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This book looks at how Newton's theories can be linked to modern day problems and solutions in physics. Newton created an abstract system of theorizing which has been applied to all aspects of the physical world, however he had difficulties in persuading his contemporaries of its unique merits. A detailed study of Newton's writings, published and unpublished, suggests that he had an almost archetypally powerful mode of thinking guaranteed to produce 'correct' results even in areas of physics where systematic study only began long after his time. Newton and Modern Physics investigates this phenomenon, looking at examples of where Newton's principles have relevance to modern day thinking — the study of Newton's work in both seventeenth century and present-day contexts helps to enhance our understanding of both.

This unique book is published as the first of a three-part set for Newtonian scholars, historians of science, philosophers of science and others interested in Newtonian physics.

All Titles:

1.Newton and Modern Physics
2.Newton and the Great World System
3.Newton — Innovation and Controversy Contents: Aspects of the Newtonian MethodologyNewton the ManWavesThe Velocity of LightMass-EnergyQuantum TheoryThe Electric ForceWave-Particle Duality and the Unified Field
Readership: Newtonian scholars, historians of science, philosophers of science and others interested in Newtonian physics.
Keywords: Newton;Newtonian Physics;Velocity of Light;Quantum Theory;Wave-Particle;Mass-EnergyReview:0
In modern physics, various fundamental problems have become topics of ongoing debate. There was the 20th century climb to a Standard Model, still accurate at the highest energy levels obtainable so far. But, since the 1970's, a different approach to physics advocates for theories such as string theory, known for their mathematical elegance, even though they either cannot be verified in data or contradict presently known experimental results. In philosophy of physics, there is a gradually emerging consensus that philosophy of physics and physics somehow contribute to a common enterprise. But, there is little sign of progress toward consensus about the nature of that unity. All the while, it is generally recognized that physics is interdisciplinary. There are, of course, differences in focus. But, implicitly at least, there are no "sharp dividing lines" between physics and philosophy of physics; pure and applied physics; physical chemistry; biophysics; medical physics; history and philosophy of physics; physics and society; physics education; and so on. What, then, is progress in physics? The question here is not about ideal structures, but asks about what is going on in physics. Beginnings in discerning the presence of eight main tasks help reveal the (pre-) emergence of a normative omni-disciplinary basis for collaboration that, once adverted to, promises to be constitutive of a new and increasingly effective control of meaning. Originally discovered by Bernard Lonergan in 1965, progress in the new collaboration will not seek to eliminate specialized expertise. It will, though, divide tasks within an eightfold functional division of labor. This book invites attention to data for each of the eight main tasks evident and self-evident in existing scholarship in the community. The book also makes preliminary efforts toward envisioning something of what functional collaboration will look like — in physics, the Academy and Society.
Mathematics is, in many ways, the most generic and abstract of all systems of human thought. Once Newton found he could describe dynamics and planetary motions using purely mathematical laws and deductive processes, he understood that there was no limit to what else could be explained — given time and ingenuity every aspect of Nature would find its mathematical roots. Newton himself repeatedly stated how aspects of chemistry, biology and even human thought could be accessed by his method. He also acknowledged how immense the task would be, involving many contributors over many centuries, however once the system was in place, it could be extended indefinitely. Although not fully understood during his lifetime, the Newtonian method has since been applied to many subjects outside of physics, including chemistry, physiology and philosophy. This book analyses the Newtonian method and demonstrates how it represents the very roots of our understanding of the great world system we live in today.

This unique book is published as the second of a three-part set for Newtonian scholars, historians of science, philosophers of science and others interested in Newtonian physics.

All Titles:

1.Newton and Modern Physics
2.Newton and the Great World System
3.Newton — Innovation and Controversy Contents: PrefaceAbout the AuthorMetaphysics and MethodologyMathematicsSpace, Time and MotionMass, Momentum and EnergyGravityThe System of the WorldAstrophysics and CosmologyGravity and InertiaBibliographyIndex
Readership: Newtonian scholars, historians of science, philosophers of science and others interested in Newtonian physics.
Keywords: Newton;Newtonian Physics;Newtonian Method;Cosmology;MathematicsReview:0
A standard view of elementary particles and forces is that they determine everything else in the rest of physics, the whole of chemistry, biology, geology, physiology and perhaps even human behavior.

