New Release Books by Sidney Perkowitz

Sidney Perkowitz is the author of Science Sketches (2022), Real Scientists Don't Wear Ties (2019), Real Scientists Don’t Wear Ties (2019), Physics (2019) and other 10 books.

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14 results found

Science Sketches

release date: Mar 17, 2022
Science Sketches
This book is the second collection of over 50 articles and essays authored by Sidney Perkowitz. Appearing in diverse outlets such as Discover, Washington Post, Aeon, Los Angeles Review of Books, Nautilus, Museum of the Moving Image, and Physics World, they represent the best of his writing about science and technology, and their links to culture and society, the arts and the media, and the humanities. Written for general readers, the pieces explore the outer and inner universes from cosmic space to the human mind, from the artistic use of science to the impact of technology and AI in the justice system, in medicine, and in dealing with COVID-19.

Real Scientists Don't Wear Ties

release date: Nov 21, 2019
Real Scientists Don't Wear Ties
Real Scientists Don''t Wear Ties links science to general and popular culture and everyday life in an easy-to-understand style. When a gifted writer of science selects his best pieces published in the world''s most reputable periodicals such as Nature, Discover, and MIT Technology Review, we get an eminently readable collection of his varied work in book form. That it covers all-time relevant topics like quantum physics, gravitational waves, genetic engineering, space exploration, and artificial intelligence is an added delight. Prof. Perkowitz also discusses how science can be found in medical practice, cooking, soccer, and art, and also science and science fiction in the media. On the lighter side, he reports on his efforts to teach a computer to understand poetry, explains why scientists resist dressing up, and shows that unlike many people, scientists actually enjoy math.

Real Scientists Don’t Wear Ties

release date: Jul 30, 2019
Real Scientists Don’t Wear Ties
Real Scientists Don’t Wear Ties links science to general and popular culture and everyday life in an easy-to-understand style. When a gifted writer of science selects his best pieces published in the world’s most reputable periodicals such as Nature, Discover, and MIT Technology Review, we get an eminently readable collection of his varied work in book form. That it covers all-time relevant topics like quantum physics, gravitational waves, genetic engineering, space exploration, and artificial intelligence is an added delight. Prof. Perkowitz also discusses how science can be found in medical practice, cooking, soccer, and art, and also science and science fiction in the media. On the lighter side, he reports on his efforts to teach a computer to understand poetry, explains why scientists resist dressing up, and shows that unlike many people, scientists actually enjoy math.

Physics

release date: Jul 25, 2019
Physics
Physics, the fundamental science of matter and energy, encompasses all levels of nature from the subatomic to the cosmic, and underlies much of the technology around us. Understanding the physics of our universe is an essential aspect of humanity''s quest to understand our environment and our place within it. Doing physics enables us to explore the interaction between environment and human society, and can help us to work towards the future sustainability of the planet. This Very Short Introduction provides an overview of how this pervasive science came to be and how it works: who funds it, how physicists are trained and how they think, and how physics supports the technology we all use. Sidney Perkowitz presents the theories and outcomes of pure and applied physics from ideas of the Greek natural philosophers to modern quantum mechanics, cosmology, digital electronics and energy production. Considering its most consequential experiments, including recent results in elementary particles, gravitational waves and materials science, he also discusses outside the lab, the effects of physics on society, culture, and humanity''s vision of its place in the universe. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Physics: A Very Short Introduction

release date: Jul 25, 2019
Physics: A Very Short Introduction
Physics, the fundamental science of matter and energy, encompasses all levels of nature from the subatomic to the cosmic, and underlies much of the technology around us. Understanding the physics of our universe is an essential aspect of humanity''s quest to understand our environment and our place within it. Doing physics enables us to explore the interaction between environment and human society, and can help us to work towards the future sustainability of the planet. This Very Short Introduction provides an overview of how this pervasive science came to be and how it works: who funds it, how physicists are trained and how they think, and how physics supports the technology we all use. Sidney Perkowitz presents the theories and outcomes of pure and applied physics from ideas of the Greek natural philosophers to modern quantum mechanics, cosmology, digital electronics and energy production. Considering its most consequential experiments, including recent results in elementary particles, gravitational waves and materials science, he also discusses outside the lab, the effects of physics on society, culture, and humanity''s vision of its place in the universe. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction

