Sleeping Beauties in Theoretical Physics

26 Surprising Insights
Author: Thanu Padmanabhan
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319134434
Category: Science
Page: 302
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This book addresses a fascinating set of questions in theoretical physics which will both entertain and enlighten all students, teachers and researchers and other physics aficionados. These range from Newtonian mechanics to quantum field theory and cover several puzzling issues that do not appear in standard textbooks. Some topics cover conceptual conundrums, the solutions to which lead to surprising insights; some correct popular misconceptions in the textbook discussion of certain topics; others illustrate deep connections between apparently unconnected domains of theoretical physics; and a few provide remarkably simple derivations of results which are not often appreciated. The connoisseur of theoretical physics will enjoy a feast of pleasant surprises skilfully prepared by an internationally acclaimed theoretical physicist. Each topic is introduced with proper background discussion and special effort is taken to make the discussion self-contained, clear and comprehensible to anyone with an undergraduate education in physics.

Surprises in Theoretical Physics


Author: Rudolf Ernst Peierls
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691082424
Category: Science
Page: 166
View: 9683

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Problems in theoretical physics often lead to paradoxical answers; yet closer reasoning and a more complete analysis invariably lead to the resolution of the paradox and to a deeper understanding of the physics involved. Drawing primarily from his own experience and that of his collaborators, Sir Rudolf Peierls selects examples of such "surprises" from a wide range of physical theory, from quantum mechanical scattering theory to the theory of relativity, from irreversibility in statistical mechanics to the behavior of electrons in solids. By studying such surprises and learning what kind of possibilities to look for, he suggests, scientists may be able to avoid errors in future problems. In some cases the surprise is that the outcome of a calculation is contrary to what physical intuition seems to demand. In other instances an approximation that looks convincing turns out to be unjustified, or one that looks unreasonable turns out to be adequate. Professor Peierls does not suggest, however, that theoretical physics is a hazardous game in which one can never foresee the surprises a detailed calculation might reveal. Rather, he contends, all the surprises discussed have rational explanations, most of which are very simple, at least in principle. This book is based on the author's lectures at the University of Washington in the spring of 1977 and at the Institut de Physique Nucleaire, University de Paris-Sud, Orsay, during the winter of 1977-1978.

Gravitation

Foundations and Frontiers
Author: T. Padmanabhan
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139485393
Category: Science
Page: N.A
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Covering all aspects of gravitation in a contemporary style, this advanced textbook is ideal for graduate students and researchers in all areas of theoretical physics. The 'Foundation' section develops the formalism in six chapters, and uses it in the next four chapters to discuss four key applications - spherical spacetimes, black holes, gravitational waves and cosmology. The six chapters in the 'Frontier' section describe cosmological perturbation theory, quantum fields in curved spacetime, and the Hamiltonian structure of general relativity, among several other advanced topics, some of which are covered in-depth for the first time in a textbook. The modular structure of the book allows different sections to be combined to suit a variety of courses. Over 200 exercises are included to test and develop the reader's understanding. There are also over 30 projects, which help readers make the transition from the book to their own original research.

The Future of Theoretical Physics and Cosmology

Celebrating Stephen Hawking's Contributions to Physics
Author: G. W. Gibbons,E. P. S. Shellard,S. J. Rankin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521820813
Category: Science
Page: 879
View: 7135

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Based on lectures given in honour of Stephen Hawking's sixtieth birthday, this book comprises contributions from some of the world's leading theoretical physicists. It begins with a section containing chapters by successful scientific popularisers, bringing to life both Hawking's work and other exciting developments in physics. The book then goes on to provide a critical evaluation of advanced subjects in modern cosmology and theoretical physics. Topics covered include the origin of the universe, warped spacetime, cosmological singularities, quantum gravity, black holes, string theory, quantum cosmology and inflation. As well as providing a fascinating overview of the wide variety of subject areas to which Stephen Hawking has contributed, this book represents an important assessment of prospects for the future of fundamental physics and cosmology.

Quantum Field Theory

The Why, What and How
Author: Thanu Padmanabhan
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319281739
Category: Science
Page: 283
View: 5785

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This book describes, in clear terms, the Why, What and the How of Quantum Field Theory. The raison d'etre of QFT is explained by starting from the dynamics of a relativistic particle and demonstrating how it leads to the notion of quantum fields. Non-perturbative aspects and the Wilsonian interpretation of field theory are emphasized right from the start. Several interesting topics such as the Schwinger effect, Davies-Unruh effect, Casimir effect and spontaneous symmetry breaking introduce the reader to the elegance and breadth of applicability of field theoretical concepts. Complementing the conceptual aspects, the book also develops all the relevant mathematical techniques in detail, leading e.g., to the computation of anomalous magnetic moment of the electron and the two-loop renormalisation of the self-interacting scalar field. It contains nearly a hundred problems, of varying degrees of difficulty, making it suitable for both self-study and classroom use.