This reductive view of physics is popular among some physicists. Yet, there are other physicists who argue this is an oversimplified and that the relationship of elementary particle physics to these other domains is one of emergence. Several objections have been raised from physics against proposals for emergence (e.g., that genuinely emergent phenomena would violate the standard model of elementary particle physics, or that genuine emergence would disrupt the lawlike order physics has revealed). Many of these objections rightly call into question typical conceptions of emergence found in the philosophy literature.

This book explores whether physics points to a reductive or an emergent structure of the world and proposes a physics-motivated conception of emergence that leaves behind many of the problematic intuitions shaping the philosophical conceptions. Examining several detailed case studies reveal that the structure of physics and the practice of physics research are both more interesting than is captured in this reduction/emergence debate. The results point to stability conditions playing a crucial though underappreciated role in the physics of emergence. This contextual emergence has thought-provoking consequences for physics and beyond, and will be of interest to physics students, researchers, as well as those interested in physics.

LORD KELVIN. In 1840, a precocious 16-year-old by the name of William Thomson spent his summer vacation studying an extraordinarily sophisticated mathematical controversy. His brilliant analysis inspired lavish praise and made the boy an instant intellectual celebrity.

As a young scholar William dazzled a Victorian society enthralled with the seductive authority and powerful beauty of scientific discovery. At a time when no one really understood heat, light, electricity, or magnetism, Thomson found key connections between them, laying the groundwork for two of the cornerstones of 19th century science -- the theories of electromagnetism and thermodynamics.

Charismatic, confident, and boyishly handsome, Thomson was not a scientist who labored quietly in a lab, plying his trade in monkish isolation. When scores of able tinkerers were flummoxed by their inability to adapt overland telegraphic cables to underwater, intercontinental use, Thomson took to the high seas with new equipment that was to change the face of modern communications. And as the world’s navies were transitioning from wooden to iron ships, they looked to Thomson to devise a compass that would hold true even when surrounded by steel.

Gaining fame and wealth through his inventive genius, Thomson was elevated to the peerage by Queen Victoria for his many achievements. He was the first scientist ever to be so honored. Indeed, his name survives in the designation of degrees Kelvin, the temperature scale that begins with absolute zero, the point at which atomic motion ceases and there is a complete absence of heat. Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, was Great Britain's unrivaled scientific hero.

But as the century drew to a close and Queen Victoria's reign ended, this legendary scientific mind began to weaken. He grudgingly gave way to others with a keener, more modern vision. But the great physicist did not go quietly. With a ready pulpit at his disposal, he publicly proclaimed his doubts over the existence of atoms. He refused to believe that radioactivity involved the transmutation of elements. And believing that the origin of life was a matter beyond the expertise of science and better left to theologians, he vehemently opposed the doctrines of evolution, repeatedly railing against Charles Darwin. Sadly, this pioneer of modern science spent his waning years arguing that the Earth and the Sun could not be more than 100 million years old. And although his early mathematical prowess had transformed our understanding of the forces of nature, he would never truly accept the revolutionary changes he had helped bring about, and it was others who took his ideas to their logical conclusion.

In the end Thomson came to stand for all that was old and complacent in the world of 19th century science. Once a scientific force to be reckoned with, a leader to whom others eagerly looked for answers, his peers in the end left him behind -- and then meted out the ultimate punishment for not being able to keep step with them. For while they were content to bury him in Westminster Abbey alongside Isaac Newton, they used his death as an opportunity to write him out of the scientific record, effectively denying him his place in history. Kelvin’s name soon faded from the headlines, his seminal ideas forgotten, his crucial contributions overshadowed.

Destined to become the definitive biography of one of the most important figures in modern science, Degrees Kelvin unravels the mystery of a life composed of equal parts triumph and tragedy, hubris and humility, yielding a surprising and compelling portrait of a complex and enigmatic man.

