From Atoms to Galaxies: A Conceptual Physics Approach to Scientific Awareness / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Rent
Rent from BN.com
$18.85
(Save 80%)
Est. Return Date: 10/01/2014
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$64.11
(Save 31%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $50.50
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 46%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (10) from $50.50   
  • New (3) from $86.39   
  • Used (7) from $50.50   

Overview

College students in the United States are becoming increasingly incapable of differentiating between proven facts delivered by scientific inquiry and the speculations of pseudoscience. In an effort to help stem this disturbing trend, From Atoms to Galaxies: A Conceptual Physics Approach to Scientific Awareness teaches heightened scientific acuity as it educates students about the physical world and gives them answers to questions large and small. Written by Sadri Hassani, the author of several mathematical physics textbooks, this work covers the essentials of modern physics, in a way that is as thorough as it is compelling and accessible.

Some of you might want to know
. . . How did Galileo come to think about the first law of motion?
. . . Did Newton actually discover gravity by way of an apple and an accident?
Or maybe you have mulled over
. . . Is it possible for Santa Claus to deliver all his toys?
. . . Is it possible to prove that Elvis does not visit Graceland every midnight?
Or perhaps you’ve even wondered …
. . . If ancient Taoism really parallels modern physics?
. . . If psychoanalysis can actually be called a science?
. . . How it is that some philosophies of science may imply that a 650-year-old woman can give birth to a child?

No Advanced Mathematics Required
A primary textbook for undergraduate students not majoring in physics, From Atoms to Galaxies examines physical laws and their consequences from a conceptual perspective that requires no advanced mathematics. It explains quantum physics, relativity, nuclear and particle physics, gauge theory, quantum field theory, quarks and leptons, and cosmology. Encouraging students to subscribe to proven causation rather than dramatic speculation, the book:

  • Defines the often obscured difference between science and technology, discussing how this confusion taints both common culture and academic rigor
  • Explores the various philosophies of science, demonstrating how errors in our understanding of scientific principles can adversely impact scientific awareness
  • Exposes how pseudoscience and New Age mysticism advance unproven conjectures as dangerous alternatives to proven science

Based on courses taught by the author for over 15 years, this textbook has been developed to raise the scientific awareness of the untrained reader who lacks a technical or mathematical background. To accomplish this, the book lays the foundation of the laws that govern our universe in a nontechnical way, emphasizing topics that excite the mind, namely those taken from modern physics, and exposing the abuses made of them by the New Age gurus and other mystagogues. It outlines the methods developed by physicists for the scientific investigation of nature, and contrasts them with those developed by the outsiders who claim to be the owners of scientific methodology. Each chapter includes essays, which use the material developed in that chapter to debunk misconceptions, clarify the nature of science, and explore the history of physics as it relates to the development of ideas. Noting the damage incurred by confusing science and technology, the book strives to help the reader to emphatically demarcate the two, while clearly demonstrating that science is the only element capable of advancing technology.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
… present[s] some of the most striking ideas behind physics but also give[s] students and the general public the opportunity of reflecting on the implications of these ideas and provide them with the tools to draw a distinction between scientific fact and nonsense. The book does indeed do what it says on the cover; it presents topics ranging from early Greek astronomy and Newtonian dynamics, passing by electromagnetism and thermodynamics and culminating with quantum theory, relativity and cosmology. … the CD included with the book has lengthier mathematical and numerical examples that supplement the textbook. … The book can be used as an introductory textbook which can work at different levels. I found that the ‘Food For Thought’sections in the book can be successfully used with students to discuss the topics presented, and the margin annotations that appear all over the book are very helpful. At the end of each chapter there are answers to questions, a glossary, review questions as well as conceptual and numerical exercises. This should provide enough material for teachers or lecturers, both in science and humanities, to narrow the gap between the two cultures.
Contemporary Physics, Volume 52, Issue 3, 2011

