Today physicists and mathematicians throughout the world are feverishly working on one of the most ambitious theories ever proposed: superstring theory. String theory, as it is often called, is the key to the Unified Field Theory that eluded Einstein for more than thirty years. Finally, the century-old antagonism between the large and the small-General Relativity and Quantum Theory-is resolved. String theory proclaims that all of the wondrous happenings in the universe, from the frantic dancing of subatomic quarks to the majestic swirling of heavenly galaxies, are reflections of one grand physical principle and manifestations of one single entity: microscopically tiny vibrating loops of energy, a billionth of a billionth the size of an atom. In this brilliantly articulated and refreshingly clear book, Greene relates the scientific story and the human struggle behind twentieth-century physics' search for a theory of everything.
Through the masterful use of metaphor and analogy, The Elegant Universe makes some of the most sophisticated concepts ever contemplated viscerally accessible and thoroughly entertaining, bringing us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works.
In concise, high-def videos, various skills and techniques are demonstrated and explained. These cover topics for the novice, such as mounting and cleaning of optics, as well as for the more advanced learner, such as balanced detection, and lock-in amplifiers.
Various interactive widgets let you simulate the experience of aligning a laser beam to an optical system, aligning an interferometer to get fringes, or adjust a Fabry-Perot cavity while observing the mode spectrum. Other tools help you quickly find the Gaussian beam parameters of your laser from measured beam radii, and to calculate the position of a lens or pair of lenses to mode match a laser to a cavity.
Radiation: What could go wrong? In short, plenty. From Marie Curie carrying around a vial of radium salt because she liked the pretty blue glow to the large-scale disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima, dating back to the late nineteenth century, nuclear science has had a rich history of innovative exploration and discovery, coupled with mistakes, accidents, and downright disasters.
In this lively book, long-time advocate of continued nuclear research and nuclear energy James Mahaffey looks at each incident in turn and analyzes what happened and why, often discovering where scientists went wrong when analyzing past meltdowns. Every incident, while taking its toll, has led to new understanding of the mighty atom—and the fascinating frontier of science that still holds both incredible risk and great promise.
What does E=mc2 actually mean? Dr. Brian Cox and Professor Jeff Forshaw go on a journey to the frontier of twenty-first century science to unpack Einstein's famous equation. Explaining and simplifying notions of energy, mass, and light-while exploding commonly held misconceptions-they demonstrate how the structure of nature itself is contained within this equation. Along the way, we visit the site of one of the largest scientific experiments ever conducted: the now-famous Large Hadron Collider, a gigantic particle accelerator capable of re-creating conditions that existed fractions of a second after the Big Bang.A collaboration between one of the youngest professors in the United Kingdom and a distinguished popular physicist, Why Does E=mc2? is one of the most exciting and accessible explanations of the theory of relativity.
Timeless and collectible, the lectures are essential reading, not just for students of physics but for anyone seeking an introduction to the field from the inimitable Feynman.
This unassuming man struggled with issues relevant today, such as the threat of nuclear annihilation and the relationship of science to politics. Fleeing Fascism and anti-Semitism, Fermi became a leading figure in America's most secret project: building the atomic bomb. The last physicist who mastered all branches of the discipline, Fermi was a rare mixture of theorist and experimentalist. His rich legacy encompasses key advances in fields as diverse as comic rays, nuclear technology, and early computers.
In their revealing book, The Pope of Physics, Gino Segré and Bettina Hoerlin bring this scientific visionary to life. An examination of the human dramas that touched Fermi’s life as well as a thrilling history of scientific innovation in the twentieth century, this is the comprehensive biography that Fermi deserves.
In The Theory of Almost Everything, Robert Oerter shows how what were once thought to be separate forces of nature were combined into a single theory by some of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century. Rich with accessible analogies and lucid prose, The Theory of Almost Everything celebrates a heretofore unsung achievement in human knowledge—and reveals the sublime structure that underlies the world as we know it.
