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Quantum Mechanics

What Is Relativity?: An Intuitive Introduction to Einstein's Ideas, and Why They Matter

What Is Relativity?: An Intuitive Introduction to Einstein's Ideas, and Why They Matter Lowest new price: $20.87
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Author: Jeffrey Bennett

It is commonly assumed that if the Sun suddenly turned into a black hole, it would suck Earth and the rest of the planets into oblivion. Yet, as prominent author and astrophysicist Jeffrey Bennett points out, black holes don't suck. With that simple idea in mind, Bennett begins an entertaining introduction to Einstein's theories of relativity, describing the amazing phenomena readers would actually experience if they took a trip to a black hole.

The theory of relativity also reveals the speed of light as the cosmic speed limit, the mind-bending ideas of time dilation and curvature of spacetime, and what may be the most famous equation in history: E = mc2. Indeed, the theory of relativity shapes much of our modern understanding of the universe. It is not "just a theory" -- every major prediction of relativity has been tested to exquisite precision, and its practical applications include the Global Positioning System (GPS). Amply illustrated and written in clear, accessible prose, Bennett's book proves anyone can grasp the basics of Einstein's ideas. His intuitive, nonmathematical approach gives a wide audience its first real taste of how relativity works and why it is so important to science and the way we view ourselves as human beings.

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Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Edition

Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Edition Lowest new price: $67.53
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Author: R. Shankar

Reviews from the First Edition:

"An excellent text … The postulates of quantum mechanics and the mathematical underpinnings are discussed in a clear, succinct manner." (American Scientist)

"No matter how gently one introduces students to the concept of Dirac’s bras and kets, many are turned off. Shankar attacks the problem head-on in the first chapter, and in a very informal style suggests that there is nothing to be frightened of." (Physics Bulletin)

Reviews of the Second Edition:

"This massive text of 700 and odd pages has indeed an excellent get-up, is very verbal and expressive, and has extensively worked out calculational details---all just right for a first course. The style is conversational, more like a corridor talk or lecture notes, though arranged as a text. … It would be particularly useful to beginning students and those in allied areas like quantum chemistry." (Mathematical Reviews)


R. Shankar has introduced major additions and updated key presentations in this second edition of Principles of Quantum Mechanics. New features of this innovative text include an entirely rewritten mathematical introduction, a discussion of Time-reversal invariance, and extensive coverage of a variety of path integrals and their applications. Additional highlights include:

- Clear, accessible treatment of underlying mathematics

- A review of Newtonian, Lagrangian, and Hamiltonian mechanics

- Student understanding of quantum theory is enhanced by separate treatment of mathematical theorems and physical postulates

- Unsurpassed coverage of path integrals and their relevance in contemporary physics

The requisite text for advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level students, Principles of Quantum Mechanics, Second Edition is fully referenced and is supported by many exercises and solutions. The book’s self-contained chapters also make it suitable for independent study as well as for courses in applied disciplines.

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The Universe in a Nutshell

The Universe in a Nutshell Lowest new price: $9.36
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Author: Stephen William Hawking
Brand: Baker and Taylor

Stephen Hawking’s phenomenal, multimillion-copy bestseller, A Brief History of Time, introduced the ideas of this brilliant theoretical physicist to readers all over the world.

Now, in a major publishing event, Hawking returns with a lavishly illustrated sequel that unravels the mysteries of the major breakthroughs that have occurred in the years since the release of his acclaimed first book.

The Universe in a Nutshell

• Quantum mechanics
• M-theory
• General relativity
• 11-dimensional supergravity
• 10-dimensional membranes
• Superstrings
• P-branes
• Black holes

One of the most influential thinkers of our time, Stephen Hawking is an intellectual icon, known not only for the adventurousness of his ideas but for the clarity and wit with which he expresses them. In this new book Hawking takes us to the cutting edge of theoretical physics, where truth is often stranger than fiction, to explain in laymen’s terms the principles that control our universe.

Like many in the community of theoretical physicists, Professor Hawking is seeking to uncover the grail of science — the elusive Theory of Everything that lies at the heart of the cosmos. In his accessible and often playful style, he guides us on his search to uncover the secrets of the universe — from supergravity to supersymmetry, from quantum theory to M-theory, from holography to duality.

He takes us to the wild frontiers of science, where superstring theory and p-branes may hold the final clue to the puzzle. And he lets us behind the scenes of one of his most exciting intellectual adventures as he seeks “to combine Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and Richard Feynman’s idea of multiple histories into one complete unified theory that will describe everything that happens in the universe.”

