1st Edition

Understanding Physics and Physical Chemistry Using Formal Graphs

ISBN 9781138381438
Published November 8, 2018 by CRC Press
815 Pages 680 B/W Illustrations

USD $73.95

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Book Description

The subject of this book is truly original. By encoding of algebraic equations into graphs—originally a purely pedagogical technique—the exploration of physics and physical chemistry reveals common pictures through all disciplines. The hidden structure of the scientific formalism that appears is a source of astonishment and provides efficient simplifications of the representation of physical laws.

Understanding Physics and Physical Chemistry Using Formal Graphs is organized according to the structures emerging from formal graphs, from simple to elaborate, providing after each series of case studies the theoretical elements necessary for understanding their common features. More than 80 case studies are tackled in domains ranging from translational mechanics to Newtonian gravitation to chemical reactions.

With the help of this new tool, the modeling of physical phenomena becomes a fascinating cross-disciplinary exploration. The graphs encourage a visual, unified comprehension of the relationships between physical concepts and variables, properties, and operators. Out-of-the-box and thought provoking, this book inspires lively discussions and fruitful thinking about the connections between mechanics, chemical reactivity, electrodynamics, thermodynamics, and more.

Table of Contents

Aim of this Book
An Imperfect State of Science
Improvement through Graphs

Nodes of Graphs
Energy and State Variables

Links and Organization
System Constitutive Properties
Formal Objects and Organization Levels

The Pole as Elementary Collection
Formal Graph Representation of a Pole
Composition of Poles
Definition of a Pole and Its Variables

Space Distributed Poles
The Role of Space
Formal Graph Representation of a Space Distributed Pole
Space Operators
Translation Problems and Generalization

The Dipole
Formal Graph Representation of a Dipole
Interaction through Exchange between Poles
Dipole Properties
Common Features Result in New Ideas

Influence between Poles
Interaction between Poles
Poles–Dipole Constitutive Properties
Influence Theory
In Short

The Multipole
Decomposition into Dipoles
Decomposition into Poles
Theory of Conduction

Dipole Assemblies
The Dipole Assembly
Evolution and Time
Formal Graph Representation of a Dipole Assembly
Temporal Oscillator
Spatial Oscillator
Spatiotemporal Oscillator

Definition of Transfer
Comparison between Energy Varieties
Energy Behaviors
Assemblies and Circuits

Assemblies and Dissipation
Dissipation and Conversion
Basic Processes Involving Dissipation
Relaxation Models
Damped Oscillator (Temporal)
Spatially Damped Oscillator
Attenuated Propagation

Coupling between Energy Varieties
Passages of Energy
Energetic Equivalence
Energetic Coupling
Properties of Coupling

Multiple Couplings
Ideal Gas
The Energy of Coupling
The Scaling Chemical Potential
Map of Energetic Couplings

Conclusion and Perspectives
Characteristics of the Theory

Symbol List
Graph Coding
List of Case Studies
CD-ROM content



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Dr. Eric Vieil is a researcher in physical chemistry at the French Atomic Energy Agency (CEA) in Grenoble, France. He is a specialist with more than 80 publications in theoretical and experimental studies on the electrochemical mechanisms of conducting materials.


Vieil presents a universal toolkit—Formal Graphs—for understanding a wide range of scientific domains. … mainly for graduate students, researchers and specialists, and engineers; the process itself would even be accessible to undergraduate students … . The disk contains all the graphs, in color bitmap files, and software for building simple electric circuits and translating them into Formal Graphs.
—SciTech News, Vol. 66, September 2012

Vieil (French Atomic Energy Agency) discusses the use of formal graphs in physics and chemistry to facilitate an understanding of these subjects. This method has four primary purposes. First, pedagogically, students can benefit from considering theoretical systems in a non-algebraic way. With pictorial representations, students can more easily see relationships between elements of a theory and the similarities of formal graph structures among theories. Second, since formal graphs are neural networks, it is much easier to translate the science into algorithms if one starts with the graphs. Third, scientists already familiar with one area can more easily learn and gain insight into a new area that is using the same formal graph. Finally, researchers can benefit by examining the work of researchers in other disciplines that are considering the same formal graphs. This is an intriguing way to represent the science. The author provides more than 80 case studies to illustrate this method. A companion CD-ROM includes all of the book's formal graphs as well as software for translating simple examples into formal graphs. The related website contains a variety of supplementary materials. Recommended.
—E. Kincanon, Gonzaga University, CHOICE, August 2012