Skip to main content

Authors - P

A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z


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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The AI Delusion - Gary Smith *****

This is a very important little book ('little' isn't derogatory - it's just quite short and in a small format) - it gets to the heart of the problem with applying artificial intelligence techniques to large amounts of data and thinking that somehow this will result in wisdom.

Gary Smith as an economics professor who teaches statistics, understands numbers and, despite being a self-confessed computer addict, is well aware of the limitations of computer algorithms and big data. What he makes clear here is that we forget at our peril that computers do not understand the data that they process, and as a result are very susceptible to GIGO - garbage in, garbage out. Yet we are increasingly dependent on computer-made decisions coming out of black box algorithms which mine vast quantities of data to find correlations and use these to make predictions. What's wrong with this? We don't know how the algorithms are making their predictions - and the algorithms don't kn…

Five Photons - James Geach ****

It is generally acknowledged that Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time is one of the most common books to be bought but not read beyond the first few pages. If you are the kind of popular science reader who found Hawking hard going, you can stop now - Five Photons is not for you. If, on the other hand, you found A Brief History of Time a piece of cake and wished you could get into more depth without resorting to heavy mathematics or a tedious textbook style, Five Photons could be just up your street.

Astrophysicist James Geach starts of fairly gently with a chapter on the nature of light that mostly sets aside quantum physics, leading up to the observation that light is our vehicle for for stripping back the history of the universe to its earliest times (or, at least, the point where the universe became transparent). From here on, the five photons of the title take us on different journeys, from the oldest surviving light of the cosmic microwave background radiation to that fr…

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.

Ball does not ignore the interpretations, though he clearly isn't happy with any of them. He seems to come clo…