Physics from Symmetry


Author: Jakob Schwichtenberg
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319666312
Category: Science
Page: 287
View: 7985

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This is a textbook that derives the fundamental theories of physics from symmetry. It starts by introducing, in a completely self-contained way, all mathematical tools needed to use symmetry ideas in physics. Thereafter, these tools are put into action and by using symmetry constraints, the fundamental equations of Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Field Theory, Electromagnetism, and Classical Mechanics are derived. As a result, the reader is able to understand the basic assumptions behind, and the connections between the modern theories of physics. The book concludes with first applications of the previously derived equations. Thanks to the input of readers from around the world, this second edition has been purged of typographical errors and also contains several revised sections with improved explanations.

Planck

Driven by Vision, Broken by War
Author: Brandon R. Brown
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190219491
Category: Science
Page: 280
View: 9991

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Max Planck is credited with being the father of quantum theory, and his work was described by his close friend Albert Einstein as "the basis of all twentieth-century physics." But Planck's story is not well known, especially in the United States. A German physicist working during the first half of the twentieth century, his library, personal journals, notebooks, and letters were all destroyed with his home in World War II. What remains, other than his contributions to science, are handwritten letters in German shorthand, and tributes from other scientists of the time. In Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War, Brandon R. Brown interweaves the voices and writings of Planck, his family, and his contemporaries--with many passages appearing in English for the first time--to create a portrait of a groundbreaking physicist working in the midst of war. Planck spent much of his adult life grappling with the identity crisis of being an influential German with ideas that ran counter to his government. During the later part of his life, he survived bombings and battlefields, surgeries and blood transfusions, all the while performing his influential work amidst a violent and crumbling Nazi bureaucracy. When his son was accused of treason, Planck tried to use his standing as a German "national treasure," and wrote directly to Hitler to spare his son's life. Brown tells the story of Planck's friendship with the far more outspoken Albert Einstein, and shows how his work fits within the explosion of technology and science that occurred during his life. This story of a brilliant man living in a dangerous time gives Max Planck his rightful place in the history of science, and it shows how war-torn Germany deeply impacted his life and work.

Quirky Quantum Concepts

Physical, Conceptual, Geometric, and Pictorial Physics that Didn’t Fit in Your Textbook
Author: Eric L. Michelsen
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461493056
Category: Science
Page: 361
View: 6053

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Quirky Quantum Concepts explains the more important and more difficult concepts in theoretical quantum mechanics, especially those which are consistently neglected or confusing in many common expositions. The emphasis is on physical understanding, which is necessary for the development of new, cutting edge science. In particular, this book explains the basis for many standard quantum methods, which are too often presented without sufficient motivation or interpretation. The book is not a simplification or popularization: it is real science for real scientists. Physics includes math, and this book does not shy away from it, but neither does it hide behind it. Without conceptual understanding, math is gibberish. The discussions here provide the experimental and theoretical reasoning behind some of the great discoveries, so the reader may see how discoveries arise from a rational process of thinking, a process which Quirky Quantum Concepts makes accessible to its readers. Quirky Quantum Concepts is therefore a supplement to almost any existing quantum mechanics text. Students and scientists will appreciate the combination of conversational style, which promotes understanding, with thorough scientific accuracy.

Chaos and Fractals

New Frontiers of Science
Author: Heinz-Otto Peitgen,Hartmut Jürgens,Dietmar Saupe
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1475747403
Category: Mathematics
Page: 999
View: 1359

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For almost ten years chaos and fractals have been enveloping many areas of mathematics and the natural sciences in their power, creativity and expanse. Reaching far beyond the traditional bounds of mathematics and science to the realms of popular culture, they have captured the attention and enthusiasm of a worldwide audience. The fourteen chapters of the book cover the central ideas and concepts, as well as many related topics including, the Mandelbrot Set, Julia Sets, Cellular Automata, L-Systems, Percolation and Strange Attractors, and each closes with the computer code for a central experiment. In the two appendices, Yuval Fisher discusses the details and ideas of fractal image compression, while Carl J.G. Evertsz and Benoit Mandelbrot introduce the foundations and implications of multifractals.

Cosmology and Astrophysics Through Problems


Author: T. Padmanabhan
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521467834
Category: Mathematics
Page: 486
View: 7818

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An innovative textbook that provides a unique approach to beginning research in cosmology and high energy astrophysics through a series of problems and answers.

