The world around us functions based upon a set of physical laws that usually seem either totally self-evident, or completely mysterious. For example, while the existence of gravity as a scientific principle appears indisputable, can the average person truly define what it is and how it works? Likewise, can a layperson really grasp the fact that while he or she appears to be standing still, they are, in reality, moving along with the entire Earth in a rotation that occurs at approximately 1000 miles per hour? In this volume of "An Illustrated Guide to Science," young scientists are afforded a resource guide to some of the cardinal principals of physics. Physics is divided into five sections, each of which deals with a relevant subset of the family of domains that combine to form the discipline of physics. In turn, concepts such as forces and energy, waves-sound-and light, electricity, electronics, and units and measurement are all presented by the author of this informative guidebook. Throughout the text, ample use is made of charts, graphs, vocabulary guides, concept insertions, and a number of other teaching resources. In the end, this combination of visual teaching tools and the well researched narrative combine to create a viable teaching/learning resource book. Young scientists with an interest in physics will find this book to be a useful tool for the furtherance of their studies.
- Marilyn Brien
These two volumes on chemistry and physics join six others on space and astronomy, biology, marine science, weather and climate, and environment. Illustrations, although an effective tool to develop concepts of basic scientific principles, are seldom the major thrust of a science reference book. The illustrations, including graphs, tables, and diagrams in these volumes are large, colorful, and uncluttered, making it easy for the student to focus on a single principle. The text is in sidebars and supplements the illustrations. Chemistry begins with the formation and fate of stars and includes sections on organic compounds and radioactive decay of elements, as well as the more traditional topics of periodic table and reactions. Physics includes traditional topics but provides real-world applications such as lasers, amplifiers, and television. The design enables even younger students to locate and interpret specific information without assistance. Many current books on science use text with few or inadequate illustrations to develop understanding. Other books use beautiful illustrations that may capture interest but do not help the student understand the basic principles of the topic. These books superbly meet the challenge of providing visual tools in concept building. Hence they will be appreciated by students and teachers and should be a priority purchase for a library serving youth.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up
These useful reference tools are ideal resources for visual learners and for test prep. Chemistry is arranged into eight sections: "Atomic Structure," "Elements and Compounds," "Changes in Matter," "Patterns-Non-Metals," "Patterns-Metals," "Chemical Reactions," "Chemistry of Carbon," and "Radioactivity." Physics includes "Forces and Energy"; "Waves, Sound, and Light"; "Electricity"; "Electronics"; and "Units and Measurements." The busy one-page entries feature full-color diagrams, graphs, charts, and maps on every spread, with the text, including a list of keywords to be found in the glossary, appearing in the margins. The illustrations and related information are labeled with corresponding numbers for easy matching. For example, in "Color Mixing," diagram 1 shows the primary colors, and the first section of text is labeled "1: Primary Colors." There is no cross-referencing between entries, but both sets include an extensive index. The books are written in easy-to-understand language, appropriate for students. Supplemental purchases.
—Maren OstergardCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.