Fear of Physics is a lively, irreverent, and informative look at everything from the physics of boiling water to cutting-edge research at the observable limits of the universe. Rich with anecdotes and accessible examples, it nimbly ranges over the tools and thought behind the world of modern physics, taking the mystery out of what is essentially a very human intellectual endeavor.
©2007 Lawrence M. Krauss (P)2014 Dogma Debate, LLC
Lawrence Krauss gives a fascinating insight into the the mind of a physicist. The book gives an account of how some of the major breakthroughs in science came to fruition. Krauss shows the power of science in its ability formulate ideas which actually turn out to be true. Some of the chapters are challenging for the non-scientist and may require a second read, but science was never meant to be trivial. Having said that, It's astonishing how some of seemingly the most complex of problems can be broken down into much simpler ones once you pass that problem over to a physicist . Highly recommend this book, particularly for those just starting out a career in science.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it wasn't too long and most of the topics were exciting and interesting. Everything from galactic to subatomic scales were covered and plenty of effort was made to relate physics to our everyday lives.
I'm no physicist, and although some sections were challenging to listen to, I didn't feel lost for long and it didn't stop me enjoying the other parts of the book both before and after.
At times I felt Dr Krauss made a few slips in his delivery and more attention could have been given from the editor/producer, but this didn't significantly impact on my enjoyment. You can hear the passion and humour in the delivery, so definitely not a dull physics book.
Thanks, Dr Krauss.
"Informative and entertaining"
Just as its title suggests this is a great introduction to physics for those who believe they don't have a sufficient background in science or maths to begin to understand what physicists are discovering about our world and the universe in which we live.
"Great book, rushed reading"
The content of the book was excellent, but it was a bit overshadowed by the rush of reading. I think the reader which also the author (which is always very cool) wanted to show excitements through his methods of reading but it felt more hurried than anything.
"good. not his best though."
the performance or read, felt rushed. the book is still excellent and worth reading I think.
"A nobility and a beauty to the search"
"To be scientifically illiterate is to remain essentially uncultured. And the chief virtue of a cultural activity--be it art, music, literature, or science--is the way it enriches our lives."
― Lawrence M. Krauss, Fear of Physics: A Guide for the Perplexed
One of my great loves is reading about physics and science. Richard Feynman, Niels Bohr, Newton, Einstein, etc., are my lower-case "g" gods. While my math and science background is just enough to get me in trouble, it is also enough to keep me coming back.
A couple years ago I decided that I would drop my subscription to 'The Economist' for a year and instead subscribe to 'Science'. Every week I would read. It was like launching myself into an intellectual sphere that got more and more dense toward the center. I would jam easily with THIS WEEK IN SCIENCE and even IN BRIEF, but once I hit RESEARCH ARTICLES and the REPORTS I was usually forced to just dance around the abstract. But I loved it. It was like New York Times crossword puzzles. I found the more often I could finish a Wednesday the more answers I could find without help to the Thursday puzzles.
That, I believe is the essence of what Krauss is trying to communicate in this book. Life is a joy. The search for answers is a thrill. Knowing how science works and where science IS deepens our understanding of our brief moment on this round rock in space. I love literature, but often GOOD literature tries to translate truths found in science. Just look at how closely Cormac McCarthy and Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo follow the discoveries of science. Knowledge is constantly bleeding between science, philosophy, and art. There is a nobility and a beauty to the search, the discovery, and understanding. If we aren't curious and aren't engaged, we might as well be dead or slaves.
While I admire Krauss and tend to get a lot out of his work, I found this reading to be rushed and the resulting performance to be quite poor. On several occasions the author pauses at inappropriate times or mispronounces words during the reading and this leads to a less than pleasurable experience. In a post-book interview with Smalley, they both brag that the book was read in "record time". The results show it. The book would be far better if the production staff had taken the time to listen to it prior to publishing and have Krauss re-read the parts that are awkwardly recorded. Smalley would do better with a less melodramatic tone during the reading of the quotes at the beginning of the chapters. The flaws detract slightly from the overall message and content of the book which relay concepts that help lay people get a better grasp of key topics in physics and where they came from.
"Still a great book"
I think I enjoyed hearing him read this more than I enjoyed reading it myself. This is still a relevant book and the topics discussed are just as timely now as they were when it was written. You can't always say that about science related literature. I view this book as a foundational book for anyone interested in understanding physics better. I use the examples found here to help explain these concepts to my children and many other people who have a tenuous grasp on science in the world around them. I would recommend this book to just about anyone.
"Not So Much"
As much as I love physics, I really didn't care for this book. The reading is awful. The subject matter is very disjointed. I doubt anyone could follow this book without a physics background because it's very muddy.
I found it very hard to get the point of each chapter. Things sort of wander around until something seems like a point and then it's off to the next item.
The caveat is this: it could be just me. There are many rave reviews which led me to believe I might enjoy this book. When he mentioned "The law of relativity" I nearly choked.
Not for me. Your mileage may vary.
"There's better versions of this same information"
For some reason this just didn't grab me the way Brian Greene or Stephen Hawking's stuff did. I feel like Lawrence Krause just comes off as slightly condescending.
"Excellent overview of concepts in physics"
I write this review as an interested layperson, and that seems to be part of the intended audience. The book succeeded in introducing me to new material and imparting a greater understanding of our natural world. I found the material is dense and complicated at times due to my lack of background, but I was never entirely overwhelmed. This book is an excellent starting point to pique the interest of an interested student or any other curious person.
"Excellent book really interesting and informative"
I enjoyed the book but I would recommend reading it instead of listening to it.
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