The Beauty of Physics: Patterns, Principles, and Perspectives

Hardcover | October 2, 2014

byA. R. P. Rau

not yet rated|write a review
The beauty of physics lies in its coherence in terms of a few fundamental concepts and principles. Even physicists have occasion to marvel at the overarching reach of basic principles and their ability to account for features stretching from the microscopic sub-atomic world to the cosmologicalexpanses of the Universe. While mathematics is its natural language, physics is mostly about patterns, connections, and relations between objects and phenomena, and it is this aspect that is emphasized in this book.Since science tries to connect phenomena that at first sight appear widely different, while boiling them down to a small set of essential principles and laws, metaphor and analogy pervade our subject. Consider the pendulum, its swing from one extreme to the other often invoked in social or economiccontexts. In molecular vibrations, such as in the CO2 molecule, the quantum motions of electrons and nuclei are metaphorically the pendulums. In electromagnetic radiation, including the visible light we observe, there are not even any concrete material particles, only electric and magnetic fieldsexecuting simple harmonic motion. But, to a physicist, they are all "just a pendulum".The selection of topics reflects the author's own four-decade career in research physics and his resultant perspective on the subject. While aimed primarily at physicists, including junior students, this book also addresses other readers who are willing to think with symbols and simple algebra inunderstanding the physical world around us. Each chapter, on themes such as dimensions, transformations, symmetries, or maps, begins with simple examples accessible to all while connecting them later to more sophisticated realizations in more advanced topics of physics.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$42.61 online
$52.50 list price (save 18%)
Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

The beauty of physics lies in its coherence in terms of a few fundamental concepts and principles. Even physicists have occasion to marvel at the overarching reach of basic principles and their ability to account for features stretching from the microscopic sub-atomic world to the cosmologicalexpanses of the Universe. While mathematics...

A.R.P. Rau is a theoretical physicist who has worked primarily in atomic physics and quantum information. He has spent time in universities and research institutions in Australia, Chile, France, Germany, and India.

other books by A. R. P. Rau

The Hero's Walk
The Hero's Walk

Paperback|Mar 13 2001

$18.53 online$21.00list price(save 11%)
Tamarind Mem
Tamarind Mem

Paperback|Mar 2 2004

$20.97 online$21.00list price
Who Was Gandhi?
Who Was Gandhi?

Paperback|Nov 13 2014

$7.78 online$7.99list price
see all books by A. R. P. Rau
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 8.5 × 5.31 × 0.98 inPublished:October 2, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198709919

ISBN - 13:9780198709916

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of The Beauty of Physics: Patterns, Principles, and Perspectives

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. Adding a dimension2. Physics as transformations3. Localization at saddles4. Coins, classical and quantum5. Symmetry6. Maps7. The problem of time8. Complexity and emergence