Friday, July 7, 2017

Book: Rabi, Scientist and Citizen

I may be wrong but Rabi I think is one of the least known scientists even though he was one of the most important ones in the 20th century. He won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance! In this book, you can find out how difficult it was do study the magnetic resonance in those years with the instrumentation they had. I still can't believe that people built their own instruments, came up with theories/techniques/experiments and did precise measurements! Because the book was written when he was alive and with his collaboration, there are lots of quotes from him. I will compile my notes and paste them here soon.

Book: Thirty Years that Shook Physics: The Story of Quantum Theory

Another great story from George Gamow. I read his book Gravity and I highly recommend reading that one too. He has an exceptional talent in simplifying complicated topics. In this book, where he summarizes the development of quantum theory, he has a very similar writing style. He explains very complex physical theories such as uncertainty, de Broglie waves, Pauli exclusion principle etc. incredibly simple for a layperson. But, somehow he manages to give much more helpful information about them than any textbook that I read can give. If I were to teach chemistry, this book would be a class assignment for my students in their first semester.

Book: Iron Catalysis in Organic Chemistry: Reactions and Applications

I read this book to get an understanding of how people use iron in catalysis. I have read books that are (unfortunately) just bibliographies. This book is much better than any of those. You can see useful examples and some real discussion.

Book: Force of Nature: The Life of Linus Pauling

When I read Linus Pauling and the Chemistry of Life, I said it was the best biography of his. I didn't know that the same author wrote even a better one. In fact Linus Pauling and the Chemistry of Life is more like a summary of this book (700 pages vs. 140 pages). 

Tom Hager did a really good job in explaining Pauling's contributions to chemistry and medicine. He was a man full of ideas and a will to try to execute them. A career full of success.

You can read the book on Kindle for free too!

Book: The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdős and the Search for Mathematical Truth

The biography of Paul Erdos. Such an interesting genius. He didn't own much. He traveled all around the world to give lectures, solve problems and offer prizes for some really difficult problems in math. You can tell that he dedicated all his life to math only.

It was an easy read and I enjoyed reading it.