“A modern voyage of discovery.” —Frank Wilczek, Nobel Laureate, author of The Lightness of Being
The Higgs boson is one of our era’s most fascinating scientific frontiers and the key to understanding why mass exists. The most recent book on the subject, The God Particle, was a bestseller. Now, Caltech physicist Sean Carroll documents the doorway that is opening—after billions of dollars and the efforts of thousands of researchers at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland—into the mind-boggling world of dark matter. The Particle at the End of the Universe has it all: money and politics, jealousy and self-sacrifice, history and cutting-edge physics—all grippingly told by a rising star of science writing.
- Quantum vs. classical physics
- A look at the smallest known particles
- How the tiniest particles behave both as particles and waves
- The famous double-slit experiment
- Quantum wave function
- The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
- How particles can be in multiple places at once
- Quantum entanglement
- The Schrodinger's cat thought experiment
- Competing interpretations of quantum physics
- The Copenhagen interpretation and need for an observer
- The role of consciousness in quantum theory
- The Many Worlds interpretation and parallel universes
- Building a quantum computer
- Quantum gravity and the search for a theory of everything
In The Radioactive Boy Scout, veteran journalist Ken Silverstein recreates in brilliant detail the months of David’s improbable nuclear quest. Posing as a physics professor, David solicited information on reactor design from the U.S. government and from industry experts. (Ironically, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was his number one source of information.) Scavenging antiques stores and junkyards for old-fashioned smoke detectors and gas lanterns—both of which contain small amounts of radioactive material—and following blueprints he found in an outdated physics textbook, David cobbled together a crude device that threw off toxic levels of radiation. His unsanctioned and wholly unsupervised project finally sparked an environmental catastrophe that put his town’s forty thousand residents at risk and caused the EPA to shut down his lab and bury it at a radioactive dumpsite in Utah.
An outrageous account of ambition and, ultimately, hubris that sits comfortably on the shelf next to such offbeat science books as Driving Mr. Albert and stories of grand capers like Catch Me If You Can, The Radioactive Boy Scout is a real-life adventure with the narrative energy of a first-rate thriller.
From the Hardcover edition.
The book begins at the simplest level, develops the basics, and reinforces fundamentals, ensuring a solid foundation in the principles and methods of physics. It provides an ideal introduction for college-level students of physics, chemistry, and engineering; for motivated AP Physics students; and for general readers interested in advances in the sciences.
A PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award Finalist
Like many young children, Taylor Wilson dreamed of becoming an astronaut. Only Wilson mastered the science of rocket propulsion by the age of nine. When he was eleven, he tried to cure his grandmother’s cancer—and discovered new ways to produce medical isotopes. Then, at fourteen, Wilson became the youngest person in history to achieve nuclear fusion, building a 500-million-degree reactor—in his parents’ garage.
In The Boy Who Played with Fusion, science journalist Tom Clynes narrates Wilson’s extraordinary story. Born in Texarkana, Arkansas, Wilson quickly displayed an advanced intellect. Recognizing their son’s abilities and the limitations of their local schools, his parents took a bold leap and moved the family to Reno, Nevada. There, Wilson could attend a unique public high school created specifically for academic superstars. Wilson is now designing devices to prevent terrorists from shipping radioactive material and inspiring a new generation to take on the challenges of science.
If you’re wondering how someone so young can achieve so much, The Boy Who Played with Fusion has the answer. Along the way, Clynes’ narrative teaches parents, teachers, and society how and why we urgently need to support high-achieving kids.
“An essential contribution to our understanding of the most important underlying questions about the development of giftedness, talent, creativity, and intelligence.” —Psychology Today
“A compelling study of the thrills—and burdens—of being born with an alpha intellect.” —Financial Times
Timeless and collectible, the lectures are essential reading, not just for students of physics but for anyone seeking an introduction to the field from the inimitable Feynman.
The book opens by setting nuclear physics in the context of elementary particle physics and then shows how simple models can provide an understanding of the properties of nuclei, both in their ground states and excited states, and also of the nature of nuclear reactions. It then describes: nuclear constituents and their characteristics; nuclear interactions; nuclear structure, including the liquid-drop model approach, and the nuclear shell model; and recent developments such as the nuclear mean-field and the nuclear physics of very light nuclei, nuclear reactions with unstable nuclear beams, and the role of nuclear physics in energy production and nucleosynthesis in stars.
