Alan Nourse is not a physicist but a physician who findstime to write books. In some 750 pages he undertakes to describe what all of physics is about. And he succeeds. Firsthe explains why the stuff of classical mechanics--inertia, gravity, momentum and forces--is meaningful in your life. Notin the usual textbooky way of showing you a picture of asatellite and saying ""This satellite couldn't orbit withoutthe Law of Conservation of Momentum,"" but through everydayexamples like driving a car or getting off a bus. He has thegifted teacher's knack of anticipating the sticky parts; byand large he eschews symbols and equations. After taking youthrough the pathways of relativity, of astro-, atomic andnuclear physics, he allows himself the indulgence in the lastchapters of dealing with ""practical applications,"" and solasers, transistors, super-conductivity, nuclear reactors andcontrolled thermonuclear experiments are scanned. For oneeerie moment you feel he's going to tell you how to build ahydrogen bomb--and you'll know! That's how good he is.