Saturday, May 21, 2005

A partial list of my favourite books

“QED: the strange theory of light and matter”- Richard Feynman
A brilliant transcript of Feynman's QED series of public lectures, it is a must read for anyone interested in non-classical physics. Especially useful as a stepping stone to more detailed readings in quantum physics.

“Sophie’s World”- Jostein Gaarder
An excellent introduction to the history of Western philosophy, with a particularly unique storyline. Unfortunately, the plot sort of falls apart right at the end of the book, but it is of no real consequence; the material has already been presented.

“Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the greatest unsolved problem in mathematics”- John Derbyshire
Designed with the layperson in mind, but presenting advanced material in number theory. Done in two parallel threads of history and mathematics, it does more than introduce the Riemann Hypothesis and the Zeta function- it builds mathematics up from the ground up for the lay reader with lots of slightly unrelated topics to give the reader a taste of mathematics [1] and builds a very comprehensive biography of Riemann with snippets of details about the people around him and other interesting characters.

“Animal Farm”- George Orwell
A classical satire of dictatorship written in an engaging manner. The following elements are present but not explicitly stated: coup d’état, foreign policy, secret police, exploitation, (white and black) propaganda & communism. Not a bad partial list for such a short book. Mildly depressing plot, but still definitely worth the sadness.


[1] The author’s notes from 1 all the way to 140 are definitely worth reading.
[2] I will also add this to my sidebar.
[3] Enough notes!