Physics: The Ultimate Adventure

Front Cover

This book explains - in simple terms and with almost no mathematics - the physics behind recent and glamorous discoveries in Cosmology, Quantum Mechanics, Elementary Particles (e.g. Higgs bosons) and Complexity Theory. En route it delves into the historical landmarks and revolutions that brought about our current understanding of the universe.

The book is written mainly for those with little scientific background, both college students and lay readers alike, who are curious about the world of modern physics. Unsolved problems are highlighted and the philosophical implications of the sometimes astounding modern discoveries are discussed. Along the way the reader gains an insight into the mindset and methodology of a physicist.

 

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Contents

1 The Whats and Wherefores of Physics
1
2 Dramatis Personae The Actors
11
3 Is Physics an Exact Science?
24
4 Newton and Beyond
39
5 Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics
55
6 Electromagnetism and Cracks in the Edifice of Classical Physics
63
7 Relativity
77
8 Quantum Mechanics
100
9 Atomic and Nuclear Physics
117
10 Fields and Particles
136
11 Cosmology
153
12 Complexity and Universality
178
13 Conclusions and Philosophical Implications
195
Index
211
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About the author (2016)

Ross Barrett

Formerly a Research Fellow and Lecturer at four universities in Australia and Germany, and Senior Principal Research Scientist at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) in Adelaide, he has published over 60 research papers in experimental nuclear physics, theoretical nuclear physics, atomic physics, signal processing, and underwater acoustics.

Pier Paolo Delsanto

Full Professor (now retired) and Director of Research in Condensed Matter Physics at the Politecnico of Torino, Italy, has spent half of his professional life in Universities and Research Centers abroad. His research fields range from Nuclear Physics, Acoustics and Ultrasonics to modeling and simulations in Materials Science, Biology and Oncology, with more than two hundred scientific articles and books.

Angelo Tartaglia

Senior professor of physics in the Politecnico di Torino. His research topics are the theory of gravitation, general relativity and cosmology. Tartaglia is a member of the Italian Gravitational society (SIGRAV), the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) and the National Group of Mathematical Physics (GNFM).