A Century of Physics / Edition 1

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In this amazing "Cook's tour" of physics over the past 100 years, D. Allan Bromley uses the occasion of the centenary of the American Physical Society to reflect upon the growth of physics, its expansion into numerous subdisciplines, the impact physics has had upon modern technology, and the reemergence of the fundamental unity of the discipline in recent years. Hundreds of illustrations, both historical and new, accompany the text.

Bromley conveys much of the excitement and wonder that research in physics generated in the twentieth century and asks what new things may be in store in the next century. He covers such topics as relativity and quantum mechanics, the Manhattan Project, superconductivity, transistors and the electronics revolution, protein folding, the uses of nuclear and atomic physics in biology and medicine, plate tectonics, gravitational radiation, and the expansion of the universe and the Big Bang.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387952475
  • Publisher: Springer New York
  • Publication date: 12/14/2001
  • Edition description: 2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 114
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. I An Historical Overview, 1900-1949 1
What Is Physics? 1
The Early Twentieth Century 2
Activities in the Cambridge Cavendish Laboratory 3
The Development of Quantum Mechanics 9
1932 - Annus Mirabilis 9
The Discovery of Nuclear Fission 18
The Manhattan Project 18
The MIT Radiation Laboratory 27
The Merger of Natural Philosophy and Invention 28
Physics in the 1930s 29
The Immediate Postwar Period 29
Pt. II The Explosive Growth of Postwar Physics, 1950-1999 31
Materials Science 32
Superconductivity 35
Buckyballs and Nanotubes 40
Surface Science 41
Fluid Physics 43
Self-Similarity 46
Development of the Transistor 48
The Evolution of Computers 48
Breakthroughs in Communications 53
Computational Chemistry 55
Folding of Proteins 56
Photon Probes 57
Improved Resolution and Higher Precision 60
Trapping and Cooling of Elementary Particles and Atoms 62
Bose-Einstein Condensates 64
Frontiers of Nuclear Structure Physics 67
The Phase Diagram for Nuclear Matter 74
Atomic and Nuclear Technology in Biology and Medicine 75
The Merging of Elementary Particle Physics and Cosmology 82
The Standard Model 83
The Building Blocks of Nature 86
String Theory 88
Plasma Physics 91
Plate Tectonics in Geophysics 94
The Structure of Supernovae 95
Gravitational Radiation 99
The Evolution of Our Universe 102
The COBE Measurements on the CMB 103
The Inflationary Universe 105
The Structure of the Milky Way Galaxy 106
The Gross Structure of Our Universe 106
Gravitational Lensing 109
Concluding Remarks 111
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