Energy, the Subtle Concept

The Discovery of Feynman's Blocks from Leibniz to Einstein

Author: Jennifer Coopersmith

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198716745

Category: Science

Page: 416

View: 7175

Energy is at the heart of physics and yet no book exists specifically to explain it, and in simple terms. Tracking the history of energy has the thrill of the chase, the mystery of smoke and mirrors and presents a fascinating human-interest story. Moreover, following the history provides a crucial aid to understanding: this book explains the intellectual revolutions required to comprehend energy, revolutions as profound as those stemming from Relativity andQuantum Theory.
Posted in Science

The Lazy Universe

An Introduction to the Principle of Least Action

Author: Jennifer Coopersmith

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191060720

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 8637

This is a rare book on a rare topic: it is about 'action' and the Principle of Least Action. A surprisingly well-kept secret, these ideas are at the heart of physical science and engineering. Physics is well known as being concerned with grand conservatory principles (e.g. the conservation of energy) but equally important is the optimization principle (such as getting somewhere in the shortest time or with the least resistance). The book explains: why an optimization principle underlies physics, what action is, what `the Hamiltonian' is, and how new insights into energy, space, and time arise. It assumes some background in the physical sciences, at the level of undergraduate science, but it is not a textbook. The requisite derivations and worked examples are given but may be skim-read if desired. The author draws from Cornelius Lanczos's book "The Variational Principles of Mechanics" (1949 and 1970). Lanczos was a brilliant mathematician and educator, but his book was for a postgraduate audience. The present book is no mere copy with the difficult bits left out - it is original, and a popularization. It aims to explain ideas rather than achieve technical competence, and to show how Least Action leads into the whole of physics.
Posted in Science

Theoretical Concepts in Physics

An Alternative View of Theoretical Reasoning in Physics

Author: Malcolm S. Longair

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107717582

Category: Science

Page: 588

View: 4591

A highly original, and truly novel, approach to theoretical reasoning in physics. This book illuminates the subject from the perspective of real physics as practised by research scientists. It is intended to be a supplement to the final years of an undergraduate course in physics and assumes that the reader has some grasp of university physics. By means of a series of seven case studies, the author conveys the excitement of research and discovery, highlighting the intellectual struggles to attain understanding of some of the most difficult concepts in physics. Case studies include the origins of Newton's law of gravitation, Maxwell's equations, mechanics and dynamics, linear and non-linear, thermodynamics and statistical physics, the origins of the concepts of quanta, special relativity, general relativity and cosmology. The approach is the same as that in the highly acclaimed first edition, but the text has been completely revised and many new topics introduced.
Posted in Science

Float Your Boat!

The Evolution and Science of Sailing

Author: Mark Denny

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 0801895685

Category: Science

Page: 280

View: 8856

Whether you are an inquisitive landlubber who has never set foot in a boat, a casual weekend sailor, or an old salt who lives for the sea, Float Your Boat! is an accessible guide to the physics of sailing.
Posted in Science

Perfect Form

Variational Principles, Methods, and Applications in Elementary Physics

Author: Don Stephen Lemons

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691026633

Category: Science

Page: 117

View: 7079

What does the path taken by a ray of light share with the trajectory of a thrown baseball and the curve of a wheat stalk bending in the breeze? Each is the subject of a different study yet all are optimal shapes; light rays minimize travel time while a thrown baseball minimizes action. All natural curves and shapes, and many artificial ones, manifest such "perfect form" because physical principles can be expressed as a statement requiring some important physical quantity to be mathematically maximum, minimum, or stationary. Perfect Form introduces the basic "variational" principles of classical physics (least time, least potential energy, least action, and Hamilton's principle), develops the mathematical language most suited to their application (the calculus of variations), and presents applications from the physics usually encountered in introductory course sequences. The text gradually unfolds the physics and mathematics. While other treatments postulate Hamilton's principle and deduce all results from it, Perfect Form begins with the most plausible and restricted variational principles and develops more powerful ones through generalization. One selection of text and problems even constitutes a non-calculus of variations introduction to variational methods, while the mathematics more generally employed extends only to solving simple ordinary differential equations. Perfect Form is designed to supplement existing classical mechanics texts and to present variational principles and methods to students who approach the subject for the first time.
Posted in Science

