet. The author would attempt to simplify by giving a complex looking formula, but then not explaining it (frustrating!), or mention tha ...more
Sarah Brehm
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"To be human is to wonder."

My love of science fiction has also kept me fascinated with physics and astronomy, though I don't always understand all of it. But isn't that part of the point of "wondering"? To read a story that postulates what the universe may one day look like, to question the science behind the story, to learn, to read another story, to question, to learn. Read. Question. Learn. Those three steps work for everything in life. Never stop reading; never stop questioning; and never st
...more
Tyler
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Landau and Lifshitz wish they could write like this
Angie Reisetter
Dec 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-related
I think this book actually works really well as a popular science book, for those that want to learn about modern (i.e. quantum) physics but don't want the math in the way. It's a pretty good read.

But I'm trying to evaluate it as a textbook, because that's how it's conceived. The early chapters about mechanics, setting up the basics, aren't that great. They're heavy with biography, but not much else that's new. They just need to make some definitions.

Most of the book is about 1905 onward. Relati
...more
Bob Nichols
In this 1970 edition, March walks the lay reader through the transition of physics from Newton's classical theory about the behavior of macro phenomena to the micro world of 20th century quantum physics. A key aspect to this transition was the growing recognition and acceptance - though uncomfortable for many, including Einstein - that, ultimately, interactions in the physical world were not deterministic in a linear, physical contact or "action at a distance" (e.g., gravitational "pull"), cause ...more
Triinu
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Üsna söödavaks tehtud füüsika ka väga uduseid eelteadmisi omavale lugejale. Aga kuigi too lugeja võib küll füüsika asjus loll olla, ent igakülgselt loll olles see raamat teda ka targemaks ei tee. Sest ta ei saa midagi aru ega viitsi lugedagi =)
Penelope
Read this back in the early '80s while in college. Remember that I hadn't the damnedest idea what it was about. Will have to give it a re-read, just for Kicks. Penelope ...more
Xianbin
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have
Easy to read and it lays out the history of development of Physics is quite an adventure!
Pete Kelly
Jul 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Quantum physics for people who can't do maths. A fun read which will twist your brain out of shape. ...more
Jcs2319
Jul 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Historical account of classical, relativistic and quantum of physics. Very light on math, heavy on exrordinary experiments, discoveries, theories and biographies.
Steven Greenwell
Read this back in the early '80s while in college. Remember that I hadn't the damnedest idea what it was about. Will have to give it a re-read, just for Kicks. Penelope ...more
Shane
Apr 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
non-fiction. liked it. short chapters with diagrams that really pull in the visual learner. well better than that - how can you explain some things without the visual ?

Chess via Email
This one took me a while.
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