In 1993, Jim Carter, a trailer park owner in Enumclaw, Washington, sent out to a select group of scientists a letter announcing the publication of a book in which he proposed a complete alternative theory of physics. Gravity and matter, the periodic table, and the creation of the universe-all these Carter explained through wildly creative ideas perfected through backyard experiments using garbage cans and a disco fog machine to make giant smoke rings.
For the past fifteen years, acclaimed science writer Margaret Wertheim has been collecting the works of Jim Carter and other mavericks and outsiders who invent alternate theories of the universe. By considering the motivations behind their do-it-yourself theories and homemade experiments, Wertheim raises the question of what role an amateur can play in relationship to science. Deeply human, literally fantastical, infused with wit and humor, "Physics on the Fringe" challenges our conception of what science is, how it works, and who it is for.