It is still common for college students to read literature by Dostoyevsky, Austen, Shakespeare, Goethe, and Homer. But it is not so common for these same students to read the scientific writings of Newton, Galileo, Pascal, Ptolemy, or Heisenberg.
Why is this? One reason is that these scientific writings are challenging. But are they truly more challenging than those of Dostoyevsky or Homer? Perhaps a truer reason is that students lack a guide—someone who can lead them through the challenges unique to works of science, or "natural philosophy," as it was once called.
With this in mind, my hope is that this website, which provides a guided tour of my recently published book titled A Student's Guide through the Great Physics Texts, will be of insterest to not only students and practitioners of physics, but also to those who are interested in the history and the philosophy of science.
A Student's Guide (ASG for short) is divided into four volumes: the first volume provides an introduction to astronomy; the second focuses on the sciences of space, time and motion, as developed by, for example, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein; the third develops the electromagnetic theory of light in (primarily) the 19th century; and the fourth provides an introduction to modern physics, starting with Joseph Fourier's "Theory of heat" and ending with the development of the quantum theory of the atom in the 1930s.
If you would like information about my other projects and activities, check out my personal website. And if you would like to know more about my philosophy of teaching—why I teach physics in the way that I do—check out the preface to my book (pdf file)