The Harvest of a Century: Discoveries of Modern Physics in 100 Episodes

OUP Oxford
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Physics was the leading science of the twentieth century and the book retraces important discoveries, made between 1895 and 2001, in 100 self-contained episodes. Each is a short story of the scientists involved, their time, and their work. Together they form a mosaic of modern physics: formulating relativity and quantum mechanics, finding the constituents of matter and unravelling the forces between them, understanding the working of conductors and semiconductors, discovering and explaining macroscopic quantum effects (superconductivity, superfluidity, quantum Hall effect), developing novel experimental techniques like the Geiger counter and particle accelerators, building revolutionary applications like the transistor and the laser, and observing astonishing features of our cosmos (expanding universe, cosmic background radiation). The text is intended for easy reading. Occasionally, a more thorough discussion of experimental set-ups and theoretical concepts is presented in special boxes for readers interested in more detail. Episodes contain extensive references to biographies and original scientific literature. The book is richly illustrated by about 600 portraits, photographs, and figures.
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About the author

Siegmund Brandt is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Siegen. Born in Berlin in 1936, he studied in Bonn under Wolfgang Paul. For his diploma (1959) he built a small bubble chamber, detecting particles produced by the Bonn synchrotron. The subject of his Ph.D thesis (1963) was the production of strange particles in a hydrogen bubble chamber at CERN in Geneva, where he worked from 1961 to 1965. In 1966 he became Privatdozent at the University of Heidelberg, continuing particle-physics research with bubble chambers at CERN and at DESY in Hamburg. In 1972 Brandt moved to the new university in Siegen as a member of the Foundation Senate. With his group he participated in experiments using large electronic detectors at electron-positron colliders at DESY, in which the gluon was found, and later in an experiment at the LEP collider at CERN, which concentrated on production and properties of the heavy bosons W and Z.
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Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
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Published on
Nov 6, 2008
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Pages
520
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ISBN
9780191580123
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
History / General
Science / History
Science / Physics / Condensed Matter
Science / Physics / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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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.
When Isaac Newton died in 1727 without a will, he left behind a wealth of papers that, when examined, gave his followers and his family a deep sense of unease. Some of what they contained was wildly heretical and alchemically obsessed, hinting at a Newton altogether stranger and less palatable than the one enshrined in Westminster Abbey as the paragon of English rationality. These manuscripts had the potential to undermine not merely Newton's reputation, but that of the scientific method he embodied. They were immediately suppressed as "unfit to be printed," and, aside from brief, troubling glimpses spread across centuries, the papers would remain hidden from sight for more than seven generations. In The Newton Papers, Sarah Dry illuminates the tangled history of these private writings over the course of nearly three hundred years, from the long span of Newton's own life into the present day. The writings, on subjects ranging from secret alchemical formulas to impassioned rejections of the Holy Trinity, would eventually come to light as they moved through the hands of relatives, collectors, and scholars. The story of their disappearance, dispersal, and rediscovery is populated by a diverse cast of characters who pursued and possessed the papers, from economist John Maynard Keynes to controversial Jewish Biblical scholar Abraham Yahuda. Dry's captivating narrative moves between these varied personalities, depicting how, as they chased the image of Newton through the thickets of his various obsessions, these men became obsessed themselves with the allure of defining the "true" Newton. Dry skillfully accounts for the ways with which Newton's pursuers have approached his papers over centuries. Ultimately, The Newton Papers shows how Newton has been made and re-made throughout history by those seeking to reconcile the cosmic contradictions of an extraordinarily complex man.
Introduction to Solid State Physics, in its Second Edition, provides a comprehensive introduction to the physical properties of crystalline solids. It explains the structure of crystals, theory of crystal diffraction and the reciprocal lattice. As the book advances, it describes different kinds of imperfections in crystals, bonding in solids, and vibration in one-dimensional monoatomic and diatomic linear lattice. Different theories of specific heat, thermal conductivity of solids and lattice thermal conductivity are thoroughly dealt with. Coverage also includes the free electron theory, band theory of solids and semiconductors. In addition, the book also describes in detail the magnetic properties of solids and superconductivity. Finally, the book includes discussions on lasers, nanotechnology and the basic principles of fibre optics and holography. Some new topics like cellular method, quantum Hall effect, de Haas van Alphen effect, Pauli paramagnetism and semiconductor laser have been added in the present edition of the book to make it more useful for the students.

The book is designed to meet the requirements of undergraduate and postgraduate students of physics for their courses in solid state physics, condensed matter physics and material science.

KEY FEATURES
• Puts a conceptual emphasis on the subject.
• Includes numerous diagrams and figures to clarify the concepts.
• Gives step-by-step explanations of theories.
• Provides chapter-end exercises to test the knowledge acquired.

 

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