knowing the nature of physical law

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Knowing

Author : Michael Munowitz
ISBN : 0199830819
Genre : Science
File Size : 56. 4 MB
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We ask question after question of an indifferent universe that would just as soon remain mute; and slowly, patiently, one sentence at a time, we write our own version of the book of nature. It is called science, from the Latin word for knowledge, and it is a book everybody should read. With simplicity and elegance, Knowing interprets the book of nature for curious readers of all sorts--but especially for those hoping to appreciate the beauty of physics without getting lost in the mathematics. Indeed, there is a world of scientific understanding in the pages of this gracefully written and inviting book, where hundreds of little diagrams substitute for the equations that physicists otherwise need to tell their tale. Readers will discover the way things work: how big things (like Earth or Moon) come from small things (like quarks and electrons), how tiny particles push and pull, and how the world hangs in the balance. We learn how an "unbiased" observer and a fixed speed of light, nothing else, conjure up E=mc2 and four-dimensional space-time. We see how Newton's clockwork universe of unwavering determination differs (but not in every respect) from Heisenberg's quantum universe of hazy uncertainty. And we see how a world of chaos throws a wrench into everybody's mechanical ideal. From tiny atoms to vast galaxies, the universe is ours to explore and to know: its particles, its interactions, its laws, its unending surprises. Heavily illustrated with explanatory drawings and diagrams--perhaps no other science book for general readers uses diagrams so extensively--Knowing takes us to the edge of modern science, allowing us to peer in further than we would have dreamed possible.

The Character Of Physical Law

Author : Richard Feynman
ISBN : 9780262341738
Genre : Science
File Size : 80. 44 MB
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Richard Feynman was one of the most famous and important physicists of the second half of the twentieth century. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965, celebrated for his spirited and engaging lectures, and briefly a star on the evening news for his presence on the commission investigating the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, Feynman is best known for his contributions to the field of quantum electrodynamics. The Character of Physical Law, drawn from Feynman's famous 1964 series of Messenger Lectures at Cornell, offers an introduction to modern physics -- and to Feynman at his witty and enthusiastic best. In this classic book (originally published in 1967), Feynman offers an overview of selected physical laws and gathers their common features, arguing that the importance of a physical law is not "how clever we are to have found it out" but "how clever nature is to pay attention to it." He discusses such topics as the interaction of mathematics and physics, the principle of conservation, the puzzle of symmetry, and the process of scientific discovery. A foreword by 2004 Physics Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek updates some of Feynman's observations -- noting, however, "the need for these particular updates enhances rather than detracts from the book." In The Character of Physical Law, Feynman chose to grapple with issues at the forefront of physics that seemed unresolved, important, and approachable.

The Foundations Of Physical Law

Author : Rowlands Peter
ISBN : 9789814618403
Genre : Science
File Size : 77. 29 MB
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The book originated in a series of lectures given at Liverpool in 2013 to a group that included postgraduate and undergraduate students and staff of the Physics Department. They followed from two very successful lectures given to the undergraduate Physical Society. It seemed that there was a very large interest among the students in investigating the foundations of physics in a way that was never done in physics courses, and was not available in books or other outlets. However, the idea was to create a framework in which students (and interested staff) could develop their own thinking relative to the ideas in the lectures. So it was important to create both conceptual and mathematical structures on the issues that are important at this level. The book has the right sort of technical content to allow for this development, but doesn't lose itself in excessive details. The ideal use for this book would be on postgraduate courses where students would be encouraged to think about the foundations in a way that is well beyond the superficial. However, a course on aspects of this material would also be valuable at the undergraduate level, where students could be stimulated into believing that creative thinking could solve the problems that emerge when we confront foundational problems.

Conjuring The Universe

Author : Peter Atkins
ISBN : 9780198813378
Genre : Science
File Size : 79. 89 MB
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The marvellous complexity of the Universe emerges from several deep laws and a handful of fundamental constants that fix its shape, scale, and destiny. There is a deep structure to the world which at the same time is simple, elegant, and beautiful. Where did these laws and these constants come from? And why are the laws so fruitful when written in the language of mathematics? Peter Atkins considers the minimum effort needed to equip the Universe with its laws and its constants. He explores the origin of the conservation of energy, of electromagnetism, of classical and quantum mechanics, and of thermodynamics, showing how all these laws spring from deep symmetries. The revolutionary result is a short but immensely rich weaving together of the fundamental ideas of physics. With his characteristic wit, erudition, and economy, Atkins sketches out how the laws of Nature can spring from very little. Or arguably from nothing at all.

