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A readable layman's history of crucial themes in physics, covering Copernican astronomy, Newtonian mechanics, energy and entropy, relativity, conservation principles, and symmetries.
Chapter 1: Introduction.
Revolutions and Science.
Dominant Themes in Physics.
Continuing Evolution of Scientific Knowledge—The Seven Ideas.
Physics Without Mathematics?
Science and Other Areas of Human Endeavor—Distinctions and Similarities.
Chapter 2: Copernican Astronomy.
Early Scientific Stirrings in the Mediterranean Area.
Geocentric Theory of the Universe.
The Heliocentric Theory—Revival by Copernicus.
New Data and a New Theory.
New Discoveries and Arguments.
Kepler's Heliocentric Theory.
The Course of Scientific Revolutions.
Chapter 3: Newtonian Mechanics and Causality.
Logic, Mathematics, and Science.
Consequences and Implications.
Chapter 4: The Energy Concept.
Interactions and Conservation Laws.
Heat and Motion.
Conservation of Energy.
Chapter 5: Entropy and Probability.
Heat and Temperature.
The Natural Flow of Heat.
Transformation of Heat Energy into Other Forms of Energy.
Efficiency of Heat Engines.
The Thermodynamics or Absolute Temperature Scale.
The Third Law of Thermodynamics.
Energy Degradation, Unavailability, and Entropy.
Entropy as a Parameter of a System.
Probability and the Microscopic Interpretation of Entropy.
Entropy and Order: Maxwell's Demon.
Cosmological and Philosophical Implications: "Heat Death" of the Universe.
Chapter 6: Relativity.
Electromagnetism and relative Motion.
Attempts to Detect the Ether.
Special Theory of Relativity.
General Theory of Relativity.
Influence of Relativity Theory on Philosophy, Literature, and Art.
Chapter 7: Quantum Theory and the End of Causality.
Cavity of Blackbody Radiation.
The Photoelectric Effect.
The Nuclear Atom and Atomic Spectra.
Quantum Theory, Uncertainty, and Probability.
The Use of Models in Describing Nature.
The Impact of Quantum Theory on Philosophy and Literature.
Chapter 8: Conservation Principles and Symmetries.
The Nuclear Force and Nuclear Structure.
Conservation Laws and Invariants.
Conservation Laws and Symmetries.
The Quark Model.
Summary of Present Knowledge.
Posted March 1, 2011
No text was provided for this review.