The Cosmic Code

Dover Books on Physics

Courier Corporation
11
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"The Cosmic Code can be read by anyone. I heartily recommend it!" — The New York Times Book Review
"A reliable guide for the nonmathematical reader across the highest ridges of physical theory. Pagels is unfailingly lighthearted and confident." — Scientific American
"A sound, clear, vital work that deserves the attention of anyone who takes an interest in the relationship between material reality and the human mind." — Science 82
This is one of the most important books on quantum mechanics ever written for general readers. Heinz Pagels, an eminent physicist and science writer, discusses and explains the core concepts of physics without resorting to complicated mathematics. The two-part treatment outlines the history of quantum physics and addresses complex subjects such as Bell's theorem and elementary particle physics, drawing upon the work of Bohr, Gell-Mann, and others. Anecdotes from the personal documents of Einstein, Oppenheimer, Bohr, and Planck offer intimate glimpses of the scientists whose work forever changed the world.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Courier Corporation
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Published on
Nov 1, 2012
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9780486287324
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Physics / General
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The contributions of few contemporary scientists have been as far reaching in their effects as those of Nobel Laureate Werner Heisenberg. His matrix theory is one of the bases of modern quantum mechanics, while his "uncertainty principle" has altered our whole philosophy of science.
In this classic, based on lectures delivered at the University of Chicago, Heisenberg presents a complete physical picture of quantum theory. He covers not only his own contributions, but also those of Bohr, Dirac, Bose, de Broglie, Fermi, Einstein, Pauli, Schrodinger, Somerfield, Rupp, ·Wilson, Germer, and others in a text written for the physical scientist who is not a specialist in quantum theory or in modern mathematics.
Partial contents: introduction (theory and experiment, fundamental concepts); critique of physical concepts of the corpuscular theory (uncertainty relations and their illustration); critique of the physical concepts of the wave theory (uncertainty relations for waves, discussion of an actual measurement of the electromagnetic field); statistical interpretation of quantum theory (mathematical considerations, interference of probabilities, Bohr's complementarity); discussion of important experiments (C. T. R. Wilson, diffraction , Einstein-Rupp, emission, absorption and dispersion of radiation, interference and conservation laws, Compton effect, radiation fluctuation phenomena, relativistic formulation of the quantum theory).
An 80-page appendix on the mathematical apparatus of the quantum theory is provided for the specialist.
Among the finest, most comprehensive treatments of theoretical physics ever written, this classic volume comprises a superb introduction to the main branches of the discipline and offers solid grounding for further research in a variety of fields. Students will find no better one-volume coverage of so many essential topics; moreover, since its first publication, the book has been substantially revised and updated with additional material on Bessel functions, spherical harmonics, superconductivity, elastomers, and other subjects.
The first four chapters review mathematical topics needed by theoretical and experimental physicists (vector analysis, mathematical representation of periodic phenomena, theory of vibrations and waves, theory of functions of a complex variable, the calculus of variations, and more). This material is followed by exhaustive coverage of mechanics (including elasticity and fluid mechanics, as well as relativistic mechanics), a highly detailed treatment of electromagnetic theory, and thorough discussions of thermodynamics, kinetic theory and statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics and nuclear physics.
Now available for the first time in paperback, this wide-ranging overview also contains an extensive 40-page appendix which provides detailed solutions to the numerous exercises included throughout the text. Although first published over 50 years ago, the book remains a solid, comprehensive survey, so well written and carefully planned that undergraduates as well as graduate students of theoretical and experimental physics will find it an indispensable reference they will turn to again and again.
The author of this concise, brilliant series of lectures on mathematical methods in quantum mechanics was one of the shining intellects in the field, winning a Nobel prize in 1933 for his pioneering work in the quantum mechanics of the atom. Beyond that, he developed the transformation theory of quantum mechanics (which made it possible to calculate the statistical distribution of certain variables), was one of the major authors of the quantum theory of radiation, codiscovered the Fermi-Dirac statistics, and predicted the existence of the positron.
The four lectures in this book were delivered at Yeshiva University, New York, in 1964. The first, "The Hamiltonian Method," is an introduction to visualizing quantum theory through the use of classical mechanics. The remaining lectures build on that idea. "The Problem of Quantization" shows how one can start with a classical field theory and end up with a quantum field theory. In "Quantization on Curved Surfaces," Dirac examines the possibility of building a relativistic quantum theory on curved surfaces. He deduces that it is not possible, but it should be possible on flat surfaces. In the final lecture, "Quantization on Flat Surfaces," he concludes that "we can set up the basic equations for a quantum theory of the Born-Infeld electrodynamics agreeing with special relativity, but [not] with general relativity." Physics and chemistry students will find this book an invaluable addition to their libraries, as will anyone intrigued by the far-reaching and influential ideas of quantum mechanics.
"A large number of exercises of a broad range of difficulty make this book even more useful…a good addition to the literature on thermodynamics at the undergraduate level." — Philosophical Magazine
Although written on an introductory level, this wide-ranging text provides extensive coverage of topics of current interest in equilibrium statistical mechanics. Indeed, certain traditional topics are given somewhat condensed treatment to allow room for a survey of more recent advances.
The book is divided into four major sections. Part I deals with the principles of quantum statistical mechanics and includes discussions of energy levels, states and eigenfunctions, degeneracy and other topics. Part II examines systems composed of independent molecules or of other independent subsystems. Topics range from ideal monatomic gas and monatomic crystals to polyatomic gas and configuration of polymer molecules and rubber elasticity. An examination of systems of interacting molecules comprises the nine chapters in Part Ill, reviewing such subjects as lattice statistics, imperfect gases and dilute liquid solutions. Part IV covers quantum statistics and includes sections on Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics, photon gas and free-volume theories of quantum liquids.
Each chapter includes problems varying in difficulty — ranging from simple numerical exercises to small-scale "research" propositions. In addition, supplementary reading lists for each chapter invite students to pursue the subject at a more advanced level. Readers are assumed to have studied thermodynamics, calculus, elementary differential equations and elementary quantum mechanics.
Because of the flexibility of the chapter arrangements, this book especially lends itself to use in a one-or two-semester graduate course in chemistry, a one-semester senior or graduate course in physics or an introductory course in statistical mechanics.
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