Throughout, discussions of theory are reinforced with examples that provide applications, thus aiding students in their reading and analysis of current literature. Each chapter closes with problems, and appendixes address supporting technical topics.
Author Sal Cangeloso shows you the working parts of a “simple” LED bulb and explains the challenges electronics companies face as they push LED lighting into the mainstream. You’ll learn how you can use LEDs now, and why solid state lighting will bring dramatic changes in the near future.Explore the drivers, phosphors, and integrated circuits in a typical LED bulb Understand the challenges in producing LED bulbs with acceptable brightness, color temperature, and power consumption Learn about non-bulb LED applications, including lamps, street lights, and signage Discover the market forces driving—and impeding—the adoption of LED lighting Compare LEDs to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and electron-stimulated luminescence (ESL) bulbs Gaze into the future of intelligent lighting, including networked lighting systems
Mahaffey unearths lost reactors on far flung Pacific islands and trees that were exposed to active fission that changed gender or bloomed in the dead of winter. He explains why we have nuclear submarines but not nuclear aircraft and why cold fusion doesn't exist. And who knew that radiation counting was once a fashionable trend? Though parts of the nuclear history might seem like a fiction mash-up, where cowboys somehow got a hold of a reactor, Mahaffey's vivid prose holds the reader in thrall of the infectious energy of scientific curiosity and ingenuity that may one day hold the key to solving our energy crisis or sending us to Mars.
You will follow your oxygen atoms through fire and water and from forests to your fingernails. Hydrogen atoms will wriggle into your hair and betray where you live and what you have been drinking. The carbon in your breath will become tree trunks, and the sodium in your tears will link you to long-dead oceans. The nitrogen in your muscles will help to turn the sky blue, the phosphorus in your bones will help to turn the coastal waters of North Carolina green, the calcium in your teeth will crush your food between atoms that were mined by mushrooms, and the iron in your blood will kill microbes as it once killed a star.
You will also discover that much of what death must inevitably do to your body is already happening among many of your atoms at this very moment and that, nonetheless, you and everyone else you know will always exist somewhere in the fabric of the universe.
You are not only made of atoms; you are atoms, and this book, in essence, is an atomic field guide to yourself.
As computer chips continue to shrink in size, scientists anticipate the end of the road: A computer in which each switch is comprised of a single atom. Such a device would operate under a different set of physical laws: The laws of quantum mechanics. Johnson gently leads the curious outsider through the surprisingly simple ideas needed to understand this dream, discussing the current state of the revolution, and ultimately assessing the awesome power these machines could have to change our world.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Reviews of the First Edition
“For anyone wishing to know what really goes on in theirNMR experiments, I would highly recommend this book” –Chemistry World
“…I warmly recommend for budding NMRspectroscopists, or others who wish to deepen their understandingof elementary NMR theory or theoretical tools” –Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry
Welcome to Atom Land, the impossibly small world of quantum physics. With award–winning physics Jon Butterworth as your guide, you’ll set sail from Port Electron in search of strange new terrain. Each discovery will expand the horizons of your trusty map—from the Hadron Island to the Isle of Quarks and beyond. Just beware of Dark Energy and other sea monsters!
A masterful work of metaphor, Atom Land also gives form to the forces that shape the universe: Electromagnetism is a highway system; the strong force, a railway; the weak force, an airline. But, like Butterworth, you may find that curiosity is the strongest force of all—one that pulls you across the subatomic seas, toward the unknown realm of Antimatter, and to the very outer reaches of the cosmos.
One of the nineteenth century's most significant papers, "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field," appears here, along with similarly influential expositions of Maxwell's dynamical theory of gases. The author's extensive range of interests is well represented, from his discussions of color blindness and the composition of Saturn's rings to his essays on geometrical optics, ether, and protecting buildings from lightning. His less technical writings are featured as well, including items written for the Encyclopedia Britannica and Nature magazine, book reviews, and popular lectures. Striking in their originality, these papers offer a wealth of stimulating and inspiring reading to modern students of mathematics and physics.
