Annotations for Physics on the Fringe : Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything


Baker & Taylor
"In 1993, Jim Carter, a trailer park owner in Enumclaw, Washington, sent out to a select group of scientists a letter announcing the publication of a book in which he proposed a complete alternative theory of physics. Gravity and matter, the periodic table, and the creation of the universe-all these Carter explained through wildly creative ideas perfected through backyard experiments using garbage cans and a disco fog machine to make giant smoke rings. For the past fifteen years, acclaimed science writer Margaret Wertheim has been collecting the works of Jim Carter and other mavericks and outsiders who invent alternate theories of the universe. By considering the motivations behind their do-it-yourself theories and homemade experiments, Wertheim raises the question of what role an amateur can play in relationship to science. Deeply human, literally fantastical, infused with wit and humor, Physics on the Fringe challenges our conception of what science is, how it works, and who it is for"--

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Baker & Taylor
Documents the work by outsider physicist Jim Carter and how his achievements can inform both mainstream scientists and everyday people about what science is and how it works.

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Baker & Taylor
The science communication pioneer and author of Pythagoras' Trousers documents the revolutionary work by fringe theoretical scientist Jim Carter and how his achievements can inform both mainstream scientists and everyday people about what science is and how it works.

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McMillan Palgrave

For the past fifteen years, acclaimed science writer Margaret Wertheim has been collecting the works of "outsider physicists," many without formal training and all convinced that they have found true alternative theories of the universe. Jim Carter, the Einstein of outsiders, has developed his own complete theory of matter and energy and gravity that he demonstrates with experiments in his backyard‚-with garbage cans and a disco fog machine he makes smoke rings to test his ideas about atoms. Captivated by the imaginative power of his theories and his resolutely DIY attitude, Wertheim has been following Carter's progress for the past decade.

Centuries ago, natural philosophers puzzled out the laws of nature using the tools of observation and experimentation. Today, theoretical physics has become mathematically inscrutable, accessible only to an elite few. In rejecting this abstraction, outsider theorists insist that nature speaks a language we can all understand. Through a profoundly human profile of Jim Carter, Wertheim's exploration of the bizarre world of fringe physics challenges our conception of what science is, how it works, and who it is for.



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