For many of us, physics, like math, has always been a thing of mystery and complexity. In First You Build a Cloud, K. C. Cole provides cogent explanations through animated prose, metaphors, and anecdotes, allowing us to comprehend the nuances of physics-gravity and light, color and shape, quarks and...
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For many of us, physics, like math, has always been a thing of mystery and complexity. In First You Build a Cloud, K. C. Cole provides cogent explanations through animated prose, metaphors, and anecdotes, allowing us to comprehend the nuances of physics-gravity and light, color and shape, quarks and quasars, particles and stars, force and strength. We also come to see how the physical world is so deeply intertwined with the ways in which we think about culture, poetry, and philosophy. Cole, one of our preeminent science writers, serves as a guide into the world of such legendary scientific minds as Richard Feynman, Victor Weisskopf, brothers Frank Oppenheimer and J. Robert Oppenheimer, Philip Morrison, Vera Kistiakowsky, and Stephen Jay Gould.from via
When you try to push a heavy sofa, you disturb the entire gravitationally entangled cosmos. No wonder its so hard to move. Now thats good science writing--punchy, direct, and immediately meaningful to the readers life. K. C. Cole, the Leonardo da Vinci of science writers, has taken her great, out-of-print Sympathetic Vibrations and revised, expanded, and updated it to create an entirely new book, First You Build a Cloud: And Other Reflections on Physics as a Way of Life. Her enthusiasm for science as an intensely meaningful endeavor comes through on each page: here is someone who not only thinks about the world around her but gets others to do the same. In addition to her chapter on forces (quoted above), Cole covers the quantum world, relativity, and universal patterns, among other fundamental topics. Throughout she manages to show the reader the power of science to shape our dreams, religion, and poetry, as well as our bridges, dams, and highways. Conversations with such luminaries as Richard Feynman and Frank Oppenheimer enlighten us on both the form and substance of what was once known as natural philosophy and rehumanize this field too often recognized for its dizzying abstractions. Despite the enormity of its role in our lives, science should not be feared. Instead, we should keep working on new translations of its mysteries; with scribes like Cole, the work becomes much easier for us all.