Modern Physics

Modern Physics

A critical approach


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Intended for science and engineering students with a background in introductory physics and calculus, this textbook creates a bridge between classical and modern physics, filling the gap between descriptive elementary texts and formal graduate textbooks. The book presents the main topics and concepts of special relativity and quantum mechanics, starting from the basic aspects of classical physics and analysing these topics within a modern physics frame. The classical experiments that gave rise to modern physics are also critically discussed, and special emphasis is devoted to solid-state physics and its relationship with modern physics.

Key Features

  • Creates a bridge between classical and modern physics, filling the gap between elementary and formal/theoretical texts
  • Takes a critical approach, arguing that the difficulty with describing modern physics phenomena can be transformed into cultural challenges which require new forms of reasoning
  • Discusses solid-state physics and its relationship with modern physics
  • Includes details of classic experiments, including computer‐assisted experiments that can help demonstrate modern physics principles
  • Includes practice exercises and applets that simulate key concepts

I have identified two different categories of possible users who could very much appreciate this work. The first are obviously the undergraduate students in physics, chemistry, materials science and, also, some types of engineering. They can find in this volume a wealth of interesting and useful information, complementing the study of the formal foundations of theoretical physics and the structure of matter.

The second are high school teachers who, by adapting the material proposed here, can build a robust teaching offer in “modern physics” to their students, as required by modern ministerial programs. Finally, this manual represents an ideal tool for a course on teaching methods and techniques of physics.

Although the volume is written by many authors, there are no overlaps or unnecessary repetitions, testifying to the care that has been taken in coordinating the drafts of the various chapters. The graphics (in color) are of a good standard, the formalism is accurate and precise, the layout is pleasant and functional for easy reading. Each chapter is completed by a rich bibliography.

In summary: a very successful manual.

Luciano Colombo (University of Cagliari) 2021 Il Nuovo Cimento Società Italiana di Fisica