We encounter physics before we've even left the house in the morning; an alarm clock tracks time, a mirror reflects light waves and our mobile phones rely on satellites held in their orbit by gravity.
Where would we be without the Bernoulli equation to explain how planes fly, electromagnetic waves enabling us to communicate around the world or the discovery of X-rays? In 50 Physics Ideas You Really Need to Know Joanne Baker will uncover the physics all around us, from basic concepts like gravity, light and energy through to the complexities of quantum theory, chaos and dark energy.
Featuring short biographies of iconic physicists, explanatory diagrams and timelines showing discoveries within their historical context, this book is the perfect guide to the fundamental concepts of physics, making even the most challenging theories easy to understand.
Contents include: Newton's law of gravitation, Brownian motion, Chaos theory, Fleming's right hand rule, Planck's law, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Schrodinger's cat, Superconductivity, Rutherford's atom, Nuclear fission and fusion, The God particle, String theory, Special and general relativity, The big bang and the Anthropic principle.
Joanne Baker studied Physics at Cambridge and took her PhD at the University of Sydney in 1995. She is a physical science editor at Science magazine, where her speciality is space and earth science. She has also written Universe: 50 Ideas You Really Need to Know for Quercus.
Introduction. MATTER IN MOTION: Mach's principle; Newton's laws of motion; Kepler's laws; Newton's law of gravitation; Conservation of energy; Simple harmonic motion; Hooke's law; Ideal gas law; Second law of thermodynamics; Absolute zero; Brownian motion; Chaos theory; Bernoulli equation. BENEATH THE WAVES: Newton's theory of colour; Huygens' principle; Snell's law; Bragg's law; Fraunhofer diffraction; Doppler effect; Ohm's law; Fleming's right hand rule; Maxwell's equations. QUANTUM CONUNDRUMS: Planck's law; Photoelectric effect; Schrodinger's wave equation; Heisenberg's uncertainty principle; Copenhagen interpretation; Schrodinger's cat, The EPR paradox; Pauli's exclusion principle; Superconductivity. SPLITTING ATOMS: Rutherford's atom; Antimatter; Nuclear fission; Nuclear fission; Nuclear fusion; Standard model; Feynman diagrams; The God particle; String theory. SPACE AND TIME: Special relativity; General relativity; Black holes; Olbers' paradox; Hubble's law; The big bang; Cosmic inflation; Dark matter; Cosmological constant; Fermi paradox; Anthropic principle. Glossary. Index.