From Quarks to the Universe: A Short Physics Course

Front Cover
Springer, Dec 15, 2015 - Science - 326 pages

This book takes the reader for a short journey over the structures of matter showing that their main properties can be obtained even at a quantitative level with a minimum background knowledge including, besides first year calculus and physics, the extensive use of dimensional analysis and the three cornerstones of science, namely the atomic idea, the wave-particle duality and the minimization of energy as the condition for equilibrium. Dimensional analysis employing the universal physical constants and combined with “a little imagination and thinking”, to quote Feynman, allow an amazing short-cut derivation of several quantitative results concerning the structures of matter. In the current 2nd edition, new material and more explanations with more detailed derivations were added to make the book more student-friendly. Many multiple-choice questions with the correct answers at the end of the book, solved and unsolved problems make the book also suitable as a textbook. This book is of interest to students of physics, engineering and other science and to researchers in physics, material science, chemistry and engineering who may find stimulating the alternative derivation of several real world results which sometimes seem to pop out the magician’s hat.

 

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Contents

The World According to Physics
1
Part I Three KeyIdeas and a ShortCut
8
2 The Atomic Idea
9
3 The WaveParticle Duality
27
4 Equilibrium and Minimization of Total Energy
51
A ShortCut to Physics Relations
67
Part II Interactions
82
Messengers and Connectors
83
Part V Gravity at the Front Stage
218
13 Planets
223
14 Stars Dead or Alive
233
15 The Observable Universe
249
The Anthropic Principle
271
Oscillations and Waves
275
Elements of Electrodynamics of Continuous Media
278
Elements of Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
287

7 The Other Interactions
105
Part III Structures Held Together by Strong Interactions
120
8 From Quarks and Gluons to Hadrons
121
9 From Protons and Neutrons to Nuclei
133
Part IV Structures Held Together by Electromagnetic Interactions
152
10 From Nuclei and Electrons to Atoms
155
11 From Atoms to Molecules
167
12 From Atoms or Molecules to Solids or Liquids
191
Semiconductors Revisited
296
Useful Concepts and Definitions
309
25 Important Relations
311
21 Numbers to be Remembered
313
Answers to MultiChoice QuestionsStatements
315
Tables
317
Index
320
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