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Great ideas in physics

Author: Alan P Lightman
Publisher: New York : McGraw-Hill, ©1997.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : [2nd ed.]View all editions and formats

This physics textbook for arts students provides a thorough understanding of a fundamental physical principle with widespread applications. It shows the effect of the humanities on science, and vice  Read more...


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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Alan P Lightman
ISBN: 0070380481 9780070380486
OCLC Number: 892271152
Description: XIV, 268 p. : il
Contents: Part 1 The conservation of energy: conservation laws; gravitational energy; kinetic energy; units of length; conservation and human freedom; heat energy; the conservation of energy and limited lifetime of the world; reactions to possible violations of the conservation of energy. Part 2 The second law of thermodynamics: reversible and irreversible phenomena; states of a system and probabilty of configurations; mechanical energy and heat; the irrevesible flow of heat; doing work with heat; entropy and order; resistance to the implications of the second law; the second law applied to human society; the second law used to refute the theory of evolution. Part 3 The relativity of time: relativity in brief; science leading to the theory of relativity; the theory of relativity; abolition of absolute space and time; Einstein's approach to science; the influence of the theory of relativity on literature; relativity and sculpture. Part 4 The wave-particle duality of nature (quantum theory): waves; the photoelectric effect; the double-slit expermiment; the role of the observer and the nature of reality; quantum physics and language; the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and the demise of determinism in science; determinism, causality and choice in the quantum world.
Responsibility: Alan Lightman.


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