An Introduction to Tensors and Group Theory for Physicists


Author: Nadir Jeevanjee
Publisher: Birkhäuser
ISBN: 3319147943
Category: Science
Page: 305
View: 5882

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The second edition of this highly praised textbook provides an introduction to tensors, group theory, and their applications in classical and quantum physics. Both intuitive and rigorous, it aims to demystify tensors by giving the slightly more abstract but conceptually much clearer definition found in the math literature, and then connects this formulation to the component formalism of physics calculations. New pedagogical features, such as new illustrations, tables, and boxed sections, as well as additional “invitation” sections that provide accessible introductions to new material, offer increased visual engagement, clarity, and motivation for students. Part I begins with linear algebraic foundations, follows with the modern component-free definition of tensors, and concludes with applications to physics through the use of tensor products. Part II introduces group theory, including abstract groups and Lie groups and their associated Lie algebras, then intertwines this material with that of Part I by introducing representation theory. Examples and exercises are provided in each chapter for good practice in applying the presented material and techniques. Prerequisites for this text include the standard lower-division mathematics and physics courses, though extensive references are provided for the motivated student who has not yet had these. Advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students in physics and applied mathematics will find this textbook to be a clear, concise, and engaging introduction to tensors and groups. Reviews of the First Edition “[P]hysicist Nadir Jeevanjee has produced a masterly book that will help other physicists understand those subjects [tensors and groups] as mathematicians understand them... From the first pages, Jeevanjee shows amazing skill in finding fresh, compelling words to bring forward the insight that animates the modern mathematical view...[W]ith compelling force and clarity, he provides many carefully worked-out examples and well-chosen specific problems... Jeevanjee’s clear and forceful writing presents familiar cases with a freshness that will draw in and reassure even a fearful student. [This] is a masterpiece of exposition and explanation that would win credit for even a seasoned author.” —Physics Today "Jeevanjee’s [text] is a valuable piece of work on several counts, including its express pedagogical service rendered to fledgling physicists and the fact that it does indeed give pure mathematicians a way to come to terms with what physicists are saying with the same words we use, but with an ostensibly different meaning. The book is very easy to read, very user-friendly, full of examples...and exercises, and will do the job the author wants it to do with style.” —MAA Reviews

A Universe from Nothing

Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing
Author: Lawrence M. Krauss
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451624476
Category: Science
Page: 224
View: 3947

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Bestselling author and acclaimed physicist Lawrence Krauss offers a paradigm-shifting view of how everything that exists came to be in the first place. “Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And finally, why is there something rather than nothing?” One of the few prominent scientists today to have crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss describes the staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories that demonstrate not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. With a new preface about the significance of the discovery of the Higgs particle, A Universe from Nothing uses Krauss’s characteristic wry humor and wonderfully clear explanations to take us back to the beginning of the beginning, presenting the most recent evidence for how our universe evolved—and the implications for how it’s going to end. Provocative, challenging, and delightfully readable, this is a game-changing look at the most basic underpinning of existence and a powerful antidote to outmoded philosophical, religious, and scientific thinking.

The Language of Physics

The Calculus and the Development of Theoretical Physics in Europe, 1750–1914
Author: Elizabeth Garber
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461217660
Category: Science
Page: 399
View: 859

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This work is the first explicit examination of the key role that mathematics has played in the development of theoretical physics and will undoubtedly challenge the more conventional accounts of its historical development. Although mathematics has long been regarded as the "language" of physics, the connections between these independent disciplines have been far more complex and intimate than previous narratives have shown. The author convincingly demonstrates that practices, methods, and language shaped the development of the field, and are a key to understanding the mergence of the modern academic discipline. Mathematicians and physicists, as well as historians of both disciplines, will find this provocative work of great interest.

Classical Mechanics

Kinematics and Statics
Author: Jan Awrejcewicz
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461437911
Category: Science
Page: 440
View: 7405

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This is the first volume of three, devoted to Mechanics. This book contains classical mechanics problems including kinematics and statics. It is recommended as a supplementary textbook for undergraduate and graduate students from mechanical and civil engineering, as well as for physical scientists and engineers. It contains a basic introduction to classical mechanics, including fundamental principles, statics, and the geometry of masses, as well as thorough discussion on kinematics.

