Physics
Featured Items
The Variational Principles of Mechanics
The Variational Principles of Mechanics
4th Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0486650677

Analytical mechanics is, of course, a topic of perennial interest and usefulness in physics and engineering, a discipline that boasts not only many practical applications, but much inherent mathematical beauty. Unlike many standard textbooks on advanced mechanics, however, this present text eschews a primarily technical and formalistic treatment in favor of a fundamental, historical, philosophical approach. As the author remarks, there is a tremendous treasure of philosophical meaning behind the great theories of Euler and Lagrange, Hamilton, Jacobi, and other mathematical thinkers.
Well-written, authoritative, and scholarly, this classic treatise begins with an introduction to the variational principles of mechanics including the procedures of Euler, Lagrange, and Hamilton.
Ideal for a two-semester graduate course, the book includes a variety of problems, carefully chosen to familiarize the student with new concepts and to illuminate the general principles involved. Moreover, it offers excellent grounding for the student of mathematics, engineering, or physics who does not intend to specialize in mechanics, but wants a thorough grasp of the underlying principles.
The late Professor Lanczos (Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies) was a well-known physicist and educator who brought a superb pedagogical sense and profound grasp of the principles of mechanics to this work, now available for the first time in an inexpensive Dover paperback edition. His book will be welcomed by students, physicists, engineers, mathematicians, and anyone interested in a clear masterly exposition of this all-important discipline.

The Riddle of the Compass: The Invention That Changed the World
The Riddle of the Compass
The Invention That Changed the World
Paperback      ISBN: 0156007533

The story of the compass is shrouded in mystery and myth, yet most will agree it begins around the time of the birth of Christ in ancient China. A mysterious lodestone whose powers affected metal was known to the Chinese emperor. When this piece of metal was suspended in water, it always pointed north. This unexplainable occurrence led to the stone's use in feng shui, the Chinese art of finding the right location. However, it was the Italians, more than a thousand years later, who discovered the ultimate destiny of the lodestone and unleashed its formidable powers. In Amalfi sometime in the twelfth century, the compass was born, crowning the Italians as the new rulers of the seas and heralding the onset of the modern world. Retracing the roots of the compass and sharing the fascinating story of navigation through the ages, The Riddle of the Compass is Aczel at his most entertaining and insightful.

Stephen Hawking's a Brief History of Time: A Reader's Companion
Stephen Hawking's a Brief History of Time
A Reader's Companion
Hardcover      ISBN: 0553077724

Interviews with Hawking, his family, colleagues, and friends provide a close-up look at one of the world's greatest physicists, as well as a lucid explanation of his major theories

Mechanics
Mechanics
Paperback      ISBN: 0486607542

First published over 40 years ago, this work has achieved the status of a classic among introductory texts on mechanics. Den Hartog is known for his lively, discursive and often witty presentations of all the fundamental material of both statics and dynamics (and considerable more advanced material) in new, original ways that provide students with insights into mechanical relationships that other books do not always succeed in conveying. On the other hand, the work is so replete with engineering applications and actual design problems that it is as valuable as a reference to the practicing engineer as it is as a text or refresher for the general engineering student.
Mechanics is not a heavy book, despite the amount of material it covers and the clarity and exactness with which it treats this material. It is undoubtedly one of the most readable texts in the field. More than 550 drawings and diagrams in the regular text and in the highly praised 112-page section of problems and answers further contribute to its lucidity and value. The emphasis is consistently on illuminating fundamental principles and in showing how they are embodied in a high number of real engineering and design problems concerning trusses, loaded cables, beams, jacks, hoists, brakes, cantilevers, springs, balances, pendulums, projectiles, cranks, linkages, propellers, turbines, fly ball engine governors, hydraulic couplings, anti-roll devices, gyroscopes, and hundreds of other mechanical systems and devices.
Chapters cover Discrete Coplanar Forces, Conditions of Equilibrium, Distributed Forces, Trusses and Cables, Beams, Friction, Space Forces, The Method of Work, Kinematics of a Point, Dynamics of a Particle, Kinematics of Plane Motion, Moments of Inertia, Dynamics of Plane Motion, Work and Energy, Impulse and Momentum, Relative Motion, and Gyroscopes. Particularly in the last two chapters, Den Hartog provides advanced material not usual in introductory texts. Very thoroughly recommended to all those anxious to improve their real understanding of the principles of mechanics. -- Mechanical World.
Index. List of equations. 334 problems, all with answers. Over 550 diagrams and drawings.

The Sokal Hoax: The Sham That Shook the Academy
The Sokal Hoax
The Sham That Shook the Academy
Paperback      ISBN: 0803279957

In May 1996 physicist Alan Sokal published an essay in the fashionable academic journal Social Text. The essay quoted hip theorists like Jacques Lacan, Donna Haraway, and Gilles Deleuze. The prose was thick with the jargon of poststructuralism. And the point the essay tried to make was counterintuitive: gravity, Sokal argued, was a fiction that society had agreed upon, and science needed to be liberated from its ideological blinders.

When Sokal revealed in the pages of Lingua Franca that he had written the article as a parody, the story hit the front page of the New York Times. It set off a national debate still raging today: Are scholars in the humanities trapped in a jargon-ridden Wonderland? Are scientists deluded in thinking their work is objective? Are literature professors suffering from science envy? Was Sokal's joke funny? Was the Enlightenment such a bad thing after all? And isn't it a little bit true that the meaning of gravity is contingent upon your cultural perspective?