Gems of Geometry

Author: John Barnes

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 364230964X

Category: Mathematics

Page: 325

View: 5111

Based on a series of lectures for adult students, this lively and entertaining book proves that, far from being a dusty, dull subject, geometry is in fact full of beauty and fascination. The author's infectious enthusiasm is put to use in explaining many of the key concepts in the field, starting with the Golden Number and taking the reader on a geometrical journey via Shapes and Solids, through the Fourth Dimension, finishing up with Einstein's Theories of Relativity. Equally suitable as a gift for a youngster or as a nostalgic journey back into the world of mathematics for older readers, John Barnes' book is the perfect antidote for anyone whose maths lessons at school are a source of painful memories. Where once geometry was a source of confusion and frustration, Barnes brings enlightenment and entertainment. In this second edition, stimulated by recent lectures at Oxford, further material and extra illustrations have been added on many topics including Coloured Cubes, Chaos and Crystals.
Posted in Mathematics

Germ-line of the Gods - God Gametes 3 and The Entanglement and Decay of Planet Earth

Author: Robert Jameson

Publisher: Lulu Press, Inc

ISBN: 1326217968

Category: Self-Help

Page: N.A

View: 6533

The God Gametes theory challenges the Darwinian notion that natural selection could drive evolution of complex life forms. It holds that advanced civilisations inhabited earth prior to the rise of our own. That life on earth is part of the reproductive system of an external parent species and our human soul is the germ cell of a Father Being. The theory claims physical life on earth is the “soma”, suggesting it is designed to crash and burn. As a gamete, however, our consciousness has the potential to live on after the death of our bodies and the extinction of our species. We are part of a selective process and our objective should be to develop the qualities of character that will be useful and which will be retained by the “germ-line” of our parent species.
Posted in Self-Help

Time Reborn

From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe

Author: Lee Smolin

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0547511728

Category: Science

Page: 319

View: 6375

A theoretical physicist and author of the controversial best-seller The Trouble with Physics describes his new approach for thinking about the reality of time and explains his theory about the laws of physics not being timeless but rather capable of evolving.
Posted in Science

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: 5850

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.
Posted in Science

The Stars Are Not Enough

Scientists--Their Passions and Professions

Author: Joseph C. Hermanowicz

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226327679

Category: Science

Page: 268

View: 4175

Based on sixty interviews with physicists at universities across the United States, The Stars are Not Enough offers a detailed and intimate account of the worlds in which scientists work. Joseph C. Hermanowicz looks at a range of scientists from young graduate students to older professionals well into their careers. The result is a colorful portrait of a profession and its diverse cast of characters. These deeply personal narratives reveal dreams of fame and glory, in which scientists confess their ambitions of becoming the next Newton or Einstein. However, these scientists also discuss the meaning of success and failure. We hear their stories of aspiration and anxiety, disappointment and tragedy, hope and achievement; we are privy to their doubts and to what they consider to be their limitations and weaknesses. As the scientists age in their professions, the specter of failure often visits them, and they have to accept something less than scientific immortality or even the Nobel Prize. Ultimately these stories give us more than an inside look at the details of careers in science, they also examine ambition by uncovering the forces that drive people in their professions and by describing how these forces persist or fade over time. Ambition for greatness often ignites a career and often sustains it. Yet, as Hermanowicz's study reveals, greatness eludes nearly all people in their heroic quests for extraordinary achievement. The Stars Are Not Enough offers a fascinating account that will appeal to anyone interested in how people's dreams blossom and evolve.
Posted in Science