The Trouble With Physics

The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next
Author: Lee Smolin
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 9780547348483
Category: Science
Page: 416
View: 4217

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“A splendid, edifying report from the front lines of theorectical physics” (San Francisco Chronicle). In this illuminating book, renowned physicist Lee Smolin argues that fundamental physics—the search for the laws of nature—is losing its way. Ambitious ideas about extra dimensions, exotic particles, multiple universes, and strings have captured the public’s imagination—and the imagination of experts. But these ideas have not been tested experimentally, and some, like string theory, seem to offer no possibility of being tested. Even still, these speculations dominate the field, attracting the best talent and much of the funding, while creating a climate in which emerging physicists are often penalized for pursuing other avenues. The situation threatens to impede the very progress of science. With clarity, passion, and authority, Smolin offers an unblinking assessment of the troubles that face modern physics, and an encouraging view of where the search for the next big idea may lead. “The best book about contemporary science written for the layman that I have ever read.” —The Times (London)

The Order of Time


Author: Carlo Rovelli
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0735216126
Category: Science
Page: 256
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The perfect graduation gift "Meet the new Stephen Hawking . . . The Order of Time is a dazzling book." --The Sunday Times From the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, a concise, elegant exploration of time. Why do we remember the past and not the future? What does it mean for time to "flow"? Do we exist in time or does time exist in us? In lyric, accessible prose, Carlo Rovelli invites us to consider questions about the nature of time that continue to puzzle physicists and philosophers alike. For most readers this is unfamiliar terrain. We all experience time, but the more scientists learn about it, the more mysterious it remains. We think of it as uniform and universal, moving steadily from past to future, measured by clocks. Rovelli tears down these assumptions one by one, revealing a strange universe where at the most fundamental level time disappears. He explains how the theory of quantum gravity attempts to understand and give meaning to the resulting extreme landscape of this timeless world. Weaving together ideas from philosophy, science and literature, he suggests that our perception of the flow of time depends on our perspective, better understood starting from the structure of our brain and emotions than from the physical universe. Already a bestseller in Italy, and written with the poetic vitality that made Seven Brief Lessons on Physics so appealing, The Order of Time offers a profoundly intelligent, culturally rich, novel appreciation of the mysteries of time.

Green’s Functions in Classical Physics


Author: Tom Rother
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319524372
Category: Science
Page: 267
View: 317

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This book presents the Green’s function formalism in a basic way and demonstrates its usefulness for applications to several well-known problems in classical physics which are usually solved not by this formalism but other approaches. The book bridges the gap between applications of the Green’s function formalism in quantum physics and classical physics. This book is written as an introduction for graduate students and researchers who want to become more familiar with the Green’s function formalism. In 1828 George Green has published an essay that was unfortunately sunken into oblivion shortly after its publication. It was rediscovered only after several years by the later Lord Kelvin. But since this time, using Green’s functions for solving partial differential equations in physics has become an important mathematical tool. While the conceptual and epistemological importance of these functions were essentially discovered and discussed in modern physics - especially in quantum field theory and quantum statistics - these aspects are rarely touched in classical physics. In doing it, this book provides an interesting and sometimes new point of view on several aspects and problems in classical physics, like the Kepler motion or the description of certain classical probability experiments in finite event spaces. A short outlook on quantum mechanical problems concludes this book.

The Penrose Transform

Its Interaction with Representation Theory
Author: Robert J. Baston,Michael G. Eastwood
Publisher: Courier Dover Publications
ISBN: 0486816621
Category: Mathematics
Page: 256
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Geared toward students of physics and mathematics; presupposes no familiarity with twistor theory. "A huge amount of information, well organized and condensed into less than 200 pages." — Mathematical Reviews. 1989 edition.

Reality Is Not What It Seems

The Journey to Quantum Gravity
Author: Carlo Rovelli
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0735213933
Category: Science
Page: 288
View: 3805

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"What are the elementary ingredients of the world? Do time and space exist? And what exactly is reality? In elegant and accessible prose, theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli leads us on a wondrous journey from Democritus to Einstein, from Michael Faraday to gravitational waves, and from classical physics to his own work in quantum gravity. As he shows us how the idea of reality has evolved over time, Rovelli offers deeper explanations of the theories he introduced so concisely in Seven Brief Lessons on Physics"--page 4 of cover.

Re-Thinking Time at the Interface of Physics and Philosophy

The Forgotten Present
Author: Albrecht von Müller,Thomas Filk
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319104462
Category: Science
Page: 274
View: 1898

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The current volume of the Parmenides Series “On Thinking” addresses our deepest and most personal experience of the world, the experience of “the present,” from a modern perspective combining physics and philosophy. Many prominent researchers have contributed articles to the volume, in which they present models and express their opinions on and, in some cases, also their skepticism about the subject and how it may be (or may not be) addressed, as well as which aspects they consider most relevant in this context. While Einstein might have once hoped that “the present” would find its place in the theory of general relativity, in a later discussion with Carnap he expressed his disappointment that he was never able to achieve this goal. This collection of articles provides a unique overview of different modern approaches, representing not only a valuable summary for experts, but also a nearly inexhaustible source of profound and novel ideas for those who are simply interested in this question.