Suspended In Language: Niels Bohrs Life, Discoveries, And The Century He Shaped Paperback – Aug 11 2009
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When more daring nonfiction graphic novels are made, Ottaviani and G. T. Labs will make them. If this biography of the Danish physicist, whom colleagues referred to as "the pope," isn't as adventurously designed as Fallout (2001), Ottaviani and company's book on J. Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard, and the Manhattan Project, it is just as--maybe more--ambitious. Ottaviani, who writes the text and recruits artist-collaborators, aims to inculcate the basics of quantum physics as he tells Bohr's life story. Leland Purvis, artist for the main text, responds to Ottaviani's intentions by switching, as needed, between realism and fantasy (e.g., huge Bohr and huge Einstein astride different planets while arguing quantum theory). The partnership operates near perfectly, and only the unexplained Greek letters in equations (p we know, but D and l?) give nonmathematicians, at least, pause--but don't impede understanding. In the endnotes Ottaviani and several different artists limn instructive anecdotes about early physics, relay Bohr apocrypha, and create a series of comic strips about taciturn French physicist Paul Dirac--all pretty priceless. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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If you choose to dip into this very cool science biography, prepare to learn some physics along with the story of Bohr's life. The authors have supplied a generous number of footnotes and endnotes [done as cartoons] to explain the harder points. The book is indexed and referenced to the extreme. This is not some casual cartoon compilation, but a serious piece of graphic scholarship.
I highly recommend Suspended In Language to anyone interested in physics, scientists, or the history of the 20th Century. I also recommend the other books about scientists from G.T. Labs, including Safecracker [Richard Feynman] and Fallout [Oppenheimer, Szilard, and the Bomb].
The lesson I seized from that book is that the language build the way we see the world. The world as itself is not in front of our eyes purely, we must have the language to circumscribe it. Everything just exist for us if we have the language to explain, to talk about it.
I realy like reading it.
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