An Imaginary Tale

The Story of √-1

Author: Paul J. Nahin

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400833894

Category: Mathematics

Page: 296

View: 9027

Today complex numbers have such widespread practical use--from electrical engineering to aeronautics--that few people would expect the story behind their derivation to be filled with adventure and enigma. In An Imaginary Tale, Paul Nahin tells the 2000-year-old history of one of mathematics' most elusive numbers, the square root of minus one, also known as i. He recreates the baffling mathematical problems that conjured it up, and the colorful characters who tried to solve them. In 1878, when two brothers stole a mathematical papyrus from the ancient Egyptian burial site in the Valley of Kings, they led scholars to the earliest known occurrence of the square root of a negative number. The papyrus offered a specific numerical example of how to calculate the volume of a truncated square pyramid, which implied the need for i. In the first century, the mathematician-engineer Heron of Alexandria encountered I in a separate project, but fudged the arithmetic; medieval mathematicians stumbled upon the concept while grappling with the meaning of negative numbers, but dismissed their square roots as nonsense. By the time of Descartes, a theoretical use for these elusive square roots--now called "imaginary numbers"--was suspected, but efforts to solve them led to intense, bitter debates. The notorious i finally won acceptance and was put to use in complex analysis and theoretical physics in Napoleonic times. Addressing readers with both a general and scholarly interest in mathematics, Nahin weaves into this narrative entertaining historical facts and mathematical discussions, including the application of complex numbers and functions to important problems, such as Kepler's laws of planetary motion and ac electrical circuits. This book can be read as an engaging history, almost a biography, of one of the most evasive and pervasive "numbers" in all of mathematics. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
Posted in Mathematics

Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story

Author: Jim Holt

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0871404095

Category: Philosophy

Page: 309

View: 6366

Expands the search for the origins of the universe beyond God and the Big Bang theory, exploring more bizarre possibilities inspired by physicists, theologians, mathematicians, and even novelists.
Posted in Philosophy

The Lazy Universe

An Introduction to the Principle of Least Action

Author: Jennifer Coopersmith

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191060720

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 8911

This is a rare book on a rare topic: it is about 'action' and the Principle of Least Action. A surprisingly well-kept secret, these ideas are at the heart of physical science and engineering. Physics is well known as being concerned with grand conservatory principles (e.g. the conservation of energy) but equally important is the optimization principle (such as getting somewhere in the shortest time or with the least resistance). The book explains: why an optimization principle underlies physics, what action is, what `the Hamiltonian' is, and how new insights into energy, space, and time arise. It assumes some background in the physical sciences, at the level of undergraduate science, but it is not a textbook. The requisite derivations and worked examples are given but may be skim-read if desired. The author draws from Cornelius Lanczos's book "The Variational Principles of Mechanics" (1949 and 1970). Lanczos was a brilliant mathematician and educator, but his book was for a postgraduate audience. The present book is no mere copy with the difficult bits left out - it is original, and a popularization. It aims to explain ideas rather than achieve technical competence, and to show how Least Action leads into the whole of physics.
Posted in Science

Teaching and Learning of Energy in K – 12 Education

Author: Robert F Chen,Arthur Eisenkraft,David Fortus,Josep Krajcik,Knut Neumann,Jeffrey C. Nordine,Allison Scheff

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 3319050176

Category: Science

Page: 379

View: 1795

This volume presents current thoughts, research, and findings that were presented at a summit focusing on energy as a cross-cutting concept in education, involving scientists, science education researchers and science educators from across the world. The chapters cover four key questions: what should students know about energy, what can we learn from research on teaching and learning about energy, what are the challenges we are currently facing in teaching students this knowledge, and what needs be done to meet these challenges in the future? Energy is one of the most important ideas in all of science and it is useful for predicting and explaining phenomena within every scientific discipline. The challenge for teachers is to respond to recent policies requiring them to teach not only about energy as a disciplinary idea but also about energy as an analytical framework that cuts across disciplines. Teaching energy as a crosscutting concept can equip a new generation of scientists and engineers to think about the latest cross-disciplinary problems, and it requires a new approach to the idea of energy. This book examines the latest challenges of K-12 teaching about energy, including how a comprehensive understanding of energy can be developed. The authors present innovative strategies for learning and teaching about energy, revealing overlapping and diverging views from scientists and science educators. The reader will discover investigations into the learning progression of energy, how understanding of energy can be examined, and proposals for future directions for work in this arena. Science teachers and educators, science education researchers and scientists themselves will all find the discussions and research presented in this book engaging and informative.
Posted in Science

Impossibility

The Limits of Science and the Science of Limits

Author: John D. Barrow

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0195130820

Category: Science

Page: 279

View: 2656

Astronomer John Barrow takes an intriguing look at the limits of science, who argues that there are things that are ultimately unknowable, undoable, or unreachable.
Posted in Science

