Firmament: The Hidden Science of Weather, Climate Change, and the Air that Surrounds Us – Simon Clark
Thoughts: A solid book. I wasn’t blown away by it, perhaps because I had fairly high expectations - I’ve been following Clark for a few years, and he has some excellent videos about the Earth’s atmosphere on his YouTube channel. In Firmament, he outlines the development of humanity’s understanding of the atmosphere. Well worth reading.
(The notes below are not a summary of the book, but rather raw notes - whatever I thought, at the time, might be worth remembering.)
Clark, Simon. 2022. Firmament: The Hidden Science of Weather, Climate Change, and the Air that Surrounds Us. Hodder & Stoughton.
- 87f: “These conservation properties are a consequence of one of the most beautiful theorems in mathematics, derived by Emmy Noether (1882-1935). To put it simply, linear momentum is conserved because physics is the same no matter where you are in the universe, while angular momentum is conserved because physics is the same no matter which direction you look in. This is an incredibly powerful result that proves very useful in constructing theories of physics. See, e.g., D. Neuenschwander, Emmy Noether’s Wonderful Theorem, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017.”
- 128: “[Edward] Lorenz neatly summarized [chaos theory and dynamical systems] as: ‘Chaos: when the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.’”
Posted: Mar 26, 2023. Last updated: Aug 31, 2023.