layman's guide to the
complicated mathematics and theories behind twentieth and twenty-first
century science, July 10, 2009
By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)
was a genius, but true genius is not something only understandable by
other genius. "Everyone's Guide to Atoms, Einstein, and the Universe:
Real Science for Real People" is the layman's guide to the complicated
mathematics and theories behind twentieth and twenty-first century
science. Anyone can understand quantum physics, says author Robert L.
Piccioni, who then strives to make his point with straightforward,
comprehensible explanations. "Everyone's Guide to Atoms, Einstein, and
the Universe" is enthusiastically recommended to readers of all
backgrounds, as well as to public library collections.
"Scientific Concepts Explained"
| Jun 8, 2009 by
was an interesting and enjoyable read for somebody with a little more
than casual interest in astronomy and general science. As a
non-scientist I found the subject text easy to follow and instructive.
The many charts and illustrations enhanced the book and provided me
with a visual reference to complex topics, especially where formulas
and complicated theories were being discussed. After reading this book
my understanding of concepts of quantam mechanics, relativity, black
holes, and much more is greatly improved.
I will keep this book
as a reference for when I need a greater understanding of topics I
encounter in other places and when I need a refresher in these topics.
I will also recommend this book to my son in law, who is a junior high
school science teacher. I believe the author provides such an
approachable discription of complex topics that the book should provide
good ideas for introducing young minds to physics. ( )
) "This book
is very easy to
understand!" April 12, 2009 by Varsha, 10-year-old, 5th
love physics a lot and I wanted to know a lot more about it. So, I
bought this book. Now, I know all about things like antimatter,
Einstein's theories, stars, black holes, and a lot more. This book is
easy to understand and has a lot of pictures for examples of the
concept. Anyone can learn a lot from this book. I am really happy I got
Everyone's Guide to Atoms, Einstein, and the Universe!
Guide to Atoms, Einstein, and the Universe" is truly what it says it
is. Regardless of one's prior knowledge of higher level physics, anyone
can understand this book and will immediately have a better concept of
physics and cosmology. Not only that, but despite this ability, it does
not come off as being for children or uninteresting for those who
already have some knowledge on the subject. Also, just as Lucretius
makes his "De Rerum Natura" more entertaining for the layman by writing
in verse, Dr. Piccioni keeps the technical jargon to a minimum, often
times saving it for explanatory notes at the end of chapters, and also
peppers the text with little jokes, anecdotes, and other humorous
) "If you can
money, you can understand Einstein.", June 23, 2009 by Dracodis
book also has a great structure to it. One can read it from cover to
cover, for the chapters do build upon one another, but that same time,
one can pick up the book and simply read the chapter of interest
without needing to read preceding chapters.
Made Fun", June 22, 2009 by M.
Albert Hutchinson "martyhutch"
many years I have enjoyed reading books on astronomy and physics for
the layman. I am always amazed at how astronomers and physicists have
been able to figure out as much as they have about our universe. As
soon as I heard about this book by Robert Piccioni I bought it on
Amazon and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It is amazing how much
information he has packed into one book and how clearly he explains
normally difficult subjects. I found myself understanding more clearly
than I had before such topics as quantum mechanics and the elementary
paarticles. The book also explains the latest theories on dark matter,
dark energy, and how the universe could have been created from nothing.
I strongly recommend this book to all, either as an introduction to
physics or as a review and clarification of it.
Great Read!," May 5, 2009 by Loves to
is a great book for those interested in knowing what is out there and
how it all began. If you want to answer your child's question "What is
antimatter, Dad?" this is the book for you.
Everyone's Guide to
Atoms, Einstein, and the Universe covers everything from the smallest
particles to the largest thing we know - our universe. Included are the
people who made the discoveries.
The strength of this book is
that it explains complex ideas so well, so straight-forwardly, and with
so many illustrations that even non-technical people can understand
them. And the book contains very little math so was much easier to read
than I anticipated.
That is not to say that the subject matter
is simple - it isn't. The universe isn't' simple and this book doesn't
dumb it down. But it is clear that the author has respect for the
reader and wants the reader to love these ideas and discoveries as much
as he obviously does.
The book is even light in places. Dr.
Piccioni's father was a famous physicist; he grew up around Nobel Prize
winners, and he relates personal stories about his father and other
well-known physicists, like Enrico Fermi and Richard Feynman.
This book is a great read!
Johns "Look no further!", May 3, 2009 by Dr.
