Geoffrey Chaucer


References of all sorts. Physics, astronomy, philosophy, history.

  1. Abalakin, V. 1994, Astronomical Constants in CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, ed.~D.R.~Lide \& H.P.R.~Frederikse (Boca Rotan, Florida: CRC Press, Inc.) (Ab)

      Useful for some simple astro data.

  2. Aveni, A. 1997, Stairways to the Stars: Skywatching in Three Great Ancient Cultures (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) (Av)

      A popular account Stonehenge, Maya, and Inca astronomy. A bit heavy on the praise for their interesting, but modest astronomical achievments. The architectural achievements of these ancient ones seem much more impressive to me.

  3. Bernstein, J. 1973 Einstein (Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books) (Be)

  4. Clark, J. B., Aitken, A. C., & Connor, R. D. 1957 Physical and Mathematical Tables (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd) (CAC)

      A battered, thin, old paperback that I find a convenient resource.

  5. Cohen, I. B., & Whitman, A. (transl.) 1999, Newton's Principia 4th Edition (Berkeley, California: University of California Press) (CW)

      The real author is Newton, but all the apparatus is that of the translators. It was a mistake of Newton to write in Latin in the first place. Who cares what those dogs on the Continent think anyway.

  6. Comins, N. F., & Kaufmann, W. J. III, 2003, Discovering the Universe 6th edition (New York: W. H. Freeman & Company) (CK)

      A reasonable intro astro book. Kaufmann has left this veil of tears.

  7. Edge, R. D. 1987, String & Sticky Tape Experiments (College Park, Maryland: American Association of Physics Teachers)

      A useful set of simple, cheap physics experiments. Most are qualitative and not of use if quantitative physics projects are needed.

  8. Ehrlich, R. ????, Why Toast Falls Jelly Side Up

      Probably some useful simple, cheap physics experiments.

  9. Eisenstein, E. L. 1979, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Communications and Cultureal Transformations in Early-Modern Europe (2 vols.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) (Ei)

  10. Goldstein, H., Poole, C., & Safko, J. 2002, Classical Mechanics 3rd Edition (San Francisco: Addison-Wesley) (Go3)

      Goldstein is the old classic of advanced classical mechanics. Quite frankly his approach is probably out of date. But there are still lots of good things in Goldstein. Alas the 3rd edition is riddled with typos: almost one per page. It's embarrasing really.

  11. Greene, B. 2004, The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality (New York: Alfred A. Knopf) (Gr)

      Seems a very good book on what the title says. For physicists it may seem a bit wordy at times, but even physicists sometimes need more than shorthand to understand sublte points.

  12. Krauskopf, K. B., & Beiser, A. 2003, The Physical Universe (Boston: McGraw-Hill)

      Decent book on the physical sciences. A fair number of typos and small errors. The cosmology part is badly dated even for the publication year: the acceleration of the universe is not noticed.

  13. Kuhn, T. S. 1970, (1957) The Copernican Revolution: Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press)

      Famous, influential, controversial, dated?

  14. Landes, D. S. 1998, Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern World (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press)

      Interesting, but you soon get bogged in springs and things.
  15. ______, 1998, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some are so Rich and Some So Poor (New York: W.W.~Norton \&~Company)

      Glib sometimes, even flippant, polemical, but it may all be right as far as it goes. Having good geography and climate helps. But the main thing is cultural values: if you have the work ethic, are humane and democratic, adopt rational means to worthy ends, your country too can be rich.

  16. Lapidus, I. M. 1988, A History of Islamic Societies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) (Lap)

      A long read.

  17. Pannekoek, A. 1961 (1951), A History of Astronomy (New York: Interscience Publishers, Inc.)

      The A. is for Anton as in Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek in Amsterdam. A classic, but dated, still it covers some ground that won't be easily found elsewhere.

  18. Pedersen, O., \&~Pihl, M. 1974, Early Physics and Astronomy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) (Pe)

      Presocratics to Copernicus with copious references and a biographical dictionary. This is solid, hardcore stuff without going on and on.

  19. Pedrotti, L. S., & Pedrotti, F. B. 1998, Optics and Vision (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall) (PP)
      The CIE stanard human eye response curve is on p. 19.2

  20. Rampino, M. R., & Caldiera, K. 1994, The Goldilocks Problem: Climatic Evolution and Long-Term Habitability of Terrestrial Planets, Ann. Rev. Astron. Astrophys., 32, 83 (RC)
      A good paper now getting somewhat dated. But I have a copy of it.

  21. Reilly, R. 1978, William Pitt the Younger

      A good popular short biography it seems to me. Perhaps it lacks piquance and memorability.

      Pitt, William Pitt the Younger (1759--1806), British prime minister 1783--1801 and 1804--1806.

      Pitt led the recover of Britain from the mismanagement and defeat of the American Revolutionary war. And they became war leader of Britain and to a degree of Europe against Revolutionary-Napoleonic France. Able, eloquent, and honest, he is generally considered to be an outstanding prime minister. He was also the youngest prime minister of Britain. Undoubtably he owed his early rise (but not his rise per se) to being the son of his father William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, an earlier outstanding prime minister.

  22. Sheehan, W. 1996 The Planet Mars: A History of Observation and Discovery (Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press) (Sh)

      Good on the romantic history of Mars. Lowell and canals and all.

  23. Shipman, J. T., Wilson, J. D., & Todd, A. W. 2002, An Introduction to Physical Science (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company) (SWT) It covers physics, chemistry, geology, meteorology. It is a useful supplement to an intro astro teachers intro astro books.
  24. Smil, V. 2002, The Earth's Biosphere: Evolution, Dynamics, and Change (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press) (Sm2002)

      Seems a pretty authoritative synthesis by someone with a strong mind of his own.

  25. Smil, V. 2003, Energy at the Crossroads: Global Perspectives and Uncertainties (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press) (Sm2003)

      Seems a pretty authoritative synthesis by someone with a strong mind of his own.

  26. Thoren, V. E. 1990, The Lord of Uraniborg: A Biography of Tycho Brahe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) (Th)

      Probably the definitive Tycho biography.

      Thor's hammer Mjoelnir

  27. Vaitheeswaran, V. V. 2003, Power to the People: How the Coming Energy Revolution Will Transform an Industry, Change Our Lives, and Maybe even Save the Planet (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) (Va)

      It probably doesn't have a long shelf-life and the cliche style annoys me although maybe its consistency is its saving grace, but Vaitheeswaran may be right all along.

      Maybe the future is rosy: or to be less-cliched, roses all the way.

  28. Wender, D. (trans.) 1973, Hesiod: Theogony; Works and Days (Harmondsworth, United Kingdom: Penguin Books) (We)

      I think this is a pretty good bit of translation.

  29. Wolfson, R., & Pasachoff, J. M. 1990, Physics: Extended to Modern Physics (Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Company) (WP)

  30. Zeilik, M. 2002, Astronomy: The Evolving Universe 9th edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) (Ze2002)

      The material seems watered down from earlier editions, but its all full of the new pedagogy.

  31. Zeilik, M. 1994, Astronomy: The Evolving Universe 7th edition (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) (Ze1994)

      Now dated.