Dance for Two

Dance for Two : Essays

3.86 (272 ratings by Goodreads)
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For the last twenty years, Alan Lightman has been writing essays that display his genius for bringing literary and scientific concerns into harmony. Dance for Two gathers the best of Lightman's work. Here are pieces that touch on both the ethereal and the corporeal; the dependence of a ballerina on the laws of physics, the choice of every scientist makes between tinkering and theorizing, the unscientific nature of discovery, the impulse behind an unprompted smile. Dance for Two is an intimate and fascinating look into the creative compulsions shared by the artist and the scientist.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 132 x 203 x 10mm | 170g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0679758771
  • 9780679758778
  • 993,248

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The author of Einstein's Dreams now presents a collection of essays, written over the past 20 years, that displays his genius for bringing literary and scientific concerns into ringing harmony. Sometimes provocative, sometimes fanciful, always elegantly conceived and written, these meditations offer readers a fascinating look into the creative compulsions shared by the scientist and the artist. Reading tour.
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Table of contents

Foreword ix

Pas de Deux 3

A Flash of Light 6

Smile 12

Is the Earth Round or Flat? 17

If Birds Can Fly, Why, Oh Why, Can't I? 22

Students and Teachers 29

Time Travel and Papa Joe's Pipe 39

In His Image 45

Mirage 54

To Cleave an Atom 58

Elapsed Expectations 68

A Visit by Mr. Newton 73

Origins 79

A Day in December 84

Progress 87

I=V/R 94

Nothing but the Truth 100

Time for the Stars 107

A Modern-Day Yankee in a Connecticut Court 117

The Origin of the Universe 133

How the Camel Got His Hump 142

Ironland 145

Other Rooms 151

Seasons 159
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Review quote

"Alan Lightman is one of our most consistently fascinating writers."
--Annie Dillard

"Lightman has an uncanny way of presenting complex concepts with familiar examples and analogies--so that readers will both deepen their appreciation of science and their love of fine literature."
--Stephen Jay Gould

"Novelist, essayist, physicist, and master of prose style, Alan Lightman continues his extraordinary voyage into unexplored regions of life, time, and the imagination. Dance for Two is a compelling book of flawless prose from a unique mind."
--Richard Preston
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About Alan Lightman

ALAN LIGHTMAN was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948 and was educated at Princeton and at the California Institute of Technology. He has written for Granta, Harper's, The New Yorker, and The New York Review of Books. His books include Origins, Ancient Light, Great Ideas in Physics, Time for the Stars, and two novels, Einstein's Dreams and Good Benito. He is Burchard Professor of Science and Writing, and senior lecturer in physics, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Rating details

272 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 26% (70)
4 41% (111)
3 27% (74)
2 6% (16)
1 0% (1)
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