release date: May 15, 2018
James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction
This companion to the AMC’s mini-series features the full interviews plus essays by sci-fi insiders and rare concept art from Cameron’s archives. For the show, James Cameron personally interviewed six of the biggest names in science fiction filmmaking—Guillermo del Toro, George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ridley Scott, and Steven Spielberg—to get their perspectives on the importance of the genre. This book reproduces the interviews in full as the greatest minds in the genre discuss key topics including alien life, time travel, outer space, dark futures, monsters, and intelligent machines. An in-depth interview with Cameron is also featured, plus essays by experts in the science fiction field on the main themes covered in the show. Illustrated with rare and previously unseen concept art from Cameron’s personal archives, plus imagery from iconic sci-fi movies, TV shows, and books, James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction offers a sweeping examination of a genre that continues to ask questions, push limits, and thrill audiences around the world.

Optical Characterization of Semiconductors

release date: Dec 02, 2012
Optical Characterization of Semiconductors
This is the first book to explain, illustrate, and compare the most widely used methods in optics: photoluminescence, infrared spectroscopy, and Raman scattering. Written with non-experts in mind, the book develops the background needed to understand the why and how of each technique, but does not require special knowledge of semiconductors or optics. Each method is illustrated with numerous case studies. Practical information drawn from the authors experience is given to help establish optical facilities, including commercial sources for equipment, and experimental details. For industrial scientists with specific problems in semiconducting materials; for academic scientists who wish to apply their spectroscopic methods to characterization problems; and for students in solid state physics, materials science and engineering, and semiconductor electronics and photonics, this book provides a unique overview, bringing together these valuable techniques in a coherent wayfor the first time. Discusses and compares infrared, Raman, and photoluminescence methods Enables readers to choose the best method for a given problem Illustrates applications to help non-experts and industrial users, with answers to selected common problems Presents fundamentals with examples from the semiconductor literature without excessive abstract discussion Features equipment lists and discussion of techniques to help establish characterization laboratories

Slow Light

release date: Jan 01, 2011
Slow Light
Slow Light is a popular treatment of today''s astonishing breakthroughs in the science of light. Even though we don''t understand light''s quantum mysteries, we can slow it to a stop and speed it up beyond its Einsteinian speed limit, 186,000 miles/sec; use it for quantum telecommunications; teleport it; manipulate it to create invisibility; and perhaps generate hydrogen fusion power with it. All this is lucidly presented for non-scientists who wonder about teleportation, Harry Potter invisibility cloaks, and other fantastic outcomes. Slow Light shows how the real science and the fantasy inspire each other, and projects light''s incredible future.Emory physicist Sidney Perkowitz discusses how we are harnessing the mysteries of light into technologies like lasers and fiber optics that are transforming our daily lives. Science-fiction fantasies like Harry Potter''s invisibility cloak are turning into real possibilities. Please click here for more info.

Hollywood Science

release date: Feb 22, 2010
Hollywood Science
In this book, a scientist and dedicated film enthusiast discusses the portrayal of science in more than one hundred films, including science fiction, scientific biographies, and documentaries. Beginning with early films like Voyage to the Moon and Metropolis and concluding with more recent offerings like The Matrix, War of the Worlds, A Beautiful Mind, and An Inconvenient Truth, Sidney Perkowitz questions how much faith we can put into Hollywood''s depiction of scientists and their work, how accurately these films capture scientific fact and theory, whether cataclysms like our collision with a comet can actually happen, and to what extent these films influence public opinion about science and the future. Bringing together history, scientific theory, and humorous observation, Hollywood Science features dozens of film stills and a list of the all-time best and worst science-fiction movies.