How does the physics we know today - a highly professionalised enterprise, inextricably linked to government and industry - link back to its origins as a liberal art in Ancient Greece? What is the path that leads from the old philosophy of nature and its concern with humankind's place in the universe to modern massive international projects that hunt down fundamental particles and industrial laboratories that manufacture marvels? This Very Short Introduction introduces us to Islamic astronomers and mathematicians calculating the size of the earth whilst their caliphs conquered much of it; to medieval scholar-theologians investigating light; to Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton, measuring, and trying to explain, the universe. We visit the 'House of Wisdom' in 9th-century Baghdad; Europe's first universities; the courts of the Renaissance; the Scientific Revolution and the academies of the 18th century; and the increasingly specialised world of 20th and 21st century science. Highlighting the shifting relationship between physics, philosophy, mathematics, and technology - and the implications for humankind's self-understanding - Heilbron explores the changing place and purpose of physics in the cultures and societies that have nurtured it over the centuries. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Jagdish Mehra's historical account of the Solvay Conferences from 1911 to 1973 demonstrates not only the great influence which these conferences have had on the development of modern physics, but it also shows clearly how far-sighted and well planned were the intentions of Ernest Solvay when he took the initiative for organizing a new type of international conferences. In contrast to the conventional meetings in which reports are given on the successful solution of scientific problems, the Solvay Conferences were conceived to help directly in solving specific problems of unusual difficulty. The importance of the quantum structure of Nature had become well under stood already by 1911, but at that time there was no hope for an answer to the ex tremely difficult new questions posed by the atomic phenomena. The new conferences should therefore be devoted primarily to thorough discussions of such problems be tween a small number of the most competent physicists, and Ernest Solvay was guided by the hope that the discussions would eventually lead to a real and substantial progress. The earliest Solvay Conferences which I attended were those of 1927, 1930 and 1933, and they served this purpose extremely well. In 1926 the mathematical formalism of quantum-and wave-mechanics approached its final shape, but the interpretation was still controversial. Schrodinger hoped that his matter waves could be considered as waves in three-dimensional space and time, and that the discontinuous feature of quantum 'jumps' could be avoided thereby.
The late Abraham Pais, author of the award winning biography of Albert Einstein, Subtle is the Lord, here offers an illuminating portrait of another of his eminent colleagues, J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the most charismatic and enigmatic figures of modern physics. Pais introduces us to a precocious youth who sped through Harvard in three years, made signal contributions to quantum mechanics while in his twenties, and was instrumental in the growth of American physics in the decade before the Second World War, almost single-handedly bringing it to a state of prominence. He paints a revealing portrait of Oppenheimer's life in Los Alamos, where in twenty remarkable, feverish months, and under his inspired guidance, the first atomic bomb was designed and built, a success that made Oppenheimer America's most famous scientist. Pais describes Oppenheimer's long tenure as Director of the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton, where the two men worked together closely. He shows not only Oppenheimer's brilliance and leadership, but also how his displays of intensity and arrogance won him powerful enemies, ones who would ultimately make him one of the principal victims of the Red Scare of the 1950s. J. Robert Oppenheimer is Abraham Pais's final work, completed after his death by Robert P. Crease, an acclaimed historian of science in his own right. Told with compassion and deep insight, it is the most comprehensive biography of the great physicist available. Anyone seeking an insider's portrait of this enigmatic man will find it indispensable.
The near century (1630-1720) that separates the important astronomical findings of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) and the vastly influential mathematical work of Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) represents a pivotal stage of transition in the history of science. As a result of the raging intellectual battle between tradition and innovation that began in the fifteenth century, science was penetrated by a new outlook that placed emphasis on experiment and observation. Galileo showed the promise of its new methods of discovery; Newton brought out their full force and effect. Galileo suffered from an attempt to censure scientific inquiry; Newton showed how science could discover the universal laws of nature. The triumph of this new outlook marked the birth of modern science.
From Galileo to Newton describes those new patterns of thought that emerged during this time of great excitement and widespread controversy. It discusses the discoveries revealed by telescope and microscope in the work of Huygens and Leeuwenhoek, and the new speculations to which these gave rise; Boyle's attempts to include chemical experiments within a rational theory of matter, and those begun by Descartes to explain the workings of the body on the basis of chemical and physical principles; and the revolutionary ideas in astronomy that generated the transition from the Ptolemaic concept of the universe to the Copernican and the subsequent acceptance of the heliostatic system.
Since the dawn of civilization man has tried to find logic in the mysterious and order in the chaotic. From Galileo to Newton will appeal to anyone who wants to know what modern science is all about and how it came into being. One of the foremost authorities on the history of science, Professor Hall is not only a scholar of great learning and originality, he also writes with clarity, liveliness, and a keen biographical sense.
A Nobel Prize-winning physicist, a loving husband and father, an enthusiastic teacher, a surprisingly accomplished bongo player, and a genius of the highest caliber---Richard P. Feynman was all these and more. Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From the Beaten Track--collecting over forty years' worth of Feynman's letters--offers an unprecedented look at the writer and thinker whose scientific mind and lust for life made him a legend in his own time. Containing missives to and from such scientific luminaries as Victor Weisskopf, Stephen Wolfram, James Watson, and Edward Teller, as well as a remarkable selection of letters to and from fans, students, family, and people from around the world eager for Feynman's advice and counsel, Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From the Beaten Track not only illuminates the personal relationships that underwrote the key developments in modern science, but also forms the most intimate look at Feynman yet available. Feynman was a man many felt close to but few really knew, and this collection reveals the full wisdom and private passion of a personality that captivated everyone it touched. Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From the Beaten Track is an eloquent testimony to the virtue of approaching the world with an inquiring eye; it demonstrates the full extent of the Feynman legacy like never before. Edited and with additional commentary by his daughter Michelle, it's a must-read for Feynman fans everywhere, and for anyone seeking to better understand one of the towering figures--and defining personalities--of the twentieth century.
Acclaimed popular-science writer Brian Clegg and popular TV and radio astronomer Rhodri Evans give us a Top Ten list of physicists as the central theme to build an exploration of the most exciting breakthroughs in physics, looking not just at the science, but also the fascinating lives of the scientists themselves.