In 1900, German physicist Max Planck postulated that light, or radiant energy, can exist only in the form of discrete packages or quanta. This profound insight, along with Einstein's equally momentous theories of relativity, completely revolutionized man's view of matter, energy, and the nature of physics itself.
In this lucid layman's introduction to quantum theory, an eminent physicist and noted popularizer of science traces the development of quantum theory from the turn of the century to about 1930 — from Planck's seminal concept (still developing) to anti-particles, mesons, and Enrico Fermi's nuclear research. Gamow was not just a spectator at the theoretical breakthroughs which fundamentally altered our view of the universe, he was an active participant who made important contributions of his own. This "insider's" vantage point lends special validity to his careful, accessible explanations of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, Niels Bohr's model of the atom, the pilot waves of Louis de Broglie and other path-breaking ideas.
In addition, Gamow recounts a wealth of revealing personal anecdotes which give a warm human dimension to many giants of 20th-century physics. He ends the book with the Blegdamsvej Faust, a delightful play written in 1932 by Niels Bohr's students and colleagues to satirize the epochal developments that were revolutionizing physics. This celebrated play is available only in this volume.
Written in a clear, lively style, and enhanced by 12 photographs (including candid shots of Rutherford, Bohr, Pauli, Heisenberg, Fermi, and others), Thirty Years that Shook Physics offers both scientists and laymen a highly readable introduction to the brilliant conceptions that helped unlock many secrets of energy and matter and laid the groundwork for future discoveries.
his thoroughly revised and updated text, now in its second edition, is primarily intended as a textbook for undergraduate students of Physics. The book provides a sound understanding of the fundamental concepts of optics adopting an integrated approach to the principles of optics. It covers the requirements of syllabi of undergraduate students in Physics and Engineering in Indian Universities.
The book includes a wide range of interesting topics such as Fermat’s principle, geometrical optics, dispersion, interference, diffraction and polarization of light waves, optical instruments and lens aberrations. It also discusses electromagnetic waves, fundamentals of vibrations and wave motion. The text explains the concepts through extensive use of line drawings and gives full derivations of essential relations. The topics are dealt with in a well-organized sequence with proper explanations along with simple mathematical formulations.
New to the SECOND Edition
• Incorporates two new chapters, i.e., ‘Fundamentals of Vibrations’, and ‘Wave Motion’
• Includes several worked-out examples to help students reinforce their comprehension of theory
• Provides Formulae at a Glance and Conceptual Questions with their answers for quick revision
• Provides several Solved Numerical Problems to help students comprehend the concepts with ease
• Includes Multiple Choice Questions and Theoretical Questions to help students check their understanding of the subject matter
• Contains unsolved Numerical Problems with answers to build problem-solving skills
This book covers a variety of statistical problems in optics, including both theory and applications. The text covers the necessary background in statistics, statistical properties of light waves of various types, the theory of partial coherence and its applications, imaging with partially coherent light, atmospheric degradations of images, and noise limitations in the detection of light. New topics have been introduced in the second edition, including:Analysis of the Vander Pol oscillator model of laser lightCoverage on coherence tomography and coherence multiplexing of fiber sensorsAn expansion of the chapter on imaging with partially coherent light, including several new examplesAn expanded section on speckle and its propertiesNew sections on the cross-spectrum and bispectrum techniques for obtaining images free from atmospheric distortionsA new section on imaging through atmospheric turbulence using coherent lightThe addition of the effects of “read noise” to the discussions of limitations encountered in detecting very weak optical signalsA number of new problems and many new references have been added Statistical Optics, Second Edition is written for researchers and engineering students interested in optics, physicists and chemists, as well as graduate level courses in a University Engineering or Physics Department.
This new edition has been thoroughly revised and updated and hasbeen redesigned to give the book a more contemporary look. As withprevious editions it contains numerous examples, references and aseries of exercises of increasing difficulty to encourage studentunderstanding. Updates include: Increased coverage of MALDI andESI, more detailed description of time of flight spectrometers, newmaterial on isotope ratio mass spectrometry, and an expanded rangeof applications.
