We have a soft spot for unusual geniuses, whether formally defined, or recognized in other ways, so it is with pleasure that we discovered this book (click the image to the left), its author, and a TED talk (after the jump) to boot.
For the past fifteen years, acclaimed science writer Margaret Wertheim has been collecting the works of “outsider physicists,” many without formal training and all convinced that they have found true alternative theories of the universe. Jim Carter, the Einstein of outsiders, has developed his own complete theory of matter and energy and gravity that he demonstrates with experiments in his backyard‚-with garbage cans and a disco fog machine he makes smoke rings to test his ideas about atoms. Captivated by the imaginative power of his theories and his resolutely DIY attitude, Wertheim has been following Carter’s progress for the past decade.
Click the picture to the right for a podcast that gives a nifty overview of the book. Click here for a review of the book from a great blog connected to Columbia University’s math department. Click here for an excellent review in a once great and occasionally still good newspaper’s website. And click here for a review from an always great magazine’s website.