In these pages you can learn a little about me and much more about the nine books I’ve written. They are all in subject areas that I find exciting and deeply interesting: science (mainly physics and astrophysics), the histories of science and knowledge (all the way back to Pythagoras), and the interface between science and religion.
I enjoy finding ways to explain what many people may regard as difficult concepts in the clearest, simplest manner possible, not “dumbing down” (what an insult that is), but translating from the “language” of mathematicians, scientists, and other experts into the language of the rest of us. I especially find it fun to work up drawings that make things easier to understand.
My father – a musician, science enthusiast, and avid mathematician — said that he never really understood something until he could explain it clearly, in straightforward terms, to someone else, and have them understand it. In that spirit, each of my books has been a huge, happy voyage of learning and discovery for me, and I hope I’ve succeeded in writing them in such a way that they will be the same for you.
Princeton physicist John Archibald Wheeler, perhaps the greatest of all mentors in physics of the 20th century (almost everybody who is anybody in physics today was once his student, and he invented the university course “Physics for Poets”) was one of those who most encouraged me in the early days of my writing. Reading a draft of my Black Holes in Spacetime, he paused where I had written “We have discovered . . . “ and exclaimed, “Yes, always write it like that. Never write ‘physicists have discovered,’ or ‘experts have discovered.’ This science belongs to everybody!”
I invite you to join me in my adventures in the magnificent, mysterious worlds of science and human knowledge.