Preface; 1. Introduction; Case Study 1. The Origins of Newton's Law of Gravitation; 2. From Ptolemy to Kepler - the Copernican revolution; 3. Galileo and the nature of the physical sciences; 4. Newton and the law of gravity; Case Study 2. Maxwell's Equations; 5. The origin of Maxwell's equations; 6. How to rewrite the history of electromagnetism; Case Study 3. Mechanics and Dynamics - Linear and Non-linear; 7. Approaches to mechanics and dynamics; 8. Dimensional analysis, chaos and self-organised criticality; Case Study 4. Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics; 9. Basic thermodynamics; 10. Kinetic theory and the origin of statistical mechanics; Case Study 5. The Origins of the Concept of Quanta; 11. Black-body radiation up to 1895; 12. 1895-1900: Planck and the spectrum of black-body radiation; 13. Planck's theory of black-body radiation; 14. Einstein and the quantisation of light; 15. The triumph of the quantum hypothesis; Case Study 6. Special Relativity; 16. Special relativity - a study of invariance; Case Study 7. General Relativity and Cosmology; 17. An introduction to general relativity; 18. The technology of cosmology; 19. Cosmology; 20. Epilogue.
A novel and integrated approach to physics, covering background history, basic tools and modern techniques.
'... gives great insight into the equations of modern physics, and I enjoyed it very much. I would hope that parts could be used to enliven the standard course fodder.' Times Higher Education Supplement 'Longair's book is, as he says, for 'students who love physics and theoretical physics', not for amateurs. However, it gives great insight into the equations of modern physics, and I enjoyed it very much. I would hope that parts could be used to enliven the standard course folder.' Times Higher Education Supplement