We will read the first four texts (below) in Fall quarter.  (In winter quarter we will read Randall with other texts.)  Please see the Syllabus for the reading schedule.

You may want to order the first couple of texts online in case the bookstore doesn’t get enough in on time.

ACfair2010sciSem NEW! link to Winter Seminar Texts

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The God Particle, by Leon Lederman and Dick Teresi

The “God particle” of the title is Lederman’s term for what other physicists call a Higgs boson–a hypothetical particle that might hold a key to the subatomic world of quarks and leptons. To find out if a Higgs boson indeed exists, this Nobel laureate in physics conceived of the Superconducting Super Collider, which, if constructed, would be the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. Writing with Teresi, … Lederman first surveys moments of discovery from Newton to Einstein in a breezy, folksy style

(Mariner, 2006) ISBN 978-0618711680

Measuring the World, by Daniel Kehlmann

A yearlong bestseller in Germany, described as an “intellectual comedy.”

Loosely based on the lives of 19th-century explorer Alexander von Humboldt and a contemporary, mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, Kehlmann’s novel, a German bestseller widely heralded as an exemplar of “new” German fiction, injects musty history with shots of whimsy and irony.

(Vintage, 2007) ISBN 978-0307277398

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments, by George Johnson

Award-winning science writer Johnson (A Fire in the Mind; Strange Beauty) calls readers away from the industrialized mega-scale of modern science (which requires multimillion-dollar equipment and teams of scientists) to appreciate 10 historic experiments whose elegant simplicity revealed key features of our bodies and our world.

(Vintage reprint, 2009) ISBN 978-1400034239

The Great Equations: Breakthroughs in Science from Pythagoras to Heisenberg, by Robert Crease

More than just a celebration of the great equations . . . [Crease] shows how an equation not only affects science and math but also transforms the thinking of all people. (Dick Teresi )
Wry, probing, philosophically inclined. (Charles C. Mann)

(Norton, 2010) ISBN 978-0393337938

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