Physics for the Rest of Us: The Ten Basic Ideas of Twentieth-Century Physics that Everyone Should Know...& How They Have Shaped Our Culture and Consciousness

Overview

There is practically no area of contemporary life that has not been dramatically transformed by the breathtaking insights and technological applications of twentieth-century physics. The ideas of physics have had an even more profound influence on our deepest assumptions and beliefs about the universe. The study of the heavens has given us not only the space program but also a new story of cosmic creation. Quantum theory has endowed us with microchips and superconductivity as well as a strange and elusive view of...
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Overview

There is practically no area of contemporary life that has not been dramatically transformed by the breathtaking insights and technological applications of twentieth-century physics. The ideas of physics have had an even more profound influence on our deepest assumptions and beliefs about the universe. The study of the heavens has given us not only the space program but also a new story of cosmic creation. Quantum theory has endowed us with microchips and superconductivity as well as a strange and elusive view of the very stuff we are made of. Physics for the Rest of Us describes ten key concepts of modern physics - from Einstein's special and general theories of relativity to the discovery of photons and electrons, quantum theory, and the uncovering of the structure of the atomic nucleus. Roger S. Jones also explores the impact of these ideas on humanist, ethical, psychological, aesthetic, and spiritual concerns, addressing such questions as does science shed light on the meaning of human existence? Are science and religion ultimately in conflict? Are scientific theories independent of those who create them? What are the ethical responsibilities of scientists? Does science always provide the best and most appropriate methods for determining the truth? Physics for the Rest of Us is must reading for those who realize that some knowledge of modern physics is necessary in order to understand our material and spiritual world.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809239399
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Contemporary
  • Publication date: 10/15/1992
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 1.36 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 The Special Theory of Relativity 7
Ch. 2 Metaphors of Space and Time, Part I 31
Ch. 3 The General Theory of Relativity 43
Ch. 4 Metaphors of Space and Time, Part II 79
Ch. 5 The Mechanical Worldview 89
Ch. 6 Cosmology 107
Ch. 7 Science Vs. Religion 125
Ch. 8 Photons and Electrons 137
Ch. 9 The New Quantum Theory 155
Ch. 10 Metaphors of Matter 169
Ch. 11 Interpretations of Quantum Theory 179
Ch. 12 Objectivity, Measurement, and Reality 193
Ch. 13 Physics and Consciousness 211
Ch. 14 Quantum Theory Writ Large 223
Ch. 15 The Atomic Nucleus 241
Ch. 16 Atomic Energy and the Bomb 255
Ch. 17 Physics and Conscience 271
Ch. 18 Particles and Unification 287
Ch. 19 Physics and Mythology 315
Ch. 20 Physics as Art 325
Ch. 21 Science Vs. the Humanities 337
Ch. 22 Physics Education 351
Index 361
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