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He's back! The Physicist
returns with an entire new compilation of questions and answers from his long-lived website where laypeople can ask questions about anything physics related. This book focuses on adjectives (practical, beautiful, surprising, cool, frivolous) instead of nouns like the first two books (atoms, photons, quanta, mechanics, relativity). The answers within Physics Is are responses to people looking for answers to fascinating (and often uninformed) questions. It covers topics such as sports, electromagnetism, gravitational theory, special relativity, superheroes, videogames, and science fiction.
These books are designed for laypeople and rely heavily on concepts rather than formalism. That said, they keep the physics correct and don't water down, so expert physicists will find this book and its two companion titles fun reads. They may actually recognize similar questions posed to them by friends and family! As with the first two books, Physics Is
ends with a chapter with questions from people who think The Physicist
is a psychic and from people who think they have the answers to life, the universe and everything.
Table of Contents
1. Physics is Practical
1.3. Around the house
1.4. How does this thing work?
2. Physics is Beautiful
2.2 The beauty of electromagnetism
2.3 The beauty of relativity theory
2.4 The beauty of gravitational theory
2.5 Concluding thoughts on beauty
3. Physics is Surprising
3.2 Surprises of special relativity
3.3 Surprises of general relativity
3.4 Surprises of quantum mechanics
4. Physics is Cool
5. Physics is Frivolous
5.2 Frivolous physics
6. Physics Isn't...
6.2 Physics isn't psychics
6.3 Physics isn't crazy
Appendix A: The Constants of Electricity and Magnetism
Appendix B: A Simplified Derivation of the Speed of Light from Maxwellâ€™s Equations
Appendix C: Galilean and Lorentz Transformations
Appendix D: Gravitational Field of a Cylinder
Appendix E: Newtonian Mechanics
Appendix F: Energy
Appendix G: Friction
Appendix H: Rotational Physics
About the Author(s)F. Todd Baker
, University of Georgia (retired)
The Physicist' is F Todd Baker. He received AB and MA degrees from Miami University and a PhD degree from the University of Michigan. His area of research is nuclear physics and he has published more than 70 articles in refereed journals as well as made numerous presentations at conferences and workshops. He has more than 35 years of college and university teaching experience. In 2006 he retired from the University of Georgia where he taught and performed nuclear physics research for 32 years. Previously he held a postdoctoral research associate position at Rutgers University and teaching positions at Carroll College (Wisconsin) and St Lawrence University. He now lives in Athens, Georgia with his wife Sara in a 100-year-old house mainly restored by him and decorated and landscaped by her. He has four beloved children aged 18-45 years. He enjoys bicycling around town, playing violin, cooking and baking, outdoor activities, DIY projects, film, music of many genres, working puzzles, reading mainly European murder mysteries, and hanging out in coffee houses.