I have been rightfully called a "nerd" on many occasions and in reference to many of my passions. No one, however, has ever made the mistake of calling me a "physics nerd." In fact, I earned a mediocre, unimpassioned "C" in high school physics, and I never touched the subject again. But then I came across Why Does E=mc2? (And Why Should We Care?) (De Capo Press). Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw wrote their book just for physics un-nerds like me. The duo elegantly leads the reader through Einstein's brilliance without using mathematical equations. Instead, they rely on scientific history, analogies, and images from the real world, including GPS systems, buckets of mousetraps, household heating systems, and wind turbines. Along the way, they destroy the central plotlines of such classics as Back to the Future and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. I wish that Cox and Forshaw had been around during my junior year of high school, because then I wouldn't have that "C" tarnishing my otherwise nerd-worthy record. The Big Bang Book Club discussion will be an enlightening one. For more info call Magers & Quinn at 612.822.4611.
Tue., Aug. 24, 7 p.m., 2010