This book highlights foundational issues in theoretical physics in an informal, open style of lecture. It expresses the flow of ideas in physics — from the period of Galileo and Newton to the contemporary ideas of the quantum and relativity theories, astrophysics and cosmology — as explanations for the laws of matter. Rather than presenting the ideas of physics as a fait accompli, the book leaves it up to the reader to decide which of these 20th-century ideas in science will carry over to the 21st century for our further comprehension of the laws of nature in all domains, from that of elementary particles to cosmology. It is the contention of the author that our future progress in physics comprehension will only take place when the foundational controversies between the quantum and relativity theories are recognized and discussion is given to their resolution. The book, therefore, presents an attitude not normally taken in other present-day books on subjects in contemporary theoretical physics and cosmology. Contents:Philosophy of ScienceClassical Precursors for the Concepts of Modern PhysicsNineteenth Century Physics: Atomism and ContinuityEarly Anomalies and Elementary ParticlesFrom the Old Quantum Theory to Quantum MechanicsQuantum Mechanics: Heisenberg's Matrix Mechanics and the Copenhagen SchoolConcepts of the Theory of RelativityFrom Special to General RelativityThe UniverseConflicts in the Foundations of the Quantum and Relativity Theories Readership: Academics, undergraduates, and graduates in physics and philosophy; interested general readers. Keywords:Quantum Theory;Relativity;Astrophysics;Cosmology;Philosophy of PhysicsKey Features:Differs from other books on theoretical physics in its concentration on contemporary ideas of physics, rather than on its mathematical expressionAddresses those lay readers of science who are interested in the ideas of modern physics at a foundational level, as well as students (both undergraduate and graduate) and professional scientists in physics and astrophysics, with the intention of inducing further dialogue on these subjectsReviews:“Sachs does a good job of explaining the problems and will certainly get you thinking.”Physics World “This is an interesting collection for two reasons. First, relativity and quantum mechanics are discussed … Second, and importantly, this is fundamentally a philosophical treatise … This thoughtful book would work very well as a supplement to an upper-division physics course or as the basis for a philosophy of science class.”Choice
This text is written for a one-semester Modern Physics course and is designed for students who already have a grounding in basic physics and calculus. Relativity and quantum ideas are cosidered first to provide a framework for understanding the physics of atoms and nuclei. The theory of the atom is then developed, with emphasis on quantum-mechanical notions. This is followed by a discussion of the properties of aggregates of atoms, which includes a look at statistical mechanics. Finally, atomic nuclei and elementary particles are examined.
Space curves around you, time slows down, particles are waves, a cat is both alive and dead. What's going on? It all starts to make sense when we untangle the universe with this clear and enlightening book. Day-dreamers and deep-thinkers, these are the concepts that will send your mind wandering to new places with a deeper understanding of the natural world. Physics has always been a tricky subject for the general public. Millions are fascinated by the laws of the physical world, but there has been a lack of books written specifically for general readers. The Universe Untangled is for those who are curious; yet do not have an extensive mathematical background. It uses images, analogies and comprehensible language to cover popular topics of interest including the evolution of the universe, fundamental forces and particle interactions, the nature of space and time according to Special and General Relativity, the ideas of Quantum Mechanics and the quest for knowing the unknown. The Universe Untangled is a unique book because it is written by an author whose career has been built on making science accessible to all. She has contributed to the design and content production of educational games, professional development courses, and science workbooks. In essence, this is not a book written by a physicist for other physicists. It is written by an educator who cares only about sharing her passion for science with others.
In recent times a new dialogue has begun between the natural sciences and the humanities. This is particularly true of physics and philosophy, whose sphere of mutual interest expanded significantly with the advent of quantum mechanics. Among other topics, the discussion covers the evolution of theories, the role of mathematics in the physical sciences, the perception and cognition of nature and definitions of space and time. In contrast to the custom of the last two centuries, mathematics - the language of physics - is once again finding a respected place in the discourse of philosophers. The interdisciplinary communication between philosophers, mathematicians and physicists will be given new impetus by the thoughtful and wide-ranging contributions to this book.
