Books That Inspire 2005

Night Thoughts of a Classical Physicist
Russell McCormmach

I first read Night Thoughts of a Classical Physicist when I was beginning my own study of physics as an undergraduate. The book is set in Germany during a time of great flux between classical and modern ideologies. Parts of me could relate to the aging Professor Jakob, who struggles with the newly emerging theories of relativity and quantum mechanics. We see the world of physics through the disillusioned perspective of a man who has become hypercritical of his own achievements, thereby revealing the vagaries of deriving one’s true sense of self through an ego-driven filter of interpretation. It is truly thought provoking.
Phillip Chilson
Associate Professor
School of Meteorology