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Authors - P


Ra Page

Stephanie Pain

Abraham Pais

Mark Pallen

Douglas Palmer

Richard Panek

Michael Alan Park

Andew Parker

Paul Parsons

William Patrick (with John Cacioppo)

Gregory S. Paul

Tony Peake

Fred Pearce

Iain Pears

George Pendle

Delia Perlov (with Alex Vilenkin)

John Perry (with Jack Challoner)

Peter Pesic

Sam Peters

Andrew Petto (with Laurie Godfrey)

Patricia Pierce

Alexis Mari Pietak

Orrin Pilkey (with Rob Young)

Stephen Pincock

Adolfo Plasencia

Robert Plomin

Frederik Pohl (with Cyril Kornbluth)

John Polkinghorne

Henry Pollack

Justin Pollard

Roy Porter (with William Bynum)

William Poundstone

Thomas Povey

Terry Pratchett (with Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen)

Tim Pratt

Diana Preston

Louisa Preston

Frans Pretorius (with Steven Gubser)

Christopher Priest

John Prior

Joel Primack (with Nancy Ellen Abrams)

Lawrence Principe

David Prothero

Donald Prothero

Oliver Pugh (with Brian Clegg)

Oliver Pugh (with Tom Whyntie)

Robert Michael Pyle


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Beyond Weird - Philip Ball *****

It would be easy to think 'Surely we don't need another book on quantum physics.' There are loads of them. Anyone should be happy with The Quantum Age on applications and the basics, Cracking Quantum Physics for an illustrated introduction or In Search of Schrödinger's Cat for classic history of science coverage. Don't be fooled, though - because in Beyond Weird, Philip Ball has done something rare in my experience until Quantum Sense and Nonsense came along. It makes an attempt not to describe quantum physics, but to explain why it is the way it is.

Historically this has rarely happened. It's true that physicists have come up with various interpretations of quantum physics, but these are designed as technical mechanisms to bridge the gap between theory and the world as we see it, rather than explanations that would make sense to the ordinary reader.

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Jim Baggott - Four Way Interview

Jim Baggott is a freelance science writer. He trained as a scientist, completing a doctorate in physical chemistry at Oxford in the early 80s, before embarking on post-doctoral research studies at Oxford and at Stanford University in California. He gave up a tenured lectureship at the University of Reading after five years in order to gain experience in the commercial world. He worked for Shell International Petroleum for 11 years before leaving to establish his own business consultancy and training practice. He writes about science, science history and philosophy in what spare time he can find. His books include Atomic: The First War of Physics and the Secret History of the Atom Bomb (2009), Higgs: The Invention and Discovery of the ‘God Particle’ (2012), Mass: The Quest to Understand Matter from Greek Atoms to Quantum Fields (2017), and, most recently, Quantum Space: Loop Quantum Gravity and the Search for the Structure of Space, Time, and the Universe (2018). For more info see: www…

Quantum Space: Jim Baggott *****

There's no doubt that Jim Baggott is one of the best popular science writers currently active. He specialises in taking really difficult topics and giving a more in-depth look at them than most of his peers. The majority of the time he achieves with a fluid writing style that remains easily readable, though inevitably there are some aspects that are difficult for the readers to get their heads around - and this is certainly true of his latest title Quantum Space, which takes on loop quantum gravity.

As Baggott points out, you could easily think that string theory was the only game in town when it comes to the ultimate challenge in physics, finding a way to unify the currently incompatible general theory of relativity and quantum theory. Between them, these two behemoths of twentieth century physics underlie the vast bulk of physics very well - but they simply can't be put together. String theory (and its big brother M-theory, which as Baggott points out, is not actually a the…