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Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Physics of the Buffyverse

Ouellette, Jennifer. The Physics of the Buffyverse. The first half of the book was more accessible and covers other branches of science including biology and chemistry. Entertaining and educational, the book uses episodes from Joss Whedon's series Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel to explain scientific concepts and theories. I discussed the first half here. The second half was more difficult as I mentioned here.

This book was a review copy sent to me by Anna Suknov and much of the science was over my head; I enjoyed the first half and learned a little (admittedly my capacity for higher-level thinking is limited) in the second half. Thanks, Anna. I had to stretch, but was fully aware of how useful this book and its technique would be in teaching difficult concepts to students.

Interesting details:
  • there is no such thing as centrifugal force; what is actually at work is centripetal force
  • time dilation - very interesting chapter that discusses the theoretical possibility of time travel and other time anomalies
  • Fred's (that brilliant young physicist in the Angel series) theories about D-branes, p-dimensions, T-dualities and more when discussing string theory. Chapter 9, discusses the real science behind the terms
  • this quote:
"The wheel keeps turning. you can't stop it," Lorne tells a rueful Gene, pointing out that while he can hold a musical note indefinitely, "Eventually that's just noise. It's the change we're listening for, the note coming after, and the one after that. That's what makes it music."

There is an extensive bibliography--8 1/2 pages of scientific articles and books alone. Also a section on the episodes from Buffy and Angel that Ouellette used to illustrate the science she discusses.

Nonfiction. Science. 283 pages + resource material. 2006.

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