Sunday, August 9, 2009

Living Science Author: Robert Gilmore

I only picked up The Wizard of Quarks yesterday at my favorite used books store, and so I have only read a little of it. Yet in researching this book and others by Robert Gilmore, Once Upon a Universe, Scrooge's Cryptic Carol, and Alice in Quantumland, I knew I had to post about these marvelous living science books.

Each book explains complicated physics through a modern retelling of a classic fairy tale. The Wizard of Quarks is an introduction to atomic physics told through Frank L. Baum's classic. Grimm's Fairy Tales are used to explain the universe in Once Upon a Universe: Not So Grimm Tales of Cosmology. Three ghosts visit a descendant of Dicken's famous character in Scrooge's Cryptic Carol: Visions of Energy, Time, and Quantum Nature. And then there's Alice in Quantumland, with the obvious nod to the Lewis Carroll classic.

Make no mistake, these are college-level books dealing with college-level concepts. I noticed that several comments on Amazon mention these books being enjoyed by elementary students, they are that fun, even if they didn't get all the concepts. It seems only scientists pan the books, and not for the content but rather for the fairy tales.

These books are rather pricey as new hardcovers but used copies are readily available at good prices. (I've already ordered the other three myself.) I will post a full review on Shelfari as soon as I finish these delightful finds!

So far Dorothy has encounter the very large witch of mass, who explains how her strength is far, far less than her sister, electromagnetism. She has two other sisters, too--strong (color) interaction and weak interaction.

Dorothy has also met the Observant Scarecrow in an electron probability field...


7 comments:

Jennifer Fink said...

I'm going to have to check these out. My boys are beginning to outgrow the Magic School Bus books, so these sound perfect!

Chef Penny said...

These sound perfect for my voracious reader! Thanks!

Suji said...

Thanks so much for mentioning these Kris. Would it be too much trouble to very humbly request if you could copy and paste your review on your blog onto the Living Science Yahoo Group too? (Pretty pleeeeeaaaase?) :)

Hope you've been having a happy summer!

L a u r a said...

These look fantastic!
As always, thank you so much for the tip!

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

How did you know I was offering physics this year to my high schooler? Perfect suggestions. Thanks.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Jimmie said...

We love OZ books. :-) These are new to me. Will check them out.

Shannon said...

Thanks for the tip. I've never heard of these books.