This book will strengthen a student's grasp of the laws of physics by applying them to practical situations, and problems that yield more easily to intuitive insight than brute-force methods and complex mathematics. These intriguing problems, chosen almost exclusively from classical (non-quantum) physics, are posed in accessible non-technical language requiring the student to select the right framework in which to analyse the situation and decide which branches of physics are involved. The level of sophistication needed to tackle most of the two hundred problems is that of the exceptional school student, the good undergraduate, or competent graduate student. The book will be valuable to undergraduates preparing for 'general physics' papers. It is hoped that even some physics professors will find the more difficult questions challenging. By contrast, mathematical demands are minimal, and do not go beyond elementary calculus. This intriguing book of physics problems should prove instructive, challenging and fun.
Peter Gnadig graduated as a physicist from Roland Eotvos University (ELTE) in Budapest in 1971 and received his PhD degree in theoretical particle physics there in 1980. Currently he is a researcher (in high energy physics) and a lecturer in the Department of Atomic Physics at ELTE. Since 1985 he has been one of the leaders of the Hungarian Olympic team taking part in the International Physics Olympiad. Gyula Honyek graduated as a physicist from Eotvos University (ELTE) in Budapest in 1975 and finished his Ph.D. studies there in 1977, after which he stayed on as a researcher and lecturer in the Department of General Physics. In 1984, following a two-year postgraduate course, he was awarded a teacher's degree in physics, and in 1985 transferred to the teacher training school at ELTE. His current post is as mentor and teacher at Radnoti Grammar School, Budapest. Since 1986 he has been one of the leaders and selectors of the Hungarian team taking part in the International Physics Olympiad. Ken Riley read Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and proceeded to a Ph.D. there in theoretical and experimental nuclear physics. He became a Research Associate in elementary particle physics at Brookhaven, and then, having taken up a lectureship at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, continued this research at the Rutherford Laboratory and Stanford; in particular he was involved in the discovery of a number of the early baryonic resonances.