With characteristic exuberance, Professor Hawking invites us to be fellow travelers on this extraordinary voyage through space-time. Copious four-color illustrations help clarify this journey into a surreal wonderland where particles, sheets, and strings move in eleven dimensions; where black holes evaporate and disappear, taking their secret with them; and where the original cosmic seed from which our own universe sprang was a tiny nut.

The Universe in a Nutshell is essential reading for all of us who want to understand the universe in which we live. Like its companion volume, A Brief History of Time, it conveys the excitement felt within the scientific community as the secrets of the cosmos reveal themselves.

Stephen Hawking, science's first real rock star, may be the least-read bestselling author in history--it's no secret that many people who own A Brief History of Time have never finished it. Hawking's The Universe in a Nutshell aims to remedy the situation, with a plethora of friendly illustrations to help readers grok some of the most brain-bending ideas ever conceived.

Does it succeed? Yes and no. While Hawking offers genuinely accessible context for such complexities as string theory and the nature of time, it's when he must translate equations to sentences that the limits of language get in the way. But Hawking has simplified the origin of the universe, the nature of space and time, and what holds it all together to an unprecedented degree, inviting nonscientists to share his obvious awe and love of the unseen forces that shape it all.

Yes, it's difficult reading, but it's worth it. Hawking is one of the great geniuses of our time, a man whose life has been devoted to thinking in the abstract about the universe. With his help, and pictures--lots of pictures--we can seek to understand a bit more of the cosmos. --Therese Littleton

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Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics

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Author: Gary Zukav
Brand: HarperOne

“The most exciting intellectual adventure I've been on since reading Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

Gary Zukav’s timeless, humorous, New York Times bestselling masterpiece, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, is arguably the most widely acclaimed introduction to quantum physics ever written. Scientific American raves: “Zukav is such a skilled expositor, with such an amiable style, that it is hard to imagine a layman who would not find his book enjoyable and informative.” Accessible, edifying, and endlessly entertaining, The Dancing Wu Li Masters is back in a beautiful new edition—and the doors to the fascinating, dazzling, remarkable world of quantum physics are opened to all once again, no previous mathematical or technical expertise required.

At an Esalen Institute meeting in 1976, tai chi master Al Huang said that the Chinese word for physics is Wu Li, "patterns of organic energy." Journalist Gary Zukav and the others present developed the idea of physics as the dance of the Wu Li Masters--the teachers of physical essence. Zukav explains the concept further:

The Wu Li Master dances with his student. The Wu Li Master does not teach, but the student learns. The Wu Li Master always begins at the center, the heart of the matter.... This book deals not with knowledge, which is always past tense anyway, but with imagination, which is physics come alive, which is Wu Li.... Most people believe that physicists are explaining the world. Some physicists even believe that, but the Wu Li Masters know that they are only dancing with it.

The "new physics" of Zukav's 1979 book comprises quantum theory, particle physics, and relativity. Even as these theories age they haven't percolated all that far into the collective consciousness; they're too far removed from mundane human experience not to need introduction. The Dancing Wu Li Masters remains an engaging, accessible way to meet the most profound and mind-altering insights of 20th-century science. --Mary Ellen Curtin

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Introducing Quantum Theory: A Graphic Guide to Science's Most Puzzling Discovery

Introducing Quantum Theory: A Graphic Guide to Science's Most Puzzling Discovery Lowest new price: $3.65
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Author: J.P. McEvoy

Quantum theory is one of science's most thrilling, challenging and even mysterious areas. Scientists such as Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg and Schrödinger uncovered bizarre paradoxes in the early 20th century that seemed to destroy the fundamental assumptions of 'classical physics' - the basic laws we are taught in school. Notoriously difficult, quantum theory is nonetheless an amazing and inspiring intellectual adventure, explained here with patience, wit and clarity.

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Quantum Computing since Democritus

Quantum Computing since Democritus Lowest new price: $34.08
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Author: Scott Aaronson
Brand: Brand: Cambridge University Press

Written by noted quantum computing theorist Scott Aaronson, this book takes readers on a tour through some of the deepest ideas of maths, computer science and physics. Full of insights, arguments and philosophical perspectives, the book covers an amazing array of topics. Beginning in antiquity with Democritus, it progresses through logic and set theory, computability and complexity theory, quantum computing, cryptography, the information content of quantum states and the interpretation of quantum mechanics. There are also extended discussions about time travel, Newcomb's Paradox, the anthropic principle and the views of Roger Penrose. Aaronson's informal style makes this fascinating book accessible to readers with scientific backgrounds, as well as students and researchers working in physics, computer science, mathematics and philosophy.


