Question by Storman Norman: Does anyone know any good science books for high school or college kids?
I’m a sophomore in high school but I have a strong interest in science, especially chemistry and physics. I have taken high school chemistry, and a little bit of college chemistry, but I have no experience in physics other than reading books. If anyone knows of any good books that I would understand and would be interesting, that you would be great. thanks!
Answer by ChemTeam
Four books from my personal library (one non-science). None of them are that technical, although my view may be skewed by the fact that I’m a bit more knowledgeable than you are right now. Consider going to a used bookstore and looking through their science section. You might find something of interest. If someone suggests an interesting title and it’s out of print, try Abebooks at:
On the non-science side, I just finished this book:
“Shackleton’s Forgotten Expedition: The Voyage of the Nimrod” (Beau Riffenburgh) ISBN = 9781582346113.
It’s about Shackleton going to Antarctica in 1907-1908 and getting to within 97 miles of the South Pole. Amazing stuff!
Here’s the science stuff with some summaries I found:
1) From X-Rays to Quarks: Modern Physicists and Their Discoveries (Emilio Segre) ISBN = 9780716711476
Summary: A Nobel Laureate offers impressions and recollections of the development of modern physics. Rather than a chronological approach, Segrè emphasizes interesting, complex personalities who often appear only in footnotes. Readers will find that this book adds considerably to their understanding of science and includes compelling topics of current interest. 1980 edition.
2) From Falling Bodies to Radio Waves: Classical Physicists and Their Discoveries (Emilio Segre) ISBN = 9780486458083
Summary: Hailed by the “Journal of the History of Astronomy” as “charming and witty,” this chronicle by a renowned physicist traces the development of scientific thought from the works of the “founding fathers” — Galileo, Huygens, and Newton — to the more recent discoveries of Maxwell, Boltzmann, and Gibbs. 1984 edition.
I’ve been meaning to read this one for several years. I think you’ve spurred me to pick it up very soon.
3) Why the Sky Is Blue: Discovering the Color of Life (Gotz Hoeppe) ISBN = 9780691124537
Summary: Why is the sky blue?
Parents don’t know what to say when their children ask.
“Why the Sky Is Blue” answers this ancient and surprisingly complex question in a more entertaining and accessible way than ever before. Götz Hoeppe takes the reader on a historical and scientific journey to show the various ways people in different times and places have explained why the sky looks blue. The richly illustrated story begins with ancient myths and philosophy and ends with the cutting-edge science of optics, statistical physics, and ozone depletion. Most importantly, it is the story of how scientists discovered that the sky’s blue depends on life on Earth and the makeup of our planet’s ozone layer. Without microbial life’s impact on the composition of the atmosphere, the clear daytime sky would probably lack its distinctive color. And without the ozone, the twilight sky’s color would also be very different–not the sapphire tone of “l’heure bleue”, but rather a yellowish or greenish hue.
“Why the Sky Is Blue” shows that skylight can be viewed from a surprising variety of vantage points. We learn how our physiology and cognitive capacities govern our perception of the sky’s color. And we discover why this everyday experience has been such a source of fascination and controversy over the centuries.
Delightful and intriguing, “Why the Sky Is Blue” shows how the attempt to answer this age-old and deceptively simple question only enhances the magic of the blue sky we see above us.
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