An Enlightening Way to Navigate through Mind-Boggling Physics Concepts
Physics Curiosities, Oddities, and Novelties highlights unusual aspects of physics and gives a new twist to some fundamental concepts. The book covers both classical and modern physics in an engaging, straightforward style.
The author presents perplexing questions that often lack satisfying answers. He also delves into the stories of famous and eccentric past scientists. Many examples reveal interesting ideas, including how:
Newton had trouble determining the mass of the moon
An electric motor is an electric generator run in reverse
Time travel that violates causality is not possible
Schroedinger's cat may be both dead and alive, and there may be two of each one of us to observe the two possibilities
Particle physics and the basic laws of thermodynamics can appear simple yet are very complicated
Accessible to nonspecialists and beginning students, this book provides insight into physics using minimal mathematics and jargon. It summarizes many fascinating aspects of physics employing only essential formulas. Some familiar formulas are written in standard form while other equations are written in words for greater clarity.
John Kimball is a professor emeritus of physics at the University at Albany, SUNY. His research has largely focused on condensed matter physics, including high-energy electron-positron pair production in crystals, exact solutions of a kinetic model of magnetism, relations between chaos and symmetry, and studies of magnetic impurities. Dr. Kimball is an enthusiastic sailor and author of the highly praised book Physics of Sailing. He earned a PhD from the University of Chicago.
Newton and Mechanics Introduction Newton's Equation Gravity Solar System and Beyond Causality and Chaos Momentum, Angular Momentum, and Energy Introduction Momentum Angular Momentum Energy Thermal Physics Introduction Ideal Gas Entropy Phase Transitions Random Walks Electromagnetism Introduction Electrostatics Electricity in Practice Magnetism Unification of Electricity and Magnetism: Maxwell and Faraday Waves Introduction Common Features of Waves Sound Waves in Air Light Waves and Geometric Optics Electromagnetic Waves Quantum Introduction What Good Is Quantum Mechanics? Problems with Classical Physics Photons Particles and Waves What Is 137? Magnetism and Spin Many Particles Materials and Devices Introduction Materials Devices and Applications Relativity Introduction Special Relativity General Relativity The Meaning of It All Nucleus Introduction Nuclear Properties Radioactivity Fission, Fusion, Nuclear Power, and Bombs Nuclear Theory Particle Physics Introduction Experiment and Theory Dirac Equation Quantum Electrodynamics Beyond QED: The Standard Model The Future of Physics Nobel Laureates: A Short Summary Alfred Nobel Recipients Some Curiosities Traits of Nobel Prize Winners Annotated Bibliography