Author: Nicholas Manton
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-04-06
The Physical World offers a grand vision of the essential unity of physics that will enable the reader to see the world through the eyes of a physicist and understand their thinking. The text follows Einstein's dictum that 'explanations should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler', to give an honest account of how modern physicists understand their subject, including the shortcomings of current theory. The result is an up-to-date and engaging portrait of physics that contains concise derivations of the important results in a style where every step in a derivation is clearly explained, so that anyone with the appropriate mathematical skills will find the text easy to digest. It is over half a century since The Feynman Lectures in Physics were published. A new authoritative account of fundamental physics covering all branches of the subject is now well overdue. The Physical World has been written to satisfy this need. The book concentrates on the conceptual principles of each branch of physics and shows how they fit together to form a coherent whole. Emphasis is placed on the use of variational principles in physics, and in particular the principle of least action, an approach that lies at the heart of modern theoretical physics, but has been neglected in most introductory accounts of the subject.
Author: Nicholas Mee
Release Date: 2019
How did the universe begin? What are gravitational waves all about? Will we find life on other planets? The Cosmic Mystery Tour is a brilliant, entertaining introduction to the discoveries of physics and astronomy. Stories, explanations, and illustrations open up the exciting frontiers of science to any beginner.
Tom Kibble is an inspirational theoretical physicist who has made profound contributions to our understanding of the physical world. To celebrate his 80th birthday a one-day symposium was held on March 13, 2013 at the Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, London. This important volume is a compilation of papers based on the presentations that were given at the symposium. The symposium profiled various aspects of Tom's long scientific career. The tenor of the meeting was set in the first talk given by Neil Turok, director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, who described Tom as “our guru and example”. He gave a modern overview of cosmological theories, including a discussion of Tom's pioneering work on how topological defects might have formed in the early universe during symmetry-breaking phase transitions. Wojciech Zurek of Los Alamos National Laboratory continued with this theme, surveying analogous processes within the context of condensed matter systems and explaining the Kibble–Zurek scaling phenomenon. The day's events were concluded by Jim Virdee of Imperial College, who summarized the epic and successful quest of finding the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. At the end of the talk, there was a standing ovation for Tom that lasted several minutes. In the evening, Steven Weinberg gave a keynote presentation to a capacity audience of 700 people. He talked eruditely on symmetry breaking and its role in elementary particle physics. At the banquet dinner, Frank Close of Oxford University concluded the banquet speeches by summarizing the significance of Tom's contributions to the creation of the Standard Model. Contents:Tom Kibble and the Early Universe as the Ultimate High Energy Experiment (Neil Turok)Universality of Phase Transition Dynamics: Topological Defects from Symmetry Breaking (Adolfo del Campo and Wojciech H Zurek)The Quest for the Higgs Boson at the LHC (Tejinder S Virdee)Tom Kibble: Breaking Ground and Breaking Symmetries (Steven Weinberg)Tom Kibble at 80: After Dinner Speech (Frank Close)Publication List — Tom W B Kibble Readership: Graduate students and researchers in particle physics, cosmology, high energy physics and astrophysics. Keywords:Tom Kibble;Higgs Boson;LHC;Symmetry-Breaking;Elementary Particle Physics;Cosmology;High Energy PhysicsReviews: “The overall structure of the volume is well-conceived as to capture and convey to a wide variety of audiences the fundamental long-range contributions given by Kibble. This book represents a precious cross-disciplinary reference for both specialists in different fields as well as for graduate students willing to get acquainted with the challenging ideas of contemporary theoretical physics.” Il Nuovo Saggiatore
Author: Torin Alter
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2015-05-01
According to Russellian monism, an alternative to the familiar theories in the philosophy of mind that combines attractive components of physicalism and dualism, matter has intrinsic properties that both constitute consciousness and serve as categorical bases for the dispositional properties described in physics. Consciousness in the Physical World collects various works on Russellian monism, including historical selections, recent classics, and new pieces. Most chapters are sympathetic with the view, but some are skeptical. Together, they constitute the first book-length treatment of the view itself, its relationship to other theories, its motivations, and its problems.
Author: John C. Polkinghorne
Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press
Release Date: 2009-04-01
John C. Polkinghorne, internationally renowned priest-scientist, addresses fundamental questions about how scientific and theological worldviews relate to each other in this, the second volume (originally published in 1988) of his trilogy, which also included Science and Providence and One World. Dr. Polkinghorne illustrates how a scientifically minded person approaches the task of theological inquiry, postulating that there exists a close analogy between theory and experiment in science and belief and understanding in theology. He offers a fresh perspective on such questions as: Are we witnessing today a revival a natural theology—the search for God through the exercise of reason and the study of nature? How do the insights of modern physics into the interlacing of order and disorder relate to the Christian doctrine of Creation? What is the relationship between mind and matter? Polkinghorne states that the "remarkable insights that science affords us into the intelligible workings of the world cry out for an explanation more profound than that which it itself can provide. Religion, if it is to take seriously its claim that the world is the creation of God, must be humble enough to learn from science what that world is actually like.The dialogue between them can only be mutually enriching."
Author: J.F. Kiley
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2012-12-06
Now how would things be intelligible if they did not proceed from an intelligence? In the last analy sis a Primal Intelligence must exist, which is itself Intellection and Intelligibility in pure act, and which is the first principle of intelligibility and essences of things, and causes order to exist in them, as well as an infinitely complex network of regular relationships, whose fundamental mysterious unity our reason dreams of rediscovering in its own way. Such an approach to God's existence is a variant of Thomas Aquinas' fifth way. Its impact was secretly present in Einstein's famous saying: "God does not play dice," which, no doubt, used the word God in a merely figurative sense, and meant only: "nature does not result from a throw of the dice," yet the very fact implicitly postulated the existence of the divine Intellect. Jacques Maritain God's creation is the insistence on the dependence of "epistemology" on ontology; man's acknow ledgement of creation is an insistence on the episte mological recovery of ontology.