Frankenstein

release date: May 14, 2019
Frankenstein
The tale of a tormented creature created in a laboratory began on a rainy night in 1816 in the imagination of a nineteen-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, newly married to the celebrated Romantic poet Percy Shelley. Since its publication two years later, in 1818, Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus has spread around the globe through every possible medium and variation. Frankenstein has not been out of print once in 200 years. It has appeared in hundreds of editions, perhaps more than any other novel. It has inspired a multitude of stage and screen adaptations, the latest appearing just last year. "Frankenstein" has become an indelible part of popular culture, and is shorthand for anything bizarre and human-made; for instance, genetically modified crops are "Frankenfood."Conversely, Frankenstein''s monster has also become a benign Halloween favorite. Yet for all its long history, Frankenstein''s central premise--that science, not magic or God, can create a living being, and thus these creators must answer for their actions as humans, not Gods--is most relevant today as scientists approach creating synthetic life.In its popular and cultural weight and its expression of the ethical issues raised by the advance of science, physicist Sidney Perkowitz and film expert Eddy von Muller have brought together scholars and scientists, artists and directions--including Mel Brooks--to celebrate and examine Mary Shelley''s marvelous creation and its legacy as the monster moves into his next century.

Digital People

release date: May 05, 2004
Digital People
Robots, androids, and bionic people pervade popular culture, from classics like Frankenstein and R.U.R. to modern tales such as The Six Million Dollar Man, The Terminator, and A.I. Our fascination is obvious â€" and the technology is quickly moving from books and films to real life. In a lab at MIT, scientists and technicians have created an artificial being named COG. To watch COG interact with the environment â€" to recognize that this machine has actual body language â€" is to experience a hair-raising, gut-level reaction. Because just as we connect to artificial people in fiction, the merest hint of human-like action or appearance invariably engages us. Digital People examines the ways in which technology is inexorably driving us to a new and different level of humanity. As scientists draw on nanotechnology, molecular biology, artificial intelligence, and materials science, they are learning how to create beings that move, think, and look like people. Others are routinely using sophisticated surgical techniques to implant computer chips and drug-dispensing devices into our bodies, designing fully functional man-made body parts, and linking human brains with computers to make people healthier, smarter, and stronger. In short, we are going beyond what was once only science fiction to create bionic people with fully integrated artificial components â€" and it will not be long before we reach the ultimate goal of constructing a completely synthetic human-like being. It seems quintessentially human to look beyond our natural limitations. Science has long been the lens through which we squint to discern our future. Although we are rightfully fearful about manipulating the boundaries between animate and inanimate, the benefits are too great to ignore. This thoughtful and provocative book shows us just where technology is taking us, in directions both wonderful and terrible, to ponder what it means to be human.

Universal Foam

release date: Jan 01, 2000
Universal Foam
Connects the ordinary properties of foam to its deeper scientific meanings as well as the doors it opens to human culture in food, art, and practical applications. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.

Empire of Light:

release date: Nov 23, 1998
Empire of Light:
In Empire of Light, Sidney Perkowitz combines the expertise of a physicist with the vision of an art connoisseur and the skill of an accomplished writer to offer a unique view of the most fundamental feature of the universe: light. Empire of Light discusses the nature of light, how the eye sees, and how our understanding of these phenomena have emerged over the ages, including the role of light in the development of quantum physics. The author examines the making of electrical light and its integration into commerce, telecommunications, entertainment, medicine, warfare, and every other aspect of our daily lives. And he presents the role of light in the search for the beginning and the end of the universe, as astronomers with their instruments penetrate ever deeper into the sky. Visible light spans the spectrum between infrared and ultraviolet, but this book reaches across many other spectra as well--from the cave paintings at Lascaux to Mark Rothko''s stark blocks of color in today''s art museums, from Plato''s speculation that the eye sends out rays to Ramon y Cajal''s discovery that vision actually works in the opposite way, from Tycho Brahe''s elegant antetelescope measurements of planet positions to the Hubble telescope''s exquisite sensitivity to light from billions of light years away. What are the biological and neurological processes of perceiving visible light? How does a person typically scan a scene? Do you see red or blue the same way I do? What are our physiological reactions and emotional responses to light? Perkowitz explores these and many other fascinating questions, drawing together the experiences, achievements, and perspectives of a diverse cast of characters, including Galileo, Einstein, Newton, Van Gogh, and Edison. Empire of Light is written so that lay readers will readily grasp the scientific principles and science professionals will readily appreciate the human experience. It will impart new wonder to the daily experience of light in our world. Sidney Perkowitz is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Physics at Emory University. His work has appeared in national publications such as The Sciences, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The American Prospect, and Technology Review.
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