The Mechanical Universe: Introduction to Mechanics and Heat

The Mechanical Universe: Introduction to Mechanics and Heat

Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
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The Mechanical Universe: Introduction to Mechanics and Heat

This important textbook is based on, though independent of, an educational TV series The Mechanical Universe broadcast on public television in the United States. Its aim is to guide students and general readers to an understanding of how the physical world works; physics is presented as a human endeavour, with historical development forming a thread throughout the text. The prerequisites are minimal, only basic algebra and trigonometry since the necessary calculus is developed in the text, with physics providing the motivation. New concepts are introduced at the natural, logical point with many historical references to place physics in a social perspective. Many topics from twentieth-century physics are included, for example energy, low temperature physics, relativity and black holes. The book is attractively and profusely illustrated and will be welcomed by students and also by general readers for whom this will be a stimulating alternative to other, less-thorough treatments.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521715928
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 01/28/2008
Pages: 586
Product dimensions: 7.52(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.22(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Introduction to the mechanical universe; 2. The law of falling bodies; 3. Derivatives; 4. Inertia; 5. Vectors; 6. Newton's law; 7. Integration; 8. The apple and the moon; 9. Moving in circles; 10. Forces; 11. Gravity, electricity, and magnetism; 12. The Milliken oil-drop experiment; 13. The law of conservation of energy; 14. Energy and stability; 15. Temperature and the gas laws; 16. The engine of nature; 17. Entropy; 18. The quest for low temperatures; 19. The conservation of momentum; 20. Harmonic motion; 21. Resonance; 22. Coupled oscillators and waves; 23. Angular momentum; 24. Gyroscopes; 25. Kepler's laws and the conic sections; 26. Solving the Kepler problem; 27. Energy and eccentricity; 28. Navigating in space; 29. Loose ends and black holes; 30. The harmony of the spheres: an overview of the mechanical universe; Appendix A. The international system of units; Appendix B. Conversion factors; Appendix C. Formulas from algebra, geometry, and trigonometry; Appendix D. Astronomical data; Appendix E. Physical constants; Selected bibliography; Index.

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