Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Einstein Paradox

The Einstein Paradox: and Other Science Mysteries Solved by Sherlock Holmes by Colin Bruce, 1998, 272 pages
(9th grade up)

I'm in awe of how Colin Bruce can explain complicated scientific ideas so clearly. Each chapter has Sherlock Holmes and Watson confronting a case that relates to some principle of science. While working on the case, usually other events happen that illustrate the same principle. Watson, of course, doesn't understand at first, and Holmes and others walk him through the ideas, not with much math, but with thought experiments and examples. So each chapter is a story, but also a clever explanation from several angles that tends to stick in your head long afterward. The chapters on quantum physics were my favorites. Now I'll have to read Conned Again, Watson again -- it's actually the sequel to this book, and has the same format but is all about probability. Great stuff!

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