Chaos, Order, Chaos

Chaos, Order, Chaos : Transition from Classical to Quantum Physics

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Since the time the Greeks dominated intellectual activity, including science, there have been two major revolutions in the physical sciences. One occured in the 17th century, with the work of Galileo, Newton, and others who showed that it is possible to regard the universe as a machine subject to the laws of mechanics. The second revolution started just before the turn of the century, with the work of J.J. Thomsen, and continued in the early decades of the twentieth century Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Ernest Rutherford, Niels Bohr, and others, when the classical model of matter and energy was replaced by the quantum mechanical picture. Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of quantum mechanics is that the observations made in an experiment have an irreducible effect of its outcome. This discovery alone changed the way we look at and comprehend our world. In this well-written and very readable book,Phillip Stehle describes the sequence of developments that constituted the second revolution in the physical sciences in a way that will convey, to the physicist, student, and interested layperson, the excitement and suspense they produced in the scientific community.
In the course of this revolution, it became evident that the old, well-established, and cherished view of the nature of the physical world had flaws which might well prove fatal. When it was over, four constants dominated physics: the electron charge e Planck's constant (or the quantum of action) h, Boltzmann's constant (or the gas constant per molecule) k,and the speed of light c. The story ends in 1925, whan a consistent an comprehensive quantum mechanics emerged from the chaos.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 152.4 x 233.68 x 20.32mm | 566.99g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • line figures, tables, bibliography
  • 019508473X
  • 9780195084733

Table of contents

The old order: classical physics; Clouds on the horizon; Entrance of the electron; A chaotic period begins; Allergic reactions to h; Relativity; Models of atoms; Quantum rules and recipes; Particles and waves: a dissolving distinction; A new order emerges: quantum mechanics; Epilogue.
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