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Hidden Unity in Nature's Laws

  • Date Published: April 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521650649

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  • As physics has progressed through the ages it has succeeded in explaining more and more diverse phenomena with fewer and fewer underlying principles. This lucid and wide-ranging book explains how this understanding has developed by periodically uncovering unexpected 'hidden unities' in nature. The author deftly steers the reader on a fascinating path which goes to the heart of physics - the search and discovery of elegant laws which unify and simplify our understanding of the intricate Universe in which we live. Starting with the Ancient Greeks, the author traces the development of major concepts in physics right up to the present day. Throughout, the presentation is crisp and informative and only a minimum of mathematics is used. Any reader with a background in mathematics or physics will find this book a fascinating insight into the development of our fundamental understanding of the world, and the apparent simplicity underlying it.

    • A crisp and informative text suitable for anyone with a background in mathematics or physics
    • Illuminating and lucid, ranging from the Ancient Greeks right up to the present day
    • Written by a very distinguished theoretical physicist
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Are you lost in modern theoretical physics? Do you need help with understanding squarks, selectrons, photinos? Or do you require quidance on the subject of the Higgs particle? Perhaps you need a hint as to the meaning of quintessence in cosmology? If any of these apply, then this is the book for you … an undoubted success … many worthwhile ideas are expounded here which even a newcomer to physics could understand. I strongly recommend this book.' Peter Landsberg, Nature

    'What makes this book extremely valuable is that the author has succeeded in adhering to his geometric approach throughout, starting with Galileo and ending with Ed Witten and Stephen Hawking.' Gerald 't Hooft, Physics World

    '… provides excellent insight into recent developments in physics …'. P. H. Borcherds, European Journal of Physics

    'This book covers a vast expanse of physics and is a genuine tour de force for its insights and intellectual honesty. This is an exceptional book by an exceptional physicist.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2001
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521650649
    • length: 506 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 32 mm
    • weight: 0.77kg
    • contains: 109 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    1. Motion on earth and in the heavens
    2. Energy, heat, and chance
    3. Electricity and magnetism
    4. Light
    5. Space and time
    6. Least action
    7. Gravitation and curved spacetime
    8. The quantum revolution
    9. Quantum theory with special relativity
    10. Order breaks symmetry
    11. Quarks and what hold them together
    12. Unifying weak forces with QED
    13. Gravitation plus quantum theory - stars and black holes
    14. Particles, symmetries and the universe
    15. Queries
    16. Appendices
    Glossary
    Bibliography.

  • Author

    John C. Taylor, University of Cambridge

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