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A History of Physics Worth Fifty-One Thousand Words

In this little red book, Don S. Lemons has assembled a very useful and accessible collection of fifty-one physics concepts organized according to era and illustrated with drawings by Jesse Graber (as well as a few in Galileo’s own hand). One need not have a degree in a STEM field—or even a good grasp of high school physics—to understand the ideas outlined. Far from presenting dry formulas and math problems, Lemons uses simple drawings to walk readers through discoveries that have helped humans grasp how the world around them works. Lemons says the book is for readers “interested in the world in which they live but who, for various reasons, know little mathematics or physics.” Each section is a small, digestible vignette of several pages that can be read as a standalone explanation of a concept in physics. Due to this self-contained approach, there is, by necessity, a bit of repetition if you read the book straight through, as concepts are reviewed for an understanding of what comes next.

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