Yesterday I received a review copy of The Physics Book: From the Big Bang to Quantum Resurrection, 250 Milestones in the History of Physics by Clifford Pickover. [Just how this package from Sterliing Publishers in New York was able to wend its way from the main mail entry point in flooded Bangkok and then 700 wet kilometers north to Chaing Mai is anybody's guess, but the Royal Thai Post Office system is amazingly efficient.]
But on to the book itself.
I recall that as a child in our native Slovakia my father, a history professor, advised me, "Otázka všetko" [Question everything]. Advice that has served me well for over seven decades. That one phrase has helped me to deciper the psycho-babble of politicians, military leaders, religious leaders, obtuse professors, and even historians. Throughout my life I have been challenged to look beyond the clever words people use, and into the substance.
Though I chose the career path of literature, my secondary interest has always been in science and 'questioning everything'. 'The Physics Book' almost seems as if it were written specifically for me since it questions, and provides a response, for every significant event in the history of the universe from the Big Bang to trillions of years into the future.
The format of this handsome book is unique in that each of the 250 milestones in the history of physics also has a full page illustrative graphic image.
And more importantly, it is thrilling reading. God, how I wish this magnificent tome had been available when I took my compulsory college course in physics years ago. Now that class, and professor, gave a new meaning to dull.
'The Physics Book' is an absolute joy to read, and it does indeed 'question everything'.