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Thursday, June 09, 2022

Review: The Evidence for Modern Physics

 I picked up The Evidence for Modern Physics during an audible sale, since from the title I thought it would be a description of physics experiments that verified or corroborated many modern theories. I was not disappointed. Professor Don Lincoln is a great lecturer, with a dry sense of humor that had me listening to him in the early mornings with rapt attention.

He starts with the verifiable stuff, like relativity (including an interesting experiment involving atomic clocks on planes down to a modern version that was so sensitive it could detect the slowdown of clocks that differed from each other by as little as one foot!), quantum mechanics, spectography, and the expansion of the universe.

Then he goes into cosmology, discussing the evidence for the Big Bang (the famous story of the discovery of the CBM) the expansion of the universe, and then into more speculative stuff that hasn't been proven such as dark matter, dark energy, inflation, and quantum gravity. Along with his discussions of the experiments include a bunch of history of the ideas. Lincoln points out that the difference between reading science history and science textbooks is that textbooks present a cut-and-dry view of science, while history really shows how many wrong hypothesis were raised and proven wrong before a theory was found that explained all the evidence.

This was a lot of fun, and great listening. Highly recommended.


Don Lincoln said...

It is kind of you to say. I hope you will leave a review on the Great Courses/Audible website.

Piaw Na said...

How can I refuse a request like that? Done!