Intellectually inspirational, comprehensively informational and tangibly consistent in title, substance and organization respectively. … The most distinguishing feature of this unique title is its originality in terms of addressing the scientific phenomena with pragmatic rigor and spirited vigour. … the book demonstratively stands out as one of the most friendly guides for recognising many interconnected strands of natural philosophy which help us understand science in general and physics in particular. … Last but not least, especially for students and instructors, like any other standard textbook the title throughout provides study help by writing and explaining formulas along with explanatory line-drawn figures, other exhibits, conceptual exercises, mathematical notes, numerical and other examples, glossaries, and review questions. … this title is recommended … [for] personal ownership and placement of multiple copies in the libraries respectively.
—Zia Khan, Reviews, Volume 11, Issue 2, 2010

I have been teaching introductory physics for non-science majors for a long time and have never been satisfied with the books on the market. Most of these texts are just watered-down versions of the general physics texts for science students. When I read through [these] three books, I really do get a sense that the authors have attempted to create book[s] that [are] somehow different from the normal algebra problem-based texts. I will be using Questioning the Universe: Concepts in Physics this fall for the science portion of a Science Fiction Learning Community. In the spring, I will be teaching a physics/art history hybrid course and will be using either Superstrings and Other Things: A Guide to Physics, Second Edition or From Atoms to Galaxies: A Conceptual Physics Approach to Scientific Awareness. … both are great books. … I really feel that for conceptual physics courses, CRC Press currently has the three strongest titles. I anticipate a fun teaching experience while using these texts and hope to use them again in the future.
—Steve Zides, Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439808498
  • Publisher: CRC Press
  • Publication date: 5/11/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 753
  • Sales rank: 1,021,102
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Sadri Dean Hassani is a mathematical physicist with interests in theoretical elementary particle physics.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

IN THE BEGINNING
Science Kindles
The Beginning
Early Greek Astronomy
The Age of Measurement
The Geocentric Model
Wonder of Ancient Greece
End-of-Chapter Material

A Dark Interlude
Roman Civilization: ca BC–ca AD
Entertainment in the Roman Empire
Religion in the Roman Empire
Education in the Roman Empire
The Aftermath
A Lesson From the Past
End-of-Chapter Material

Science Rekindles
Renaissance and the Copernican Revolution
New Observations: 15 Centuries After Ptolemy
The Fall of the Spherical Dynasty
End-of-Chapter Material

From Heaven to Earth
The Ancient Physics
Galileo’s Study of Motion
Rectilinear Motion
End-of-Chapter Material

Epilogue: Underdetermination?
Lessons From Astronomy
Birth of Scientific Methodology
Underdetermination?
The Role of Mathematics

NEWTONIAN ERA
Kinematics: Describing Motion
Position, Displacement, and Distance
Parallax
Velocity and Speed
Acceleration
End-of-Chapter Material

Dynamics: Cause of Motion
The First Law of Motion
The Second Law of Motion
The Third Law of Motion
End-of-Chapter Material

Further Topics on Motion
Work and Energy
Rigid Body Motion
Mechanics of Fluids
End-of-Chapter Material

Gravitation
The Universal Law of Gravitation
Weightlessness
End-of-Chapter Material

Epilogue: Determinism
Newton’s Methodology
Determinism of Newtonian Physics

WAVES AND ELECTROMAGNETISM
Waves
Oscillation
Mechanical Waves
Interference and Diffraction
Doppler Effect
End-of-Chapter Material

Electricity
Modern Electrostatics
Electric Field
Electric Potential
Electric Charges in Motion
Electric Power Transmission
End-of-Chapter Material

Magnetism and Electricity
The Compass and the Lodestone
Magnetism from Electricity
Faraday’s Lines of Force
Electricity From Magnetism
End-of-Chapter Material

Electromagnetic Waves
Fields Are Primary
Maxwell Corrects the Fourth Equation
Maxwell Predicts Electromagnetic Waves
End-of-Chapter Material

Epilogue: Mind & Matter
Continuity
Specificity and Idealization
Role of the Mind
Materiality of Fields
Support for Pure Research

THERMODYNAMICS
Introduction to Probability
Basic Concepts
Distribution Plots
The Law of Large Numbers
End-of-Chapter Material

Statistical Mechanics
Ideal Gas Law
Most Probable Configuration
Entropy
End-of-Chapter Material

