G. Venkataraman, "The Many Faces of Matter: Vignettes in Physics"
English | 1991 | pages: 110 | ISBN: 086311248X | PDF | 4,6 mb
This book and others in this series written by me are- inspired by the memory of my son Suresh who left this world soon after completing school. Suresh and I often used to discuss physics. It was then that I introduced him to the celebrated Feynman Lectures.
Hans Bethe has described Feynman as the most original scientist of this century. To that perhaps maybe added the statement that Feynman was also the most scintillating teacher of physics in this century.
The Feynman Lectures are great but they are at the textbook level and meant for serious reading. Moreover, they are a bit expensive, at least for the average Indian student. It seemed to me that there was scope for small books on diverse topics in physics which would stimulate interest, making at least some of our young students take up later a serious study of physics and reach for the Feynman as weli as the Landau classics.
Small books inevitably remind me of Gamows famous volumes. They were wonderful, and stimulated me to no small extent. Times have changed, physics has grown and we clearly need other books, though written in the same spirit.
In attempting these volumes, I have chosen a style of my own. I have come across many books on popular science where elaborate sentences often tend to obscure the scientific essence. I have therefore opted for simple English, and I dont make any apologies for it. If a simple style was good enough for the great Enrico Fermi, it is also good enough for me. I have also employed at times a chatty style. This is deliberate. Feynman uses this with consummate skill, and have decided to follow in his footsteps (whether I have succeeded or not, is for readers to say). This book is meant to be read for fun and excitement. It is a book you can even lie down in bed and read, without going to sleep I hope!