Writers’ Gallery

Our Writers' Gallery features short pieces about physics by authors who are both renowned physicists and prize-winning writers. Some of these are original contributions and others are excerpts from longer works. Many are linked to more information about the authors and their work.

 

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Feynman

Richard Feynman is one of the most brilliant and fascinating physicists of the twentieth century. He picked locks for fun at the Manhattan Project, reinvented quantum physics and investigated the space shuttle Challenger tragedy. Author Jim Ottaviani and artist Leland Myrick collaborated to create the graphic novel "Feynman" about his life. In this excerpt, Feynman shares the groundwork of quantum electrodynamics with students in New Zealand. Excerpted with permission from the publisher, First Second Books.


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Insatiable Birdie

Can a book inspire you as a child to grow up and solve one of the most famous mysteries of mathematics? Come take a peek inside Physics for Entertainment to find out. Originally published over seventy years ago in Russia, this classic book answers many fascinating questions that one might not even think are physics questions. “Can an invisible man see? Why are all cats grey when the candles are out?” The excerpt below explains the habits or our beloved drinking bird toy.


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Death From the Skies

Philip Plait

"The Universe is trying to kill you. It's nothing personal. It's trying to kill me too" Astronomer, Phil Plait, describes how everything from asteroids to gamma ray burst would end impact the Earth.


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Spaceship Neutrino

Christine Sutton

Solar neutrinos stream through us constantly, raining down on us by day and up through the Earth by night.


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Into the Future

Gino Segrè

If we are fortunate and wise enough to go on as a species for many millennia, I am tempted to think the twentieth century will be remembered as something special in science, the century in which many of the mysteries of Earth, life, and the cosmos were understood for the first time.


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Beauty of Trajectory

Hans Christian von Baeyer

"Ignoring air resistance, cannon balls move along parabolas," we learn in school, but the truth is more intriguing.