Superstrings and Other Things: A Guide to Physics, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Superstrings and Other Things

A Guide to Physics, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

By Carlos Calle

CRC Press

567 pages | 9 Color Illus. | 376 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2009-12-22
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Description

A research scientist at NASA working on planetary exploration, Carlos Calle has the opportunity to ponder what seems imponderable, but while that might make Dr. Calle unusual, what makes him truly special is his ability to translate the algebraic formulas and calculus-based logic into concepts that can be appreciated and held in awe by those in possession of tools no more sophisticated than curiosity and imagination.

Superstrings and Other Things: A Guide to Physics, Second Edition continues to take the interested on a uniquely accessible journey through physics. This guide explains the basic concepts of motion, energy, and gravity, right up through the latest theories about the structure of matter, the origin of the universe, and the beginning of time. Fully illustrated throughout, the book explores major discoveries and the scientists behind them, from Galileo, Newton, and Einstein, to Feynman and Hawking. Numerous examples of physics in everyday situations are provided and made tangible.

When Dr. Calle wrote the first edition of this bestseller, even he would have been surprised by the newest development in String Theory, the far reaching M-Theory. In addition to details about M-Theory, he adds a number of other surprises and updated material for this edition. Not only will you be rewarded with a basic understanding of the fundamental concepts of physics, but you will also come to have the chance to stand on the very edge of the breathtaking frontiers of physics today.

  • Offers non-science students and others access to the highest peaks of physics
  • Supports a truly conceptual approach to teaching physics without advanced math
  • Emphasizes concepts and ideas rather than equations
  • Provides up-to-date coverage of modern physics
  • Showcases modern applications of physics in our everyday world
  • Builds interest with landmark discoveries and recent breakthroughs
  • Ties ideas to history with several biographical sketches
  • Includes clear illustrations and beautiful photographs in a four page insert
  • Provides a wealth of conceptual and numerical problems

Now includes a Solutions Manual with qualifying course adoptions

Carlos I. Calle is a senior research physicist at NASA Kennedy Space Center and the founder and director of NASA’s Electrostatics and Surface Physics Laboratory. He is the recipient of numerous NASA awards for exceptional contributions to the space program and outstanding support of the Space Shuttle Program. With his laboratory staff, he has developed technologies for NASA’s lunar and Martian exploration programs and has also developed new testing techniques for several Space Shuttle systems. As a professor of physics during the early part of his career, he taught the whole range of college physics courses. He has published over 150 scientific papers and other popular books on physics.

Reviews

While accessible to a wide audience, the book could act as a vade mecum for students studying physics in their final years at school and their introductory courses to modern physics at university. Teachers who adopt the book for their courses may not only find inspirational ideas but also can profit from a Numerical Guide to Superstrings and Other Things. This supplement … offers a comprehensive range of problems, based on the material in the main book. … Given there is a first edition, why should one buy this second edition? The short answer is: more up-to-date content with significantly better presentation. … This book appears excellent for making much of physics more accessible.

Contemporary Physics, Vol. 52, No. 1, January 2011

I have been teaching introductory physics for non-science majors for a long time and have never been satisfied with the books on the market. Most of these texts are just watered-down versions of the general physics texts for science students. When I read through [these] three books, I really do get a sense that the authors have attempted to create book[s] that [are] somehow different from the normal algebra problem-based texts. I will be using Questioning the Universe: Concepts in Physics this fall for the science portion of a Science Fiction Learning Community. In the spring, I will be teaching a physics/art history hybrid course and will be using either Superstrings and Other Things:A Guide to Physics, Second Edition or From Atoms to Galaxies:A Conceptual Physics Approach to Scientific Awareness. … both are great books. … I really feel that for conceptual physics courses, CRC Press currently has the three strongest titles. I anticipate a fun teaching experience while using these texts and hope to use them again in the future.

—Steve Zides, Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA

Praise for the First Edition

Calle, a NASA Kennedy Space Center research scientist, shares the joy of physics with those who want to learn more about superstring theory, quantum teleportation, and other cosmic ideas.

Sci-Tech Book News

Illustrated with photographs, drawings, and even cartoons … . written in an accessible style … a fascinating review of and guide to the way the universe works at the most basic level.

Florida Review

… the coverage is genuinely broad and remarkably inclusive.

Physics World

Table of Contents

Part I Introductory Concepts

Chapter 1. Physics: The Fundamental Science

What Is Physics?

The Scientific Method: Learning from Our Mistakes

Physics and Other Sciences

Sizes of Things: Measurement

Fundamental Units

Physics and Mathematics

Part II The Laws of Mechanics

Chapter 2. The Description of Motion

Understanding Motion

Uniform Motion

Average Speed

Instantaneous Speed

Velocity: Speed and Direction

Vectors

Acceleration

Uniformly Accelerated Motion

Falling Bodies

The Motion of Projectiles

Chapter 3. The Laws of Mechanics: Newton’s Laws of Motion

The Concept of Force

The Ancient Idea of Motion

The Birth of Modern Science

Galileo Formulates the Law of Inertia

Newton’s First Law: The Law of Inertia

Newton’s Second Law: The Law of Force

Newton’s Third Law: The Law of Action and Reaction

Chapter 4. Energy

What Is Energy?

