Editor: Tom Jackson
Publisher: Shelter Harbor Press
ISBN: 978-0-9853230-6-6

“Physics is the foundation of all science. Without it all of our other knowledge would crumble and collapse. We can now study nature at the smallest scales, but there is a lot that this science has still to discover,” Tom Jackson states in the introduction of his book, Physics– An Illustrated History of the Foundations of Science.

This one hundred and forty-four page hardbound book is one of the “Ponderables” series dedicated to trying to answer some of the oldest and important subjects in history. Each series discusses one hundred breakthroughs that changed history and who did what and when in a specific topic. This book caters to one hundred milestones that changed the way we perceive and understand the science of physics throughout the ages.

Arranged like its predecessors, the book is separated into five categories based on time; this includes the dawn of science, the scientific revolution, from classical to modern physics, the subatomic age, and modern physics. Each breakthrough discussed is from a half page to two pages long, mentioning year discovered, by whom, and how with tidbits of interesting particulars and pictures or diagrams.

After the topics, the book explains the basics of physics involving energy, mass and force, motion, waves, optics, and electromagnetism. Next there are seven interesting “Imponderables” that are yet to be ascertained, thirty-nine great physicists’ profiles including their birthplace, birth and death dates, and important finding along with a notable paragraph. Finally there is a bibliography, index, and acknowledgements along with an extensive fold-out timeline with measuring the universe and inside matter information on one side and over one thousand milestone facts covering culture, world events, science, and physics on the other.

Besides separating into branches of classical verses modern physics, discussions range from the theories of tides, light, atoms, and the Big Bang to scientific laws related to refraction, gas, and thermodynamics, along with discoveries by Boltzmann, Einstein, Geiger, Hawking, Hooke, Maxwell, Ockham, Plank, and Thales to name a few.

Readers are immediately drawn to the colorful, detailed photographs, artworks, and diagrams, learning about pendulums, frogs’ legs, ether, long-distant radio, exotic particles, quarks, and spintronics. Short biographies mention Archimedes, Averroes, Bohr, the Curies, Dirac, Franklin, Joule, Rutherford, and Tesla among many others.

With the most interesting part being the unanswered “Ponderables” such as how gravity works on the quantum scale, if time is always one way, could a universe exist without life, or is space filled with sterile neutrinos, this is a wonderful gift for any science buff who wants to add an intelligent read to a coffee table.

This book was furnished by Tess Woods PR in lieu a review based on the reader’s opinion.


Follow Here To Purchase Physics: An Illustrated History of the Foundations of Science (Ponderables 100 Breakthroughs That Changed History Who Did What When)