Monday, January 22, 2007

Encyclopedias and handbooks

For those who like their academic books large and compendious, a couple of interesting works have been published in the past year. Firstly, we have the 'Philosophy of physics' incarnation of the multi-volume 'Handbook of the philosophy of science'. This two-volume, 1522 page work is edited by Jeremy Butterfield and John Earman, published by Elsevier, and reasonably priced at £125.

Also of interest is the 'Encyclopedia of mathematical physics', edited by J.-P. Francoise, G. Naber & Tsou Sheung Tsun, and published by the Academic Press imprint of Elsevier. This five-volume work comprises 3500 pages, and will make an £855 hole in your bank account.

As usual these days, many of the articles are freely available as electronic pre-prints. Of particular interest are Martin Bojowald's account of Quantum Cosmology,, (and note Bojowald's excellent choice of references!); George Ellis's 'Issues in the philosophy of cosmology',; and NP Landsman's huge survey 'Between classical and quantum',

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