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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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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The Cosmic Zoom

Robert L. Park

Most of the scientists and inventors we met started out believing that they had made a great discovery overlooked by everyone else. It never pays to underestimate the human capacity for self-deception.


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Odds Are Stacked When Science Tries to Debate Pseudoscience

Lawrence M. Krauss

I agreed to participate in a debate for a Florida radio program that specialized in alien visits and U.F.O. sightings. . . I should have known better.


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Celebrating the Poetry of Imagination Without Boundaries

Lawrence M. Krauss

There is poetry in physics discoveries that is worth celebrating, even if one is not a cosmologist.


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A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down

Robert B. Laughlin

A few years ago I had occasion to engage my father-in-law, a retired academician, on the subject of the collective nature of physical law.