Updated: Aug 5, 2021
For the final Science instalment of the summer reading series, we’re looking at Maths and Physics books which will spark your imagination.
If you want to keep your brain active over the summer and want to enjoy some pretty fascinating science as well, then pick up one of these…
1) Through two doors at once: The elegant experiment that captures the enigma of our quantum reality - Anil Ananthaswamy
This book tells the story of one of the most important experiments in the history of particle physics - the double slit experiment by Thomas Young. This is a fascinating exploration into the world of quantum mechanics, it will allow you to grasp the concepts behind waves and particles much more clinically than you ever have before. The book analyses many forms of the experiment, illustrating why physicists disagree on certain things and answering some of the big questions and uncertainties of the experiment. The most refreshing aspect of this book is that it is not a collection of anecdotes from the time, it is scientifically focused throughout which absolutely allows you to grip all the complexities of this area of Physics.
It is a real page-turner and one you will enjoy if you just have an interest in physics or want to find a suitable way to support your A Level Physics course, this book is one to consider.
Hawking’s final book, this is a compilation of simple, understandable answers to some of the biggest questions in physics and in life. Hawking goes through religion, on to the possibility of colonisation of space, analysing black holes and much more. It contains a lot of visits back to topics from his previous books, but it is well worth a read if you’re new to his work or have an interest in some of life’s biggest unknowns.
This is a very clear, readable examination of the four colours theory, the idea that any map can be coloured so that every adjacent country is coloured differently, and this will only use four colours.
The theory was established in 1852 and was only proven by computer in 1976. This book really delves into the remarkable work that led to the theory being proven, the extraordinary amount of people who worked on it and the controversies along the way. The mathematics is presented clearly, and Wilson keeps to a very informative structure throughout. Arguably the most interesting chapter is the analysis of what proof actually is, and Wilson shows just how controversial and dividing the concept is among academics.
This is a fascinating story and a great book to keep your mind sharp over the summer.
Sean Carroll is a renowned Theoretical Physicist, The Big Picture is essentially a tour through the history of universe, analysing how we even got here, our thoughts and emotions as well as delving into the most fundamental concepts at the quantum level. This book could really change the way you think about the world, taking into account everything we are as people and comparing it fantastically to the complexity and scale of the universe. It is well worth a read.
This is a YouTube channel based at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, producing fantastically interesting videos exploring the world of mathematics- it’s definitely a channel to watch!
Blog Post Crafted by Joe
Joe is currently working towards his BSc in Biomedical Science at the University of Warwick.
When he’s not studying, Joe tutors GCSE and A Level Science subjects in his home city of Coventry.
Joe can often be found at ridiculous times in the morning, bird ringing and searching for interesting bird and butterfly species at his local nature reserve near Coventry, or venturing further afield to find rarities on the East Coast of Norfolk.