The Top Ten are:

1.Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
2.Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
3.Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
4.Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
5.James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879)
6.Michael Faraday (1791-1867)
7.Marie Curie (1867-1934)
8.Richard Feynman (1918-1988)
9.Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937)
10.Paul Dirac (1902-1984)

Each of these figures has made a huge contribution to physics. Some are household names, others more of a mystery, but in each case there is an opportunity to combine a better understanding of the way that each of them has advanced our knowledge of the universe with an exploration of their often unusual, always interesting lives.

Whether we are with Curie, patiently sorting through tons of pitchblende to isolate radium or feeling Bohr's frustration as once again Einstein attempts to undermine quantum theory, the combination of science and biography humanizes these great figures of history and makes the Physics itself more accessible.

In exploring the way the list has been built the authors also put physics in its place amongst the sciences and show how it combines an exploration of the deepest and most profound questions about life and the universe with practical applications that have transformed our lives. The book is structured chronologically, allowing readers to follow the development of scientific knowledge over more than 400 years, showing clearly how this key group of individuals has fundamentally altered our understanding of the world around us.

Drawings and short essays offer engaging and accessible explanations of key ideas in physics, from triangulation to relativity and beyond.

Humans have been trying to understand the physical universe since antiquity. Aristotle had one vision (the realm of the celestial spheres is perfect), and Einstein another (all motion is relativistic). More often than not, these different understandings begin with a simple drawing, a pre-mathematical picture of reality. Such drawings are a humble but effective tool of the physicist's craft, part of the tradition of thinking, teaching, and learning passed down through the centuries. This book uses drawings to help explain fifty-one key ideas of physics accessibly and engagingly. Don Lemons, a professor of physics and author of several physics books, pairs short, elegantly written essays with simple drawings that together convey important concepts from the history of physical science.

Lemons proceeds chronologically, beginning with Thales' discovery of triangulation, the Pythagorean monocord, and Archimedes' explanation of balance. He continues through Leonardo's description of “earthshine” (the ghostly glow between the horns of a crescent moon), Kepler's laws of planetary motion, and Newton's cradle (suspended steel balls demonstrating by their collisions that for every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction). Reaching the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Lemons explains the photoelectric effect, the hydrogen atom, general relativity, the global greenhouse effect, Higgs boson, and more. The essays place the science of the drawings in historical context—describing, for example, Galileo's conflict with the Roman Catholic Church over his teaching that the sun is the center of the universe, the link between the discovery of electrical phenomena and the romanticism of William Wordsworth, and the shadow cast by the Great War over Einstein's discovery of relativity.

Readers of Drawing Physics with little background in mathematics or physics will say, “Now I see, and now I understand.”

