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Surprises in Theoretical Physics : Princeton Series in Physics - Rudolf Peierls

Surprises in Theoretical Physics

Princeton Series in Physics

Paperback Published: 21st November 1979
ISBN: 9780691082424
Number Of Pages: 176

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Problems in theoretical physics often lead to paradoxical answers; yet closer reasoning and a more complete analysis invariably lead to the resolution of the paradox and to a deeper understanding of the physics involved. Drawing primarily from his own experience and that of his collaborators, Sir Rudolf Peierls selects examples of such "surprises" from a wide range of physical theory, from quantum mechanical scattering theory to the theory of relativity, from irreversibility in statistical mechanics to the behavior of electrons in solids. By studying such surprises and learning what kind of possibilities to look for, he suggests, scientists may be able to avoid errors in future problems.

In some cases the surprise is that the outcome of a calculation is contrary to what physical intuition seems to demand. In other instances an approximation that looks convincing turns out to be unjustified, or one that looks unreasonable turns out to be adequate. Professor Peierls does not suggest, however, that theoretical physics is a hazardous game in which one can never foresee the surprises a detailed calculation might reveal. Rather, he contends, all the surprises discussed have rational explanations, most of which are very simple, at least in principle.

This book is based on the author's lectures at the University of Washington in the spring of 1977 and at the "Institut de Physique Nucleaire, University de Paris-Sud, Orsay, " during the winter of 1977-1978.

General Quantum Mechanicsp. 3
Born Approximation for Short-Range Interactionp. 3
Shadow Scatteringp. 6
Waves and Particlesp. 10
Angle Operatorp. 14
The Adiabatic Expansionp. 17
Interpretation of Quantum Mechanicsp. 23
[gamma]-Ray Microscopep. 34
Alarm-Clock Paradoxp. 36
Quantum Theory of Atomsp. 40
Scattering of [gamma]-Raysp. 40
Limits of the Heitler-London Approximationp. 44
Ground State of 2n Fermions in One Dimensionp. 48
Statistical Mechanicsp. 51
Pauli Principle in Metalsp. 51
Ionizationp. 53
Perturbation Theory for Statistical Equilibriump. 56
Minimum Property of the Free Energyp. 58
Variation Principle for First N Statesp. 61
Influence of Boundary Conditionsp. 64
Specification of Surface Energyp. 68
Irreversibilityp. 73
Condensed Matterp. 85
Melting in One, Two, and Three Dimensionsp. 85
Momentum of Phononsp. 91
Electron Diamagnetismp. 99
De Haas-Van Alphen Effectp. 105
Transport Problemsp. 111
Density Expansion of Diffusion Coefficientp. 111
Thermal Conduction in Non-Metalsp. 115
Perturbation Theory in Transport Problemsp. 121
Many-Body Problemsp. 127
Off-Shell Effects in Multiple Scatteringp. 127
Perturbation Theory in Many-Body Systemsp. 132
Positronium Formation in Metalsp. 137
Nuclear Physicsp. 147
The Shell Modelp. 147
Center-of-Mass Motionp. 155
Relativityp. 160
Radiation in Hyperbolic Motionp. 160
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691082424
ISBN-10: 0691082421
Series: Princeton Series in Physics
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 176
Published: 21st November 1979
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 16.51  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.3

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