Books to loan to students 3/5

I like comics. I liked them as a kid and I like them now, especially titles such as The Sandman, Transmetropolitan and Preacher. (NB – these last two not really suitable for kids or easily shocked adults.) And so I was pleased when I was given The Physics of Superheroes by a friend. I suspect it was inspired in part by a Larry Niven essay from years ago but covers the subject much more widely.

The book uses the concepts behind a range of superheroes to explain scientific theories and ideas. It considers the apparent contradictions of some of the heroes, some of which illustrate our changing understanding of matter, space or light. I’ve found it a great book to loan to more able students at key stage 4 who would like to access more challenging areas of physics than the syllabus allows.

In a similar way, but only really relevant for one month in twelve, Can Reindeer Fly:The Science of Christmas is a fun read that uses ideas or situations we take for granted – if in a less-than-serious way – to explain scientific concepts. Students have to be fast readers, hoever, to get through it during a single festive season. Single chapters or excerpts can be used during end-of-term lessons if desired…

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