Mechanics: From Newton's Laws to Deterministic Chaos

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Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Oct 6, 2004 - Technology & Engineering - 550 pages
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Purpose and Emphasis. Mechanics not only is the oldest branch of physics but was and still is the basis for all of theoretical physics. Quantum mechanics can hardly be understood, perhaps cannot even be formulated, without a good kno- edge of general mechanics. Field theories such as electrodynamics borrow their formal framework and many of their building principles from mechanics. In short, throughout the many modern developments of physics where one frequently turns back to the principles of classical mechanics its model character is felt. For this reason it is not surprising that the presentation of mechanics reflects to some - tent the development of modern physics and that today this classical branch of theoretical physics is taught rather differently than at the time of Arnold S- merfeld, in the 1920s, or even in the 1950s, when more emphasis was put on the theoryandtheapplicationsofpartial-differentialequations. Today,symmetriesand invariance principles, the structure of the space–time continuum, and the geom- rical structure of mechanics play an important role. The beginner should realize that mechanics is not primarily the art of describing block-and-tackles, collisions of billiard balls, constrained motions of the cylinder in a washing machine, or - cycle riding.

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About the author (2004)

Florian Scheck: Born 1936 in Berlin, son of Gustav O. Scheck, flutist. Studied physics at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Diploma in physics 1962, PhD in theoretical physics 1964. Guest scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovoth, Israel, 1964-1966. Research assistant at the University of Heidelberg, 1966-1968. Research Fellow at CERN, Geneva, 1968-1970. From 1970 until 1976 head of theory group at the Swiss Institute of Nuclear Research (PSI), lecturer and titular professor at ETH
Zurich. From 1976-2005 professor of theoretical physics at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz. Professor emeritus since 2005. Principal field of activity: Theoretical particle physics.

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