Cover: From Clockwork to Crapshoot: A History of Physics, from Harvard University PressCover: From Clockwork to Crapshoot in PAPERBACK

From Clockwork to Crapshoot

A History of Physics

Add to Cart

Product Details


$30.00 • £24.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674034877

Publication Date: 03/30/2010

Academic Trade

352 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

12 line, 2 halftones, 1 map

Belknap Press


Newton’s account is superb. He is magnificent at explaining the profound influence of mathematics on the development of physics. The historical relationships between subdisciplines, such as thermodynamics and statistical physics, are illuminated. Numerous biographical sketches add a lively dynamic to an enjoyable book.—Simon Mitton, The Times Higher Education Supplement

This book attempts in one volume to give a history of physics, from the dawn of mankind to the present day. It is a formidable task but one which I believe has been largely successful.—Peter Ford, History of Physics Newsletter

From the properties of matter to the constituents of the universe, this book illustrates how discoveries old and new have created modern physics.Science News

Although there are several books on the history of physics, none is as up-to-date, comprehensive, and well-written as Newton’s. Most other books either provide a very superficial explanation of the concepts and theories, or are too technical for most non-scientists to understand. Newton manages to maintain a consistent level and style, and to say just enough about the difficult issues to get the reader interested but not overwhelmed.—Stephen G. Brush, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the History of Science, University of Maryland

This is an illuminating chronicle of mankind’s adventures, over six millennia, in pursuit of physical laws. It is enhanced by lucid exposition of challenges and concepts, with engaging portraits of many avid actors in a grand, abiding drama.—Dudley Herschbach, Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science, Harvard University

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Graphic: Golden yellow stylized sun

HUP ReadUP: Summer Reads

We asked our colleagues, “What is one word you would use to describe an ideal summer read?” Their answers range across all the summer feels, from those easygoing lazy hazy days to that voltage of energy that fires up a reawakening. What’s more, their responses include book recommendations sure to help you breeze through the sunny season—from our own library as well as those of fellow university presses.