I need to preface this review by saying that I never liked physics. I
had to take physics in high school and college as prerequisite classes,
but I never enjoyed learning about physics. As an adult, I'm trying to
broaden my horizons. In that spirit, I decided to give physics another
try and I'm very glad that I did! Dr. Piccioni makes even complex
concepts easy to understand and interesting. Who knew that a physics
book could be a page-turner?! I wish I had this book back in high
school. I highly recommend it to everyone, from students taking a
physics class to anyone who is interested in learning more about how
our universe works.
) Read this book if you want to understand the universe. July 19,
2009 by David C.
you want to understand how modern physics, cosmology and astronomy have
drastically reshaped our view of the world in the past hundred years,
read this book. As the title implies, any intelligent reader, with or
without knowledge of mathematics, could understand this book. Very few
physicists have succeeded in explaining modern physics without the use
of complex mathematics, the native language of physicists. The notable
exceptions on my list are Steven Weinstein (The First Three Minutes),
Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time), Roger Penrose (Emperor's New
Mind), Brian Green (The Elegant Universe), and Lee Smolin (The Trouble
with Physics). After I finished reading this wonderful book, I have
added Robert Piccioni to the list.
published three seminal papers in 1905. The first paper established the
quantum nature of light, an essential element in the development of
Quantum Mechanics. The second paper proposed the Special Theory of
Relativity, a now firmly established theory that links time and space
to form a four-dimensional space-time continuum. Einstein later
extended this theory to the Theory of General Relativity, a theory that
explains how the curvature of space-time creates our illusion of
Newtonian gravity. The third paper utilized Brownian motion to provide
clear evidence for molecules in motion, thus firmly established the
existence of atoms. These three papers played a crucial role in
launching modern physics in a totally different direction from that of
nineteenth century physics.
book "Everyone's Guide to Atoms, Einstein, and the Universe" starts
with Einstein's early contributions, and ends with the most recent
discoveries that form our current understand of the universe. This book
surveys a broad range of topics, including Quantum Mechanics,
elementary particles, four forces of nature, Special Relativity,
General Relativity, Hubble expansion, the Big Bang, cosmic microwave
background radiation (CMB), neutron stars, black holes, dark matter,
and dark energy. Using these essential elements, Dr. Piccioni tells a
fascinating story of modern physics and how we arrived at our
modern view of the universe, starting with the Big Bang over 13 billion
years ago and ending with how our universe may end in the distant
) Everyone's Guide to to Atoms,
Einstein, and the Universe, July 14, 2009 by Dr. Wm J. Veigele
his book, Everyone's guide to Atoms, Einstein, and the Universe, Dr.
Robert L. Piccioni has offered a commendable presentation of the world
of physics, especially for the lay reader. Possibly not the "everyone"
he alludes to in the title, however, will have the imagination and
desire to understand the contents of the book. But for those who have
those qualities, they will learn much and be entertained and awed.
book is attractive and substantially bound with eminently readable
type, graphics, photographs, and color plates. To supplement the
material there is a glossary, list of symbols, index, and summary of
key principles. Short and concise chapters make the book easy to read
in short segments. In fact, the chapters are "stand alone" and need not
be read in sequence. The author includes sidebars with personal
insights into the minds and lives of some physicists of renown.
Piccioni writes with the non-physicist reader in mind, and he has a
gift for simplifying the complicated and making physics alive and
entertaining as well as informative. His excitement about and need to
explain physics is always evident. And he is true to his declaration
that, in the book, the science is not "dumbed down." His explanations
of physics are accurate to the degree and level of detail he could
include in a book of less than 300 text pages that covers the entire
scope of mankind's understanding of and speculations about the physical
Dr. Piccioni takes the reader on a journey from the
smallest of particles that make up atoms through the world that people
know and experience to the mysterious realms of relativity and quantum
theory and then to the unimaginably large expanse and majesty of the
universe. The author uses clever and easy to grasp descriptions and
analogies to explain the subtleties of the quantum and the universe.
How much more enlightening, entertaining, and pleasurable can one book
More scientifically advanced readers should enjoy and learn from
the book, but they might be concerned with a few items. Though energy
and heat are concepts that are difficult to define, the lay reader
should be informed that temperature, not heat, is given by the kinetic
energy of vibrating atoms. Also, the author writes that energy is "the
currency of existence." If energy is existence, then what is the role
of fermions, which Piccioni calls the "constituents of matter?" And his
statement that pairs of particles and antiparticles are created from
"pure energy" needs clarification. There are a couple of historical
inconsistencies. Theodore Maiman, not Charles Townes, produced the
first working laser in 1960. Enrico Fermi produced the first successful
reactor in 1942, but many persons contributed to and induced nuclear
fission before then.
All in all, this is a beautifully scripted,
well written, and engaging book. It will give serious readers an easy
to grasp and illuminating view of the grandeur of the physical universe.
