Our friend Cliff Pickover’s latest book is The Physics Devotional: Celebrating the Wisdom and Beauty of Physics. This book is a companion to his previous The Mathematics Devotional. Every page of this new yearlong devotional features an intriguing quotation about physics, alongside a curious artwork or photo relating to physics. Wisdom by notable physicists, educators, novelists, and diverse thinkers -including Isaac Newton, Carl Sagan, Douglas Adams, and even Vincent van Gogh- is featured along with marvelous photographs and illustrations of force fields, galaxies, machines, and more. You’ll also find micro-biographies of some of the most influential physicists in history, whose birthdays are highlighted throughout.
Neatorama is delighted to present some of the intriguing images and quotations from The Physics Devotional.
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“As the island of knowledge grows, the surface that makes contact with mystery expands. When major theories are overturned, what we thought was certain knowledge gives way, and knowledge touches upon mystery differently. This newly uncovered mystery may be humbling and unsettling, but it is the cost of truth. Creative scientists, philosophers, and poets thrive at this shoreline.”
-- W. Mark Richardson, “A Skeptic’s Sense of Wonder,” Science, 1998.
Science is not about control. It is about cultivating a perpetual condition of wonder in the face of something that forever grows one step richer and subtler than our latest theory about it. It is about reverence, not mastery.”
-- Richard Powers, The Gold Bug Variations, 1991
“I believe that scientific knowledge has fractal properties, that no matter how much we learn, whatever is left, however small it may seem, is just as infinitely complex as the whole was to start with. That, I think, is the secret of the Universe.”
-- Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov, 1995
“Our brains have evolved to get us out of the rain, find where the berries are, and keep us from getting killed. Our brains did not evolve to help us grasp really large numbers or to look at things in a hundred thousand dimensions.”
-- Ronald Graham, quoted in Paul Hoffman’s “The Man Who Loves Only Numbers,”
Atlantic Monthly, 1987
“I’ll tell you what the Big Bang was, Lestat. It was when the cells of God began to divide.”
-- Anne Rice, Tale of the Body Thief, 1992
“If we wish to understand the nature of reality, we have an inner hidden advantage: we are ourselves little portions of the universe and so carry the answer within us.”
-- Jacques Boivin, The Single Heart Field Theory, 1978
If you know someone who appreciates the elegance of physics (or would like to), The Physics Devotional by Clifford A Pickover would make a great gift of daily inspiration that will last an entire year and beyond! You'll find it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or a bookstore near you.
Credits for each of these images can be found in Cliff's book.