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Author Longair, Malcolm S., 1941-

Title Theoretical concepts in physics : an alternative view of theoretical reasoning in physics / Malcolm S. Longair.

Published Cambridge, U.K. ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2003.


Location Call No. Status
Edition 2nd ed.
Physical description 1 online resource (xvii, 569 pages) : illustrations
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents The Origins of Newton's Law of Gravitation -- From Ptolemy to Kepler -- the Copernican revolution -- Galileo and the nature of the physical sciences -- Newton and the law of gravity -- Maxwell's Equations -- The origin of Maxwell's equations -- How to rewrite the history of electromagnetism -- Mechanics and Dynamics -- Linear and Non-linear -- Approaches to mechanics and dynamics -- Dimensional analysis, chaos and self-organised criticality -- Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics -- Basic thermodynamics -- Kinetic theory and the origin of statistical mechanics -- The Origins of the Concept of Quanta -- Black-body radiation up to 1895 -- 1895-1900: Planck and the spectrum of black-body radiation -- Planck's theory of black-body radiation -- Einstein and the quantisation of light -- The triumph of the quantum hypothesis -- Special Relativity -- Special relativity -- a study of invariance -- General Relativity and Cosmology -- An introduction to general relativity -- The technology of cosmology -- Cosmology.
Summary This second edition of a popular text demonstrates how physics can be appreciated through a series of case studies spanning a complete university physics course. Highlights include three new chapters on Newton's laws (one on ancient astronomy up to the time of Galileo, one on Galileo, and one on Newton); a new chapter on dimensional methods, chaos and self-organized criticality; and a new chapter on the technology of cosmology. Although all the arguments are presented precisely in physical and mathematical terminology, the book is written in a relatively non-technical manner, intended to convey a deep understanding and appreciation of the incredible achievements of theorists in creating the structure of modern physics.
Language notes English.
Subject Mathematical physics.
ISBN 9780511840173 (electronic bk.)
0511840179 (electronic bk.)
9780521821261 (hardback)
9780521528788 (paperback)