The present age is sometimes called the Scientific Age. This does not imply that every member of the community is an expert scientist—far from it. It does mean, however, that the labours of the scientists have given the age certain features which influence the life of every citizen to some degree. Accordingly it is desirable that as many as possible should have some understanding of the scientists' work, of their aims, their point of view, and their methods.

If we had a wishing-rug or some sort of spare-time car that could transport us at will to any place and time, we might visit the scientists of every age, see them at work, listen to their discussions, and even take a hand in the proceedings. The wishing-rug is not available but the literature of science will serve the purpose for anyone who will do the necessary searching, reading, and thinking. Unfortunately, some of that literature is decidedly inaccessible. To meet the difficulty this book has been written in the hope of bringing some of the most important passages of the literature of science within the reach of everyone.

Every past of the vast edifice of science is necessarily the work of some human being, and most of us become more interested in the building, and are able to understand and appreciate it better when we know who were the architects and builders and when, how, and why they did their work. The story of science is a noble epic of the struggle of man from ignorance toward knowledge and wisdom and toward the mastery of nature and of himself.

One purpose of science is to systematize experience, and a knowledge of the story of science has helped many in that process of organization. This book, therefore, offers the reader a cordial invitation to embark on a tour of visits with great scientists to learn from them the parts they played in the advancement of science and of the human race. Here is a treasure-house of fascinating information for all who are interested in the world around us, and the history of man's understanding of it.

Any literate person should be familiar with the central ideas of modern science. In his sparkling new book, Peter Atkins introduces his choice of the ten great ideas of science. With wit, charm, patience, and astonishing insights, he leads the reader through the emergence of the concepts, and then presents them in a strikingly effective manner. At the same time, he works into his engaging narrative an illustration of the scientific method and shows how simple ideas can have enormous consequences. His choice of the ten great ideas are: * Evolution occurs by natural selection, in which the early attempts at explaining the origin of species is followed by an account of the modern approach and some of its unsolved problems. * Inheritance is encoded in DNA, in which the story of the emergence of an understanding of inheritance is followed through to the mapping of the human genome. * Energy is conserved, in which we see how the central concept of energy gradually dawned on scientists as they mastered the motion of particles and the concept of heat. * All change is the consequence of the purposeless collapse of energy and matter into disorder, in which the extraordinarily simple concept of entropy is used to account for events in the world. * Matter is atomic, in which we see how the concept of atoms emerged and how the different personalities of the elements arise from the structures of their atoms. * Symmetry limits, guides, and drives, in which we see how concepts related to beauty can be extended to understand the nature of fundamental particles and the forces that act between them. * Waves behave like particles and particles behave like waves, in which we see how old familiar ideas gave way to the extraordinary insights of quantum theory and transformed our perception of matter. * The universe is expanding, in which we see how a combination of astronomy and a knowledge of elementary particles accounts for the origin of the universe and its long term future. * Spacetime is curved by matter, in which we see the emergence of the theories of special and general relativity and come to understand the nature of space and time. * If arithmetic is consistent, then it is incomplete, in which we learn the origin of numbers and arithmetic, see how the philosophy of mathematics lets us understand the nature of this most cerebral of subjects, and are brought to the limits of its power. C. P. Snow once said 'not knowing the second law of thermodynamics is like never having read a work by Shakespeare'. This is an extraordinary, exciting book that not only will make you literate in science but give you deep enjoyment on the way.
A finely drawn portrait of Einstein's sixteen months in Prague

In the spring of 1911, Albert Einstein moved with his wife and two sons to Prague, the capital of Bohemia, where he accepted a post as a professor of theoretical physics. Though he intended to make Prague his home, he lived there for just sixteen months, an interlude that his biographies typically dismiss as a brief and inconsequential episode. Einstein in Bohemia is a spellbinding portrait of the city that touched Einstein's life in unexpected ways—and of the gifted young scientist who left his mark on the science, literature, and politics of Prague.

Michael Gordin's narrative is a masterfully crafted account of a person encountering a particular place at a specific moment in time. Despite being heir to almost a millennium of history, Einstein's Prague was a relatively marginal city within the sprawling Austro-Hungarian Empire. Yet Prague, its history, and its multifaceted culture changed the trajectories of Einstein's personal and scientific life. It was here that his marriage unraveled, where he first began thinking seriously about his Jewish identity, and where he embarked on the project of general relativity. Prague was also where he formed lasting friendships with novelist Max Brod, Zionist intellectual Hugo Bergmann, physicist Philipp Frank, and other important figures.

