Contemporary Physics and the Limits of Knowledge

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9780813530772: Contemporary Physics and the Limits of Knowledge

Introductory physics is not often a popular class among liberal arts majors. With its lively prose and analogies from the arts, humanities, and social sciences, however, Contemporary Physics and the Limits of Knowledge is guaranteed to enlighten and delight nonscience majors. Morton Tavel contends that every one of the six topics that he explores--symmetry, special and general relativity, statistical physics, quantum mechanics, and chaos--has played a role in telling us what we are unable to know about the physical world. He explains what each of the topics reveals about our attempts to pinpoint reality, and how each scientific revelation forces us to acknowledge a narrowing rather than a broadening of our knowledge. Chaos theory, for example, reveals a way to understand the randomness that seems so prevalent in natural phenomena such as weather. This development unifies our understanding of many phenomena that had been previously thought unrelated. Yet, chaos represents a significant diminution in what we can hope to predict about the course of natural events. It has increased our knowledge or understanding of a phenomena, but has seriously eroded our long-held, Newtonian vision of prediction and control. Tavel emphasizes the features of physics that make it a very human endeavor and serve to build bridges to all other intellectual disciplicnes.

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About the Author:

Morton Tavel is a professor of physics at Vassar College.

Review:

"An elegant read for anyone interested in understanding modern physics." -- Joseph C. Pitt, author of Thinking about Technology

"You will never look at scientific theories in the same way again." -- John Hubiscz, North Carolina State University

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description Rutgers University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Introductory physics is not often a popular class among liberal arts majors. But for the past thirty years, it has been a favorite at Vassar College thanks to Morton Tavel, who has enlightened and delighted the minds of nonscience majors with ideas that are introduced in this book. Tavel contends that every one of the six topics that he explores - symmetry, special and general relativity, statistical physics, quantum mechanics, and chaos - has played a role in telling us what we are unable to know about the physical world. He explains what each of the topics reveals about our attempts to pinpoint reality, and how each scientific revelation forces us to acknowledge a narrowing rather than a broadening of our knowledge and to make the language with which things can be described and explained more precise. For example, chaos theory reveals a way of understanding the randomness that seems so prevalent in nature. Weather, epidemic diseases, the erratic beating of a diseased heart - all bear evidence of an underlying chaotic pattern. This important development unifies our understanding of many phenomena that had been previously thought unrelated. Yet chaos, like the other topics discussed in the book, represents a significant diminution in what we can hope to predict about the course of natural events. It has increased our knowledge or understanding of phenomena, but has seriously eroded our long-held, Newtonian vision of prediction and control. Tavel draws analogies from the arts, humanities, and social sciences, emphasizing the features of physics that make it a very human endeavor and serve to build bridges to all other intellectual disciplines. Although technical and mathematical details have been kept to a minimum, the author says he follows Einstein s admonition that physics should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780813530772

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Book Description Rutgers University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Introductory physics is not often a popular class among liberal arts majors. But for the past thirty years, it has been a favorite at Vassar College thanks to Morton Tavel, who has enlightened and delighted the minds of nonscience majors with ideas that are introduced in this book. Tavel contends that every one of the six topics that he explores - symmetry, special and general relativity, statistical physics, quantum mechanics, and chaos - has played a role in telling us what we are unable to know about the physical world. He explains what each of the topics reveals about our attempts to pinpoint reality, and how each scientific revelation forces us to acknowledge a narrowing rather than a broadening of our knowledge and to make the language with which things can be described and explained more precise. For example, chaos theory reveals a way of understanding the randomness that seems so prevalent in nature. Weather, epidemic diseases, the erratic beating of a diseased heart - all bear evidence of an underlying chaotic pattern. This important development unifies our understanding of many phenomena that had been previously thought unrelated. Yet chaos, like the other topics discussed in the book, represents a significant diminution in what we can hope to predict about the course of natural events. It has increased our knowledge or understanding of phenomena, but has seriously eroded our long-held, Newtonian vision of prediction and control. Tavel draws analogies from the arts, humanities, and social sciences, emphasizing the features of physics that make it a very human endeavor and serve to build bridges to all other intellectual disciplines. Although technical and mathematical details have been kept to a minimum, the author says he follows Einstein s admonition that physics should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. Bookseller Inventory # TNP9780813530772

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Book Description Rutgers University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Introductory physics is not often a popular class among liberal arts majors. But for the past thirty years, it has been a favorite at Vassar College thanks to Morton Tavel, who has enlightened and delighted the minds of nonscience majors with ideas that are introduced in this book. Tavel contends that every one of the six topics that he explores - symmetry, special and general relativity, statistical physics, quantum mechanics, and chaos - has played a role in telling us what we are unable to know about the physical world. He explains what each of the topics reveals about our attempts to pinpoint reality, and how each scientific revelation forces us to acknowledge a narrowing rather than a broadening of our knowledge and to make the language with which things can be described and explained more precise. For example, chaos theory reveals a way of understanding the randomness that seems so prevalent in nature. Weather, epidemic diseases, the erratic beating of a diseased heart - all bear evidence of an underlying chaotic pattern. This important development unifies our understanding of many phenomena that had been previously thought unrelated. Yet chaos, like the other topics discussed in the book, represents a significant diminution in what we can hope to predict about the course of natural events. It has increased our knowledge or understanding of phenomena, but has seriously eroded our long-held, Newtonian vision of prediction and control. Tavel draws analogies from the arts, humanities, and social sciences, emphasizing the features of physics that make it a very human endeavor and serve to build bridges to all other intellectual disciplines. Although technical and mathematical details have been kept to a minimum, the author says he follows Einstein s admonition that physics should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780813530772

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Book Description Rutgers University Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 280 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.2in. x 0.7in.An elegant read for anyone interested in understanding modern physics. Tavel has a genuine knack for making the difficult and obscure clear and exciting. --Joseph C. Pitt, author of Thinking about Technology You will never look at scientific theories in the same way again. --John Hubiscz, North Carolina State University Introductory physics is not often a popular class among liberal arts majors. With its lively prose and analogies from the arts, humanities, and social sciences, however, Contemporary Physics and the Limits of Knowledge is guaranteed to enlighten and delight nonscience majors. Morton Tavel contends that every one of the six topics that he explores--symmetry, special and general relativity, statistical physics, quantum mechanics, and chaos--has played a role in telling us what we are unable to know about the physical world. He explains what each of the topics reveals about our attempts to pinpoint reality, and how each scientific revelation forces us to acknowledge a narrowing rather than a broadening of our knowledge. Chaos theory, for example, reveals a way to understand the randomness that seems so prevalent in natural phenomena such as weather. This development unifies our understanding of many phenomena that had been previously thought unrelated. Yet, chaos represents a significant diminution in what we can hope to predict about the course of natural events. It has increased our knowledge or understanding of a phenomena, but has seriously eroded our long-held, Newtonian vision of prediction and control. Tavel emphasizes the features of physics that make it a very human endeavor and serve to build bridges to all other intellectual disciplicnes. Morton Tavel is a professor of physics at Vassar College. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780813530772

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