About

A few years ago I realised just how poor my understanding was of the way the Moon appears in the sky. For example, the Moon is clearly orbiting the Earth, but we always see only one face of it. Why is that? A bit of thought shows that it must rotate on its axis at exactly the same rate at which it orbits the Earth. Is that a coincidence? What caused it to happen exactly that way?

As I started to enquire about this, and then about other similar topics, I found that it did not work just to “look it up”. Usually the answer raised more questions. Sometimes there were different answers. I found that you need a large body of prior knowledge even to understand the explanations.

The more I looked, the more I realised how big the gaps were in my education. Like many people, I had dropped science subjects after the basics at school, and gone on to study arts subjects in sixth form and at university. I had a hazy recollection of algebra, geometry, differential equations etc. but not enough to understand even the normal phenomena of everyday life. My ignorance would seem laughable to any science graduate.

This site contains material about scientific topics, for a non-scientist. The aim is to provide a short summary of what the topic is, and why it is important; then to link to resources that provide an accurate explanation in a way that a non-scientist can understand.

The aim is not to provide a “popular” version of the science. My belief is that all science is based on logic, and the logic is capable of being understood by a non-scientist. Of course we will never have the breadth or depth of knowledge of someone who has trained for ten years or more, but we should be able to grasp the logic of a particular topic, with the right help.

The internet contains a vast abundance of material. Science, in particular, is generous with its learning. At best it is time consuming to find the right material, and so this site might save time. At worst some of the material is not available for free, and so a guide is required for what is worth paying for.

Contributions are very welcome. The ideal contribution is from a non-scientist who has come across material that explains a science topic in a clear and accurate way, without resorting to analogy and popularisation.

Once you find a good learning resource you will be off and away, with a vast maze of topics to discover. I hope the site helps you begin the journey.

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