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Quantum Physics: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides)

Quantum Physics: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides) Lowest new price: $6.36
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Author: Alastair Rae

As Alastair Rae points out in his introduction, "quantum physics is not rocket science". It may have gained a reputation as the theory that no one really understands, but its practical applications are all around us in everyday life. If it were not for quantum physics, computers would not function, metals would not conduct electricity, and the power stations that heat our homes would not produce energy. Assuming no prior scientific or mathematical knowledge, this clear and concise introduction provides a step-by-step guide to quantum theory, right from the very basic principles to the most cutting-edge developments, such as super-fast computers and unbreakable codes, which could soon become reality. Finally, Rae turns to the philosophical questions posed by quantum physics and asks: if Einstein was wrong and God really does play dice, what are the consequences of this for the way we view ourselves and our relation to the world? Written by one of the most respected authors in the field, this authoritative and readable guide will be suitable for anyone wishing to gain a clearer understanding of one of the key scientific discoveries of our time.

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Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality

Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality Lowest new price: $11.20
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Author: Manjit Kumar
Brand: W.W. Norton & Co

“A lucid account of quantum theory (and why you should care) combined with a gripping narrative.”—San Francisco Chronicle

Quantum theory is weird. As Niels Bohr said, if you weren’t shocked by quantum theory, you didn’t really understand it. For most people, quantum theory is synonymous with mysterious, impenetrable science. And in fact for many years it was equally baffling for scientists themselves. In this tour de force of science history, Manjit Kumar gives a dramatic and superbly written account of this fundamental scientific revolution, focusing on the central conflict between Einstein and Bohr over the nature of reality and the soul of science. This revelatory book takes a close look at the golden age of physics, the brilliant young minds at its core—and how an idea ignited the greatest intellectual debate of the twentieth century. 16 pages of photographs

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A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics

A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics Lowest new price: $82.63
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Author: John S. Townsend
Brand: Brand: Univ Science Books

Using an innovative approach that students find both accessible and exciting, A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics, Second Edition lays out the foundations of quantum mechanics through the physics of intrinsic spin. Written to serve as the primary textbook for an upper-division course in quantum mechanics, Townsend's text gives professors and students a refreshing alternative to the old style of teaching, by allowing the basic physics of spin systems to drive the introduction of concepts such as Dirac notation, operators, eigenstates and eigenvalues, time evolution in quantum mechanics, and entanglement. Chapters 6 through 10 cover the more traditional subjects in wave mechanics-the Schrodinger equation in position space, the harmonic oscillator, orbital angular momentum, and central potentials-but they are motivated by the foundations developed in the earlier chapters. Students using this text will perceive wave mechanics as an important aspect of quantum mechanics, but not necessarily the core of the subject. Subsequent chapters are devoted to perturbation theory, identical particles, scattering, and the interaction of atoms with radiation, and an optional chapter on path integrals is also included. This new edition has been revised throughout to include many more worked examples and end-of-chapter problems, further enabling students to gain a complete mastery of quantum mechanics. It also includes new sections on quantum teleportation, the density operator, coherent states, and cavity quantum electrodynamics.


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Quantum Computation and Quantum Information: 10th Anniversary Edition

Quantum Computation and Quantum Information: 10th Anniversary Edition Lowest new price: $29.25
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Author: Michael A. Nielsen

One of the most cited books in physics of all time, Quantum Computation and Quantum Information remains the best textbook in this exciting field of science. This 10th anniversary edition includes an introduction from the authors setting the work in context. This comprehensive textbook describes such remarkable effects as fast quantum algorithms, quantum teleportation, quantum cryptography and quantum error-correction. Quantum mechanics and computer science are introduced before moving on to describe what a quantum computer is, how it can be used to solve problems faster than 'classical' computers and its real-world implementation. It concludes with an in-depth treatment of quantum information. Containing a wealth of figures and exercises, this well-known textbook is ideal for courses on the subject, and will interest beginning graduate students and researchers in physics, computer science, mathematics, and electrical engineering.

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