Einstein in Bohemia sheds light on this transformative period of Einstein's life and career, and brings vividly to life a beguiling city in the last years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

“Those seeking a grand overview of science’s greatest hits over the past century will find it here” (The Washington Post). Peter Watson’s bold history of science offers a powerful argument—that the many disparate scientific branches are converging on the same truths.

Convergence is a history of modern science with an original and significant twist. Various scientific disciplines, despite their very different beginnings, have been coming together over the years, converging and coalescing. Intimate connections have been discovered between physics and chemistry, psychology and biology, genetics and linguistics. In this groundbreaking book, Peter Watson identifies one extraordinary master narrative, capturing how the sciences are slowly resolving into one overwhelming, interlocking story about the universe.

Watson begins his narrative in the 1850s, the decade when, he argues, the convergence of the sciences began. The idea of the conservation of energy was introduced in this decade, as was Darwin’s theory of evolution—both of which rocketed the sciences forward and revealed unimagined interconnections and overlaps between disciplines. Decade after decade, the story captures every major scientific advance en route to the present, proceeding like a cosmic detective story, or the world’s most massive code-breaking effort.

“Fascinating…Highly recommended…Watson treats biology, chemistry, and physics as entangled plotlines, and readers’ excitement will build as more connections are made” (Library Journal, starred review). Told through the eyes of the scientists themselves, charting each discovery and breakthrough, Convergence is a “massive tour de force” (Publishers Weekly) and a gripping way to learn what we now know about the universe and where our inquiries are heading.
This volume is a collection of the Nobel lectures delivered by the prizewinners, together with their biographies and the presentation speeches by Nobel Committee members for the period 2006-2010. The criterion for the Physics award is to the discoverer of a physical phenomenon that changed our views, or to the inventor of a new physical process that gave enormous benefits to either science at large or to the public. The biographies are remarkably interesting to read and the Nobel lectures provide detailed explanations of the phenomena for which the Laureates were awarded the Nobel Prize.Aspiring young scientists as well as more experienced ones, but also the interested public will learn a lot from and appreciate the geniuses of these narrations.List of prizewinners and their discoveries:(2006) to John C Mather and George F Smoot “for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation”
The very detailed observations that the Laureates have carried out from the COBE satellite have played a major role in the development of modern cosmology into a precise science.(2007) to Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg “for the discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance”
Applications of this phenomenon have revolutionized techniques for retrieving data from hard disks. The discovery also plays a major role in various magnetic sensors as well as for the development of a new generation of electronics. The use of Giant Magnetoresistance can be regarded as one of the first major applications of nanotechnology.(2008) to Yoichiro Nambu “for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics“, and to Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa “for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature”
Why is there something instead of nothing? Why are there so many different elementary particles? The Laureates presented theoretical insights that give us a deeper understanding of what happens far inside the tiniest building blocks of matter.(2009) to Charles Kuen Kao “for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication“, and to Willard S Boyle and George E Smith “for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit — the CCD sensor”
Kao's discoveries have paved the way for optical fiber technology, which today is used for almost all telephony and data communication. Boyle and Smith have invented a digital image sensor — CCD, or charge-coupled device — which today has become an electronic eye in almost all areas of photography.(2010) to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene”
The Laureates have shown that a thin flake of ordinary carbon, just one atom thick, has exceptional properties that originate from the remarkable world of quantum physics.
"This book is Gamow at his best, which means the very best in science for the layman." — Library Journal
Widely recognized as one of the 20th century's foremost physicists, George Gamow was also an unusually capable popularizer of science. His talents are vividly revealed in this exciting and penetrating explanation of how the central laws of physical science evolved — from Pythagoras' discovery of frequency ratios in the 6th century B.C. to today's research on elementary particles.
Unlike many books on physics which focus entirely on fact and theory with little or no historic detail, the present work incorporates fascinating personal and biographical data about the great physicists of past and present. Thus Dr. Gamow discusses on an equal basis the trail of Galileo and the basic laws of mechanics which he discovered, or gives his personal recollections about Niels Bohr along with detailed discussion of Bohr's atomic model. You'll also find revealing glimpses of Newton, Huygens, Heisenberg, Pauli, Einstein, and many other immortals of science.
Each chapter is centered around a single great figure, or at most two, with other physicists of the era and their contributions forming a background. Major topics include the dawn of physics, the Dark Ages and the Renaissance, Newtonian physics, heat as energy, electricity, the relativistic revolution, quantum theory, and the atomic nucleus and elementary particles.
As Dr. Gamow points out in the Preface, the aim of this book is to give the reader the feeling of what physics is, and what kind of people physicists are. This delightfully informal approach, combined with the book's clear, easy-to-follow explanations, will especially appeal to young readers but will stimulate and entertain science enthusiasts of all ages. 1961 edition.
"The whole thing is a tour de force covering all the important landmarks." — Guardian