Author: Keith Kendig
Release Date: 2008
Sink or Float: Thought Problems in Math and Physics is a collection of problems drawn from mathematics and the real world. Its multiple-choice format forces the reader to become actively involved in deciding upon the answer. The book s aim is to show just how much can be learned by using everyday common sense. The problems are all concrete and understandable by nearly anyone, meaning that not only will students become caught up in some of the questions, but professional mathematicians, too, will easily get hooked. The more than 250 questions cover a wide swath of classical math and physics. Each problem's solution, with explanation, appears in the answer section at the end of the book. A notable feature is the generous sprinkling of boxes appearing throughout the text. These contain historical asides or little-known facts. The problems themselves can easily turn into serious debate-starters, and the book will find a natural home in the classroom.
Author: Philip Clayton
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Release Date: 1997
It is widely believed that contemporary science has ruled out divine action in the world. Arguing that theology can and must respond to this challenge, Philip Clayton surveys the available biblical and philosophical resources. Recent work in cosmology, quantum physics, and the brain sciences offers exciting new openings for a theology of divine action. If Christian theism is to make use of these opportunities, says Clayton, it must place a greater stress on divine immanence. In response to this challenge, Clayton defends the doctrine of panentheism, the view that the world is in some sense "within" God although God also transcends the world. God and Contemporary Science offers the first book-length defense of panentheism as a viable option within traditional Christian theology. Clayton first defends a "postfoundationalist" model of theology that is concerned more with the coherence of Christian belief than with rational obligation or proof. He makes the case that the Old and New Testament theologies do not stand opposed to panentheism but actually support it at a number of points. He then outlines the philosophical strengths of a panentheistic view of God's relation to the world and God's activity in the world. The remainder of the book applies this theological position to recent scientific developments: theories of the origin of the universe; quantum mechanics, or the physics of the very small; the debate about miracles; and neuroscientific theories of human thought.
A few million years ago, our ancestors came down from the trees and began to stand upright, freeing our hands to create tools and our minds to grapple with the world around us. Leonard Mlodinow takes us on a passionate and inspiring tour through the exciting history of human progress and the key events in the development of science. In the process, he presents a fascinating new look at the unique characteristics of our species and our society that helped propel us from stone tools to written language and through the birth of chemistry, biology, and modern physics to today’s technological world. Along the way he explores the cultural conditions that influenced scientific thought through the ages and the colorful personalities of some of the great philosophers, scientists, and thinkers: Galileo, who preferred painting and poetry to medicine and dropped out of university; Isaac Newton, who stuck needlelike bodkins into his eyes to better understand changes in light and color; and Antoine Lavoisier, who drank nothing but milk for two weeks to examine its effects on his body. Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, and many lesser-known but equally brilliant minds also populate these pages, each of their stories showing how much of human achievement can be attributed to the stubborn pursuit of simple questions (why? how?), bravely asked. The Upright Thinkers is a book for science lovers and for anyone interested in creative thinking and in our ongoing quest to understand our world. At once deeply informed, accessible, and infused with the author’s trademark wit, this insightful work is a stunning tribute to humanity’s intellectual curiosity. (With black-and-white illustrations throughout.) From the Hardcover edition.
Science and religious faith are two of the most important and influential forces in human life, yet there is widespread confusion about how, or indeed whether, they link together. This book describes this combination from the perspective of one who finds that they link together productively and creatively. The situation is not one of conflict or uneasy tension, or even a respectful dialogue. Rather, a lively and well-founded faith in God embraces and includes science, and scientific ways of thinking, in their proper role. Science is an activity right in the bloodstream of a reasonable faith. The book interprets theism broadly, and engages carefully with atheism, while coming from a Christian perspective. The aim is to show what science is, and what it is not, and at the same time give some pointers to what theism is or can be. Philosophy, evolution and the nature of science and human life are discussed in the first part of the book, questions of origins in the second. It is the very mind-set of scientific thinking that is widely supposed to be antagonistic to religious faith. But such suspicions are too sweeping. They misunderstand both faith and science. Faith can be creative and intellectually courageous; science is not the all-embracing story that it is sometimes made out to be. It is not that science fails to explain some things, but rather, it does not explain anything at all, on its own. It is part of a larger explanation. And even explanation has to take a humble place; it is not the purpose of life.
Author: Art Hobson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-01-05
Everybody has heard that we live in a world made of atoms. But far more fundamentally, we live in a universe made of quanta. Many things are not made of atoms: light, radio waves, electric current, magnetic fields, Earth's gravitational field, not to mention exotica such a neutron stars, black holes, dark energy, and dark matter. But everything, including atoms, is made of highly unified or "coherent" bundles of energy called "quanta" that (like everything else) obey certain rules. In the case of the quantum, these rules are called "quantum physics." This is a book about quanta and their unexpected, some would say peculiar, behavior--tales, if you will, of the quantum. The quantum has developed the reputation of being capricious, bewildering, even impossible to understand. The peculiar habits of quanta are certainly not what we would have expected to find at the foundation of physical reality, but these habits are not necessarily bewildering and not at all impossible or paradoxical. This book explains those habits--the quantum rules--in everyday language, without mathematics or unnecessary technicalities. While most popular books about quantum physics follow the topic's scientific history from 1900 to today, this book follows the phenomena: wave-particle duality, fundamental randomness, quantum states, superpositions (being in two places at once), entanglement, non-locality, Schrodinger's cat, and quantum jumps, and presents the history and the scientists only to the extent that they illuminate the phenomena.