Beyond the Mechanical Universe: From Electricity to Modern Physics

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9780521304306: Beyond the Mechanical Universe: From Electricity to Modern Physics
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This second volume of the Mechanical Universe studies electricity and magnetism, their relation to each other and light, and shows how the problem of light led to the special theory of relativity. Then, it moves on to modern physics, where particles may behave like waves and where some of the great verities of Newtonian physics appear less certain. Along with the first volume, this book is based on, though independent of, a public television series broadcast in the United States. Physics is presented as a human endeavor, with historical development forming a thread throughout the text. The prerequisites are minimal, only basic algebra and trigonometry since the necessary calculus is developed in the text, with physics providing the motivation. New concepts are introduced at the natural, logical point with many historical references to place physics in a social perspective. Many topics from twentieth-century physics are included. The book is attractively illustrated and will be a stimulating alternative to other, less-thorough treatments.

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Book Description:

This book studies electricity and magnetism, their relation to each other, and to light, and shows how the problem of light led to the special theory of relativity. It moves to modern physics, where particles may behave like waves and vice versa and where some of the great verities of Newtonian physics appear less certain.

About the Author:

Richard P. Olenick is currently the chair of Department of Physics at University of Dallas. He was Associate Project Director of the PBS Series The Mechanical Universe and Beyond the Mechanical Universe, which accompanied this textbook and its successors. He has received numerous grants from the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Education for his work in physics education. His current project is C3P, which developed an inquiry-based curriculum for high school physics. In 1995, Dr Olenick was named Texas Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and in 1997, he was named a Minnie Piper Steven Professor. In 2003, he became the Nancy Cain Marcus and Jeffrey A. Marcus Chair in Science and in 2005 he received the King Award from the University of Dallas, which is the highest honor the University can bestow on a faculty member.

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