Collected here for the first time are Sokal's original essay on quantum gravity, his essay revealing the hoax, the newspaper articles that broke the story, and the angry op-eds, letters, and e-mail exchanges sparked by the hoax from intellectuals across the country, including Stanley Fish, George F. Will, Michael B rub , and Katha Pollitt. Also included are extended essays in which a wide range of scholars ponder the long-term lessons of the hoax.

E=mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation
E=mc2
A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation
Paperback      ISBN: 0425181642

Already climbing the bestseller lists-and garnering rave reviews--this little masterpiece sheds brilliant light on the equation that changed the world.

Bodanis begins by devoting chapters to each of the equation's letters and symbols, introducing the science and scientists forming the backdrop to Einstein's discovery--from Ole Roemer's revelation that the speed of light could be measured to Michael Faraday's pioneering work on energy fields. Having demystified the equation, Bodanis explains its science and brings it to life historically, making clear the astonishing array of discoveries and consequences it made possible. It would prove to be a beacon throughout the twentieth century, important to Ernest Rutherford, who discovered the structure of the atom, Enrico Fermi, who probed the nucleus, and Lise Meitner, who finally understood how atoms could be split wide open. And it has come to inform our daily lives, governing everything from the atomic bomb to a television's cathode-ray tube to the carbon dating of prehistoric paintings.

Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy
Think
A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy
Hardcover      ISBN: 0192100246

Here at last is a coherent, unintimidating introduction to the challenging and fascinating landscape of Western philosophy. Written expressly for anyone who believes there are big questions out there, but does not know how to
approach them, Think provides a sound framework for exploring the most basic themes of philosophy, and for understanding how major philosophers have tackled the questions that have pressed themselves most forcefully on human consciousness.

Simon Blackburn, author of the best-selling Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, begins by making a convincing case for the relevance of philosophy and goes on to give the reader a sense of how the great historical figures such as Plato, Hume, Kant, Descartes, and others have approached its central themes. In a lively and accessible style, Blackburn
approaches the nature of human reflection and how we think, or can think, about knowledge, fate, ethics, identity, God, reason, and truth. Each chapter explains a major issue, and gives the reader a self-contained guide through the problems that the philosophers have studied. Because the text approaches these issues from the gound up, the untrained reader will emerge from its pages able to explore other philosophies with greater pleasure and understanding and be able to think--philosophically--for him or herself.

Philosophy is often dismissed as a purely academic discipline with no relation to the real world non-philosophers are compelled to inhabit. Think dispels this myth and offers a springboard for all those who want to learn how the basic techniques of thinking shape our virtually every aspect of our existence.
Ideas and Opinions
Ideas and Opinions
Hardcover      ISBN: 0517003937

IDEAS AND OPINIONS contains essays by eminent scientist Albert Einstein on subjects ranging from atomic energy, relativity, and religion to human rights, government, and economics. Previously published articles, speeches, and letters are gathered here to create a fascinating collection of meditations by one of the world's greatest minds.

The Nature of Space and Time
The Nature of Space and Time
Hardcover      ISBN: 0691037914

Einstein said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. But was he right? Can the quantum theory of fields and Einstein's general theory of relativity, the two most accurate and successful theories in all of physics, be united in a single quantum theory of gravity? Can quantum and cosmos ever be combined? On this issue, two of the world's most famous physicists--Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time) and Roger Penrose (The Emperor's New Mind and Shadows of the Mind)--disagree. Here they explain their positions in a work based on six lectures with a final debate, all originally presented at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge.


How could quantum gravity, a theory that could explain the earlier moments of the big bang and the physics of the enigmatic objects known as black holes, be constructed? Why does our patch of the universe look just as Einstein predicted, with no hint of quantum effects in sight? What strange quantum processes can cause black holes to evaporate, and what happens to all the information that they swallow? Why does time go forward, not backward?


In this book, the two opponents touch on all these questions. Penrose, like Einstein, refuses to believe that quantum mechanics is a final theory. Hawking thinks otherwise, and argues that general relativity simply cannot account for how the universe began. Only a quantum theory of gravity, coupled with the no-boundary hypothesis, can ever hope to explain adequately what little we can observe about our universe. Penrose, playing the realist to Hawking's positivist, thinks that the universe is unbounded and will expand forever. The universe can be understood, he argues, in terms of the geometry of light cones, the compression and distortion of spacetime, and by the use of twistor theory. With the final debate, the reader will come to realize how much Hawking and Penrose diverge in their opinions of the ultimate quest to combine quantum mechanics and relativity, and how differently they have tried to comprehend the incomprehensible.

Who's Afraid of Schrodinger's Cat: An A-To-Z Guide to All the New Science Ideas You Need to Keep Up With the New Thinking
Who's Afraid of Schrodinger's Cat
An A-To-Z Guide to All the New Science Ideas You Need to Keep Up With the New Thinking
Paperback      ISBN: 0688161073

Quantum theorist Erwin Schrvdinger invented his now-famous cat to illustrate the apparently impossible conundrums associated with quantum physics. The cat lives in an opaque box with a fiendish device that randomly feeds it either food, allowing it to live, or poison, which kills it. But in the quantum world, all possibilities coexist and have a reality of their own, and they ensure that the cat is both alive and dead, simultaneously.

Who's Afraid of Schrvdinger's Cat? is a clear, concise explanation of the new sciences of quantum mechanics, chaos and complexity theory, relativity, new theories of mind, and the new cosmology. It studies worlds beyond the realm of common sense, and the new kinds of thinking that we need to understand ourselves, our minds, and our human place in the larger scheme of things.