Physics Matters: An Introduction to Conceptual Physics

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Wiley, Jan 2, 2004 - Science - 720 pages
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From amusement park rides to critical environmental issues such as energy generation-physics affects almost every aspect of our world. In PHYSICS MATTERS, James Trefil and Robert Hazen examine the fundamental physics principles at work behind the many practical applications that fuel our society and individual lives. Their goal is to promote a deeper understanding of how the great ideas of physics connect to form a much larger understanding of the universe in which we live.


  • Helps readers build a general knowledge of key ideas in physics and their connection to technology and other areas of science.
  • Promotes an appreciation of what science is, how scientific knowledge is developed, and how it differs from other intellectual activities.
  • Examines modern technologies, including GPS, the Internet, and information technologies, as well as medical technologies, such as MRI, PET scans, CAT scans, and radioisotope tracers.
  • Explores key issues facing the world today, such as global warning, nuclear waste, and government funding for research.

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About the author (2004)

James Trefil is the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Physics at George Mason University. He has made contributions to research in elementary particle physics, fluid mechanics, medical physics (including cancer research), and the earth sciences and has written extensively about science for the general audience. He has recently completed a term as General Councilor of the American Physical Society and was awarded the prestigious Gemant Prize of the American Institute of Physics for his efforts to present science to the general public.

Robert M. Hazen is the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University and Staff Scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington Geophysical Laboratory. He performs research on materials at high pressure and is studying the hypothesis that life arose in a deep, high-pressure environment. He is the author of more than 230 articles and 16 books on science, history, and music. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he has received numerous awards for his science writing.

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