A Universe of Atoms, An Atom in the Universe / Edition 2

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The essays in this book are based on researches the author has undertaken on a wide range of topics, some using equipment no more elaborate than what one can find in an ordinary kitchen, others making elegant use of sophisticated experimental apparatus. Presenting a personal odyssey in physics, Silverman investigates processes for which no visualizable mechanism can be given, or that seem to violate fundamental physical laws (but do not), or that appear to be well understood but turn out to be subtly devious. Written in an engagingly personal style, the essays will be of interest to students of physics and related disciplines as well as professional physicists. Though they deal with subtle concepts, the discussions use little mathematics, and anyone with a little college physics will be able to read the book with pleasure. Silverman's researches deal with in quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics, electromagnetism and optics, gravity, thermodynamics, and the physics of fluids, and these essays address .such questions as: How does one know that atomic electrons move? Would an "anti-atom" fall upward? How is it possible for randomly emitted particles to arrive at a detector preferentially in pairs? Can one influence electrons in London by not watching them in New York? Can a particle be influenced by a magnetic field through which it does not pass? A basketball is not changed by turning it once around its axis, but what about an electron? Can more light reflect from a surface than is incident upon it? "A Universe of Atoms" is the second edition of Silverman's "And Yet It Moves"; each essay in the earlier collection has been revised and updated, and some new essays on the uncommon physics of common objects have been added.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From the reviews of the second edition:

"Mark Silverman has written a collection of very wide ranging essays for a very specialized audience. The title does justice to the breadth of topics, which range from physics toys to radioactive statistics, from planetary atoms to dark matter and the fate of the Universe. … the book has something for everyone … ." (Dr. B. Sauer, Contemporary Physics, Vol. 45 (6), 2005)

"This book is the second, revised and enlarged, edition of Silverman’s ‘And Yet it Moves’. … This book is a real tour de force in that it presents, without unnecessary mathematical equations, a journey into many fields of both classical and modern physics. … Undergraduate, graduate, and even post-graduate students will enjoy this book of beautifully written essays. I warmly recommend this book." (André Hautot, Physicalia, Vol. 26 (1), 2004)

"This collection of essays is the second edition of the And Yet It Moves, updated and enlarged by several additional chapters. … the best choice is advanced level students and the general research and teaching readership in physics and related fields. Those interested in the epistemology of science … will find a lot of points helpful in clarifying and systematizing. … The book is well written … . Each chapter ends with references, and the book concludes with the relevant bibliographies and index of authors." (Petar V. Grujic, Europhysics News, Vol. 36 (2), March/April, 2005)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387954370
  • Publisher: Springer New York
  • Publication date: 12/13/2007
  • Edition description: 2nd ed. 2002
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 418
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Fire Within 1
Ch. 1 The Wirbelrohr's Roar 7
Ch. 2 Musical Bottles, Flying Balloons, and Hot Stoves: The Uncommon Physics of Common Things 30
Ch. 3 The Unimaginably Strange Behavior of Free Electrons 63
Ch. 4 Quantum Beats and Giant Atoms 127
Ch. 5 And Yet It Moves: Exotic Atoms and the Invariance of Charge 181
Ch. 6 Reflections on Light 203
Ch. 7 Two Worlds, Large and Small: Earth and Atom 245
Ch. 8 Computers, Coins, and Quanta: Unexpected Outcomes of Random Events 279
Ch. 9 A Universe of Atoms: Symmetry, Unity, Gravity, and the Problem of "Missing Mass" 325
Ch. 10 Science and Wonder 386
Selected Papers by the Author 396
About the Author 409
Index 411
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