The Atom and the Apple. 12 Tales from Contemporary Physics - download pdf or read online

By Sébastien Balibar

Where is mankind situated within the Universe? What is going on inside of atoms? used to be Einstein continuously correct? do we locate extraterrestrial lifestyles within the close to destiny? And what may be performed approximately international warming? Sébastien Balibar, a number one authority in physics, makes use of illuminating tales from his personal lifestyles to respond to the main fascinating questions within the actual sciences this day. The Atom and the Apple considers points of our environment--the issues we see round us, yet seldom actually understand--and indicates that technological know-how may be a thrilling event grounded within the phenomena of the day-by-day world.

Balibar examines twelve difficulties spanning the frontiers of physics, and he devotes a bankruptcy to every factor. He appears to be like at chaos idea, cosmology, fluid mechanics, and climatology. He explains how we stumbled on the age of the Earth, how we all know the Universe is increasing ever extra swiftly, and why the spiral styles of pinecones and sunflowers are relating to the Golden Ratio in arithmetic. He scrutinizes how the collective habit of atoms ends up in such remarkable effects as lasers, superconductors, or superfluids. As Balibar invitations us to understand the physics hidden in the attractions and sounds of the flora and fauna, he additionally recounts the studies of his early life and profession that have been pivotal to his lifelong ardour for science.

Written for common readers, The Atom and the Apple explores interesting features of our international, and demonstrates why the pursuit of clinical wisdom is easily worthy everyone's time, despite clinical background.

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Extra resources for The Atom and the Apple. 12 Tales from Contemporary Physics

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Or were the names kept on file in the archives of some kind of Big Brother? We exchanged another smile. ” Symmetry is far from insignificant for all of us. Our bodies are just about symmetrical, in appearance, at least. In a mirror, we see clearly that our left halves resemble our right halves. Resemble . . But that’s just it: we have right hands and left hands which aren’t exactly alike. We know quite well that we can’t put a left-handed glove on a right hand. So our bodies are made up of two halves that are symmetrical (with respect to a plane) without being identical, a left half and a right half.

For its part, quantum mechanics had undertaken to describe the behavior of particles as though they were waves, which was no small thing, but its central equation, Schrödinger’s equation, was only valid if the speed of the particles was small compared to the speed of light. pdf WBG Soft Proof 4/21/08 2:51:46 PM Pg 21 MY COUSIN THE LEEK must be described not only by quantum mechanics but by relativity as well. So Dirac wrote a generalization of Schrödinger’s equation in order to be able to describe the behavior of rapidly moving electrons.

Then, the enormous, and now volatile, cloud of light elements around the Earth collected, or accreted, to form the Moon. It even seems that this accretion process only took a few years! Finally, the Moon would have gradually lost energy, and in so doing would have drifted progressively farther away, until reaching its current distance: around 50 times the radius of the Earth. By way of all of these digressions, I’ve gone from radioactivity to the history of the Earth. While we’re here, I may as well add two more things: one on dinosaurs and one on extraterrestrials.

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The Atom and the Apple. 12 Tales from Contemporary Physics by Sébastien Balibar


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