QED - Richard Feynman

A remarkably easy-to-read explanation of quantum electrodynamics. It shows off this rather beautiful theory rather well, striking a difficult balance between readability and oversimplification. I felt the maths could have been brought out a little more, although this would change the nature of the book radically. As an introductory book for non-physicists, this is spot on, though.

There is an element of disappointment towards the end of the book, where a little QCD is introduced, we head towards the cutting edge, and everything gets more complicated and the remarkable (if counterintuitive) simplicity disappears. You can't but hope that whatever the Grand Unified Theory turns out to be, it'll be as elegant as QED.

Posted 2005-09-07.