The idea of reading just before bedtime for a high school physics student sounds more than a little ironic. If you’ve just passed the point for O level physics tuition and are just starting to experience your newfound freedom, music or a hot new TV series would probably top your pre-bedtime list (if you plan to sleep at all!) However, sleeping is an important physiological process. In fact, some studies indicate that a good night’s sleep will help you get better grades! Also, since you are shaping your future career, reading to build your interests is inevitable.
If you are a H1 or H2 physics student, a bedtime read on your chosen subjects will reinforce your interest in the field, plus give you interesting insights on various concepts, equations, and their applications.
Below are some of the most intriguing reads that’ll not only spur your interest but also complement your H2 physics tuition sessions.
A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking
Most people have heard of Stephen Hawking but few know anything about his work. In the book, A Brief History of Time, Hawking guides you through much of his work. From his collaboration with Roger Penrose, which he came up with the Singularity Theory and used it to explain the theoretical basis of black holes, to Hawking Radiation. He explains his views on relativity and quantum theory and where he disagrees with Einstein, and uses the theories to magnificently explain black hole formation. You can use the book to start discussions with your H2 physics tuition teacher. It’s a fairly short book but the content is very rich. Also, the book has plenty of diagrams and thought experiments to help you understand the concepts and how they connect with each other.
Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You - Marcus Chown
This is a great, entry-level introduction two towering theories of contemporary physics: Quantum Mechanics and Einstein's theory on general relativity. Although many scientists have described this volume as overly simplistic, especially concerning the sections that cover relativity, but, if you are just out of secondary school or are in pre-tertiary education, you’ll appreciate it since it’s easy to read and concise.
One thing in this book that’s sure to be of value in your H2 physics tuition in Singapore is the 40 or so pages devoted to a glossary. You can use this, along with your friends to test your memory and learn new facts.
Hidden Unity in Nature’s Laws – John C Taylor
This book is not for those who uninitiated to physics. The writer assumes that readers have a working knowledge of many concepts in physics. The book offers an excellent account of recent developments in fundamental physics including areas such as particle physics, origins of the universe and the theory of superconductivity. As you read, you will get fresh insight into concepts that you have come across during your physics tuition.