In this briefer, streamlined revision, Art Hobson once again makes physics relevant and interesting for the casual reader. He introduces modern physics early on, maintaining the book’s focus on the cultural and social context of physics. Updates and extensively revises chapters on relativity. Provides a more modern, straightforward treatment of quantum physics. Includes new and updated societal topics, such as nuclear terrorism. Adds new and revised “How Do We Know” subsections that emphasize the process of science. A reader-friendly reference for anyone interested in learning more about physics and how it affects our lives.
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This book approaches physics as a human endeavor, in philosophical and social context. Not a watered-down version of the standard technical texts, this is a true liberal arts physics textbook that connects physics with its cultural aspects and balances coverage of Newtonian and modern physics.From the Back Cover:
What is the connection between this painting and physics?
In Marcel Duchamp’s 1912 painting, we view a woman at several times during her descent of a staircase, very much like Einstein’s spacetime diagrams. The woman’s features are uncertain, abstract, like a blurred photographic time exposure of a moving figure.
Historians believe it was no coincidence that abstract art and modern physics both originated during 1900- 1914. Early 20th century cubist painters such as Duchamp and Pablo Picasso experienced the same currents of thought that influenced the theory of relativity and the origins of quantum physics. Albert Einstein’s unification of space and time into a single abstract “spacetime” with time as the fourth dimension was similar to Picasso’s and Duchamp’s portrayal of reality as abstract volumes or “cubes” viewed from several perspectives and times simultaneously.
Such connections between art and science shouldn’t be viewed from a causal perspective. It’s not as though Duchamp decided to inject relativity or quantum physics into his paintings. Instead, new ideas about space, time, and determinism were in the air, and perspective people such as Einstein, Picasso, and Duchamp reflected these ideas in their own creations.
What professors are saying:
“This is close to ideal for true liberal arts students, especially those who want to make the world better, or at least resist unhealthy trends, and who want to argue about the things they care about. The author has a passion for relevance and environmental issues.”
-Doanld Franceshetti, University of Memphis
“Hobson’s textbook is both well named and well constructed. Its coverage of modern physics presents a conceptual grasp of some of the most exciting developments in the physics of our day.”
-Leon M. Lederman, Pritzker Professor of Science, IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology); Resident Scholar, IMSA (Illinois Math and Science Academy); Director Emeritus, Fermilab; and Nobel Laureate Physics, 1988.
“Its an excellent introduction at a conceptual level to some of the basic principles of physics. He does an excellent job of developing his themes of the scientific process, the social context of physics, energy, and the significance of post-Newtonian physics.”
-Louis Schwartzkopf , Minnesota State University
“It has the best (and the most modern) discussion of quantum mechanics that I’ve ever seen-much clearer than some of the famous writers.”
- Marc Sher, William and Mary
“When I examined the first edition of Hobson’s Physics Concepts and Connections, I thought that it was the best of many physics texts for non-scientist that I had seen, and the later editions have further improvements over the first. He presents a remarkably comprehensive survey of the physical world with lucidity, accuracy, and- above all- fascination. Hobson unforgettably reminds his readers of the social implications of physics and the inseparability of knowledge and values.”
- Abner Shimon, Boston University
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