The Great Design: Particles, Fields, and Creation / Edition 1

The Great Design: Particles, Fields, and Creation / Edition 1

by Robert K. Adair
     
 

Although modern physics surrounds us, and newspapers constantly refer to its concepts, most nonscientists find the subject extremely intimidating. Complicated mathematics or gross oversimplifications written by laypersons obscure most attempts to explain physics to general readers.
Now, at long last, we have a comprehensive—and comprehensible—account

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Overview

Although modern physics surrounds us, and newspapers constantly refer to its concepts, most nonscientists find the subject extremely intimidating. Complicated mathematics or gross oversimplifications written by laypersons obscure most attempts to explain physics to general readers.
Now, at long last, we have a comprehensive—and comprehensible—account of particles, fields, and cosmology, written by a working physicist who does not burden the reader with the weight of ponderous scientific notation. Exploring how physicists think about problems, Robert K. Adair considers the assumptions they make in order to simplify impossibly complex relationships between objects, how they determine on what scale to treat the problem, how they make measurements, and the interplay between theory and experiment.
Adair gently guides the reader through the ideas of particles, fields, relativity, and quantum mechanics. He explains the great discoveries of this century—which have caused a revolution in how we view the universe—in simple, logical terms, comprehensible with a knowledge of high school algebra. Performing the difficult task of predigesting complex concepts, Adair gives nonscientists access to what often appears to be an arcane discipline, and captures the joy of discovery which lies at the heart of research.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195060690
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
11/28/1989
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.19(h) x 0.97(d)
Lexile:
1460L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Robert K. Adair is Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics at Yale University. He is the author of Concepts in Physics and (with Earle C. Fowler) Strange Particles.

Table of Contents

1Concepts in Physics3
2Invariance and Conservation Laws14
3Covariance, Scalars, Vectors, and Tensors30
4The Discrete in Nature--The Atoms of Demokritos38
5The Continuum in Nature--Faraday's Fields49
6The Nature of Space and Time--The Special Theory of Relativity67
7The Equivalence Principle and the General Theory of Relativity103
8The Electromagnetic Field--The First Unified Field Theory128
9The Problem of Change--The Second Law of Thermodynamics140
10Quantum Mechanics--Determinism to Probability149
11The Atom--A Quantum Laboratory194
12Fundamental Particles and Forces--An Introduction208
13Symmetries and Conservation Laws--CPT230
14The Strong Interactions248
15The Weak Interactions280
16Cosmology--The World's Beginning and End308
17Gauge Invariance--The Unification of Fields325
18To the Ultimate Theory--Through a Glass Darkly344
Index370

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