The Character Of Physical Law

Author : Richard Feynman
ISBN : 9780262533416
Genre : Science
File Size : 33. 88 MB
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An introduction to modern physics and to Richard Feynman at his witty and enthusiastic best, discussing gravitation, irreversibility, symmetry, and the nature of scientific discovery.

How The Laws Of Physics Lie

Author : Nancy Cartwright
ISBN : 9780198247043
Genre : Science
File Size : 35. 7 MB
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Nancy Cartwright argues for a novel conception of the role of fundamental scientific laws in modern natural science. If we attend closely to the manner in which theoretical laws figure in the practice of science, we see that despite their great explanatory power these laws do not describe reality. Instead, fundamental laws describe highly idealized objects in models.

Archimedes To Hawking

Author : Clifford Pickover
ISBN : 0199792682
Genre : Science
File Size : 35. 77 MB
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Archimedes to Hawking takes the reader on a journey across the centuries as it explores the eponymous physical laws--from Archimedes' Law of Buoyancy and Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and Hubble's Law of Cosmic Expansion--whose ramifications have profoundly altered our everyday lives and our understanding of the universe. Throughout this fascinating book, Clifford Pickover invites us to share in the amazing adventures of brilliant, quirky, and passionate people after whom these laws are named. These lawgivers turn out to be a fascinating, diverse, and sometimes eccentric group of people. Many were extremely versatile polymaths--human dynamos with a seemingly infinite supply of curiosity and energy and who worked in many different areas in science. Others had non-conventional educations and displayed their unusual talents from an early age. Some experienced resistance to their ideas, causing significant personal anguish. Pickover examines more than 40 great laws, providing brief and cogent introductions to the science behind the laws as well as engaging biographies of such scientists as Newton, Faraday, Ohm, Curie, and Planck. Throughout, he includes fascinating, little-known tidbits relating to the law or lawgiver, and he provides cross-references to other laws or equations mentioned in the book. For several entries, he includes simple numerical examples and solved problems so that readers can have a hands-on understanding of the application of the law. A sweeping survey of scientific discovery as well as an intriguing portrait gallery of some of the greatest minds in history, this superb volume will engage everyone interested in science and the physical world or in the dazzling creativity of these brilliant thinkers.

A Different Universe

Author : Robert B. Laughlin
ISBN : 9780786722181
Genre : Science
File Size : 24. 80 MB
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In this age of superstring theories and Big Bang cosmology, we're used to thinking of the unknown as impossibly distant from our everyday lives. But in A Different Universe, Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin argues that the scientific frontier is right under our fingers. Instead of looking for ultimate theories, Laughlin considers the world of emergent properties-meaning the properties, such as the hardness and shape of a crystal, that result from the organization of large numbers of atoms. Laughlin shows us how the most fundamental laws of physics are in fact emergent. A Different Universe is a truly mind-bending book that shows us why everything we think about fundamental physical laws needs to change.

The Grand Design

Author : Stephen Hawking
ISBN : 9780553907070
Genre : Science
File Size : 26. 87 MB
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? What is the nature of reality? Is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation? In this startling and lavishly illustrated book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about these and other abiding mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by brilliance and simplicity. According to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history. The authors explain that we ourselves are the product of quantum fluctuations in the early universe, and show how quantum theory predicts the “multiverse”—the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. They conclude with a riveting assessment of M-theory, an explanation of the laws governing our universe that is currently the only viable candidate for a “theory of everything”: the unified theory that Einstein was looking for, which, if confirmed, would represent the ultimate triumph of human reason.

Feynman Lectures On Computation

Author : Richard P. Feynman
ISBN : 9780429980077
Genre : Science
File Size : 54. 47 MB
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When, in 1984?86, Richard P. Feynman gave his famous course on computation at the California Institute of Technology, he asked Tony Hey to adapt his lecture notes into a book. Although led by Feynman, the course also featured, as occasional guest speakers, some of the most brilliant men in science at that time, including Marvin Minsky, Charles Bennett, and John Hopfield. Although the lectures are now thirteen years old, most of the material is timeless and presents a ?Feynmanesque? overview of many standard and some not-so-standard topics in computer science such as reversible logic gates and quantum computers.

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