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|The Feynman Lectures on Physics, boxed set: The New Millennium Edition
Lowest new price: $123.84
Lowest used price: $92.76
List price: $230.00
Author: Richard P. Feynman
Brand: Basic Books
The legendary introduction to physics from the subject's greatest teacher
"The whole thing was basically an experiment," Richard Feynman said late in his career, looking back on the origins of his lectures. The experiment turned out to be hugely successful, spawning a book that has remained a definitive introduction to physics for decades. Ranging from the most basic principles of Newtonian physics through such formidable theories as general relativity and quantum mechanics, Feynman's lectures stand as a monument of clear exposition and deep insight. Now, we are reintroducing the printed books to the trade, fully corrected, for the first time ever, and in collaboration with Caltech. Timeless and collectible, the lectures are essential reading, not just for students of physics but for anyone seeking an introduction to the field from the inimitable Feynman.
|The Atom: A Visual Tour (The MIT Press)
Lowest new price: $22.30
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List price: $33.00
Author: Jack Challoner
An accessible and engaging guide to the atom, the smallest, most fundamental constituent of matter.
Until now, popular science has relegated the atom to a supporting role in defining the different chemical elements of the periodic table. In this book, Jack Challoner places the atom at center stage. The Atom investigates the quest to identify the smallest, most fundamental constituents of matter―and how that quest helps us to understand what everything is made of and how it all works. Challoner covers a wide range of topics―including the development of scientific thinking about atoms and the basic structure of atoms; how atomic interactions account for the familiar properties of everyday materials; the power of the atomic nucleus; and what the mysterious quantum realm of subatomic particles can tell us about the very nature of reality.
Illustrated in color throughout, The Atom offers clear answers to questions we have all pondered, as well as some we have never even dreamed of. It describes the amazing discoveries scientists have made about the fundamental building blocks of matter―from quarks to nuclear fission to the “God particle”―and explains them accessibly and concisely. The Atom is the engaging and straightforward introduction to the topic that we didn't get in school.
|The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
Lowest new price: $5.55
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List price: $17.95
Author: Brian Greene
Brand: W W Norton Company
The international bestseller that inspired a major Nova special and sparked a new understanding of the universe, now with a new preface and epilogue. Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away layers of mystery to reveal a universe that consists of eleven dimensions, where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter―from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas―is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy. The Elegant Universe makes some of the most sophisticated concepts ever contemplated accessible and thoroughly entertaining, bringing us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works.
There is an ill-concealed skeleton in the closet of physics: "As they are currently formulated, general relativity and quantum mechanics cannot both be right." Each is exceedingly accurate in its field: general relativity explains the behavior of the universe at large scales, while quantum mechanics describes the behavior of subatomic particles. Yet the theories collide horribly under extreme conditions such as black holes or times close to the big bang. Brian Greene, a specialist in quantum field theory, believes that the two pillars of physics can be reconciled in superstring theory, a theory of everything.
Superstring theory has been called "a part of 21st-century physics that fell by chance into the 20th century." In other words, it isn't all worked out yet. Despite the uncertainties--"string theorists work to find approximate solutions to approximate equations"--Greene gives a tour of string theory solid enough to satisfy the scientifically literate.
Though Ed Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study is in many ways the human hero of The Elegant Universe, it is not a human-side-of-physics story. Greene's focus throughout is the science, and he gives the nonspecialist at least an illusion of understanding--or the sense of knowing what it is that you don't know. And that is traditionally the first step on the road to knowledge. --Mary Ellen Curtin
|Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator
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List price: $26.00
Author: Gregory B. Jaczko
A shocking exposé from the most powerful insider in nuclear regulation about how the nuclear energy industry endangers our lives—and why Congress does nothing to stop it.
Greg Jaczko never planned things to turn out this way. A Birkenstocks-wearing physics PhD, he had never heard of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) when he came to Washington and—thanks to the determination of a powerful senator—found himself at the agency’s head. He felt like Dorothy invited behind the curtain at Oz.
The problem was that Jaczko wasn’t the kind of leader the NRC had seen before: he had no ties to the nuclear industry, few connections in Washington, and no agenda other than to ensure that nuclear technology was deployed safely. And so he witnessed what outsiders like him were never meant to see, including an agency overpowered by the industry it was meant to regulate and a political system determined to keep it that way. After the shocking nuclear disaster at Fukushima in Japan, and the American nuclear industry’s refusal to make the changes necessary to prevent a catastrophe like that from happening here, Jaczko started saying something aloud that no one else had dared: nuclear power has fatal flaws.
Written in a tone that’s equal parts self-deprecating, puzzled, and passionate, Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator tells the story of a man who got pushed from his high perch for fighting to keep Americans safe. Never before has the chairman of the world’s foremost nuclear regulatory agency challenged the nuclear industry to expose how these companies put us at risk. Because if we (and they) don’t act now, there will be another Fukushima. Only this time, it could happen here.
|Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum
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Author: Leonard Susskind
Brand: Basic Books AZ
From the bestselling author of The Theoretical Minimum, a DIY introduction to the math and science of quantum mechanics.
First he taught you classical mechanics. Now, physicist Leonard Susskind has teamed up with data engineer Art Friedman to present the theory and associated mathematics of the strange world of quantum mechanics.
