Understanding Physics, Volumes 1-3

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Barnes & Noble Publishing, 1993 - Physics - 269 pages
3 Reviews
Volume one traces the theoretical exploration of these concepts from an essentially Newtonian viewpoint. Newton's great achievement was in synthesizing the laws of motion and energy and in developing a unifying theory of universal gravitation. Concepts now considered common knowledge were at the time seen as so far fetched that even Newton himself felt that, although they must obey the natural laws he discovered, "angels" were required to move everything. The second volume views the development of these concepts from the viewpoint of the 19th century, when much of the theoretical work of physics was being transformed into the practical technology of the Industrial Revolution. Physics was the intellectual fuel of industrialization. The author also shows how the development of 19th century physics led to the Second Scientific Revolution of Einstein's Relativity and Plank's Quantum Theory. In the final volume, he deals with a central concern of 20th century physics -- the description of the infinitesimally small particles and waves that constitute the very fabric of the universe. The quest takes us to the frontiers of physics today where physicists speculate about the birth and boundaries of the universe, instantaneous particle communication and even other dimensions which may describe parallel realities.

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User Review  - richardbsmith - LibraryThing

This is a well written and helpful introduction to Physics. It is not an easy read though. Be ready to take notes and to work through some math, which is carefully presented without Calculus. Much of ... Read full review

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User Review  - Cygnus555 - LibraryThing

Isaac has a nack of making difficult concepts understandable... If it has been a decade since you took Physics in college, then crack this series and shake the dust off those old skills! Read full review


1The Search for Knowledge
2Falling Bodies
3The Laws of Motion
4Electrons Within Atoms
5Electrons and Quanta
6Electron Energy Levels
Atomic Transformation 124
9Nuclear Chemistry
10Artificial Radioactivity
11Nuclear Structure
12Nuclear Reactors
14Other Particles

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About the author (1993)

Isaac Asimov was born in Petrovichi, Russia, on January 2, 1920. His family emigrated to the United States in 1923 and settled in Brooklyn, New York, where they owned and operated a candy store. Asimov became a naturalized U.S. citizen at the age of eight. As a youngster he discovered his talent for writing, producing his first original fiction at the age of eleven. He went on to become one of the world's most prolific writers, publishing nearly 500 books in his lifetime. Asimov was not only a writer; he also was a biochemist and an educator. He studied chemistry at Columbia University, earning a B.S., M.A. and Ph.D. In 1951, Asimov accepted a position as an instructor of biochemistry at Boston University's School of Medicine even though he had no practical experience in the field. His exceptional intelligence enabled him to master new systems rapidly, and he soon became a successful and distinguished professor at Columbia and even co-authored a biochemistry textbook within a few years. Asimov won numerous awards and honors for his books and stories, and he is considered to be a leading writer of the Golden Age of science fiction. While he did not invent science fiction, he helped to legitimize it by adding the narrative structure that had been missing from the traditional science fiction books of the period. He also introduced several innovative concepts, including the thematic concern for technological progress and its impact on humanity. Asimov is probably best known for his Foundation series, which includes Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation. In 1966, this trilogy won the Hugo award for best all-time science fiction series. In 1983, Asimov wrote an additional Foundation novel, Foundation's Edge, which won the Hugo for best novel of that year. Asimov also wrote a series of robot books that included I, Robot, and eventually he tied the two series together. He won three additional Hugos, including one awarded posthumously for the best non-fiction book of 1995, I. Asimov. "Nightfall" was chosen the best science fiction story of all time by the Science Fiction Writers of America. In 1979, Asimov wrote his autobiography, In Memory Yet Green. He continued writing until just a few years before his death from heart and kidney failure on April 6, 1992.

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