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The Force of Symmetry - Vincent Icke

The Force of Symmetry

Paperback Published: 3rd April 1995
ISBN: 9780521455916
Number Of Pages: 364

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The Force of Symmetry gives an elementary introduction to the spectacular interplay among the three great themes of contemporary physics: quantum behavior, relativity, and symmetry. In clear, nontechnical language, it explores many fascinating aspects of modern physics, discussing the nature and interaction of force and matter. All these themes are drawn together toward the end of the book to describe the most successful physics theory in history, the "standard model" of subatomic particles. The book is suitable for undergraduate students in physics and mathematics.

'... this book supports the effort to show that a sufficiently motivated novice can appreciate the intricacies at the forefront of physics ... I applaud it.' Lawrence M. Krauss Physics Today 'If physics aims to provide a theory of everything, then this book provides an explanation of everything...Vincent Icke is clearly a master at providing convincing explanatons of esoteric ideas...If ever there were to be a book that persuades nonscientists that physics is understandable, even at its most esoteric outer limits, this is it.' Michael Leask The Times Higher Educational Supplement 'The fun style carries the reader through what in many other books is hard going ... a highly recommended book for all those embarking on a study of physics, and also for those who changed their minds and became the general reader.' A. D. Andrews Irish Astronomical Journal '... refreshingly different from any roughly comparable one that I know.' Ian Aitchinson Physics World

Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. xvii
A matter of forcep. 1
The law of inertiap. 1
The speed of lightp. 5
Relativity and fieldsp. 8
Feynman diagramsp. 13
Matter and forcep. 18
Stalking the wild rainbowp. 23
Colours and spectrap. 23
Spectral linesp. 26
Classical physics stumpedp. 28
Lightp. 32
Waves of lightp. 32
Huygens's principlep. 34
Interferencep. 36
Standing wavesp. 41
Particles of lightp. 43
The equation of motionp. 46
Momentum and energyp. 49
Maybe I'm Heisenbergp. 51
Neither particle nor wavep. 51
Absolute sizep. 53
Through a glass, partlyp. 55
Waves and uncertaintyp. 59
The uncertainty relationsp. 61
De Broglie rules the wavesp. 62
Quantap. 64
Where is a quantum when?p. 66
Catch a falling quantump. 69
An experiment with electronsp. 69
Indeterminacyp. 71
Interferencep. 72
Where does the electron go?p. 75
Quantum beanbagsp. 80
A muddy wheelp. 80
The importance of having phasep. 84
Feynman pathsp. 88
Superposition and quantum sorceryp. 92
The embezzlement modelp. 98
Symmetriesp. 100
A forbidding prospectp. 100
Groups and rotationsp. 103
Invariants and angular momentump. 105
Angular momentum and uncertaintyp. 108
Three-dimensional rotationsp. 109
Quantum relativity: nothing is relativep. 114
Rotations in space-timep. 114
The light cone, our compass in space-timep. 115
The Lorentz transformationp. 118
Antimatterp. 120
Taking the large viewp. 126
The dizzy world of spinp. 128
Spin and relativityp. 136
The quantum of spinp. 138
Indistinguishable processesp. 141
Polarizationp. 144
No mass, but as fast as they getp. 147
Life, the Universe and everythingp. 150
Anatomy of an atomp. 150
Collapse preventionp. 156
Atomic symmetryp. 158
Quantization produces chemistryp. 159
The molecules of lifep. 163
Quantization and genetic codingp. 169
Will the Universe live forever?p. 172
The physics of a tableclothp. 174
Picking up the trailp. 174
Mind your multipletsp. 175
Twists and wrinklesp. 178
Gauge twists and velponsp. 182
The electromagnetic fieldp. 185
Playing with phasep. 187
Isospinp. 190
Yang-Mills fieldsp. 194
Gravity, a splendid failurep. 197
Colour me red, green and bluep. 207
The colour fieldp. 207
Strawberry fields foreverp. 211
Mesons and baryonsp. 214
To kill a pionp. 216
Smashing symmetryp. 219
Weak decayp. 219
Symmetry breakingp. 222
The asymmetry of the vacuump. 225
Velpons can be massive, but...p. 228
Cancelling one misery against anotherp. 232
The electroweak forcep. 234
Observing symmetry breakingp. 239
Weakness and charmp. 243
How much is infinity minus infinity?p. 249
Dressing upp. 249
Through a glass, slowlyp. 254
Vacuum polarizationp. 255
Global behaviour of electromagnetismp. 257
The weak forcep. 264
The colour forcep. 265
Excelsior! The ascent to SU ([infinity])p. 269
Motives for unificationp. 269
Grand unificationp. 273
Supersymmetryp. 276
The Planck scalep. 281
Superstringsp. 283
The final sentencep. 293
A modest reading proposalp. 295
Referencesp. 297
Glossaryp. 300
Indexp. 333
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521455916
ISBN-10: 052145591X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 364
Published: 3rd April 1995
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.47 x 19.25  x 2.08
Weight (kg): 0.64

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