Flash! The Hunt for the Biggest Explosions in the Universe by Govert Schilling, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521800536, £18.95 ($28.00). The Biggest Bangs: The Mystery of Gamma-Ray Bursts, The Most Violent Explosions in the Universe […]

A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram, Wolfram Media, Inc. ISBN 1579550088, $44.95 (US); £40 (UK). Wolfram “Three centuries ago, science was transformed by the dramatic new idea that rules based on mathematical equations could […]

Higgins Mathematics for the Imagination by Peter M Higgins, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0198604602, £7.99 (€13). As a citizen of Antwerp, the place where the Renaissance produced some of its finest atlases, I was of course […]

Dahl book From Nuclear Transmutation to Nuclear Fission, 1932-1939 by Per F Dahl, IOP Publishing, ISBN 0750308656, £55 ($75/€75). Per Dahl continues to be a careful and conscientious compiler of physics history. After Flash of the Cathode […]

Space Radio Science by Oleg I Yakovlev, Taylor & Francis 2002, ISBN 0415273501, £60 (€94). Yakovlev book The twinkling of radio sources due to propagation effects is a nuisance most of the time, and radio astronomers try […]

Facing Up Facing Up: Science and its Cultural Adversaries by Steven Weinberg, Harvard University Press, ISBN 067400647X, £17.95 (€ 28). These 23 essays written by Steven Weinberg from 1985 to 1999 make a nice collection around the […]

The Atom The Atom in the History of Human Thought by Bernard Pullman (late professor of Quantum Chemistry at the Sorbonne, and director, Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique, France), Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195114477, £14.95 (€23). Translated from […]

Chaos in the Kitchen = Symmetry at the Table edited by Beate Block and Maggie DeWolf, Mountainair press, ISBN 092952618X, $25 (€ 29). It is somewhat unusual to review a cookbook in CERN Courier, but […]

Casimir The Casimir Effect: Physical Manifestation of Zero-Point Energy by K A Milton, World Scientific, ISBN 9810243979 $87/£58. In 1948 Hendrik Casimir showed that, according to quantum electrodynamics (QED), two parallel conducting plates should exert a […]

It Must be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science edited by Graham Farmelo, Granta Books, ISBN 1 86207 479 8, £20. In this lively volume of semipopular essays, 12 leading scientists, historians of science and […]

Cosmic Rays at Earth by Peter K F Grieder, Elsevier Science, ISBN 0444507108, 190.59 euros/$207. This book is a remarkable collection of graphs, tables, data and relevant discussions about cosmic-ray physics. As the subtitle, Researcher’s […]

Pais The Genius of Science: A Portrait Gallery by Abraham Pais, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0198506147, hbk £26.50. The Genius of Science is the last of many books written by Abraham Pais, who died last year […]

Spin in Particle Physics Elliot Leader, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521352819, hbk £90/$130. Elliot Leader’s book – in the series of Cambridge Monographs on Particle Physics, Nuclear Physics and Cosmology – is a thorough introduction […]

The Supersymmetric World: The Beginnings of the Theory edited by G Kane and M Shifman, World Scientific, ISBN 981024522X. It is notoriously difficult to write with perspective about the history of science of very recent […]

Saturn’s aurora Chaos and Harmony, Perspectives on Scientific Revolutions of the 20th Century, by Trinh Xuan Thuan, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0 19 512917 2. In a refreshing alternative to books that try to promote elegance, as […]

BOOK OF THE MONTH The Legacy of Léon Van Hove, edited by A Giovannini, World Scientific Series in 20th Century Physics, Vol. 28, ISBN 98102243308, 570pp, £55. Léon Van Hove The publication of this volume on Léon Van […]

Selected Papers of Richard Feynman (with commentary), edited by Laurie M Brown, World Scientific Series in 20th Century Physics, Vol. 27, ISBN 981 02 4130 5 hbk ISBN 981 02 4131 3 pbk. Richard Feynman After A […]

The Physics of Particle Detection by Dan Green, Cambridge Monographs on Particle Physics, Nuclear Physics and Cosmology, 361 pp, 0 521 66226 5, £65/$100. The 12th volume of the Cambridge Monograph Series on Particle Physics, […]

Dirac Antimatter – the Ultimate Mirror by Gordon Fraser, Cambridge University Press, 0 521 65252 […]

Gell-Mann Strange Beauty: Murray Gell-Mann and the Revolution in 20th Century Physics by George Johnson (published by Knopf in the US: 0679437649, and by Jonathan Cape in the UK: 0224044273). Murray Gell-Mann befriended me in Paris […]

Lawrence Krauss Quintessence, the Mystery of the Missing Mass in the Universe by Lawrence Krauss, Basic Books, 04650337402. Cosmology has a lot going for it at the moment. Unprecedented amounts of data characterizing the universe at almost […]

Supersymmetry The Quantum Theory of Fields III: Supersymmetry by Steven Weinberg, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0 521 66000 9 (hbk £32.50/$49.95). The third volume in Steven Weinberg’s very successful collection on “The Quantum Theory of Fields” […]

The Physics of Foams The Physics of Foams by Denis Weare and Stefan Hutzler, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0 19 850551 5 (£47.50, 250 pages). This is a specialized but wonderful monograph that begins: “Pour a bottle of beer. […]

Weaving the Web – The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by its Inventor by Tim Berners-Lee and Mark Fischetti, Harper, San Francisco, 1999, ISBN 0 060 251586 1 ($26). If […]

Heavy Water Heavy Water and the Wartime Race for Nuclear Energy by Per F Dahl, Institute of Physics Publishing 0 7503 0633 5 (£35). Per Dahl is a physicist who has made significant contributions to the design […]