Another post from the History Book Club.
(Why ‘atomic bomb’ rather than ‘nuclear bomb’? See this post.)
For a few years, I belonged to a history book club. Unlike many book clubs, we didn’t all read the same book. Instead, we’d pick a topic for the next meeting, at which the participants would each give short presentations on books of their choosing.
Recently I ran across my write-ups. As the internet has yet to run out of space, I thought I’d post them. I begin with two on the atomic bomb.
(Why ‘atomic bomb’, rather than ‘nuclear bomb’? See this post.)
I first learned as a kid that “there are only 17 basically different wallpapers” from W.W.Sawyer’s Prelude to Mathematics. (The quote appears on p.102. Aside: this remains an excellent gift for a youngster with a yen for math.) I remember my father pointing out the absurdity of this claim: are all mural wallpapers of van Gogh’s paintings basically the same?
Lewis Carroll Epstein wrote a book Relativity Visualized. It’s been called “the gold nugget of relativity books”. I wouldn’t go quite that far, but Epstein has devised a completely new way to explain relativity. The key concept: the Epstein diagram. (I should mention that Relativity Visualized is a pop-sci treatment.)