Why Things Are the Way They Are
This fascinating book explains why the materials we can see and touch behave as they do. In a completely nontechnical style, using only basic arithmetic, the author explains how the properties of materials result from the way they are composed of atoms and why it is they have the properties they do: for example, why copper and rubies are colored, why metals conduct heat better than glass, why magnets attract an iron nail but not a brass pin, and how superconductors are able to conduct electricity without resistance. The book is intended for general readers, and uses mainly words, pictures and analogies, with only a minimum of very simple mathematics. The author explains how it is possible to understand the basic properties of matter, and translates the technical jargon of physics into a language that can be understood by anyone with an interest in science who wants to know why the world around us behaves in the way that it does.
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PARTICLES AND WAVES
THE QUANTUM MECHANICAL CRYSTAL
COPPER WIRES AND GLASS RODS
SILVER SPOONS AND PLASTIC SPOONS
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absolute zero alloy amplitude angstrom angular momentum ANSWER atoms bosons called centimetre chapter Cooper pair copper cosmological principle crystal denote described direction distance distribution elec electric charge electric current electric field electrical resistance electromagnetic waves electrons electrons and holes empty energy bands energy gap energy levels equal exactly example Fermi energy Fermi surface fermions ferromagnetic FIGURE flow force frequency glass higher energy hydrogen atom increases inside insulator ions isolated atom kinetic energy labelled large number light look lower band magnetic field magnetic moment magnitude mass material metal molecules motion moving neutrons nucleus number of electrons occupied oscillating particles phonons physicist picture positions potential energy produce properties proton quantized quantum mechanics quantum numbers result rotation semiconductor shown in fig shows silicon silver solid space specific heat speed superconducting temperature thermal energy velocity vibrations voltage wave function wave number wave vector wave-particle duality wavelength wire