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Categories On the Beauty of Physics: Essential Physics Concepts and Their Companions in Art & Literature

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Overview

On the Beauty of Physics is a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary educational book that uses art, and information from a variety of disciplines to facilitate the readers encounter with challenging material. It promotes scientific literacy, fosters an appreciation of the humanities, and encourages informed and imaginative connections between the sciences and the arts. Categories is a cooperative learning tool through which people (especially educators and students) can engage in academic and value-oriented discussions.
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Editorial Reviews

John Katzman
"Everyone talks about the beauty and elegance of physics, but this is the first beautiful and elegant physics book."
founder of The Princeton Review
John Rennie
"Ideas can have a life of their own, and as Categories-On the Beauty of Physics elegantly proves, the concepts native to science feed the imagination as much as they draw from it. Thoughts of particles, for example, wing their way from subatomic blurs to Seurat’s pointillism, to Proust’s memorable madeleines and back to the mysterious dark matter defining most of the universe. The book is a treat for scientists and poets alike."
Editor-in-Chief, Scientific American
Lea Ybarra
"Categories-On the Beauty of Physics is a fascinating exploration of the hidden connections between science and art. It provides an avenue to scientific literacy that does not sacrifice an appreciation for the humanities. Our children need more books that meaningfully connect ideas from as far ranging sources as Sir Isaac Newton, Edward Hopper, and Marshall McLuhan."
Executive Director, Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth
Raina A. Lampkins-Fielder
"By weaving together the worlds of science, literature, and art while also providing thoughtful suggestions for active learning, this book invites the reader on a creative and liberating journey of the mind. Categories-On the Beauty of Physics is a wonderful educational tool for both the child and the adult, the novice and the expert."
Whitney Museum of American Art
Rebecca Rupp
"Once you and your kids have thought, read, and talked your way through Categories-On the Beauty of Physics, you'll not only have a whole new take on the world around you, but an education and a half. The book's express intent is to ‘cultivate the connected mind’ and at that it succeeds beyond its wildest dreams. For teenagers and up, but a superb multidimensional resource for all."
Home Education Magazine
Library Journal
The first in a series of multidisciplinary education books-titles on chemistry and biology are forthcoming-this gorgeous book edited by Sefusatti (research associate, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, IL), artist John Morse, and writer Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl) looks at the relationships among science, art, and literature. It is organized in encyclopedic fashion and is thus great for browsing; read in sequence, however, the 39 chapters provide a comprehensive overview of physics, past and present. Each chapter is built around a central concept and includes definitions of science terms, an explanation by a scientist for lay readers, equations, a featured literary quote, colorful collage and fine art, an annotated bibliography, questions to ponder, and thought-provoking conversation starters. Albert Einstein, Henri Matisse, William Faulkner, Isaac Newton, Henry David Thoreau, Homer, Pablo Picasso, and Leonardo da Vinci are just some of the artists, writers, and scientists discussed. Categories is designed to encourage readers to make connections among science, art, and literature and to inspire a lifelong appreciation of them. A great addition to general science collections, this book will appeal to readers high school-aged and beyond. Highly recommended for mid- to large-sized public libraries and academic libraries of all sizes.-Denise Dayton, Jaffrey Grade Sch., NH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780974026633
  • Publisher: Vernacular Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/2006
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2006

    The Beauty of Physics

    'Categories on the Beauty of Physics' is a science book for the literary and art minded person. The book is an all around delight. The pages are heavy, glossy paper and all the original art and the reproductions are in full color. The book is composed of 39 'chapters.' Each chapter is a term used in physics from acceleration to force to mass to work. The chapter begins with a passage from a book that illustrates the term under discussion. The passages come from science books and literature as well as philosophy and psychology. To give you an idea, Ben Franklin is used for electricity 'Don Quixote' for entropy 'Hamlet' for uncertainty. The passage is then followed by a dictionary definition of the term. Next is an original piece of collage art followed by a physicist's single page explanation of the concept, a list of related terms in the book, and the equation (if there is one). Next comes a section called 'Think About It' that supplements the physicist's explanation and includes related themes. After this is 'Read About It.' This is my favorite section because it lists two or three books and sometimes films, that further illustrate the concept. All recommended materials were verified by the editors to be readily found in libraries and bookstores. To be sure, quite a number of science books are suggested, but none of them are textbooks or for a specialized audience. But not all of the books are science books. For example, in the chapter on energy, the books recommended are 'Nuclear Madness: What You Can Do' by Helen Caldicott and 'Physics for Poets' by Robert March. The 'Read About It' section is followed by 'Talk About It.' Here can be found questions to ponder and discuss such as a few found in 'Entropy' which ask 'Is decay always undesirable? Can entropy be seen as the progression from whole to particulate? Are rare objects precious because they cannot be remade or regenerated?' Once your brain is whirling from the questions, there is a photo of a work of art that further illustrates the term. For instance, Mary Cassatt's 'The Bath' is used for the 'Orbit' chapter. The chapter concludes with a short 'review' of the book from which the chapter's opening passage was taken. At the back of the book, the editors kindly provide a bibliography that includes all of these books as well as all of the books from the 'Read About It' sections. And let me just say, my TBR list has several new additions. What I liked about this book is that it not only makes the concepts easy to understand, but it also provides a wider context for them. I've not come across any other book that can bring a concept like 'particle' to life in science (atoms, electrons, dark matter), art ('A Sunday in La Grande Jatte' by Seurat) and literature ('Swann's Way' by Proust). It really shows the interconnections between art and science and just how much they depend upon each other. 'Catergories on the Beauty of Physics' is definitely worth your time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2006

    A Brand New Take on The Textbook Experience

    I just purchased a copy of 'Catagories On The Beauty of Physics,' and can not reccommend it highly enough. As did most of us, I studied the rudiments of physics in high school, but came away with only a minimal understanding of physical law, and a general desire to steer clear of the subject in the future. As an adult however, and most certainly as a parent, I have found myself wanting to understand more completely (and more confidently) how aspects of the natural world function and interact. In H.T. Hamann's book, concepts of physics are not just presented and explained in a clear and utterly comprehensible manner, they are then linked to works of art and literature in a seemless and sensitive, and frequently thrilling presentation. The book itself is beautifully and meticulously compiled, with the care and thoughtfulness that went into it's production evident on every page. What an amazing experience reading this book has been, for me as well as for my family. As the title implies (and as I am now able to appreciate), Physics is truly a thing of beauty.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2006

    INCREDIBLE BEAUTY, PIERCING INSIGHT

    One of the most outstanding blends of art and science ever achieved. Accessible, fascinating text combines with alluring, lush art -- both classics from the world's greatest artists, as well as dozens of new work from the hand of master collage artist John Morse -- to create a new genre of literature. Bravo.

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