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E=mc2: Simple Physics    by Jeff Stewart order for
by Jeff Stewart
Order:  USA  Can
Readers Digest, 2010 (2010)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Struggle to recall your high school physics when your kids asked simple questions? I sure did. So I opened Jeff Stewart's E=mc2: Simple Physics in search of enlightenment and was immediately entranced by the Mark Twain quote, 'There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.'

Stewart keeps his explanations short, simple, accessible and entertaining as he covers A Brief History of Physics, Forces, Energy and Power, Momentum, Heat and Matter, Waves, Electricity, Relativity, Quantum Physics ('the science of the very small'), and The Universe. He informs us that 'Falling apples, rising balloons, and errant golf balls are just the start.'

The author incorporates many clear diagrams, pop culture references and sage advice like 'don't watch an action movie if you want to learn physics' in his explanations of the practical science. His final challenging questions include 'the causes of the Big Bang, the possibility of time travel, and the makeup of dark matter'. Though E=mc2 will leave you with your head spinning, you might just end up agreeing with Stewart's parting 'Isn't physics fun?'

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