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Suspended In Language: Niels Bohrs Life, Discoveries, And The Century He Shaped Paperback – Aug 11 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: G.T. Labs; 2 edition (Aug. 11 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978803728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978803728
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #336,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Booklist

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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9f11927c) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9efbe87c) out of 5 stars Bohr Isn't Boring! Nov. 27 2004
By Bruce Crocker - Published on
Format: Paperback
Science teachers have a large number of stories - some true, some apocryphal, and some somewhere in between - to regale their students with. We have Einstein's demands of the deity concerning dice, Rutherford's booming voice that trashed lab apparatus, Oppenheimer's Indian verse quoting at Trinity, and Teller's strangelovian life among others, but no good stories from the life of Niels Bohr. Jim Ottaviani, Leland Purvis, et al. have saved us with their intelligent, witty, and spacey cartoon retelling of Niles Bohr's life - Suspended In Language.

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].
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f10a57c) out of 5 stars Bohr and April 17 2006
By Alex Morris - Published on
Format: Paperback
Ottaviani's Suspended in Language operates on a number of different levels and is appealing with just the right mixture of intellect and humor. While managing to create a biographical text on the life of Niels Bohr the story also delves into the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics. Ottaviani created a piece that could be solely read as a primer on quantum mechanics while managing to focus on Bohr's life. The facts are elucidated in illustrations that are intentionally reminiscent of a comic-strip. Just when you begin to feel like you're cramming a bit too much information into your brain all at once the book will take a several page detour into the every day dealings of Bohr's life, and having given you the chance to collect your wits, rev back up to an intellectual furor. What truly makes the book remarkable though is the concise yet vivid description of the various other physicists that Bohr interacted with and influenced. Ottaviani obviously felt compelled to tell the story of Bohr's life because he impacted so many different areas of science and revolutionized fields whose true merit has yet to be realized. Everyone should read this book in order to have a basic understanding of how the scientific notions that guide our lives today were first conceived of and then put into widespread implementation. It's a great read and an even better learning experience.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f381cfc) out of 5 stars "We don't disagree as much as you think" June 9 2006
By Michael K. Smith - Published on
Format: Paperback
To his colleagues, Niels Bohr was the "Pope of Physics." Razor-edged minds like Dirac, Franck, Frisch, Gamow, Klein, Mott, Oppenheimer, Pauli, Planck, Schrödinger, and others -- many of whom would later become Nobel laureates themselves -- to proud to say they had studied with Bohr. He was a poor lecturer because he never knew where his thoughts would take him and would often stop in the middle of an explanation when a new idea occurred to him. Without him, there would be no modern physics, no quantum mechanics, no basic understanding of the atom. And while Bohr sometimes entertained theories that turned out to be wrong -- which he was the first to admit -- even Einstein was wrong in areas where Bohr was right. Ottaviani is a very uneven graphics chronicler of modern science and scientists, but this is a very well thought out book, as successful an attempt as I have seen to explain Bohr's thought (as well as his humane and internationalist personal beliefs) and the basics concepts of quantum physics.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa06787c8) out of 5 stars Making Physics and Physicists Cool June 24 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading the other interview on this book, there's not much I can add since they capture the essence of this book: a physicist on par with his contemporary, Albert Einstein. The major comment I can give is that this is a graphics novel in the tradition of the classic "edu-Manga." But don't let that put you off because it brilliantly captures Bohr's life and philosophy *AND* the history of quantum mechanics in a fairly easy to read package. Given that so many are scientifically illiterate, this is a wonderful introduction to one of the giants of physics and a true shaper of modern society and technology and could even be used as "textbook" in a limited capacity, because it draws you in with the very real human side of the man and the science - rather than the "ivory tower" so often associated with science, mathematics, and engineering today. I even bought a copy to give to an engineering professor / colleague who was looking for Bohr's quote about horseshoes and luck (... "I am told it works even if you don't believe in it."), and even though he isn't a comic book reader, he read the entire book and was absolutely delighted with it. A true gem and one I keep on hand for reference.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f10342c) out of 5 stars We see the world the way we use the language June 20 2014
By CamilaBrazil - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you konw nothing about physics or Niels Bohrs, or the brillant felows that lived in the middle of the las century and you are interested in learning something about them and their discoverys that's a good book to begin. You learn and during the reading you will enjoy the draws.
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.