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Tracy Young                                                                                                                  June 14, 2004
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(Phone:  321/867-2468)

KSC Release No. 40-04

NASA Scientist's "Guide To Physics" Gaining Success

Dr. Carlos Calle, an Electrostatics and Surface Physics Laboratory lead scientist at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, is enjoying the growing success of his book, "Superstrings and Other Things, A Guide to Physics."

The book, which offers a general overview of physics, has received favorable reviews from Physics World, Physics Today and several Web sites. In addition, New Scientist featured it on the 2002 science bestseller list.

"While teaching a modern physics course at the University of Virginia in the early 1990s, I became aware of the lack of grasp of the basic concepts of physics," said Calle. "I realized there was a need for an accurate book on physics for the general reader where the concepts would be clearly explained."

The book includes a description of the Mars Compatibility Assessment Electrometer development by KSC and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The electrometer was developed as a flight instrument for the Mars exploration mission, and a majority of the current development work for exploration being conducted at KSC is partly based on this instrument's capabilities.

Published in 2001, the book is available at bookstores throughout the United States, England, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. To accommodate demand, preparations for a second edition are under way.

Calle has worked at KSC for five years and holds a Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics. He has conducted extensive research in nuclear physics, applied electrostatics, surface physics and instrumentation development related to planetary exploration and has written more than 100 scientific articles.

Media interested in interviewing Calle should contact Tracy Young at 321/867-2468 or by e-mail at


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