You Don't Really Understand a Subject Until You Teach It To Your Dog

i-1e8ca3d6f1057cdc4f9532702467bc29-sm_cover_draft_atom.jpgI'm typing this from the local Barnes and Noble, waiting for the dealership next door to finish changing my oil and inspecting my car. Sadly, they don't have How to Teach Physics to Your Dog on the shelves in their (rather small) science section. Grump, grump, grump.

The disappointment at not immediately finding it on the shelves is tempered a bit by seeing it featured in The Big Idea at Scalzi's blog:

Want a Big Idea that's about a really big idea? Well, this week's book is about quantum physics, and it doesn't get much bigger than that (well, given the scale quantum physics works on, it actually doesn't get much smaller than that, but you know what I mean -- it's a really big idea about really small things). Just the words "quantum physics" makes some people itchy, and don't think author Chad Orzel doesn't know it -- he teaches physics for a living as a professor at Union College. But to show the subject is not as intimidating as all that, Orzel proposes to show that even our canine friends can follow the subject -- and use it to their advantage when, say, chasing squirrels.

Thus: How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, featuring Orzel and his dog Emmy discussing Particle-Wave Duality, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, the Many-Worlds Interpretation and other very cool ideas in quantum physics. Does it work? It does indeed; this is a great book for folks who are interested in science and physics, whatever their previous level of knowledge on the subject (that's a hint for you last-minute Christmas shoppers). I personally liked the book enough to give it a blurb; I'm a big fan of books that make science understandable for everyone, and Orzel (and Emmy) have just the right touch for that. This is a fun and fascinating book.

That's John's introduction. It's followed by a piece I wrote about the origin of the book, and why I think quantum physics and dogs go well together. You'll have to click through to read it, though...

More like this

The official release date for How to Teach Physics to Your Dog is three weeks from tomorrow, but a couple of new reviews have been posted, one linkable, the other not so much. The linkable one is from one of our contest winners, Eric Goebelbecker, at Dog Spelled Forward (an excellent name for a dog…
Holding TUH not very neatly done up in pink butcher's paper, whcih was all he could find in a last-minute search before leaving to catch his train for London, Mr Earbrass arrives at the offices of his publishers to deliver it. The stairs look oddly menacing, as though he might break a leg on one of…
A cosmologist, a science writer, three best-selling science fiction authors, a best-selling mystery novelist, and a Nobel laureate walk into a bar-- Oh, wait, that's not the opening to a joke. That's the list of people who have provided blurbs for my book... Kind of an eclectic bunch, but I'm…
I haven't sent it off to my editor yet-- I need to look it over one more time to see if there are horrible mistakes anywhere-- but I'm officially declaring the third draft of the book-in-progress to be complete. It clocks in at 61,518 words, and 240 pages. That's 50% more words than the contract…

There's also a nice piece by Cory Doctorow up at Boingboing.

Just picked up a copy at Barnes and Noble in Kansas City. Discovered your book and blog today via The Big idea on Scalzi's blog. I read your Bunnies Made of Cheese and Many Worlds, Many treats and I was instantly hooked. Looking forward to sitting down with it tonight. Cheers!

I've been meaning to get your book when I see it here in NJ, but now that you've made The Big Idea @ Scalzi, You! Have! Arrived!

I would like to teach my dog a cat, but I can't without a mouse.

By Adel Antado (not verified) on 27 Dec 2010 #permalink