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Great Ideas in Physics / Edition 3
     

Great Ideas in Physics / Edition 3

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by Alan P. Lightman
 

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ISBN-10: 0071357386

ISBN-13: 2900071357387

Pub. Date: 06/28/2000

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing

What does it mean to say that time and space are relative? How can an electron be in two places at once? For anyone who wants a basic understanding of the physical processes that define the universe,Lightman provides the perfect introduction in Great Ideas in Physics. In addition to explaining physics,he brings in relevant passages from philosophy and

Overview

What does it mean to say that time and space are relative? How can an electron be in two places at once? For anyone who wants a basic understanding of the physical processes that define the universe,Lightman provides the perfect introduction in Great Ideas in Physics. In addition to explaining physics,he brings in relevant passages from philosophy and literature to demonstrate how these great ideas have impacted the world of thought.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900071357387
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Publication date:
06/28/2000
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
300

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.

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Great Ideas in Physics 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Much of the physics is not all that well described. If you already know the science, you will be OK, otherwise, you may be in a little trouble. The links to greater society, which was supposed to be a selling point, is the weakest part of the book. Just because a novel or two mentions entropy does not mean (contrary to what the book implies) that the second law of thermodynamics had a significant impact on society. Lacks punch. Not a good read on the whole.