Temperature and Heat
Temperature
The First Law of Thermodynamics
The Second Law of Thermodynamics
End-of-Chapter Material

Epilogue: Whole & Parts
Specificity and Idealization
Continuity
A Case for Fundamentalism
Thermodynamics and Social Imagery

TWENTIETH CENTURY PHYSICS: QUANTUM THEORY
Birth of Quantum Theory
Black Body Radiation
Quanta Are Born
Photoelectric Effect
End-of-Chapter Material

The Atoms
Modern Atomic Theory
Dissecting Atoms
Bohr Model of the H-Atom
End-of-Chapter Material

Quantum Theory I
Electrons as Waves
Quantum Mechanics
End-of-Chapter Material

Quantum Theory II
Quantum Tunneling
The Double-Slit Experiment
Angular Momentum and Spin
Quantum Measurement
Quantum Entanglement
Quantum Technology
End-of-Chapter Material

Epilogue: No Interpretation
Continuity
Role of Fundamentalism
Specificity
Induction Versus Deduction
No Interpretation for Quantum Theory

TWENTIETH CENTURY PHYSICS:RELATIVITY THEORY
Birth of Relativity
Law of Addition of Velocities
Principles of STR
Relativity of Simultaneity
Relativity of Length
End-of-Chapter Material

Relativity of Time and Space
Time Dilation
Length Contraction
The Twin Paradox
Relativisticity
End-of-Chapter Material

Spacetime Geometry
Space+Time=Spacetime
Events and Worldlines
Space Transformation
Spacetime Distance
Rules of Spacetime Geometry
Curved Worldlines
End-of-Chapter Material

E = mc2
Coordinate Velocity
Spacetime Velocity
Spacetime Momentum
Conservation of Momentum
End-of-Chapter Material

General Theory of Relativity
The Equivalence Principle
Consequences of Equivalence Principle
Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity
GTR and the Universe
End-of-Chapter Material

Epilogue: No Marketplace
Continuity
Specificity
Use/Creation of Mathematics
Induction Versus Deduction

TWENTIETH CENTURY PHYSICS: MICROCOSMOLOGY
On the Experimental Front
The Nucleon
Nuclear Reactions
The Emergence of Particle Physics
End-of-Chapter Material

On the Theoretical Front
Mathematical Prediction of Antimatter
Quantum Electrodynamics (QED)
End-of-Chapter Material

Classifying Particles and Forces
Spacetime Symmetry: Mathematical Poetry I
Hadrons
Leptons
End-of-Chapter Material

The Standard Model
Gauge Theory: Mathematical Poetry III
Electroweak Interaction
Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD)
The Standard Model
Grand Unification
End-of-Chapter Material

New Age Physics
Sins of the Fathers
Union of Philosophy, Science, and Religion
Physics-Eastern Thought Parallelism
End-of-Chapter Material

Epilogue: The Eye of Physics
Modern Experimental Techniques
Modern Mathematical Techniques
An Endangered Species?
Continuity and Specificity of Physics

TWENTIETH CENTURY PHYSICS: MACROCOSMOLOGY
Physics of the Cosmos
The Friedmann Equation
Matter Dominance
Radiation Dominance
Expansion and Olbers’ Paradox
Echo of the Big Bang
End-of-Chapter Material

Early Universe
Content of the Early Universe
The Genesis as Told by Physics
End-of-Chapter Material

The Last Epoch
Cosmic Structure Formation
Problems With Standard Cosmology
Inflationary Cosmology
Birth of a Star
Death of a Star
End-of-Chapter Material

Epilogue: The Closing Dialogue

NATURE OF SCIENCE
Misconceptions About Science
Mathematics
Technology: Application of Science
Science and Values

Characteristics of Science
Science Studies Matter
Materialistic Philosophy
Science Trusts Only Observation
Continuity of Science
Science Is Detached From the Scientist
Reductionism and Science
Commonality of Instrumentation
Reproducibility?

Science Versus Pseudoscience
Some Characteristics of Pseudoscience
Intelligent Design
Psychoanalysis
A Project for the Reader

Glossary
Answers to Selected Exercises
Bibliography
Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)