Let There Be Light: The Story of Light from Atoms to Galaxies

Ann Breslin, Alex Montwill

Published by Imperial College Press, 2008
ISBN 10: 1860948502 / ISBN 13: 9781860948503
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Synopsis: This book is the first of its kind to devote itself at this level to the key role played by light and electromagnetic radiation in the universe. Readers are introduced to philosophical hypotheses such as the economy, symmetry, and universality of natural laws, and are then guided to practical consequences such as the rules of geometrical optics and even Einstein's well-known but mysterious relationship, E = mc2. Most chapters feature a pen picture of the life and character of a relevant scientific figure. These Historical Interludes include, among others, Galileo's conflicts with the Inquisition, Fourier's taunting of the guillotine, Neils Bohr and World War II, and the unique character of Richard Feynman.

Going one step beyond the popular level, this easy-to-read book gives an overall view to undergraduate and postgraduate physics students that is often missing when trying to assimilate the technical details of their courses. Through its original treatment of topics and enjoyable style of writing, it will also stimulate keen interest in general readers who are interested in science and have a basic mathematics background as well as teachers looking for basic and accurate background information.

Contents: Introducing Light; Geometrical Optics: Reflection; Geometrical Optics; Refraction; Light from Afar -- Astronomy; Light from the Past -- Astrophysics; Introducing Waves; Sound Waves; Light as a Wave; Making Images; There Was Electricity, There Was Magnetism, and Then There Was Light; 'Atoms of Light' -- The Birth of Quantum Theory; The Development of Quantum Mechanics; Atoms of Light Acting as Particles; Atoms of Light Behaving as Waves; Relativity Part 1: How It Began; Relativity Part 2: Verifiable Predictions; Epilogue.

Review: I found it wonderful: interesting and amusing ]] I appreciated the easy but accurate way the arguments are presented, the very nice figures and drawings, the historical interludes with 'gossips' scarcely known, etc. The choice of the arguments is also interesting. -- Professor Giorgio Romano "Universit INFN, Salerno"

It is a unique type of book informative, witty, cultured and erudite ]] I loved the observation effect of multiple polaroids mind blowingly fascinating stuff which can be appreciated by all ]] approaching optics via Fermat and the lifeguard also keeps the fascination level up while the historical interludes keep our feet on the ground by humanisi -- Professor Colin Latimer "The Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland"

The combined effort has given us this wonderful survey of how light comes into physics and how it is even today impossible to really understand. -- Sveinn Bjarman "Uppsala University, Sweden"

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Title: Let There Be Light: The Story of Light from ...
Publisher: Imperial College Press
Publication Date: 2008
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Good

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Alex Montwill; Ann Breslin
Published by Imperial College Press (2008)
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Book Description World Scientific Pub Co Inc, Hackensack, New Jersey, U.S.A., 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. No Jacket. Good/no dj; hardcover, only minor signs of shelfwear to covers, ffep and half-title p. both have creases; text block is fine. Written in textbook syle, suitable as background reading for third level students and by readers who have an interest in science and are comfortable with basic mathematics. Bookseller Inventory # 84048

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