From amusement park rides to critical environmental issues such as energy generation-physics affects almost every aspect of our world. In PHYSICS MATTERS, James Trefil and Robert Hazen examine the fundamental physics principles at work behind the many practical applications that fuel our society and individual lives. Their goal is to promote a deeper understanding of how the great ideas of physics connect to form a much larger understanding of the universe in which we live. Highlights* Helps readers build a general knowledge of key ideas in physics and their connection to technology and other areas of science.* Promotes an appreciation of what science is, how scientific knowledge is developed, and how it differs from other intellectual activities.* Examines modern technologies, including GPS, the Internet, and information technologies, as well as medical technologies, such as MRI, PET scans, CAT scans, and radioisotope tracers.* Explores key issues facing the world today, such as global warning, nuclear waste, and government funding for research.
James Trefil is the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Physics at George Mason University. He has made contributions to research in elementary particle physics, fluid mechanics, medical physics (including cancer research), and the earth sciences and has written extensively about science for the general audience. He has recently completed a term as General Councilor of the American Physical Society and was awarded the prestigious Gemant Prize of the American Institute of Physics for his efforts to present science to the general public. Robert M. Hazen is the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University and Staff Scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington Geophysical Laboratory. He performs research on materials at high pressure and is studying the hypothesis that life arose in a deep, high-pressure environment. He is the author of more than 230 articles and 16 books on science, history, and music. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he has received numerous awards for his science writing.
PART I. INTRODUCTION. 1. Science: A Way of Knowing. 2. The Language of Science. PART II. MECHANICS AND ENERGY. 3. Motions in the Universe. 4. Isaac Newton and the Laws of Motion. 5. The Law of Universal Gravitation. 6. Conservation of Linear Momentum. 7. Rotational Motion of an Object. 8. Kinetic and Potential Energy. PART III. MATTER, ENERGY, AND THE LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS. 9. Atomic Structure and Phases of Matter. 10. Properties of Matter. 11. Heat and Temperature. 12. The First Law of Thermodynamics. 13. Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. PART IV. WAVES. 14. Vibrations and Waves. 15. Sound. PART V. ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM. 16. Electric and Magnetic Forces. 17. Electromagnetic Interactions. 18. Electric Circuits. 19. The Electromagnet ic Spectrum. 20. Classical and Modern Optics. PART VI. THE ATOM. 21. Atomic Structure and Interactions. 22. Quantum Mechanics. 23. Chemical Bonds and Physical Properties. 24. Electrical and Magnetic Properties of Materials. 25. Semiconductor Devices and Information Technology. PART VII. THE NUCLEUS AND ELEMENTARY PARTICLES. 26. The Nucleus of The Atom. 27. The Ultimate Structure of Matter. PART VIII. RELATIVITY AND COSMOLOGY. 28. Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity. 29. Cosmology. Appendix A: Units and Numbers. Appendix B: Selected Physical Constants. Appendix C: Periodic Table and Atomic Weights. Glossary. Photo Credits. Index.