Hans Christian Ørsted (1777-1851) was one of the leading scientists of the nineteenth century, having played a crucial role in founding electromagnetism. Unfortunately for the English-speaking world, almost all of his research was published in other languages, particularly his native Danish. This book will help to elevate Ørsted to his rightful place in the history of science by finally making his most important scientific works available in English.

The book includes, for example, Ørsted's account of his revolutionary experiments in electromagnetism. In 1820, he discovered that a compass needle deflects from magnetic north when an electric current is switched on or off in a nearby wire. This showed that electricity and magnetism were related phenomena, a finding that laid the foundation for the theory of electromagnetism and for research that later created such technologies as radio, television, and fiber optics. The unit of magnetic field strength was named the Ørsted in his honor.

Selections here also show the extraordinary breadth of Ørsted's interests, which range through a long and prolific career from the study of plant alkaloids and the compression of fluids to the nature of light and the "natural science" of beauty. The writings are taken from scientific papers, Ørsted's correspondence, and reports of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. The book will not only draw long overdue attention to Ørsted's own work but will also shed new light on the nature of scientific study in the nineteenth century.

Originally published in 1998.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

In 1900 many eminent scientists did not believe atoms existed, yet within just a few years the atomic century launched into history with an astonishing string of breakthroughs in physics that began with Albert Einstein and continues to this day. Before this explosive growth into the modern age took place, an all-but-forgotten genius strove for forty years to win acceptance for the atomic theory of matter and an altogether new way of doing physics. Ludwig Boltz-mann battled with philosophers, the scientific establishment, and his own potent demons. His victory led the way to the greatest scientific achievements of the twentieth century.

Now acclaimed science writer David Lindley portrays the dramatic story of Boltzmann and his embrace of the atom, while providing a window on the civilized world that gave birth to our scientific era. Boltzmann emerges as an endearingly quixotic character, passionately inspired by Beethoven, who muddled through the practical matters of life in a European gilded age.

Boltzmann's story reaches from fin de siècle Vienna, across Germany and Britain, to America. As the Habsburg Empire was crumbling, Germany's intellectual might was growing; Edinburgh in Scotland was one of the most intellectually fertile places on earth; and, in America, brilliant independent minds were beginning to draw on the best ideas of the bureaucratized old world.

Boltzmann's nemesis in the field of theoretical physics at home in Austria was Ernst Mach, noted today in the term Mach I, the speed of sound. Mach believed physics should address only that which could be directly observed. How could we know that frisky atoms jiggling about corresponded to heat if we couldn't see them? Why should we bother with theories that only told us what would probably happen, rather than making an absolute prediction? Mach and Boltzmann both believed in the power of science, but their approaches to physics could not have been more opposed. Boltzmann sought to explain the real world, and cast aside any philosophical criteria. Mach, along with many nineteenth-century scientists, wanted to construct an empirical edifice of absolute truths that obeyed strict philosophical rules. Boltzmann did not get on well with authority in any form, and he did his best work at arm's length from it. When at the end of his career he engaged with the philosophical authorities in the Viennese academy, the results were personally disastrous and tragic. Yet Boltzmann's enduring legacy lives on in the new physics and technology of our wired world.

Lindley's elegant telling of this tale combines the detailed breadth of the best history, the beauty of theoretical physics, and the psychological insight belonging to the finest of novels.
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