Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Physics for Future Presidents

I am reading a tremendous book. It was written by Richard A. Muller, a Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. The book jacket does not mislead when it says "Physics for Future Presidents is a fascinating, lively, and nontechnical primer on precisely those topics that a future president and the electorate must master." And since I can't say it any better than the book jacket already does, "After treating the physics behind terrorist weapons, from airplanes to anthrax, Muller goes on to examine energy, nukes, space, and global warming. He turns many previously held assumptions on their ear, assumptions which, if uncorrected, could lead policy makers to serious mistakes."

I'm about half way through and I'm fascinated with his explanations of what radioactivity is, how it works, how it decays, how it disperses, how it affects human tissue, how human tissue responds, and how it is measured. He is explaining the physics of it. What's even more fascinating is how the physics is complete different that how I believe most people believe. And that leads to the large risk of mistaken political decisions.

Highly recommended.

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