History, Philosophy and Science Teaching

New Perspectives

Author: Michael R. Matthews

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319626167

Category: Science

Page: 326

View: 1622

This anthology opens new perspectives in the domain of history, philosophy, and science teaching research. Its four sections are: first, science, culture and education; second, the teaching and learning of science; third, curriculum development and justification; and fourth, indoctrination. The first group of essays deal with the neglected topic of science education and the Enlightenment tradition. These essays show that many core commitments of modern science education have their roots in this tradition, and consequently all can benefit from a more informed awareness of its strengths and weaknesses. Other essays address research on leaning and teaching from the perspectives of social epistemology and educational psychology. Included here is the first ever English translation of Ernst Mach’s most influential 1890 paper on ‘The Psychological and Logical Moment in Natural Science Teaching’. This paper launched the influential Machian tradition in education. Other essays address concrete cases of the utilisation of history and philosophy in the development and justification of school science curricula. These are instances of the supportive relation of HPS&ST research to curriculum theorising. Finally, two essays address the topic of Indoctrination in science education; a subject long-discussed in philosophy of education, but inadequately in science education. This book is a timely reminder of why history and philosophy of science are urgently needed to support understanding of science. From major traditions such as the Enlightenment to the tensions around cultural studies of science, the book provides a comprehensive context for the scientific endeavour, drawing on curriculum and instructional examples. Sibel Erduran, University of Oxford, UK“/p> The scholarship that each of the authors in this volume offers deepens our understanding of what we teach in science and why that understanding matters. This is an important book exploring a wide set of issues and should be read by anyone with an interest in science or science education. Jonathan Osborne, Stanford University, USA This volume presents new and updated perspectives in the field, such as the Enlightenment Tradition, Cultural Studies, Indoctrination in Science Education, and Nature of Science. Highly recommended. Mansoor Niaz, Universidad de Oriente, Venezuela This volume provides an extremely valuable set of insights into educational issues related to the history and philosophy of science. Michael J Reiss, University College London, UK
Posted in Science

Human Accomplishment

The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950

Author: Charles Murray

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061745677

Category: History

Page: 688

View: 1188

A sweeping cultural survey reminiscent of Barzun's From Dawn to Decadence. "At irregular times and in scattered settings, human beings have achieved great things. Human Accomplishment is about those great things, falling in the domains known as the arts and sciences, and the people who did them.' So begins Charles Murray's unique account of human excellence, from the age of Homer to our own time. Employing techniques that historians have developed over the last century but that have rarely been applied to books written for the general public, Murray compiles inventories of the people who have been essential to the stories of literature, music, art, philosophy, and the sciences—a total of 4,002 men and women from around the world, ranked according to their eminence. The heart of Human Accomplishment is a series of enthralling descriptive chapters: on the giants in the arts and what sets them apart from the merely great; on the differences between great achievement in the arts and in the sciences; on the meta-inventions, 14 crucial leaps in human capacity to create great art and science; and on the patterns and trajectories of accomplishment across time and geography. Straightforwardly and undogmatically, Charles Murray takes on some controversial questions. Why has accomplishment been so concentrated in Europe? Among men? Since 1400? He presents evidence that the rate of great accomplishment has been declining in the last century, asks what it means, and offers a rich framework for thinking about the conditions under which the human spirit has expressed itself most gloriously. Eye-opening and humbling, Human Accomplishment is a fascinating work that describes what humans at their best can achieve, provides tools for exploring its wellsprings, and celebrates the continuing common quest of humans everywhere to discover truths, create beauty, and apprehend the good.
Posted in History

The Cause and Evolution of the Universe: Fact and Myth in Modern Astrophysics

Author: John Auping

Publisher: Universidad Iberoamericana

ISBN: 1910301523

Category: Science

Page: 434

View: 9078

This book differentiates observationally verified aspects of cosmology from ideas whose verification is distant or perhaps impossible by careful application of orthodox scientific method. This English edition is a part of his original work devoted to describing the dynamics of stars, and analysing the Big Bang, steady state and multiverse models.
Posted in Science

The Philosophical Baroque

On Autopoietic Modernities

Author: Erik S. Roraback

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 900433985X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 312

View: 7359

In The Philosophical Baroque, Erik Roraback brings a fresh, interdisciplinary eye to a selection of texts from across modernity’s four hundred years—from the explosive energy of the early seventeenth century to the spectacle society of the present.
Posted in Literary Criticism