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The Strangest Man

Author: Graham Farmelo
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 0571250076
Size: 47.75 MB
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'A monumental achievement - one of the great scientific biographies.' Michael Frayn The Strangest Man is the Costa Biography Award-winning account of Paul Dirac, the famous physicist sometimes called the British Einstein. He was one of the leading pioneers of the greatest revolution in twentieth-century science: quantum mechanics. The youngest theoretician ever to win the Nobel Prize for Physics, he was also pathologically reticent, strangely literal-minded and legendarily unable to communicate or empathize. Through his greatest period of productivity, his postcards home contained only remarks about the weather. Based on a previously undiscovered archive of family papers, Graham Farmelo celebrates Dirac's massive scientific achievement while drawing a compassionate portrait of his life and work. Farmelo shows a man who, while hopelessly socially inept, could manage to love and sustain close friendship. The Strangest Man is an extraordinary and moving human story, as well as a study of one of the most exciting times in scientific history. 'A wonderful book . . . Moving, sometimes comic, sometimes infinitely sad, and goes to the roots of what we mean by truth in science.' Lord Waldegrave, Daily Telegraph

A Companion To Celebrity

Author: P. David Marshall
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118474929
Size: 63.55 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Companion to Celebrity presents a multi-disciplinary collection of original essays that explore myriad issues relating to the origins, evolution, and current trends in the field of celebrity studies. Offers a detailed, systematic, and clear presentation of all aspects of celebrity studies, with a structure that carefully build its enquiry Draws on the latest scholarly developments in celebrity analyses Presents new and provocative ways of exploring celebrity’s meanings and textures Considers the revolutionary ways in which new social media have impacted on the production and consumption of celebrity

Quantum Space

Author: Jim Baggott
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192536818
Size: 68.34 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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Today we are blessed with two extraordinarily successful theories of physics. The first is Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which describes the large-scale behaviour of matter in a curved spacetime. This theory is the basis for the standard model of big bang cosmology. The discovery of gravitational waves at the LIGO observatory in the US (and then Virgo, in Italy) is only the most recent of this theory's many triumphs. The second is quantum mechanics. This theory describes the properties and behaviour of matter and radiation at their smallest scales. It is the basis for the standard model of particle physics, which builds up all the visible constituents of the universe out of collections of quarks, electrons and force-carrying particles such as photons. The discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN in Geneva is only the most recent of this theory's many triumphs. But, while they are both highly successful, these two structures leave a lot of important questions unanswered. They are also based on two different interpretations of space and time, and are therefore fundamentally incompatible. We have two descriptions but, as far as we know, we've only ever had one universe. What we need is a quantum theory of gravity. Approaches to formulating such a theory have primarily followed two paths. One leads to String Theory, which has for long been fashionable, and about which much has been written. But String Theory has become mired in problems. In this book, Jim Baggott describes ": an approach which takes relativity as its starting point, and leads to a structure called Loop Quantum Gravity. Baggott tells the story through the careers and pioneering work of two of the theory's most prominent contributors, Lee Smolin and Carlo Rovelli. Combining clear discussions of both quantum theory and general relativity, this book offers one of the first efforts to explain the new quantum theory of space and time.

