The Science of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials – Mary & John Gribbin

March 5, 2010 § 12 Comments

After reading Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, Vishy left me a comment, suggesting that I might find this book interesting if I wanted to find out more about quantum physics. I jumped at the chance to learn more, and totally loved the idea that it would be based on a trilogy I so loved reading.

The book was written more for a younger audience, I would imagine, but I’m glad to say that it didn’t disappoint.

The Gribbins start the book off with some rather basic knowledge about what atoms are. But as the book goes on, so does the content get a little deeper. At first it isn’t obvious that the book is written based on what Pullman had included in his trilogy, but when the Gribbins start writing and explaining how a subtle knife might work and about the Many Worlds, I was definitely learning much more than I had hoped for.

Because it’s written for a younger audience, the language was very easy to understand. And it proved to be a good way for me to get a general grasp on what quantum physics might mean. There’s really nothing much to say about this book, except that I found it very accesible and easy to follow. I was never any good in physics when I was in high school, but I did love the sciences. And I’ve always wanted to find out more about quantum physics. So thanks, Vishy, for the suggestion.

Rating: 3.5

* Note: I seriously do not like that cover.

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§ 12 Responses to The Science of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials – Mary & John Gribbin

  • chasing bawa says:

    This sounds so good. Especially after you’ve read the trilogy. Quantum physics is one of those subjects that I keep thinking I’m finally going to grasp but never quite get there.

    • Michelle says:

      Quantum physics is the only kind of physics that I would even attempt to try and understand. Somehow, the normal kind of physics, which I’ve been told is ‘common sense’, just doesn’t quite do it for me.

      But yes, the book is especially good because I enjoyed His Dark Materials so much.

  • Nishita says:

    This sounds like a good book to read to get a grasp of QP.

  • Vishy says:

    You are welcome 🙂 Glad to know that you liked Gribbins’ book 🙂 It must have been wonderful to read it after reading Pullman’s trilogy and see a different perspective to some of the things in the story.

    • Michelle says:

      Have you read the book? I do hope you’ll have the chance to read the trilogy. Would be interesting to read about what you think of them.

      Oh, and this just goes to show that you don’t have to be shy with your recommendations. =)

      • Vishy says:

        I haven’t read this book, but have read many of John Gribbin’s books – one of his earlier ones called ‘In search of Schrodinger’s Cat’ is wonderful and is also about quantum mechanics.

        I will definitely read the Pullman trilogy soon and let you know what I think. After reading your review it has jumped a few rungs up my ‘TBR’ ladder 🙂

        Thanks for saying that – I am sometimes scared of giving recommendations because when I recommended some of my favourite books o friends, they

  • Vishy says:

    Sorry I accidentally posted before completing my previous comment.

    Thanks for your encouragement 🙂 Sometimes when I have recommended some of my favourite books to friends, they haven’t liked it much. So, I am sometimes scared of offering recommendations.

    With your encouragement I will make one more recommendation 🙂 Have you read ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’ by Bill Bryson? Something tells me you would have, but if you haven’t I will heartily recommend it. It is one of the best books on science that I have ever read and it has Bryson’s trademark humour in every page.

    • Michelle says:

      I have read that book from Bill Bryson. In fact, I got my younger brother a copy of that book just last year. I definitely agree that it’s a good book, but I actually didn’t read it from cover to cover. What I did was read it in little snippets, whenever I wanted something I could just reach out and read for a bit.

      And don’t worry about friends not liking your recommendations. It happens sometimes. We don’t all like the same books. =)

  • Agree with you about the cover!

    I haven’t read this, and for some reason I don’t feel inclined to. Think it’s something to do with it being connected to a series I love, but not directly. For example, I’ve read all the Harry Potters but not Beedle the Bard or Magical Creatures and Where To FInd Them (or whatever that book is called) etc.

    • Michelle says:

      I’m not sure I understand the analogy, since I’ve never read any from the Harry Potter series. But I think I get your point though. Sometimes it’s just fun to leave a story at where it ends.

  • Mark David says:

    Haha! Yes, I seriously don’t like that cover as well :p

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