Newton

Author: Rob Iliffe
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199298033
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Newton's contributions to an understanding of the heavens and the earth are considered to be unparalleled. This very short introduction explains his scientific theories, and uses Newton's unpublished writings to paint a picture of an extremely complex man whose beliefs had a huge impact on Europe's political, intellectual, and religious landscape.

Gravity

Author: Timothy Clifton
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198729146
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In this Very Short Introduction Timothy Clifton looks at the development of our understanding of gravity since the early observations of Kepler and Newtonian theory. He discusses Einstein's theory of gravity, which now supplants Newton's, showing how it allows us to understand why the frequency of light changes as it passes through a gravitational field, why GPS satellites need their clocks corrected as they orbit the Earth, and why the orbits of distant neutron stars speed up. Today, almost 100 years after Einstein published his theory of gravity, we have even detected the waves of gravitational radiation that he predicted. Clifton concludes by considering the testing and application of general relativity in astrophysics and cosmology, and looks at dark energy and efforts such as string theory to combine gravity with quantum mechanics.

Quantum Theory A Very Short Introduction

Author: John Polkinghorne
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191577677
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Quantum Theory is the most revolutionary discovery in physics since Newton. This book gives a lucid, exciting, and accessible account of the surprising and counterintuitive ideas that shape our understanding of the sub-atomic world. It does not disguise the problems of interpretation that still remain unsettled 75 years after the initial discoveries. The main text makes no use of equations, but there is a Mathematical Appendix for those desiring stronger fare. Uncertainty, probabilistic physics, complementarity, the problematic character of measurement, and decoherence are among the many topics discussed. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Nothing A Very Short Introduction

Author: Frank Close
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191574643
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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What is 'nothing'? What remains when you take all the matter away? Can empty space - a void - exist? This Very Short Introduction explores the science and the history of the elusive void: from Aristotle who insisted that the vacuum was impossible, via the theories of Newton and Einstein, to our very latest discoveries and why they can tell us extraordinary things about the cosmos. Frank Close tells the story of how scientists have explored the elusive void, and the rich discoveries that they have made there. He takes the reader on a lively and accessible history through ancient ideas and cultural superstitions to the frontiers of current research. He describes how scientists discovered that the vacuum is filled with fields; how Newton, Mach, and Einstein grappled with the nature of space and time; and how the mysterious 'aether' that was long ago supposed to permeate the void may now be making a comeback with the latest research into the 'Higgs field'. We now know that the vacuum is far from being empty - it seethes with virtual particles and antiparticles that erupt spontaneously into being, and it also may contain hidden dimensions that we were previously unaware of. These new discoveries may provide answers to some of cosmology's most fundamental questions: what lies outside the universe, and, if there was once nothing, then how did the universe begin? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The History of Astronomy A Very Short Introduction

Author: Michael Hoskin
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191577731
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Astronomy, perhaps the first of the sciences, was already well developed by the time of Christ. Seventeen centuries later, after Newton showed that the movements of the planets could be explained in terms of gravitation, it became the paradigm for the mathematical sciences. In the nineteenth century the analysis of star-light allowed astrophysicists to determine both the chemical composition and the radial velocities of celestial bodies, while the development of photography enabled distant objects invisible to the human eye, to be studied and measured in comfort. Technical developments during and since the Second World War have greatly enlarged the scope of the science by permitting the study of radiation. This is a fascinating introduction to the history of Western astronomy, from prehistoric times to the origins of astrophysics in the mid-nineteenth century. Historical records are first found in Babylon and Egypt, and after two millennia the arithmetical astronomy of the Babylonians merged with the Greek geometrical approach to culminate in the Almagest of Ptolemy. This legacy was transmitted to the Latin West via Islam, and led to Copernicus's claim that the Earth is in motion. In justifying this Kepler converted astronomy into a branch of dynamics, leading to Newton's universal law of gravity. The book concludes with eighteenth- and nineteenth-century applications of Newton's law, and the first explorations of the universe of stars. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Scientific Revolution A Very Short Introduction

Author: Lawrence Principe
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199567417
Format: PDF, Docs
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Lawrence M. Principe takes a fresh approach to the story of the scientific revolution, emphasising the historical context of the society and its world view at the time. From astronomy to alchemy and medicine to geology, he tells this fascinating story from the perspective of the historical characters involved.

American History A Very Short Introduction

Author: Paul S. Boyer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199911657
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This volume in Oxford's A Very Short Introduction series offers a concise, readable narrative of the vast span of American history, from the earliest human migrations to the early twenty-first century when the United States loomed as a global power and comprised a complex multi-cultural society of more than 300 million people. The narrative is organized around major interpretive themes, with facts and dates introduced as needed to illustrate these themes. The emphasis throughout is on clarity and accessibility to the interested non-specialist.

Astrophysics A Very Short Introduction

Author: James Binney
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198752857
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Astrophysics is the physics of the stars, and more widely the physics of the Universe. It enables us to understand the structure and evolution of planetary systems, stars, galaxies, interstellar gas, and the cosmos as a whole. In this Very Short Introduction, the leading astrophysicist James Binney shows how the field of astrophysics has expanded rapidly in the past century, with vast quantities of data gathered by telescopes exploiting all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, combined with the rapid advance of computing power, which has allowed increasingly effective mathematical modelling. He illustrates how the application of fundamental principles of physics - the consideration of energy and mass, and momentum - and the two pillars of relativity and quantum mechanics, has provided insights into phenomena ranging from rapidly spinning millisecond pulsars to the collision of giant spiral galaxies. This is a clear, rigorous introduction to astrophysics for those keen to cut their teeth on a conceptual treatment involving some mathematics. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable

Genius A Very Short Introduction

Author: Andrew Robinson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199594406
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The first concise study of genius in both the arts and the sciences, using the life and work of famous geniuses to illuminate this phenomenon.-publisher description.

Galileo

Author: Stillman Drake
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 144265533X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Since publication of Stillman Drake?s landmark volume, Galileo at Work: His Scientific Biography, new and exciting information has come to light about this towering figure in the history of Western science. Drawing largely from Galileo?s manuscript working papers, Drake now adds a wealth of detail to the story. Among the findings he presents in this volume are the steps that led to discovery of the pendulum law and the law of fall, by which Galileo opened the road to modern physics; Galileo?s path to the new astronomy of Copernicus, closely linked to his first essays in physics; his subsequent misgivings and final reassurances provided by the telescope. Drake focuses on Galileo?s pioneering work in physics, previously unknown, and shows that time has not diminished its value. He also considers some of the factors that played a part in the development of physics, its classical Greek beginnings, the medieval interlude, the contribution of some of Galileo?s contemporaries, and the resistance of others to his new science of motion. We see in a new light the relation of that science to modern dynamics, created by Newton half a century later. Galileo is better known as an astronomer than as a modern physicist. Drake sheds new light here too as he explores Galileo?s pioneer invention of satellite astronomy, his sighting of Neptune two and one-half centuries before that planet was identified, and his proposal of a cosmogony based on speeds of freely falling bodies. With this book Drake confirms Galileo as the first recognizably modern scientist, in both his methods and results.