The Quantum Adventure

Author: Alex Montwill
Publisher: World Scientific
ISBN: 1848169205
Size: 73.25 MB
Format: PDF
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Quantum theory revolutionized physics at the beginning of the last century. Einstein was one of its originators, but as the implications of the theory emerged, he began to have doubts. Are the most basic physical processes based on probability? Is the Universe governed by chance? Do physical objects have an independent existence or do they exist only in our perception? The ramifications may appear bizarre but they are inherent to this perplexing subject. The Quantum Adventure deals with the birth and growth of quantum mechanics. It explains the “classical dilemma” which faced physics at the start of the 20th Century and goes on to show how quantum mechanics emerged and flourished. Difficult and abstract concepts are treated with minimal mathematics and maximal physical imagery. Snippets of information about the dramatis personae are woven into the text and add color to what is traditionally perceived as a complex and challenging topic. A must-read for anyone interested in quantum physics. Contents: Prehistory — Isaac NewtonPreparing for Quantum MechanicsThe Pre-Quantum Atom — A Temporary SolutionMax Planck — The Birth of the Quantum AdventureLight — Wave or Projectile?Einstein Enters the SceneNiels Bohr Introduces the Quantum into Atomic PhysicssWerner Heisenberg — An Equation for UncertaintyLouis de Broglie — Matter WavesErwin Schrödinger — Wave MechanicsEigenstates — The Theory of the Seen and UnseenEigenstates in the Subnuclear WorldPaul Dirac — Tying Things TogetherRichard Feynman — The Strange Theory of Light and MatterQuantum Reality — The World of the Absurd Readership: General public with an interest in science, quantum physics or history of science. Keywords:Physics;Quantum Mechanics;History of Science;Planck;Bohr;EinsteinKey Features:Approaches abstract and difficult concepts with the bare minimum of mathematics and relates them to common experienceLots of figures and cartoonsEmergence of the new ‘quantum reality’ will intrigue fans of philosophy and history of scienceReviews:“It gave a good account of the development of quantum mechanics and the world of the very small, which is certainly accessible to the interested layman.”Prof Donald H Davis University College London “It Includes some unusual background on the historical developments that produced the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian approaches to classical mechanics.”CHOICE

The Quantum Story

Author: J. E. Baggott
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199566844
Size: 79.10 MB
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Utterly beautiful. Profoundly disconcerting. Quantum theory is quite simply the most successful account of the physical universe ever devised. Its concepts underpin much of the twenty-first century technology that we now take for granted. But at the same time it has completely undermined our ability to make sense of the world at its most fundamental level. Niels Bohr claimed that anybody who is not shocked by the theory has not understood it. The American physicist Richard Feynman went further: he claimed that nobody understands it. The Quantum Story begins in 1900, tracing a century of game-changing science. Popular science writer Jim Baggott first shows how, over the space of three decades, Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, and others formulated and refined the theory--and opened the floodgates. Indeed, since then, a torrent of ideas has flowed from the world's leading physicists, as they explore and apply the theory's bizarre implications. To take us from the story's beginning to the present day, Baggott organizes his narrative around forty turning-point moments of discovery. Many of these are inextricably bound up with the characters involved--their rivalries and their collaborations, their arguments and, not least, their excitement as they sense that they are redefining what reality means. Through the mix of story and science, we experience their breathtaking leaps of theory and experiment, as they uncover such undreamed of and mind-boggling phenomenon as black holes, multiple universes, quantum entanglement, the Higgs boson, and much more. Brisk, clear, and compelling, The Quantum Story is science writing at its best. A compelling look at the one-hundred-year history of quantum theory, it illuminates the idea as it reveals how generations of physicists have grappled with this monster ever since.

Masters Of The Universe

Author: Helge Kragh
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191034428
Size: 32.56 MB
Format: PDF
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How did our modern picture of the universe come into being? Masters of the Universe tells this fascinating story in an unusual format that blends factual and fictional elements. It is based on a series of interviews that a fictional person conducted with leading astronomers and physicists between 1913 and 1965. Among the interviewed scientists are giants such as Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble, and George Gamow, but also scientists who are less well known today or not primarily known as cosmologists such as Karl Schwarzschild, Paul Dirac, and Svante Arrhenius. By following the interviews the reader gets a lively and "almost authentic" impression of the problems that faced this early generation of cosmologists. Although the interviews are purely fictional, a product of the author's imagination, they could have taken place in just the way that is described. They are solidly based on historical facts and, moreover, supplemented with careful annotations and references to the literature. In this way the book bridges the gap between scholarly and popular history of science.