Writers’ Gallery

Our Writers' Gallery features short pieces about physics by authors who are both renowned physicists and prize-winning writers. Some of these are original contributions and others are excerpts from longer works. Many are linked to more information about the authors and their work.

 

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Insatiable Birdie

Can a book inspire you as a child to grow up and solve one of the most famous mysteries of mathematics? Come take a peek inside Physics for Entertainment to find out. Originally published over seventy years ago in Russia, this classic book answers many fascinating questions that one might not even think are physics questions. “Can an invisible man see? Why are all cats grey when the candles are out?” The excerpt below explains the habits or our beloved drinking bird toy.


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Death From the Skies

Philip Plait

"The Universe is trying to kill you. It's nothing personal. It's trying to kill me too" Astronomer, Phil Plait, describes how everything from asteroids to gamma ray burst would end impact the Earth.


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Physics for Future Presidents --the Science Behind the Headlines

Richard A. Muller

What does the president need to know about Physics? As president you will need to make decisions that require thinking like a physicist.


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Einstein's Legacy

John S. Rigden

Would the world now be different if Albert Einstein had never lived? Could we ask the same question with regard to Claude Monet or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?


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The Map is Not the Territory*

Hans Christian von Baeyer

My uncle Karl had no sense of direction. Armed with an elaborate set of instructions and a street map of downtown Montreal, he would gamely set off on an errand, and we children would gleefully brace ourselves for the next development.


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Beauty of Trajectory

Hans Christian von Baeyer

"Ignoring air resistance, cannon balls move along parabolas," we learn in school, but the truth is more intriguing.