Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

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

  1. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Ohio, USA
    Billions and Billions[/b] by Carl Sagan

    I'd also like to second (or third) The Demon Haunted World also by Carl Sagan. I read both of these books over the course of two nights, one right after the other. I enjoyed these books tremendously and highly recommend them to laypersons of all scientific persuasions.

  2. Revdkathy

    Revdkathy BobTheSkutter's wife Moderator

    Oct 9, 2000
    being the perfect housewife
    Maybe an odd choice, but I got a lot out of The Self-Aware Universe by Amit Goswami. It's a bit out there on the edge of Quantum physics, where it can evaporate into philosophy. Or maybe it's a philosophy text that takes Quantum physics and Mind/brain theory seriously. But it's a good book. ;)
  3. Maverick

    Maverick Commander Red Shirt

    Aug 1, 2006
    Science & Technology
    The Singularity Is Near: By Ray Kurzweil - the coming age of Strong A.I.

    Programming the Universe: By Seth Lloyd - The universe is a quantum computer.

  4. Trek Terp

    Trek Terp Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 17, 2002
    Bay Area, CA
    The Fabric of the Cosmos - Brian Greene
    Big Bang - Simon Singh
  5. thestrangledcorpse

    thestrangledcorpse Admiral Admiral

    Aug 8, 2006
    Brooklyn thestrangequark
    Likely some of you have experienced that somewhat exasperated look that strikes the face of your friend or loved one when you try to talk physics. Or maybe I have just been unlucky to have not met many others who get so excited about an electron being everywhere at once. I have just joined this forum -- I can't believe what I have been missing!
    On to books: I agree! Fabric of the Cosmos is lovely! Brian Greene has a wonderful way of dealing with those inevitable first few chapters of a pop-sci book that reiterate the basics. He manages to explain relativity in such fun ways.
    Roger Penrose's Emperor's New Mind is truly remarkable. His thoughts on AI are increasingly relevant.
    And of course, The Physics of Star Trek! I laughed reading this book, as Krauss alternately praised and and poked fun at the show that first got me interested in physics as a child.
    And lastly, although it doesn't technically qualify as sci-tech literature, Einstein's Dreams. In my opinion, the loveliest book ever written, connecting art and science in a n alomost painfully beautiful way. It doesn't teach anything new about theory, but it certainly makes you wonder about the actual nature of time and the universe and how our existence has been shaped.

    Happy reading everyone, and thanks for being physics groupies too!
  6. Naraht

    Naraht Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 14, 2004
    Oxford, UK
    Yes, I've experienced that look many times, although right now I'm lucky enough to be living in a town with lots of science geeks around...

    Hopefully you won't get that "look" here! Welcome to the forum. :)
  7. thestrangledcorpse

    thestrangledcorpse Admiral Admiral

    Aug 8, 2006
    Brooklyn thestrangequark
  8. Corwwyn

    Corwwyn Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 31, 2002
    I'm surprised noone's yet mentioned:

    Faster Than the Speed of Light by João Magueijo.

    I found this an excellent read.
  9. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

    Nov 3, 2001
    People's Gaypublic of Drugafornia
    The Republican War on Science.

    Chilling stuff, IMHO.
  10. Commodore Commodore

    Aug 17, 2001
    Atlanta, GA 30307
    Yes. It is.

    In happier news, may I recommend Kitty Fergusen (I hope I'm spelling that correctly) "Fire in the Equations"?
  11. David Schmidt

    David Schmidt Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Aug 19, 2005
    'A Brief History of Time' Hawking
    'The God particle' Lederman
    'From Atoms to Quarks' Trefil
    'Cosmos' Sagan

    Anyone who visits the hard-science portions of this BBS should enjoy basic quantum physics.
  12. morgan2357

    morgan2357 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Sep 15, 2006
    I just got started on The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, a biography of Paul Erdos. Most non-mathematicians won't know the name, but he had a reputation as one of the most eccentric (and most brilliant) mathematicians ever. He didn't even have a home; he would show up at another mathematician's house, unannounced, and say, "My brain is open," and just walk in and ... take root there. And since the host inevitably got his name as a collaborator on a brilliant paper, no one minded too much.
  13. bryce

    bryce Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 22, 2004
    Books that changed the way I think about the"'verse""

    Cosmos, Demon Haunted World, & Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, by Sagan.

    Really dated, but The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski, especially the chapter entitled "Knowledge or Certainty?"

    The Selfish Gene & The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins

    The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley...anything by Eiseley, for that matter...
  14. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

    Feb 21, 2007
    Twin Cities
    Having mainly a mathematics background, my favorite physics books tend towards the more math intensive. My top three books are:
    1. Techniques of Differential Topology in Relativity by Roger Penrose
    2. Gravitation by Charles Misner, Kip Thorne and John Wheeler
    3. Large Scale Structure of Space-Time by Stephen Hawking and GFR Ellis
    I also like both Gravitational Curvature and The Geometry of Physics by Theodore Frankel, but I'm most likely a little bias towards them as he was a professor in the math department at my school.
  15. Verteron

    Verteron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 27, 2001
    United Kingdom
    If you feel you want something like A Brief History, but more mathsy (if you can cope with maths up to degree level, or early degree level, and can remember it all. He starts out quite benignly), I could recommend The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe by Roger Penrose.

    It's a thick volume that's quite heavy going in the later chapters. If you understand it all completely you should probably think about getting tenure as a Physics Professor. However, if you're looking for more of a challenge than Brief History, it's a good read...

    But if you do get though it, you'll have a much more profound understanding of modern thinking on the universe than BHOT or a book written in Layman's English could ever supply.

    Another suggestion for people who are interested in the nature of computing, information theory, and some of the more obscure parts of mathematics... Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Doug Hofstadter is an excellent, intriguing page-turner. It's a bit out-of-date (predicting that a computer will never beat a human at Chess!), but nonetheless, well worth a read in paperback form...
  16. jeff lebowski

    jeff lebowski Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 30, 2002
    West Des Moines, IA USA
    Great idea for a thread.

    I have added a bunch of these books to my Amazon wish list.

  17. Transwarped

    Transwarped Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Oct 31, 2006
    Escaping form Rura Penthe
    Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century by Michio Kaku.

    There are all kinds of interesting (and sometimes outlandish) predictions in this book if you're into futurology.
  18. Undead

    Undead Continuity Spackle Moderator

    May 8, 2003
    Unicron (The Pyxis Unity)
    I don't suppose I could list the TNG Tech Manual here? :angel:

  19. ex nihilo

    ex nihilo Captain Captain

    Nov 1, 2002
    Confined to Room 101
    Please allow me to jump in on the Sagan-wagon, since most of his endeavors were the most accessible and thought-provoking works of “popular science”, but I would like to suggest two of his works that have not been mentioned yet: Pale Blue Dot – A Vision of the Human Future in Space, and Dragons of Eden.

    In addition, some of the others that come to mind:

    The Panda's Thumb – More Reflections in Natural History by Stephen Jay Gould

    The Case for Mars by Robert Zubrin

    The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking.
  20. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 28, 2001
    SB-31, Daran V
    Another yet-to-be-mentioned Sagan book I'd recommedn is The Cosmic Connection. If you ever feel your sense of wonder flagging, just page through this one for awhile and it'll come back.