Book Report: What to Tell Your Dog About Einstein

Oddly enough, it turns out that writing a book with a rambunctious toddler in the house is a much slower process than writing a book pre-toddler. Imagine that.

Anyway, as I did during the writing stages of How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, I thought I would post occasional updates on the progress of writing Book 2: What to Tell Your Dog About Einstein. In addition to letting my readers know what I'm doing instead of blogging a bunch, it will help remind me that progress is being made, even if there are days when it feels like I'm not accomplishing anything.

Chapter 1: Relative motion and Galileian relativity

Revision: 2

Words: 7,885

Chapter 2: Historical background: Maxwell's equations, Michelson-Morley

Revision: 4

Words: 7,215

Chapter 3: Time dilation

Revision: 3

Words: 7,153

Chapter 4: Length contraction

Revision: 1

Words: 6,839

"Revision" here refers to the number of times I've read through and line-edited the whole thing (and for Chapters 1-3, I've also gotten comments from Kate). The count for Chapter 1 is a bit low, because I wrote the full text for that out as part of the book proposal. I added a section since then, but it wasn't that major a change. The count for Chapter 4 is just one, because I haven't quite finished the first complete pass of that yet. Evidently, I have about 500 words to go.

The projected final number of chapters is around 10. I have four more dog dialogues already written (again, as part of the proposal), and while the Chapter 5 dialogue doesn't exist yet, I know what it's going to be. The contract calls for 70,000 words, so 10 chapters would be more or less right on target. I'm sure I'll think of some way to inflate that by 30-50%, though, and cause myself some panic toward the end of the process...

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I'm really anxious to get your book on physics and the subsequent teaching of it to dogs. My family keeps pestering me about Christmas gifts and I perhaps mistakenly (due to the long wait) told them to get me that.

By Drivebyposter (not verified) on 10 Oct 2010 #permalink

Is this only SR, or some GR too? My 130 lb Great Dane/Hound mix is waiting patiently!

Have you considered a line of scientific dog chew toys? You could do a photon as a sphere with an ocean wave (or sine wave) on the far side to show the wave particle duality. Surely something can be done with many worlds, many treats. (Perhaps three sphere worlds molded together.) Maybe a two slit experiment (with the interference pattern on one side). What about a hydrogen alpha line, shaped like an alpha? Hey, you're the physicist. You have a dog.

Since you are doing relativity, you might consider a chewable Einstein, or perhaps Heisenberg. I know that being represented as a chew toy isn't very dignified, but perhaps a chewable Noble prize might serve? Why not a little elevator car to crunch down on as part of a gechompen experiment?

I'm only half in jest here. Good luck with your new book.