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Superstrings and Other Things: A Guide to Physics, Second Edition Paperback – 12 Jan 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 567 pages
  • Publisher: CRC Press; 2 edition (12 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439810737
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439810736
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,615,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Carlos I. Calle is a senior research scientist and laboratory director at NASA Kennedy Space Center. In addition to publishing over 150 scientific papers, he is the author of four books for the general reader.

His most recent book, The Universe - Order Without Design, presents the current cosmological theories, exploring the problem of origins and the exciting possibility that science can explain the existence of the universe. His discussion is honest and rooted in science, evaluating each theory in light of the testable predictions that they make and that can be verified in the not too distant future.

He writes his books in his library at home. When he is away from his NASA lab and not working on a new book, he enjoys drawing and sculpting.

Product Description

Review

While accessible to a wide audience, the book could act as a vade mecum for students studying physics in their final years at school and their introductory courses to modern physics at university. Teachers who adopt the book for their courses may not only find inspirational ideas but also can profit from a Numerical Guide to Superstrings and Other Things. This supplement … offers a comprehensive range of problems, based on the material in the main book. … Given there is a first edition, why should one buy this second edition? The short answer is: more up-to-date content with significantly better presentation. … This book appears excellent for making much of physics more accessible.
Contemporary Physics, Vol. 52, No. 1, January 2011

I have been teaching introductory physics for non-science majors for a long time and have never been satisfied with the books on the market. Most of these texts are just watered-down versions of the general physics texts for science students. When I read through [these] three books, I really do get a sense that the authors have attempted to create book[s] that [are] somehow different from the normal algebra problem-based texts. I will be using Questioning the Universe: Concepts in Physics this fall for the science portion of a Science Fiction Learning Community. In the spring, I will be teaching a physics/art history hybrid course and will be using either Superstrings and Other Things: A Guide to Physics, Second Edition or From Atoms to Galaxies: A Conceptual Physics Approach to Scientific Awareness. … both are great books. … I really feel that for conceptual physics courses, CRC Press currently has the three strongest titles. I anticipate a fun teaching experience while using these texts and hope to use them again in the future.
—Steve Zides, Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA

Praise for the First Edition
Calle, a NASA Kennedy Space Center research scientist, shares the joy of physics with those who want to learn more about superstring theory, quantum teleportation, and other cosmic ideas.
Sci-Tech Book News

Illustrated with photographs, drawings, and even cartoons … . written in an accessible style … a fascinating review of and guide to the way the universe works at the most basic level.
Florida Review

… the coverage is genuinely broad and remarkably inclusive.
Physics World

From the Publisher

Intended for the general reader with an inquiring mind, this guide will also be indispensable to students and scientists in other disciplines, and professionals in non-scientific fields who would like to understand the basic concepts of physics. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By demola on 7 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
Awesome. What a find. This is a top quality guide for the intelligent interested lay person like myself. I hesitated for an interminably long while before buying. First there is the ugly green cover. Then there is the title "Superstrings and Other Things" which let's face it does not entice one to open one's wallet except one is a geek. Yet the book is anything but, except I admit at the very end on quantum mechanics and particle physics. Superstrings are not even mentioned until the final 10 pages! Thirdly and finally there are no high profile endorsements (duh!). I count myself very lucky to have bought despite the aforementioned "negatives" and I know they shouldn't be negatives if content was all but we know that form sells.

I enjoyed reading this book enormously stopping frequently to reflect and gain new insights into the wonderful phenomena we call the universe and our world. Perhaps the most telling sentence is this: "Physics does not tell us about what is but about what we can describe regarding the world". It had just struck me that some of the things being described and explained were in fact concepts rather than actual physical things. Aha! Even then I still struggled in places. No doubt this begs a reread.

This is a much better crafted and much more satisfying read than the heavily touted A Brief History In Time at least I think anyway. My advice to the publishers: (1) change the cover to something sexy (2) change the title to something sexy (even just A Guide To Physics. "Superstrings" may sound trendy but is actually intimidating). My advice to the writer: a less mathematical and more diagrammatic or expository approach on the nuclear/quantum physics sections would be more consistent with the rest of the book.

All in all, a gem of a book.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matt Galloway on 21 May 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is good in general - however there is one slight problem that I can see... that is that the author has written that 10^(1/2) x 10^(1/2) (i.e. root 10, multiplied by root 10), equals 1! (?!?!) Sorry, but the answer is 10 - quite obviously! Oh dear - a printing error I think!
Other than that, it is a good read!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A very useful overview of physics 28 Jun. 2002
By Y. WU - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Written by a NASA scientist, this book tells the story of physics from the early Greeks to the present scientific discoveries. The basic concepts of physics are explained and illustrated with helpful diagrams and photographs. Newtonian and Galilean physics, the laws of thermodynamics and electromagnetism, relativity, quantum physics and even nuclear physics are all in this comprehensive book. Spending the time with this book will give you a head start toward understanding what constitutes the universe and how the universe works. There are wonderful anecdotes from the history of science and many interesting current applications of physics to every day life. Highly recommended.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Great book to learn physics on your own 21 April 2002
By Scott D. Wilcox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you want to learn physics on your own, I would recommend this book. I did not take physics in high school or college and always sort of regreted it. I bought this book a couple of months ago and began to read it. The first chapter is wonderful. I did not enjoy the second chapter as much and would recommend skimming over it. From there on it's very informative. I particularly recommend the section on modern physics. It really allows you to make sense of the new science stuff that gets reported in The New York Times.
Some of the most interestings things about this book are the special notes that are included in all chapters with applications to everyday stuff. They bring what you are reading down to the practical level.
All in all, an excellent book. It's worth your effort.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A very useful overview of physics 28 Jun. 2002
By Y. WU - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Written by a NASA scientist, this book tells the story of physics from the early Greeks to the present scientific discoveries. The basic concepts of physics are explained and illustrated with helpful diagrams and photographs. Newtonian and Galilean physics, the laws of thermodynamics and electromagnetism, relativity, quantum physics and even nuclear physics are all in this comprehensive book. Spending the time with this book will give you a head start toward understanding what constitutes the universe and how the universe works. There are wonderful anecdotes from the history of science and many interesting current applications of physics to every day life. Highly recommended.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
good reading 20 Nov. 2005
By Doc Dave - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I really wish I'd had this book when I was struggling through my physics courses. The concepts are presented in a very clear and readable fashion, and I think the authors of most physics textbooks would benefit a great deal from reading this. It covers pretty much the same topics that are common to most first year general physics courses, and in many cases more. It is intended for the general reader and while there is some math, it should not be enough to scare anyone off. The author succeeds in making this an enjoyable book to read and learn from. In my case this has been a great choice as a refresher on the concepts of physics.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great Book for Conceptual Physics 22 Jan. 2012
By Henry W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book! It was well worth the money. If you're looking for mathematical explanations of physics, you're going to have to look for another book. The author of this book makes it easy--well, easier-- to understand the concepts behind complicated physics. I personally use this as a supplement to my physics for engineers course. Of course, it's no replacement for an physics for engineers textbook, but it helps to clarify many concepts that are not thoroughly explained in my textbook. I would recommend this textbook to anyone who wants a good conceptual understanding of physics.
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