Over the years, scientists have struggled to unlock the secrets of the physical world. Among the many areas of scientific inquiry perhaps none has been more puzzling and difficult to investigate than the laws of physics. Here, in this study of elemental principles of modern physics, readers will be introduced to some of the most basic, yet perplexing, laws of the universe. Concepts such as relativity, motion, light waves versus particles, quantum mechanics, energy conservation and the uncertainty principle are presented and illustrated via real life examples. In dealing with complicated scientific principles, the author does a good job of outlining the body of knowledge available about each topic and then converting scientific jargon into understandable concepts that are approachable for the average reader. For example, an issue as intricate as the speed of light under varying conditions is described in a way that will help younger readers grasp a highly complicated idea in a reasonable manner. In covering such important but potentially overwhelming territory in this even handed fashion, Paul Fleisher has provided students with a fine introductory work covering keynote elements of physics. Part of the "Secrets of the Universe" series. 2002, Lerner, $25.26. Ages 10 to 14. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
Gr 6-9-These two titles adapted from the author's Secrets of the Universe: Discovering the Universal Laws of Science (Atheneum, 1987; o.p.) explain the basic principles of matter, thermodynamics, and modern physics. Beginning with Einstein's equation of E=mc2 as the basis of physics, the introduction in both books defines a natural law so that readers may grasp the scientific principles presented. Chapters follow a sequential and logical progression through questions and explanations of everyday occurrences, the discovery of scientific laws, and their relationships to other discoveries in the field. Terms unique to the subject of physics are clearly explained and defined, and some simple experiments provide further understanding of these laws and how they work. Straightforward drawings and diagrams show processes and the structure of elements. The language and sentence structure make an otherwise difficult subject easier to understand through a conversational text. Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, and Dmitri Mendeleyev are only a few of the great scientists introduced. A time line of major scientific discoveries and other major American historical events helps in placing these discoveries in historical perspective.-Susan Shaver, Hemingford Public Schools, NE Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.