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A Dictionary of Physics


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About the Author

John Daintith is an editor at Market House Books.


According to the preface, this title derives from A Dictionary of Science (fourth and fifth eds.) and Concise Science Dictionary (first and third eds.). Daintith has helped edit Science since its fourth edition in 1999. His Dictionary of Chemistry (2008), as well as Elizabeth Martin and Robert Hine's Dictionary of Biology (2008), both by Oxford, have become companion volumes to this work since the biological, botanical, astronomical, chemical, medical, earth/environmental, and paleontological entries have been excised. What remains is astrophysics, physical chemistry, mathematics relevant to physics, metal science, computing, electronics, and biographies of physical scientists. Some 240 new entries have been added to this work, bringing the total to 3900; the 120 illustrations seem fewer. Entry size ranges from a couple of lines on dynamo, to a paragraph or more on energy and quantum computing, to a full page on magnetism, to longer special features and chronologies on big-bang, atomic theory, nanophysics, and elementary particles. Bottom Line Oxford appears to be leaving behind the big-print versions of comprehensive dictionaries like Chambers Dictionary of Science and Technology and Collins' Dictionary of Science and Technology, instead favoring handbook-like volumes with jargon-free explanations geared to the first-year university student and nonscientist. If your library still invests in print science reference, buy this. It's clear, it's cheap, and it's good.-Janice Dunham, John Jay Coll. Lib., CUNY Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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