In this follow-up to the New York Times best-selling The Theoretical Minimum, Susskind and Friedman provide a lively introduction to this famously difficult field, which attempts to understand the behavior of sub-atomic objects through mathematical abstractions. Unlike other popularizations that shy away from quantum mechanics' weirdness, Quantum Mechanics embraces the utter strangeness of quantum logic. The authors offer crystal-clear explanations of the principles of quantum states, uncertainty and time dependence, entanglement, and particle and wave states, among other topics, and each chapter includes exercises to ensure mastery of each area. Like The Theoretical Minimum, this volume runs parallel to Susskind's eponymous Stanford University-hosted continuing education course.
An approachable yet rigorous introduction to a famously difficult topic, Quantum Mechanics provides a tool kit for amateur scientists to learn physics at their own pace.
|The Making of the Atomic Bomb
Lowest new price: $6.00
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List price: $22.00
Author: Richard Rhodes
Brand: Simon Schuster
Twenty-five years after its initial publication, The Making of the Atomic Bomb remains the definitive history of nuclear weapons and the Manhattan Project. From the turn-of-the-century discovery of nuclear energy to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan, Richard Rhodes’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book details the science, the people, and the socio-political realities that led to the development of the atomic bomb.
This sweeping account begins in the 19th century, with the discovery of nuclear fission, and continues to World War Two and the Americans’ race to beat Hitler’s Nazis. That competition launched the Manhattan Project and the nearly overnight construction of a vast military-industrial complex that culminated in the fateful dropping of the first bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Reading like a character-driven suspense novel, the book introduces the players in this saga of physics, politics, and human psychology—from FDR and Einstein to the visionary scientists who pioneered quantum theory and the application of thermonuclear fission, including Planck, Szilard, Bohr, Oppenheimer, Fermi, Teller, Meitner, von Neumann, and Lawrence.
From nuclear power’s earliest foreshadowing in the work of H.G. Wells to the bright glare of Trinity at Alamogordo and the arms race of the Cold War, this dread invention forever changed the course of human history, and The Making of The Atomic Bomb provides a panoramic backdrop for that story.
Richard Rhodes’s ability to craft compelling biographical portraits is matched only by his rigorous scholarship. Told in rich human, political, and scientific detail that any reader can follow, The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a thought-provoking and masterful work.
|Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Edition
Lowest new price: $79.32
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List price: $109.99
Author: R. Shankar
R. Shankar has introduced major additions and updated key presentations in this second edition of Principles of Quantum Mechanics. New features of this innovative text include an entirely rewritten mathematical introduction, a discussion of Time-reversal invariance, and extensive coverage of a variety of path integrals and their applications. Additional highlights include:
- Clear, accessible treatment of underlying mathematics
- A review of Newtonian, Lagrangian, and Hamiltonian mechanics
- Student understanding of quantum theory is enhanced by separate treatment of mathematical theorems and physical postulates
- Unsurpassed coverage of path integrals and their relevance in contemporary physics
The requisite text for advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level students, Principles of Quantum Mechanics, Second Edition is fully referenced and is supported by many exercises and solutions. The book’s self-contained chapters also make it suitable for independent study as well as for courses in applied disciplines.
|Introduction to Elementary Particles
Lowest new price: $55.00
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List price: $110.00
Author: David Griffiths
In the second, revised edition of a well-established textbook, the author strikes a balance between quantitative rigor and intuitive understanding, using a lively, informal style. The first chapter provides a detailed historical introduction to the subject, while subsequent chapters offer a quantitative presentation of the Standard Model. A simplified introduction to the Feynman rules, based on a "toy" model, helps readers learn the calculational techniques without the complications of spin. It is followed by accessible treatments of quantum electrodynamics, the strong and weak interactions, and gauge theories. New chapters address neutrino oscillations and prospects for physics beyond the Standard Model. The book contains a number of worked examples and many end-of-chapter problems. A complete solution manual is available for instructors.
|Radiation Detection and Measurement
Lowest new price: $99.00
Lowest used price: $91.45
Author: Glenn F. Knoll
This is the resource that engineers turn to in the study of radiation detection. The fourth edition takes into account the technical developments that continue to enhance the instruments and techniques available for the detection and spectroscopy of ionizing radiation. New coverage is presented on ROC curves, micropattern gas detectors, new sensors for scintillation light, and the excess noise factor. Revised discussions are also included on TLDs and cryogenic spectrometers, radiation backgrounds, and the VME standard. Engineers will gain a strong understanding of the field with this updated book.
|Quantum Logic in Algebraic Approach (Fundamental Theories of Physics)
Lowest new price: $155.31
Lowest used price: $59.07
List price: $219.99
Author: Miklós Rédei
This work has grown out of the lecture notes that were prepared for a series of seminars on some selected topics in quantum logic. The seminars were delivered during the first semester of the 1993/1994 academic year in the Unit for Foundations of Science of the Department of History and Foundations of Mathematics and Science, Faculty of Physics, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, while I was staying in that Unit on a European Community Research Grant, and in the Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, U. S. A. , where I was staying during the 1994/1995 academic year as a Visiting Fellow on a Fulbright Research Grant, and where I also was supported by the Istvan Szechenyi Scholarship Foundation. The financial support provided by these foundations, by the Center for Philosophy of Science and by the European Community is greatly acknowledged, and I wish to thank D. Dieks, the professor of the Foundations Group in Utrecht and G. Massey, the director of the Center for Philosophy of Science in Pittsburgh for making my stay at the respective institutions possible. I also wish to thank both the members of the Foundations Group in Utrecht, especially D. Dieks, C. Lutz, F. Muller, J. Uffink and P. Vermaas and the participants in the seminars at the Center for Philosophy of Science in Pittsburgh, especially N. Belnap, J. Earman, A. Janis, J. Norton, and J.
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