How the Hippies Saved Physics

The shape of popular science would look dramatically different -- more stodgy and conservative, less expansive -- were it not for a long-ago mini-revolution in the field of physics that melded the hippie sensibility of far-out daydreaming with a Newtonian fervor for theorizing and testing. MIT professor David Kaiser finds the hidden affinities between cosmic consciousness and laboratory protocols in this absorbing account of a time when longhairs with slide rules stalked the planet.

April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…