Wm. J. Veigele, Ph. D.
all Amazon book reviews.
|barb302 | Jun 7, 2009
must read for anyone interested in science and the workings of our
universe! This is a GREAT book and I really enjoyed it. I will be
reading it a second time while taking notes. First of all, let me say
that "Everyone's Guide to Atoms,Einstein and the Universe" is a book
that allows every reader to pick and choose what they want to
understand better about our planet earth, its place in the galaxy and
about physics and the accomplishments of many physicists. What is
particularly striking about this book is the author, Robert L.
Piccioni's talent to make the complicated simple to understand. How
does he do this? He explains scientific phenomena using practical
examples that we can all relate to and understand. He includes fabulous
illustrations in an Appendix in the book that he keeps referring us to
in order to help us visualize what he is discussing. What is really
amazing is that he takes subjects that can be way beyond our grasp and
not only simplifies them but makes them so interesting...and he does
this always with a sense of humor including wonderful stories.
you, Robert L. Piccioni for writing such an outstanding book and for
using your ability to teach a difficult subject and make it "real
science for real people'. I loved the anecdotes the author includes
about many physicists and the remarkable achievements which led to
Nobel prizes for so many of them. I found myself totally absorbed in
this book and chuckling often when the author shared an interesting
fact or humorous story with the reader.
papyri | Jun 13, 2009 |( )
suggest you read this book with a paper and pencil beside you so you
can take notes. You'll want to remember so much to refer back to at a
later date. This book is incredibly enlightening even when discussing
dark matter! I know so much more know about Einstein, his theories and
also the Big Bang Theory and Quantum Mechanics. I understand that the
Universe is expanding and as it does my knowledge is also expanding. My
suggestion is that you buy this book, settle down on your favorite
couch with some snacks by your side because once you pick up this book
and start reading it you won't be able to put it down. Kudos to
Piccioni for writing a book that will help everyone understand the
Cosmos. Did you ever think of telescopes as time machines? Did you ever
realize that if the Universe were divided into a million equal boxes,
the contents of each box would be pretty much the same? Were you aware
that Albert Einstein chose to give all of his Nobel Peace Prize money
to his wife so she would agree to divorce him as he had another love
interest waiting in the wings? This is just a tiny taste of what you
can learn when you read this great book, "Everyone's Guide to Atoms,
Einstein and the Universe". I encourage you to expand your own personal
universe and read this book. You'll be glad you did. ( )
you can't tell much about a book by its title, but this book's title
describes it perfectly. It begins at the atomic level and works it way
through to the whole universe and through time (from the beginning to
the end). The author does a very good job of presenting complex
scientific theories and information in a manner understandable to the
general reader. Each chapter of the book seamlessly weaves biographical
and background information about Einstein, various phsicsts,
scientists, astronomers and others who contributed to our understanding
of the subjects being discussed. This made the information presented
more interesting and entertaining. A glossary section and notes at the
end of each chapter provide further information and understanding of
The book is also nicely illustrated with diagrams
and pictures which clarify what he is being discussed. It includes a
section of color illustrations featuring images of the universe taken
by the Hubble Space telescope showcasing its beauty.
This book was made for enjoyable informative reading.
PCGatore | July 1, 2009 |( )
Piccioni has accomplished at least two things with his new book
Everyone’s Guide to Atoms, Einstein, and the Universe. One, he has
conveyed something of the genius and the enormous contributions of
Albert Einstein, whose work was instrumental to our knowledge of how
the universe has changed over time and how it currently operates. And
two, he’s revealed in everyday language the basic laws and theories
that explain our modern understanding of matter and space. How he
managed to cover so much ground without getting overly swamped in the
heavy-duty physics and math that lurks behind the scenes is itself a
bit of genius. Throw in some entertaining science history, a bit of
humor, and some amazing color images, and Piccioni has created a
comprehensive yet easy-to-digest primer to the Universe we all call
home. Well, easily digested as long as the bites are small and
thoroughly chewed on. Quantum mechanics does of course make an
appearance, and there are a few mathematical equations. But the math is
far from center stage here. Let’s face it, for most of us
average-brained people, trying to keep up with Einstein’s thinking is a
pretty daunting prospect. But a general knowledge of, and definitely a
profound appreciation for, the cosmos is within our reach. One of the
many Einstein quotes included in the book was the statement, “It should
be possible to explain the laws of physics to a barmaid.” I’m not
exactly a barmaid, but I’m not a theoretical physicist either. Yet
armed with Everyone’s Guide, the barmaid and I will now be sitting at
the table competently discussing the latest cosmological discoveries.
And, we’ll be looking up at the skies with more awe than ever before.