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4.0 out of 5 stars A reasonably good overview of key physics ideas, 13 Jun 2009
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This review is from: 50 Physics Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas You Really Need to Know series) (Hardcover)
From Brownian motion to black holes, from dark matter to antimatter, 50 key key physics topics are presented here in the same 4-page format as other Quercus titles in the series, with quotes, mini biographies and other side panels livening up each essay. The timeline along the bottom is useful in showing when certain ideas (neutron stars, anti-particles, etc) were predicted to exist, and then when they were actually detected - information which, beyond being a validation of the individual ideas, also serves as an interesting tribute to the scientific method itself.

Given how difficult it is to condense certain scientific ideas into 4 pages, it's not surprising that some explanations are more successful than others. There are a few places where topics feel uncomfortably shoe-horned in to fit within the page limit (superconductivity for instance), whereas others - like the Bernoulli equation - seem spread out a little too thinly. All-in-all though, it's really not so bad. Despite the few 'flaws' that other reviewers identified, there remains a wealth of useful information here, with some good and occasionally excellent explanations. This should be interesting and useful to anyone seeking a general introductory (or refresher) guide to physics.
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Location: UK

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