Review of Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik

Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials that Shape Our Man-Made World by Mark Miodownik (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 272 pages, $26.00, July 2014) Reviewed by Dr. Fred Bortz Discover more book reviews at The Science Shelf This review is the copyrighted property of Alfred B. Bortz. Individuals may print single copies for their own use. For … Read more

Nobel Laureates Debate the Future of Nuclear Power

At a Nobel Forum in December 2013, several past laureates discussed the future of nuclear power. Their conclusions were far from unanimous. All agreed that nuclear power is the only current technology capable of replacing fossil-fuel plants on a large enough scale to mitigate the risk of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. But … Read more

Pro-Nuclear Environmentalism

On the 46th of 64 pages of my 2012 book for middle grade readers, Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future, I finally ask the question that the earlier chapters are designed to lead up to: “Is nuclear power worth the risk?” The remainder of the book provides a definite response, but … Read more

TEPCO admits Fukushima reactors should have been upgraded or replaced. Now what?

Since completing my recent middle grade book, Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future, which is about the implications for our energy future of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns that followed the massive earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, I have been following developments in Japan’s nuclear industry closely. In July of … Read more

Author Q&A about Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future

Readers of this blog might be interested in the backstory of my book for young readers Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future. A great advocate for nonfiction who writes under the online persona Book Kvetch published this very nice Q&A, which I hope you will enjoy.

Review of Massive: The Missing Particle That Sparked the Greatest Hunt in Science by Ian Sample

As I type this, the physics world is anticipating a great announcement from the Large Hadron Collider that the data analysis is at least very suggestive that the elusive Higgs Boson has been seen. Perhaps the researchers will even declare a discovery. If you want to understand the reason for the excitement, I recommend reading … Read more

More about Hidden Biases and Fukushima

About six weeks ago, I posted a blog entry called Subtle and not so subtle biases shape assessment of Fukushima. It led to some interesting and intelligent discussion about whether nuclear energy should be part of the future worldwide energy mix. I wrote that entry as a reaction to critical reviews that described my new … Read more

Pioneer Anomaly is no longer anomalous

Thanks to funding from the Planetary Society, of which I am a proud member, the “Pioneer Anomaly” has been definitively resolved. Physics has prevailed over speculation. Over the past 20 years, some people, including a few scientists, have looked at oddities in the trajectories of the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft and proposed that our … Read more