WINNER 2009 CHOICE AWARD OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC TITLE! The typical introduction to physics leaves readers with the impression that physics is about 30 different, unconnected topics such as motion, forces, gravity, electricity, light, heat, energy, and atoms. More often than not, these readers are left to conclude that physics is mostly about boring, lifeless numbers. Questioning the Universe: Concepts in Physics offers the nonscientist an alternative view: one that demonstrates how physics is perpetually evolving and shows how so many seemingly diverse concepts are intimately connected. In fact, one could argue that the most important ideas in modern physics are all about unification, and that these ideas are as fascinating as they are elegant. Physicists today believe that Mother Nature is remarkably efficient and requires only a relatively small number of laws to keep her universe in working order. We may not yet know all of these laws; but at the center of physics is a faith that she is indeed understandable ...and that someday, we will see her full beauty. The purpose of this book is to tell readers the story of what we have learned about nature so far and how we have done it. Written to arouse curiosity, this compelling and readable work: Delves into the most basic laws regarding motion and energy, waves and particles Introduces modern theories, including relativity, quantum mechanics, and particle physics Describes the key role played by that elemental building block, the atom Discusses the evolution of the universe, including the formation of stars and the mystery of dark matter and dark energy This book is not for those doing physics but is aimed at those who simply want to learn about physics, so it requires only the most minimal math. What it does require is a sense of curiosity, an appreciation of beauty, and the capacity for awe.
Author : Elena Castellani
ISBN : 0691017255
Genre : Science
File Size : 53.13 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
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Bewildering features of modern physics, such as relativistic space-time structure and the peculiarities of so-called quantum statistics, challenge traditional ways of conceiving of objects in space and time. Interpreting Bodies brings together essays by leading philosophers and scientists to provide a unique overview of the implications of such physical theories for questions about the nature of objects. The collection combines classic articles by Max Born, Werner Heisenberg, Hans Reichenbach, and Erwin Schrodinger with recent contributions, including several papers that have never before been published. The book focuses on the microphysical objects that are at the heart of quantum physics and addresses issues central to both the "foundational" and the philosophical debates about objects. Contributors explore three subjects in particular: how to identify a physical object as an individual, the notion of invariance with respect to determining what objects are or could be, and how to relate objective and measurable properties to a physical entity. The papers cover traditional philosophical topics, common-sense questions, and technical matters in a consistently clear and rigorous fashion, illuminating some of the most perplexing problems in modern physics and the philosophy of science. The contributors are Diederik Aerts, Max Born, Elena Castellani, Maria Luisa Dalla Chiara, Bas C. van Fraassen, Steven French, Gian Carlo Ghirardi, Roberto Giuntini, Werner Heisenberg, Decio Krause, David Lewis, Tim Maudlin, Peter Mittelstaedt, Giulio Peruzzi, Hans Reichenbach, Erwin Schrodinger, Paul Teller, and Giuliano Toraldo di Francia.
Author : S. L. Kakani
ISBN : 8130932156
File Size : 43.16 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
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Modern Physics is a comprehensive and accessible book in accordance with the latest revised syllabus prescribed by the UGC for B.Sc. (Pass and Hons.). It provides a thorough understanding of the subject with the help of concepts, mathematical derivations, applications and a good number of worked-out problems, short-answer questions, objective-type questions and exercises. The text of the book is a detailed and systematic presentation of a wide range of topics -- atomic, molecular spectroscopy, quantum mechanics, statistical physics, solid state physics, lasers, optical fibres, semiconductors, superconductors, general relativity, nano materials, atomic nucleus, etc. The text is updated with all recent and relevant advances. The book is eminently suitable as a textbook for B.Sc. (Pass and Hons.) and also useful for M.Sc., B.Tech., UGC-CSIR (NET-SLET), GATE and other competitive and entrance examinations.