Friday, May 16, 2008

Non-Required Reading: The Fabric of the Cosmos

Facing a long plane ride later this summer, or need something to keep you occupied before summer classes start? Some of us here thought we'd share recommendations for some recent reads and perennial favorites. Today, Research & Instruction Librarian/Web Support Specialist John Breitmeyer makes a recommendation.

The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality
by Brian Greene

The Fabric of the Cosmos popularizes science -- specifically physics -- in a manner somewhat reminiscent of efforts made by Carl Sagan and other (good) science writers to reach and educate the general public. By a kind of prose miracle, it's entirely math-free, although Greene is frequently obliged to refer to the difficult mathematics underlying various physical theories in a "trust me--the math bears this out" sort of way. However, his presentations are clear and convincing, and he succinctly, and excitingly, conveys a sense of the historical controversies and progress in physics to the layperson.

Greene manages to engagingly and clearly summarize over three hundred years of physics (it begins with Newton), and at the same time convey the vertiginous sense of wonder that comes from discovering how deeply strange and mysterious the universe is.
Get it at our library, or from the Enoch Pratt Free Library or your public library at home, wherever that may be.

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