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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How To Teach Relativity to Your Dog

Everyone’s heard of Einstein, and most know of E=mc2; but did you know that gravity bends light? Do you understand how energy can be transformed to matter? And can you explain why clocks run slower the faster they move? A century after Einstein proved these facts and more, they continue to boggle the mind. In his book, Orzel explains one of the cornerstones of modern physics in everyday language and down-to-Earth imagery, through a series of imaginary conversations with his lovable mutt, Emmy.


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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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ATOM: An Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth...and Beyond

Lawrence M. Krauss

It is difficult today to fully appreciate how recent is the notion that atoms are real physical entities, and not mere mathematical or philosophical constructs.


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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.