Mass Spectrometry, Third Edition is an invaluableresource for all undergraduate and postgraduate students using thistechnique in departments of chemistry, biochemistry, medicine,pharmacology, agriculture, material science and food science. It isalso of interest for researchers looking for an overview of thelatest techniques and developments.
It starts by introducing, in a completely self-contained way, all mathematical tools needed to use symmetry ideas in physics. Thereafter, these tools are put into action and by using symmetry constraints, the fundamental equations of Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Field Theory, Electromagnetism, and Classical Mechanics are derived.
As a result, the reader is able to understand the basic assumptions behind, and the connections between the modern theories of physics. The book concludes with first applications of the previously derived equations.
The text presents meaningful problems by topic — supplemented by ample illustrations, applications, and exercises — that address the most intriguing questions of modern physics. Answers to selected problems appear in the appendix. Geared toward science and engineering majors, this volume is also appropriate for independent study by those who have completed a general physics course.
Podcast — Building the H Bomb: A Personal History
Hosted by Milt Rosenberg (1590 WCGO), 25 June 2015
Building the H-Bomb: The Big Idea
APS News, June 2015 (Volume 24, Number 6)
Behind the Making of a Super Bomb
The Washington Post, 22 May 2015
Hydrogen Bomb Physicist's Book Runs Afoul of Energy Department
The New York Times, 23 March 2015
In this engaging scientific memoir, Kenneth Ford recounts the time when, in his mid-twenties, he was a member of the team that designed and built the first hydrogen bomb. He worked with — and relaxed with — scientific giants of that time such as Edward Teller, Enrico Fermi, Stan Ulam, John von Neumann, and John Wheeler, and here offers illuminating insights into the personalities, the strengths, and the quirks of these men. Well known for his ability to explain physics to nonspecialists, Ford also brings to life the physics of fission and fusion and provides a brief history of nuclear science from the discovery of radioactivity in 1896 to the ten-megaton explosion of “Mike” that obliterated a Pacific Island in 1952.
Ford worked at both Los Alamos and Princeton's Project Matterhorn, and brings out Matterhorn's major, but previously unheralded contribution to the development of the H bomb. Outside the lab, he drove a battered Chevrolet around New Mexico, a bantam motorcycle across the country, and a British roadster around New Jersey. Part of the charm of Ford's book is the way in which he leavens his well-researched descriptions of the scientific work with brief tales of his life away from weapons.Contents:The Big IdeaThe ProtagonistsThe ChoiceThe Scientists, the Officials, and the PresidentNuclear EnergySome PhysicsGoing WestA New WorldThe Classical SuperCalculating and TestingConstructing MatterhornAcademia CowersNew Mexico, New York, and New JerseyThe Garwin DesignClimbing MatterhornMore Than a Boy
Readership: A memoir for general readership in the history of science.
Key Features:It contains real physics, clearly presented for non-specialistsCombining historical scholarship and his own recollections, the author offers important insights into the people and the work that led to the first H bombPersonal anecdotes enliven the bookKeywords:Nuclear Weapons;Atomic Weapons;H Bomb;Thermonuclear Weapons;Nuclear Physics;Nuclear History;Thermonuclear History;Los Alamos;Edward Teller;Stanislav Ulam;John Wheeler;Project MatterhornReviews:
“It was a great treat to read a book that's well-written, informative, and gets the science right. It is these personal recollections and descriptions; the fact that it is a personal and first-hand account of a unique time in history and a remarkable scientific and technical achievement that made this book so enthralling. This is an engaging account of a young scientist involved in a remarkable project.”P Andrew Karam
The Ohio State University
“Ford's book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of the H bomb and its role in the Cold War, and in how that work affected the life and career of an individual involved.”Physics Today
"Personal memories are the book's greatest strength. Ford doesn't glorify, or apologize for, his work on the H-bomb. He simply tells it as it was. As a result, this is an engagingly human glimpse into the world of physics in the US in the early 1950s."Physics World
Born out of a symposium held to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of Fermi's birth, Fermi Remembered combines essays and newly commissioned reminiscences with private material from Fermi's research notebooks, correspondence, speech outlines, and teaching to document the profound and enduring significance of Fermi's life and labors. The volume also features extensives archival material—including correspondence between Fermi and biophysicist Leo Szilard and a letter from Harry Truman—with new introductions that provide context for both the history of physics and the academic tradition at the University of Chicago.
