Download PDF by Michael Munowitz: Knowing: The Nature of Physical Law

By Michael Munowitz

ISBN-10: 0195167376

ISBN-13: 9780195167375

We ask query after query of an detached universe that will simply as quickly stay mute; and slowly, patiently, one sentence at a time, we write our personal model of the publication of nature. it really is known as technology, from the Latin note for wisdom, and it's a ebook all people should still learn. With simplicity and style, understanding translates the e-book of nature for curious readers of all sorts--but particularly for these hoping to understand the great thing about physics with no getting misplaced within the arithmetic. certainly, there's a global of clinical realizing within the pages of this gracefully written and alluring publication, the place 1000s of little diagrams alternative for the equations that physicists differently have to inform their story. Readers will become aware of the way in which issues paintings: how vast issues (like Earth or Moon) come from small issues (like quarks and electrons), how tiny debris push and pull, and the way the realm hangs within the stability. We find out how an "unbiased" observer and a set velocity of sunshine, not anything else, conjure up E=mc2 and 4-dimensional space-time. We see how Newton's clockwork universe of unwavering choice differs (but no longer in each recognize) from Heisenberg's quantum universe of hazy uncertainty. And we see how a global of chaos throws a wrench into everybody's mechanical excellent. From tiny atoms to significant galaxies, the universe is ours to discover and to understand: its debris, its interactions, its legislation, its endless surprises. seriously illustrated with explanatory drawings and diagrams--perhaps no different technological know-how booklet for basic readers makes use of diagrams so extensively--Knowing takes us to the sting of recent technology, permitting us to see in additional than we might have dreamed attainable.

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Sample text

The Weak Nuclear Force Even inside the nucleus, the strong force does not go unchallenged. The electric interaction may be overmatched, but the protons still keep their positive charges. Every proton continues to repel every other proton, and the electric potential exerts its influence with a force hardly diminished by distance—and not just between neighboring particles, like the strong force, but between all possible pairs. The potential for destruction never disappears. Some nuclei are stable and last forever, but not all; and when the opposition becomes too much, a nucleus disintegrates.

And there it is, the spot in question. Crossing at right angles, the two basic directions appear separate and pure to our observer hopscotching east-west and north-south across the grid. A step to the east brings about no displacement north or south; a step to the south brings about no displacement east or west. Neither direction mixes with the other, but the pair of them together cover the two-dimensional space completely. Two perpendicular displacements are all one needs to navigate in two dimensions.

To a sprinter, the Earth is flat and the shortest way from start to finish runs along a straight line. It is a world that begins and ends with one dimension: To a sailor, the Earth is round and circumscribed by two dimensions, latitude and longitude: The shortest route between any two points curves along a great circle. To passengers in a plane, flying ahead smoothly with window shades down and all noise from the outside suppressed, the three-dimensional world inside is at rest. Cups and saucers stay where they are, as surely and steadily as they would on the ground.

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Knowing: The Nature of Physical Law by Michael Munowitz

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