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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Gödel's Proof Review

Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems shook the foundations of formal logic and mathematics, but its meaning remained elusive even to experts for years. Today, however, there's an easier way to see how Gödel discovered his theorems.


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How to Teach Physics to Your Dog

See how Emmy the dog formulates the existence of cheesy bunnies in the backyard. She will teach you how to predict the existence of your wildest fantasies and bring them to the yard.
Warning: you might also learn some quantum physics too.


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Odds Are Stacked When Science Tries to Debate Pseudoscience

Lawrence M. Krauss

I agreed to participate in a debate for a Florida radio program that specialized in alien visits and U.F.O. sightings. . . I should have known better.


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The Map is Not the Territory*

Hans Christian von Baeyer

My uncle Karl had no sense of direction. Armed with an elaborate set of instructions and a street map of downtown Montreal, he would gamely set off on an errand, and we children would gleefully brace ourselves for the next development.


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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.


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Rabbits Feet and Lucky Tattoos

Tim Gay

What can a kicker or punter do to improve his accuracy? Unlike linemen, who are a deliberative, logical, and pensive group given to quiet self-introspection, these guys, as a class, are as superstitious as all get-out.