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The New Physics: For the Twenty-First Century [Hardcover]

Gordon Fraser

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Book Description

13 Feb 2006
Underpinning all the other branches of science, physics affects the way we live our lives, and ultimately how life itself functions. Recent scientific advances have led to dramatic reassessment of our understanding of the world around us, and made a significant impact on our lifestyle. In this book, leading international experts, including Nobel prize winners, explore the frontiers of modern physics, from the particles inside an atom to the stars that make up a galaxy, from nano-engineering and brain research to high-speed data networks. Revealing how physics plays a vital role in what we see around us, this book will fascinate scientists of all disciplines, and anyone wanting to know more about the world of physics today.

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More About the Author

.... biographies, archives and arrogance

Archives are the raw material for biographers to mine and refine. So, as a biographer who was not allowed to do this, I have a grudge.

Abdus Salam (1926-1996) shared the Nobel Physics Prize in 1979 and is Pakistan's only Nobel laureate. However as a member of the Ahmadi sect, he was excommunicated in his home country and his many achievements are scorned and derided there. His tombstone has even been daubed and defaced.

Spurned by his nation, Salam became instead a scientist for the world, founding the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy, to foster science in the developing world. So much for the blurb. What about the archives?
To help future biographers, Salam's papers were carefully catalogued by the British National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists. 10,000 items in 350 boxes were transferred to ICTP.

However when I was writing Cosmic Anger - Abdus Salam, the First Muslim Nobel Scientist (Oxford University Press, 2008, Kindle and paperback 2012), the ICTP Director at the time blocked access to these archives. Apart from arrogance, no clear reason emerged. Nevertheless, with the help of the carefully-compiled archive catalogue, the triumph and tragedy of Salam's life still managed to fill a book, which includes my grouch up front, in full.

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'It is beautifully presented and, given the contributor list, authoritative … I wholeheartedly recommend it to researchers, postgraduate students and perhaps advanced undergraduates in the sciences.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

'… accessible to a general readership … presents topics that can be usefully pondered by those with little background in physics … written at a level that can be digested by eager undergraduates but will also be instructive to experienced physicists … several physicist colleagues have passed on unsolicited praise of the level of presentation.' Physics World

'The message of The New Physics for the Twenty-first Century is that the most fundamental problems remain elusive, but the magnificent tools that have been developed during the past decade have opened up new vistas on subjects once thought to be familiar.' Physics Web

'I came across The New Physics For the Twenty-First Century about a year ago, and it struck me how appropriate it is for 'Survey of Real Physics' courses of this sort. For starters, the list of topics is incredibly diverse, and I can't think of anything of current interest that isn't covered in some amount of detail … even a cursory glance shows that the people writing the articles are leaders in their fields. Who better to learn from? Third, not only are the authors big, but they're good – the writing is incredibly concise, yet lucid, and any of the chapters are accessible to most 2nd or 3rd year physics undergraduates, or anyone else who's been exposed to a decent amount of physics … All in all, I highly recommend this book.'

'… this book will be an excellent addition to any physicist's library. The net effect of reading it could be likened to having a year-long series of engaging speakers at the weekly departmental colloquium - one after another brilliantly elucidating the advances in their field, but making their talks comprehensible for everyone who attended even if they came only for the cookies and punch!' The Physics Teacher

Book Description

Revealing how physics plays a vital role in what we see around us, this book will fascinate scientists of all disciplines, and anyone wanting to know more about the world of physics today. International experts, including Nobel prize winners, explore the frontiers of modern physics.

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Cosmology is the study of the origin, evolution, composition, and structure of the Universe. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Advances in physics clearly explained 3 Mar 2007
By calvinnme - Published on
This is a great book on advances in physics that have occurred over the last few years that lies between overly simplistic popular science books and research papers where you become quickly lost in terse language and layers of equations. You do need to have some prior background in physics. Ideally you should have the background of a year of general university level physics and a course in modern physics, or the equivalent of that. Some knowledge of general chemistry would come in handy too. Otherwise, there are enough equations and an assumption of basic physics knowledge on the part of the reader that you'll get lost quickly.

Basically, the book shows you physics in action solving the problems of today using great illusrations and a clear and accessible writing style that holds your interest. The chapters don't build on one another and you can pick and choose what you're interested in. Remember that this is not a textbook, so there are no problem sets. The final strong point of the book is the price. At under forty dollars it's a very reasonable purchase for the casual learner. My favorite sections were part 1 on Matter and the Universe and part 4 on Calculation and Computation. I thought the chapter on superstring theory was particularly well done and clear. I highly recommend this book for getting a good big picture of physics at work.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Physics for the Twenty First Century 9 Jan 2007
By Bruce A. Campbell - Published on
Very comprehensive coverage of the new world of Physics presenteted by the various leading practicioners in the field today. Difficult reading for anyone with no more than High School Physics.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark textbook 18 July 2009
By George A. Dutton - Published on
This volume represents a refreshing elevation in the standard of scientific texts for the general reader. In setting out the principle elements of its wide ranging subject-matter, it describes, in highly readable prose, the most important and ground-breaking issues and controversies within the ever-broadening boundaries of the subject that we still call "Physics".

Regular updates and revised editions will be welcome as the cutting edge of what we know or at least believe that we know moves onwards into stranger and stranger territory. There is no "Dark Matter" in this book. All is splendidly illumimated.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Informative 11 Jun 2008
By Jane Grimes - Published on
This book has beautiful graphics and is chock full of the latest
developments in physics. A wonderful addition to the bookshelf of any
science buff. Even if you don't understand all of it you can look at
it in wonder !

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Latest Physics Information 20 Nov 2006
By Michael D. Buffington - Published on
This book is a great source for the latest developements in physics. I particularly found the info on quantum computers to be facinating.
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