Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by TerriO, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. firehawk12

    firehawk12 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2002
    Location:
    EXILE + ATTON = GUUUUUUSH!!!! (pic by aimo)
    The Code Book by Simon Singh... hell, anything by Simon Singh... including that Fermat's Last Theorem book. :)
     
  2. Llama

    Llama Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History by Stephen Jay Gould

    a great read! this is an exerpt from a review:

    "Wonderful Life is a description of one of the biggest fossil finds ever — a collection of invertebrate remains dating from the early Cambrian (550 million years ago) dug out of the Burgess Shale in British Columbia. Gould presents an outline of the analysis of the remains and uses it to support his own ideas about evolution and history, in particular the theory of "punctuated equilibrium", which argues that the course of evolution, rather than being smooth, is more like some kind of fractal. Intertwined with the rest of the book is Gould's usual brilliant analysis of how the interpretation of scientific evidence is moulded by the beliefs and assumptions of scientists — the hero/ villain in this case being the American geologist and palaeontologist Walcott."
     
  3. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2001
    That was the first thing I thought of when I saw the title.
     
  4. Saffron

    Saffron Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Looking down the barrel of a gun.
    For those of us with kids or someone who is looking for a gift for a favorite child in their life, one book I'd highly recommend as a 'world of science' overview is the beautiful and highly enjoyable DK- Visual Encyclopedia of Science
     
  5. firehawk12

    firehawk12 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2002
    Location:
    EXILE + ATTON = GUUUUUUSH!!!! (pic by aimo)
    Ohoh, Escher, Godel, Bach. A must read for any mathematician/computer scientist/philosopher. :)
     
  6. Naraht

    Naraht Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    Already recommended that one. And I'm not any of the above. ;)
     
  7. firehawk12

    firehawk12 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2002
    Location:
    EXILE + ATTON = GUUUUUUSH!!!! (pic by aimo)
    Perhaps, but it's definitely a must read for anyone in those categories. ;)

    Gentzen Calculus CAN be fun! :eek: :lol:
     
  8. John O.

    John O. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Location:
    the bush
    A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking

    The Origin of the Universe - John D. Barrow
     
  9. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Location:
    Terra Inlandia, Kelvin timeline
    Yep, that's a good one.

    Another one I like, The Whole Shebang by Timothy Ferris, is a little older, so not completely up to date anymore. What I really like is that Ferris explains cosmology and the theories and mechanics behind it in such a way that doesn't require the reader to possess a heavy background in the field, and it's much more readable (and somewhat closer to current) than Hawking's Brief History, which can get a bit thick in places.
     
  10. O'Dib

    O'Dib Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Location:
    Mr. Brody's still
    Rare Earth:Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe, by Peter Ward & Donald Brownlee. They do UW proud! :D
     
  11. Fox Mulder

    Fox Mulder Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Location:
    Nowhere near you
    My vote goes to this as well, assuming we aren't restricted to popular science books by Hawwking and Greene...

    When reading Feynman's books you really get a feeling that he's reading out loud to you. I've always found a lot of the pop science books painful to read in places, particularly Hawking's.
     
  12. John O.

    John O. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Location:
    the bush
    Not to specifically defend Hawking, but isn't there usually a reason "popular" science books become popular? Do you dislike it b/c it's bad writing or simply b/c it's popular? I thought BHOT was great, the rest of his stuff is pretty much the same thing rehashed (universe in a nutshell, blackholes and baby universes, etc) but I found it pretty easy to read. I can only take so much qualitative stuff though, I was reading Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics by Martinus Veltman for awhile and then put it down for several months. I came back to it recently after studying more phys in college and it just seems so dry now. I have a QFT textbook at my rents' house I need to pickup though. I got it in a bookclub a few years back thinking it was just another layman book cuz that's all I understood at the time, then was disappointed to find it was an actual QFT textbook. I'm sure it will be much more challenging, I'll let you all know how it goes.
     
  13. Rosalind

    Rosalind TrekLit's Dr Rose Mod Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I can't believe I forgot this book:

    The Invisible Universe by David Malin -- it's a big book: 34 x 41cm (13.5 x 16 inches), each page has a full page colour image of astronomical images (no borders) facing non-technical captions. It's absolutely gorgeous, and well worth the money for anybody who loves the night sky.

    For those ppl who don't know the name David Malin, he is one of the best scientific photographer in the world, and spent 30 years in atronomical photography. He has two galaxy types named after him: Malin-Carter 'shell' galaxies, and Malin-1 galaxies both discovered by him through his unique techniques of astronomical photography. Considering there are only three types of galaxies being taught in schools: elliptical, spiral and irregular; and these two Malin galaxy types are not part of these is what makes the name Malin so special.
     
  14. warpus

    warpus Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Excellent book. I'm not sure if anyone's brought up the 'sequel' yet. The Fabric of the Cosmos was as engaging, if not more, than The Elegant Universe.

    For anyone interested in quantum physics, check out In Search of Schrodinger's Cat by John Gribbin.
     
  15. Slugboy

    Slugboy Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Dominion space
    I really like a lot of the science/engineering books published by Dover Publications. They seem to specialize in republishing books originally published prior to 1980. The books are well-bound paperbacks, and are really low-cost. There are books on astrodynamics, space dynamics, mechanics, electromagnetism, chemistry, etc.

    The few downsides are that the paperback covers themselves tend to be a tad flimsy. Also, as the contents are somewhat old, it is possible that they contain out-of-date information, though for many of the more fundamental subjects (esp. mathematics) this is not a problem. Finally, some of the books simply have higher-quality content than others.

    I'm currently reading Principles of Electrodynamics by Melvin Schwartz [1], which the author wrote in response to what he felt was a trend of textbooks writing about electricity and magnetism as if they were separate subjects (sadly, this is how I learned about electricity and magnetism). In this book, he uses special relativity to show how intimately the two subjects are tied together. I haven't gotten very far, but what I've read so far is quite interesting.

    [1] Principles of Electrodynamics, by Melvin Schwartz
     
  16. Lookingglassman

    Lookingglassman Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    America
    A Brief History of Time was pretty good book.
     
  17. Equinox

    Equinox Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Location:
    Delta Quadrant
    Hyperspace by Michio Kaku.

    Very easy read, even for a non genius :)
     
  18. AdAstra

    AdAstra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2000
    Location:
    Regnum Belgarum
    pff, all these "science light" books ;)

    I recommend Voet & Voet's Biochemistry, Ege's Organic Chemistry, Lodish et al.'s Molecular Cell Biology and Eckert's Animal Physiology.

    =)
     
  19. Rosalind

    Rosalind TrekLit's Dr Rose Mod Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    in that case, let me recommand Strang's introduction to Linear Algebra, Russell & Norvig's Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. :p
     
  20. Scott Pearson

    Scott Pearson Writer Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    A big yes to the Sagan books and Dinosaur Heresies. Now I'll throw out some more (some of these are leaning toward history, but with strong scientific elements):

    Einstein's Universe by Nigel Calder. Very accessible.
    The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker. Very interesting and multidisciplinary.
    Mosquito: The Story of Man's Deadliest Foe by Andrew Spielman and Michael D'Antonio. Yikes! Is that a mosquito on me?!
    Longitude by Dava Sobel. One of those things you don't think about, but someone had to be the first to get it to work.
    Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It by Gina Kolata. Very timely. My grandmother and her family barely survived it. I grew up hearing stories about it.

    Scott