Thinking about Physics (Princeton Paperbacks)

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9780691095530: Thinking about Physics (Princeton Paperbacks)

Physical scientists are problem solvers. They are comfortable "doing" science: they find problems, solve them, and explain their solutions. Roger Newton believes that his fellow physicists might be too comfortable with their roles as solvers of problems. He argues that physicists should spend more time thinking about physics. If they did, he believes, they would become even more skilled at solving problems and "doing" science. As Newton points out in this thought-provoking book, problem solving is always influenced by the theoretical assumptions of the problem solver. Too often, though, he believes, physicists haven't subjected their assumptions to thorough scrutiny. Newton's goal is to provide a framework within which the fundamental theories of modern physics can be explored, interpreted, and understood.


"Surely physics is more than a collection of experimental results, assembled to satisfy the curiosity of appreciative experts," Newton writes. Physics, according to Newton, has moved beyond the describing and naming of curious phenomena, which is the goal of some other branches of science. Physicists have spent a great part of the twentieth century searching for explanations of experimental findings. Newton agrees that experimental facts are vital to the study of physics, but only because they lead to the development of a theory that can explain them. Facts, he argues, should undergird theory.


Newton's explanatory sweep is both broad and deep. He covers such topics as quantum mechanics, classical mechanics, field theory, thermodynamics, the role of mathematics in physics, and the concepts of probability and causality. For Newton the fundamental entity in quantum theory is the field, from which physicists can explain the particle-like and wave-like properties that are observed in experiments. He grounds his explanations in the quantum field.


Although this is not designed as a stand-alone textbook, it is essential reading for advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, professors, and researchers. This is a clear, concise, up-to-date book about the concepts and theories that underlie the study of contemporary physics. Readers will find that they will become better-informed physicists and, therefore, better thinkers and problem solvers too.

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Review:

It takes a certain daring to challenge the views of Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman on purely scientific grounds--and great skill to make that challenge accessible to a general audience. Roger Newton does just that in Thinking About Physics, a book suited to readers with undergraduate-level training in the physical sciences and mathematics, which he deems "the only language capable of describing nature unambiguously." In his survey of modern physics, Newton examines some of the assumptions underlying the ways in which we think about the world. He argues, briefly, that the insistence on the primacy of the particle discounts the more important quantum field from which particles issue--and, he adds, understanding that field may one day yield a quantum geometry of space-time. Among other topics, Newton guides his readers through current theories about the directionality of time ("nature without a universal causal arrow of time," he writes, "could not be orderly," inasmuch as causes have to precede effects); examines models of symmetry and "supersymmetry"; and considers how theories are made, emphasizing the role of probabilistic reasoning in shaping hypotheses and explanations. Joining elegant equations and readable prose, Newton's overview is sure to interest students of modern science. --Gregory McNamee

From the Back Cover:

"A significant contribution: clear, concise, and useful. A welcome addition, particularly for its modern flavor and for its writing, which is one of its strongest points. No other book so successfully integrates so much material into such a coherent and readable form."--Gregory Derry, author of What Science Is and How It Works

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Roger G. Newton
Editorial: Princeton University Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 0691095531 ISBN 13: 9780691095530
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Roger G. Newton
Editorial: Princeton University Press, United States (2002)
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Descripción Princeton University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Physical scientists are problem solvers. They are comfortable doing science: they find problems, solve them, and explain their solutions. Roger Newton believes that his fellow physicists might be too comfortable with their roles as solvers of problems. He argues that physicists should spend more time thinking about physics. If they did, he believes, they would become even more skilled at solving problems and doing science. As Newton points out in this thought-provoking book, problem solving is always influenced by the theoretical assumptions of the problem solver. Too often, though, he believes, physicists haven t subjected their assumptions to thorough scrutiny. Newton s goal is to provide a framework within which the fundamental theories of modern physics can be explored, interpreted, and understood. Surely physics is more than a collection of experimental results, assembled to satisfy the curiosity of appreciative experts, Newton writes. Physics, according to Newton, has moved beyond the describing and naming of curious phenomena, which is the goal of some other branches of science.Physicists have spent a great part of the twentieth century searching for explanations of experimental findings. Newton agrees that experimental facts are vital to the study of physics, but only because they lead to the development of a theory that can explain them. Facts, he argues, should undergird theory. Newton s explanatory sweep is both broad and deep. He covers such topics as quantum mechanics, classical mechanics, field theory, thermodynamics, the role of mathematics in physics, and the concepts of probability and causality. For Newton the fundamental entity in quantum theory is the field, from which physicists can explain the particle-like and wave-like properties that are observed in experiments. He grounds his explanations in the quantum field. Although this is not designed as a stand-alone textbook, it is essential reading for advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, professors, and researchers. This is a clear, concise, up-to-date book about the concepts and theories that underlie the study of contemporary physics. Readers will find that they will become better-informed physicists and, therefore, better thinkers and problem solvers too. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780691095530

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Roger G. Newton
Editorial: Princeton University Press, United States (2002)
ISBN 10: 0691095531 ISBN 13: 9780691095530
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Descripción Princeton University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Physical scientists are problem solvers. They are comfortable doing science: they find problems, solve them, and explain their solutions. Roger Newton believes that his fellow physicists might be too comfortable with their roles as solvers of problems. He argues that physicists should spend more time thinking about physics. If they did, he believes, they would become even more skilled at solving problems and doing science. As Newton points out in this thought-provoking book, problem solving is always influenced by the theoretical assumptions of the problem solver. Too often, though, he believes, physicists haven t subjected their assumptions to thorough scrutiny. Newton s goal is to provide a framework within which the fundamental theories of modern physics can be explored, interpreted, and understood. Surely physics is more than a collection of experimental results, assembled to satisfy the curiosity of appreciative experts, Newton writes. Physics, according to Newton, has moved beyond the describing and naming of curious phenomena, which is the goal of some other branches of science.Physicists have spent a great part of the twentieth century searching for explanations of experimental findings. Newton agrees that experimental facts are vital to the study of physics, but only because they lead to the development of a theory that can explain them. Facts, he argues, should undergird theory. Newton s explanatory sweep is both broad and deep. He covers such topics as quantum mechanics, classical mechanics, field theory, thermodynamics, the role of mathematics in physics, and the concepts of probability and causality. For Newton the fundamental entity in quantum theory is the field, from which physicists can explain the particle-like and wave-like properties that are observed in experiments. He grounds his explanations in the quantum field. Although this is not designed as a stand-alone textbook, it is essential reading for advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, professors, and researchers. This is a clear, concise, up-to-date book about the concepts and theories that underlie the study of contemporary physics. Readers will find that they will become better-informed physicists and, therefore, better thinkers and problem solvers too. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780691095530

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Descripción Princeton University Press 2002-04-09, Princeton, N.J. |Chichester, 2002. paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780691095530

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Descripción Princeton University Press, 2002. Estado de conservación: New. Covers topics such as quantum mechanics, classical mechanics, field theory, thermodynamics, the role of mathematics in physics, and the concepts of probability and causality. This book is intended for advanced undergraduate students, professors, and researchers. Num Pages: 208 pages, 9 line illus. BIC Classification: PH. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 232 x 155 x 13. Weight in Grams: 304. . 2002. Reprint. Paperback. . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780691095530

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