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Great Ideas in Physics

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The conservation of energy, the second law of thermodynamics, the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics­­together, these concepts form the foundation upon which modern physics was built. But the influence of these four landmark ideas has extended far beyond hard science. There is no aspect of twentieth-century culture­­including the arts, social sciences, philosophy, and politics­­that has not been profoundly influenced by them.

In Great Ideas in Physics, Alan Lightman clearly explains the physics behind each of the four great ideas and deftly untangles for lay readers such knotty concepts as entropy, the relativity of time, and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Throughout the book he uses excerpts from the writings of scientific luminaries such as Newton, Kelvin, Einstein, and de Broglie to help place each in its proper historical perspective. And with the help of expertly annotated passages from the works of dozens of writers, philosophers, artists, and social theorists, Lightman explores the two-way influences of these landmark scientific concepts on our entire human culture and the world of ideas.

Synopsis:

For anyone how wants a basic understanding of the physical processes that define the universe, Lightman provides the perfect introduction. In addition to explaining physics, he introduces relevant passages from philosophy and literature to demonstrate how these great ideas have impacted the world of thought.

Synopsis:

An introduction to physics for the lay reader. The text takes the reader through four important ideas in physics: the conservation of energy, the second law of thermodynamics, the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. In addition, it brings in relevant passages from philosophy and literature.

Synopsis:

The conservation of energy, the second law of thermodynamics, the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics­­together, these concepts form the foundation upon which modern physics was built. But the influence of these four landmark ideas has extended far beyond hard science. There is no aspect of twentieth-century culture­­including the arts, social sciences, philosophy, and politics­­that has not been profoundly influenced by them.

In Great Ideas in Physics, Alan Lightman clearly explains the physics behind each of the four great ideas and deftly untangles for lay readers such knotty concepts as entropy, the relativity of time, and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Throughout the book he uses excerpts from the writings of scientific luminaries such as Newton, Kelvin, Einstein, and de Broglie to help place each in its proper historical perspective. And with the help of expertly annotated passages from the works of dozens of writers, philosophers, artists, and social theorists, Lightman explores the two-way influences of these landmark scientific concepts on our entire human culture and the world of ideas.

About the Author

Alan Lightman, Ph.D., currently Senior Lecturer in Physics at M.I.T., received the Association of American Publishers Award for the best book in physical science for Origins. His writing appears in the Atlantic, Granta, Harpers, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and elsewhere. He is the author of The New York Times bestseller, Einstein's Dreams and Good Benito.

Table of Contents

Chapter I: The Conservation of Energy.

Chapter II: The Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Chapter III: The Relativity of Time.

Chapter IV: The Wave-Particle Duality of Nature.

Appendices:

A: A Review of Some Basic Mathematics.

B: Problems and Discussion Questions.

C: Laboratory.

Readings.

Endnotes.

Credits.

Index.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780071357388
Author:
Lightman, Alan P.
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill
Author:
Lightman, Alan P.
Author:
Lightman Alan
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Physics
Subject:
Physique
Subject:
physics,influence,relativity,science,landmark,thermodynamics,second law,energy,conservation,landmark scientific concepts,philosophy,modern physics
Subject:
physics,influence,relativity,science,landmark,thermodynamics, second law,energy,conservation,landmark scientific concepts,philosophy,modern physics, reversible machine operating, bench rod, initial vertical height, prequantum physics, train rod, average m
Subject:
The Relativity of Time, The Wave-Particle Duality of Nature.
Subject:
physics,influence,relativity,science,landmark,thermodynamics, second law,energy,conservation,landmark scientific concepts,philosophy,modern physics, reversible machine operating, bench rod, initial vertical height, prequantum physics, train rod, average m
Subject:
Physics-General
Copyright:
Edition Number:
3
Series Volume:
SB 11-555
Publication Date:
June 2000
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
300
Dimensions:
8.97x6.07x1.03 in. 1.02 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General History and Philosophy
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Popular

Great Ideas in Physics Used Trade Paper
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Product details 300 pages McGraw-Hill Companies - English 9780071357388 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , For anyone how wants a basic understanding of the physical processes that define the universe, Lightman provides the perfect introduction. In addition to explaining physics, he introduces relevant passages from philosophy and literature to demonstrate how these great ideas have impacted the world of thought.
"Synopsis" by , An introduction to physics for the lay reader. The text takes the reader through four important ideas in physics: the conservation of energy, the second law of thermodynamics, the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. In addition, it brings in relevant passages from philosophy and literature.
"Synopsis" by , The conservation of energy, the second law of thermodynamics, the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics­­together, these concepts form the foundation upon which modern physics was built. But the influence of these four landmark ideas has extended far beyond hard science. There is no aspect of twentieth-century culture­­including the arts, social sciences, philosophy, and politics­­that has not been profoundly influenced by them.

In Great Ideas in Physics, Alan Lightman clearly explains the physics behind each of the four great ideas and deftly untangles for lay readers such knotty concepts as entropy, the relativity of time, and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Throughout the book he uses excerpts from the writings of scientific luminaries such as Newton, Kelvin, Einstein, and de Broglie to help place each in its proper historical perspective. And with the help of expertly annotated passages from the works of dozens of writers, philosophers, artists, and social theorists, Lightman explores the two-way influences of these landmark scientific concepts on our entire human culture and the world of ideas.

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