“Lucid and lively. Hazen and Trefil have a particular genius for picturing even formidably abstract ideas in concrete images…. Science Matters is as good as they get”
—The Washington Post Book World
“Hazen and Trefil [are] unpretentious—good, down-to-earth, we-can-explain-anything science teachers, the kind you wish you had but never did.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“A book that even scientifically literate readers can consult … if they find their recollection of relativity or quantum mechanics getting shaky.”
“Ordered and accessible, never daunting, never jumping ahead of itself…. If you’ve always thought you could never understand science, Hazen and Trefil will show you you’re wrong.”
“A thoughtful and concise overview of what the citizen needs to know about science.”
—E. D. Hirsch, Jr.
“Science does matter, as this book shows.”
“A model of clarity and coherence.”
—Leon M. Lederman, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics
“Lucid…. Will cause readers to wonder what was so confusing about the Periodic Table of Elements they confronted in their school days.”
“A first rate exposition-thorough, accessible, and entertaining-of the rudiments of scientific knowledge.”
“A confident overview of the fundamentals of science…. Comprehensible and carefully paced.”
Scientific Literacy: What It Is, Why It’s Important, and Why We Don’t Have It
The universe is regular and predictable.
Energy is conserved and always goes from more useful
to less useful forms.
THREE. Electricity and Magnetism
Electricity and magnetism are two aspects of the same force.
FOUR. The Atom
All matter is made of atoms.
FIVE. The World of the Quantum
Everything comes in discrete units and you can’t measure anything without changing it.
SIX. Chemical Bonding
Atoms are bound by electron glue.
SEVEN. Atomic Architecture
The way a material behaves depends on how its atoms are arranged.
EIGHT. Nuclear Physics
Nuclear energy comes from the conversion of mass.
NINE. The Fundamental Structure of Matter
All matter is really made of quarks and leptons.
Stars experience a cycle of birth and death.
ELEVEN. The Cosmos
The universe was born at a specific time in the past, and it has been expanding ever since.
Every observer sees the same laws of nature.
THIRTEEN. The Restless Earth
Earth’s surface is constantly changing, and no feature on Earth is permanent.
FOURTEEN. Earth Cycles
Earth operates in cycles.
FIFTEEN. The Ladder of Life
All living things are made from cells, the chemical factories of life.
SIXTEEN. The Code of Life
All life is based on the same genetic code.
All life is based on the same chemistry and genetic code.
All forms of life evolved by natural selection.
All life is connected.
The Role of Science