Lv 4
Dirac asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 2 months ago

When was the last time you looked at a science textbook?

And what was it on? I'm not talking just on climate, but on ANY subject in science. Personally, I've been going through "The Oxford Solid State Basics" because I have to teach a class on the subject in the fall semester.


Darwinist--yeah, I think we may have chatted about Petty's book before, it's a nice book. His book on thermodynamics is pretty good too, as is the one by Judith Curry and her husband Peter Webster. Pierrehumbert's book comes with Python code to generate all the figures from the book, which is cool.

Update 2:

David, you might try "Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe" by Roger Penrose.  It's not an easy read, but there's a lot in there that's insightful. I got extraordinarily lucky and had dinner with Penrose one night, and he gave me the in-person version.

Update 3:

Clown Crusher: Does your lack of an answer indicate you have never looked at a science textbook? That would explain a lot.

Update 4:

"Anonymous" (the troll, Clown Crusher) says "How many times are you going to ask this stupid question?" My answer is not nearly as many as how many questions you've asked about polar bears or Neapolitan ice cream.

Update 5:

Mike, you say that textbooks have been "dumbed down" since the 1970s, so that would imply you've looked at some.  Which ones?

Update 6:

Skeptik, yeah, I dragged out a book I have on Mathematical Biology and went through the chapter on epidemiology also.

Update 7:

Elizabeth, I'm not familiar with that book, but a hundred years ago when I took my first classical mechanics course, we used a book by Barger and Olsson that started with drag racer design as an example.

Update 8:

Ah, electricpole, a man after my own heart. At this moment I have about 10 physics books, 2 meteorology texts and one chemistry text either on the couch next to me or on the floor beside me.

9 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    I've got shelves full of them. Chemistry, Physics, and advanced mathematics mostly. Not too much in the way of Biology, except for one HS level paperback.

    Engineering and Technology books too. I am in them referencing them all the time. As well a all manner and sort of "pocket reference guides" for metrics, unit conversions and formulae of all kinds. Almost daily. Facts are better than speculation. 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    When was the last time you were honest?  You ask a question and answer with 4 of your sock puppets.  Incredible. 

  • C
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Does Bridge, J. "Rivers and Floodplains: Forms, Processes, and Sedimentary Record" Blackwell 2003 count?  If so, this evening.  I needed a refresher to explain something I observed but could quite find the right words to express why it bothered me.

  • 2 months ago

    Last weekend ... I looked at "Classical Mechanics, Kinematics and Statics" by Jan Awrejcewicz.

    I love Formula One and something stuck in my head and bothered me about the physics of rolling wheels after listening to the commentary ...

    Dirac ... the problem I always end up worrying about is the direction of the friction force. If a wheel is rotating anti-clockwise as you look at it, then the point of contact with the ground is moving left to right, so the friction force on the wheel is right to left. This makes sense ... the wheel rotates and the friction force accelerates the wheel forward. If it was zero, then the wheel would just slip with no forward motion. If the car was in vacuum ... and you had a frictionless axle ... how would it ever slow down? Friction would continually accelerate the car not slow it down! Argh!!!! Lol 

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  • 2 months ago

    The most recent for me was this one:

    You can probably guess the circumstances.

    Attachment image
  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    They have been  dumbed  down since the 1970s

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Dirac writing a question and answering with not only one, but two sock puppets.  PUre Comedy Gold!

  • David
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    PHP and MySQL Web Development -- not really a 'science' textbook, but I'm referring to it as I'm developing a science-based web application, so I'll say it counts.

    Not a textbook, but I've been reading Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos, along with pretty much any documentary I can find on quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology, string theory, etc. So any recommendations there are appreciated.

    Edit: I was going to say I don't think Clown Crusher has ever even walked inside a university bookstore, but I can kind of imagine him spending his weekends standing beside the science section of one, with a giant printed meme on a picket sign, yelling to all who walk by about how all the different authors are "Dirac socks". 

  • 2 months ago

    Probably around this time last year.  It was GW Petty's, A First Course In Atmospheric Radiation; an excellent book, aimed at undergraduate students of Meteorology and climatology.

    One on my list to read is your recommendation of  Pierrehumbert's Principles of Planetary Climate", though I have to focus on other  things for the time being and don't expect to get to it this year.

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