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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Feynman

Richard Feynman is one of the most brilliant and fascinating physicists of the twentieth century. He picked locks for fun at the Manhattan Project, reinvented quantum physics and investigated the space shuttle Challenger tragedy. Author Jim Ottaviani and artist Leland Myrick collaborated to create the graphic novel "Feynman" about his life. In this excerpt, Feynman shares the groundwork of quantum electrodynamics with students in New Zealand. Excerpted with permission from the publisher, First Second Books.


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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 Relativity and Everyday Life

Clifford M. Will

What good is fundamental physics to the person on the street? This is the perennial question posed to physicists by their non-science friends, by students in the humanities and social sciences, and by politicians looking to justify spending tax dollars on basic science.


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ATOM: An Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth...and Beyond

Lawrence M. Krauss

It is difficult today to fully appreciate how recent is the notion that atoms are real physical entities, and not mere mathematical or philosophical constructs.