Physics Matters: An Introduction to Conceptual Physics / Edition 1

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From amusement park rides to critical environmental issues such as energy generation-physics affects almost every aspect of our world. In PHYSICS MATTERS, James Trefil and Robert Hazen examine the fundamental physics principles at work behind the many practical applications that fuel our society and individual lives. Their goal is to promote a deeper understanding of how the great ideas of physics connect to form a much larger understanding of the universe in which we live.


  • Helps readers build a general knowledge of key ideas in physics and their connection to technology and other areas of science.
  • Promotes an appreciation of what science is, how scientific knowledge is developed, and how it differs from other intellectual activities.
  • Examines modern technologies, including GPS, the Internet, and information technologies, as well as medical technologies, such as MRI, PET scans, CAT scans, and radioisotope tracers.
  • Explores key issues facing the world today, such as global warning, nuclear waste, and government funding for research.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471150589
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 720
  • Sales rank: 827,759
  • Product dimensions: 8.18 (w) x 10.28 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

James Trefil is the Clarence J. Robinson Professor ofPhysics at George Mason University. He has made contributions toresearch in elementary particle physics, fluid mechanics, medicalphysics (including cancer research), and the earth sciences and haswritten extensively about science for the general audience. He hasrecently completed a term as General Councilor of the AmericanPhysical Society and was awarded the prestigious Gemant Prize ofthe American Institute of Physics for his efforts to presentscience to the general public.

Robert M. Hazen is the Clarence J. Robinson Professor ofEarth Science at George Mason University and Staff Scientist at theCarnegie Institution of Washington Geophysical Laboratory. Heperforms research on materials at high pressure and is studying thehypothesis that life arose in a deep, high-pressure environment. Heis the author of more than 230 articles and 16 books on science,history, and music. A Fellow of the American Association for theAdvancement of Science, he has received numerous awards for hisscience writing.

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Table of Contents


1. Science: A Way of Knowing.

2. The Language of Science.


3. Motions in the Universe.

4. Isaac Newton and the Laws of Motion.

5. The Law of Universal Gravitation.

6. Conservation of Linear Momentum.

7. Rotational Motion of an Object.

8. Kinetic and Potential Energy.


9. Atomic Structure and Phases of Matter.

10. Properties of Matter.

11. Heat and Temperature.

12. The First Law of Thermodynamics.

13. Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.


14. Vibrations and Waves.

15. Sound.


16. Electric and Magnetic Forces.

17. Electromagnetic Interactions.

18. Electric Circuits.

19. The Electromagnet ic Spectrum.

20. Classical and Modern Optics.


21. Atomic Structure and Interactions.

22. Quantum Mechanics.

23. Chemical Bonds and Physical Properties.

24. Electrical and Magnetic Properties of Materials.

25. Semiconductor Devices and Information Technology.


26. The Nucleus of The Atom.

27. The Ultimate Structure of Matter.


28. Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity.

29. Cosmology.

Appendix A: Units and Numbers.

Appendix B: Selected Physical Constants.

Appendix C: Periodic Table and Atomic Weights.


Photo Credits.


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