First You Build a Cloud: And Other Reflections on Physics as a Way of Life

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1985 - Science - 231 pages
1 Review
For many of us, physics, like math, has always been a thing of mystery and complexity. In First You Build a Cloud, K. C. Cole provides cogent explanations through animated prose, metaphors, and anecdotes, allowing us to comprehend the nuances of physics-gravity and light, color and shape, quarks and quasars, particles and stars, force and strength. We also come to see how the physical world is so deeply intertwined with the ways in which we think about culture, poetry, and philosophy. Cole, one of our preeminent science writers, serves as a guide into the world of such legendary scientific minds as Richard Feynman, Victor Weisskopf, brothers Frank Oppenheimer and J. Robert Oppenheimer, Philip Morrison, Vera Kistiakowsky, and Stephen Jay Gould.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

First you build a cloud: and other reflections on physics as a way of life

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Every new advance in knowledge changes the way we perceive the world. Physics and astronomy have moved humankind from the center of creation to a fringe, almost incidental, role. This must inevitably ... Read full review

Contents

The Art of Knowing
13
Right and Wrong
35
Seeing Things
44
The Scientific Aesthetic
69
Natural Complements
79
Movers and Shakers
87
Quantum Leaps
113
Relatively Speaking
126
Sympathetic Vibrations
164
Symmetries and Shadows
171
Order and Disorder
180
Cause and Effect
190
Small Differences
205
FORCES AND INFLUENCES
213
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
221
Copyright

Threads and Knots
151

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (1985)

A popular science columnist for the Los Angeles Times and teacher at UCLA, K.C. Cole is a recipient of the 1995 American Institute of Physics Award for Best Science Writing. She is also the author of the internationally bestselling The Universe and the Teacup, First You Build a Cloud, and The Hole in the Universe. Cole lives in Santa Monica, California.

Bibliographic information