Edited by James W. Cronin, a University of Chicago physicist and Nobel laureate himself, Fermi Remembered is a tender tribute to one of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century.
Geoffrey F. Chew
James W. Cronin
George W. Farwell
Jerome I. Friedman
Richard L. Garwin
Marvin L. Goldberger
Tsung Dao Lee
Marshall N. Rosenbluth
Chen Ning Yang
This book guides the reader through the mathematics, physics and practical techniques needed to use telescopes (from small amateur models to the larger instruments installed in many colleges) and to observe objects in the sky. Mathematics to around Advanced Placement standard (US) or A level (UK) is assumed, although High School Diploma (US) or GCSE-level (UK) mathematics plus some basic trigonometry will suffice most of the time. Most of the physics and engineering involved is described fully and requires no prior knowledge or experience.
This is a ‘how to’ book that provides the knowledge and background required to understand how and why telescopes work. Equipped with the techniques discussed in this book, the observer will be able to operate with confidence his or her telescope and to optimize its performance for a particular purpose. In principle the observer could calculate his or her own predictions of planetary positions (ephemerides), but more realistically the observer will be able to understand the published data lists properly instead of just treating them as ‘recipes.’ When the observer has obtained measurements, he/she will be able to analyze them in a scientific manner and to understand the significance and meaning of the results.
“Telescopes and Techniques, 3rd Edition” fills a niche at the start of an undergraduate astronomer’s university studies, as shown by it having been widely adopted as a set textbook. This third edition is now needed to update its material with the many new observing developments and study areas that have come into prominence since it was published. The book concentrates on the knowledge needed to understand how small(ish) optical telescopes function, their main designs and how to set them up, plus introducing the reader to the many ways in which objects in the sky change their positions and how they may be observed. Both visual and electronic imaging techniques are covered, together with an introduction to how data (measurements) should be processed and analyzed. A simple introduction to radio telescopes is also included. Brief coverage of the most advanced topics of photometry and spectroscopy are included, but mainly to enable the reader to see some of the developments possible from the basic observing techniques covered in the main parts of the book.
The book gives the steps to follow to understand fundamental theories and to apply these to real materials.
The chapters are devoted to in-depth treatments of stops, pupils and ports; magnifiers, microscopes, telescopes, and camera lenses; ophthalmic instruments; resolving power and MTF; trigonometric ray tracing; and chromatic and monochromatic aberrations. There are over 100 worked examples, 400 homework problems and 400 illustrations.
First published in 1994 by Penumbra Publishing Co.
Soon Emmy was trying to use the strange ideas of quantum mechanics for the really important things in her life: chasing critters, getting treats, and going for walks. She peppered Chad with questions: Could she use quantum tunneling to get through the neighbor's fence and chase bunnies? What about quantum teleportation to catch squirrels before they climb out of reach? Where are all the universes in which Chad drops steak on the floor? And what about the bunnies made of cheese that ought to be appearing out of nothing in the backyard?
With great humor and clarity, Chad Orzel explains to Emmy, and to human readers, just what quantum mechanics is and how it works -- and why, although you can't use it to catch squirrels or eat steak, it's still bizarre, amazing, and important to every dog and human.
Follow along as Chad and Emmy discuss the central elements of quantum theory, from particles that behave like waves and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle to entanglement ("spooky action at a distance") and virtual particles. Along the way, they discuss the history of the theory, such as the experiments that discovered that electrons are waves and particles at the same time, and Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr's decades-long debate over what quantum theory really meant (Einstein may have been smarter, but Bohr was right more often).
Don't get caught looking less informed than Emmy. How to Teach Physics to Your Dog will show you the universe that lies beneath everyday reality, in all its randomness, uncertainty, and wonder.
"Forget Schrödinger's Cat," says Emmy, "quantum physics is all about dogs." And once you see quantum physics explained to a dog, you'll never see the world the same way again.
This third revised edition is a considerably rewritten and updated version which now includes all important developments which have taken place in recent years.