The Concept of Work

Units of Work and Energy

The Concept of Energy

Energy of Motion

Energy of Position

Elastic Potential Energy

The Work–Energy Theorem

Conservative and Nonconservative Forces

Chapter 5. Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Transformation of Energy

The Principle of Conservation of Energy

The Energy of Mass

Efficiency

Power

Impulse and Momentum

Conservation of Momentum

Elastic and Inelastic Collisions

Cannons and Rockets

Chapter 6. Rotation and the Universal Law of Gravitation

Rotational Motion

Torque and Angular Momentum

Centripetal Acceleration

Satellites

Origins of Our View of the Universe

Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion

Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation

Spacecraft and Orbital Motion

Part III The Structure of Matter

Chapter 7. Atoms: Building Blocks of the Universe

The Underlying Structure of Matter

The Atomic Hypothesis

Early Concept of the Atom

First Models of the Atom

Waves and Quanta

The Bohr Model of the Atom

Compounds

Chapter 8. The Heart of the Atom: The Nucleus

Raw Material: Protons and Neutrons

The Composition of the Nucleus

The Glue That Keeps the Nucleus Together

Size and Shape of the Nucleus

Nuclear Energy Levels

Chapter 9.Fluids

States of Matter

Density

Pressure

Atmospheric Pressure

Pressure in a Liquid

Buoyancy

Surface Tension and Capillarity

Fluids in Motion

The Human Cardiovascular System

Part IV Thermodynamics

Chapter 10. Heat and Temperature

Heat as a Form of Energy

Measuring Temperature

Temperature and Heat

Heat Capacity

Heat of Fusion and Heat of Vaporization

Evaporation and Boiling

Humidity

Thermal Expansion

The Unusual Expansion of Water

Chapter 11. The Laws of Thermodynamics

The Four Laws of Thermodynamics

The Ideal Gas Law

The Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics

The First Law of Thermodynamics

The Second Law of Thermodynamics

The Third Law of Thermodynamics

Entropy and the Origin of the Universe

Entropy and the Arrow of Time

Part V Electricity and Magnetism

Chapter 12. Electricity

Electromagnetism

Electric Charge

Coulomb’s Law

The Electric Field

The Fundamental Charge

Electric Potential

Storing Electrical Energy

Chapter 13. Applied Electricity

Conductors and Insulators

Electric Current and Batteries

Ohm’s Law

Simple Electric Circuits

Resistor Combinations

Electrical Energy and Power

Semiconductors

Superconductors

Chapter 14. Electromagnetism

The Discovery of Magnets

The Magnetic Field

Electric Currents and Magnetism

A Moving Charge in a Magnetic Field

Particle Accelerators

Magnetism of the Earth

The Source of Magnetism

Faraday’s Law of Induction

Motors and Generators

Maxwell’s Equations

Part VI Waves

Chapter 15. Wave Motion

The Nature of Waves

Properties of Waves

Diffraction

The Principle of Superposition

Constructive and Destructive Interference

Standing Waves

Resonance and Chaos

Water Waves

Seismic Waves

Chapter 16. Sound

The Nature of Sound

The Speed of Sound

Intensity of Sound Waves

The Ear

The Sound of Music

Musical Instruments

The Doppler Effect

Shockwaves

Ultrasound

Chapter 17. Optics

Waves of Light

Reflection of Light

Reflection from Mirrors

Curved Mirrors

Refraction of Light

Lenses

Total Internal Reflection

Fiber Optics

Optical Instruments

The Camera

The Telescope

The Human Eye

Chapter 18. The Nature of Light

The Wave Nature of Light

The Speed of Light

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

Color

Spectra: The Signature of Atoms

Young’s Experiment

Polarization

Lasers

Holography

Part VII Modern Physics

Chapter 19. The Special Theory of Relativity

Galilean Relativity

The Michelson–Morley Experiment

Einstein’s Postulates

Time Dilation

Simultaneity

Length Contraction

Addition of Velocities

E = mc2

Chapter 20. The General Theory of Relativity

The Principle of Equivalence

Warped Space–Time Continuum

The Bending of Light

The Perihelion of Mercury

The Gravitational Time Dilation

Black Holes

Chapter 21. The Early Atomic Theory

The Physics of the Atom

Black Body Radiation

The Photoelectric Effect

The Bohr Model of the Atom Revisited

De Broglie’s Waves

Quantum Mechanics

Chapter 22. Quantum Mechanics

The Beginnings of Quantum Mechanics

The new mechanics of the atom

Wave mechanics

Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle

The new physics

Chapter 23. Nuclear Physics

Beyond the atom

Radioactivity

Alpha decay

Beta decay

Gamma decay

Half-life

Nuclear Reactions

Nuclear Energy: Fission and Fusion

Nuclear fission

Nuclear fusion

Applications of Nuclear Physics

Radioactive dating

Biological effects of radioactivity

Chapter 24. Elementary Particles

Antimatter

The fundamental forces

Exchange forces

Pions

Particle classification: Hadrons and leptons

Conservation laws

Strange particles

Quarks

Particles with charm

Three generations

Chapter 25. Unifying Physics

Symmetry

Global and local symmetries

The electroweak unification

The color force

An attempt at a third unification

The Standard Model

Chapter 26. Superstrings

Supersymmetry

Superstrings

M-Theory

The origin of the universe

The first moments of the universe

Appendix A: Powers of Ten

Appendix B: The Elements

Appendix C: Nobel Prize Winners in Physics

Appendix D: Physics Timeline

Appendix E: Discover What You Have Learned

Glossary

Index

About the Author

Carlos I. Calle is a senior research physicist at NASA Kennedy Space Center and the founder and director of NASA’s Electrostatics and Surface Physics Laboratory. He is the recipient of numerous NASA awards for exceptional contributions to the space program and outstanding support of the Space Shuttle Program. With his laboratory staff, he has developed technologies for NASA’s lunar and Martian exploration programs and has also developed new testing techniques for several Space Shuttle systems. As a professor of physics during the early part of his career, he taught the whole range of college physics courses. He has published over 150 scientific papers and other popular books on physics.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCI055000
SCIENCE / Physics