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Boojums All the Way Through is a collection of essays that presents the dilemma of communicating modern physics to both physicists and nonphysicists. Some addressed to a general audience, some to students and others to scientists, the essays all share a preoccupation with both the substance and the style of written scientific communication, and offer a unique view of everyday science or scientific practice with the intention of increased clarity for the reader. The author believes the tradition of bland and impersonal scientific writing over the past fifty years deprives scientists of powerful tools for enhancing their clarity and capacity to communicate complex ideas. A well recognized theoretical physicist and winner of the first Julius Edgar Lilienfeld prize of the American Physical Society, Mermin writes with wry humor and conveys complex ideas with startling simplicity.
Reviews & endorsements
"...covers an astonishing broad range...Mermin is a natural philosopher par excellence..." Physics WorldSee more reviews
"A warm, human, and humane view of physics." American Mathematical Monthly
"From the outset, Mermin's writing is fluid, interesting and most of all, fun! Mermin's humorous talents are indicative of his creative abilities and deep understanding of his subject. At times one is tempted to reflect upon other skilled communicators, and flattering parallels with Feynman, for example, are not unreasonable." Physics in Canada
"David Mermin is one of those rather rare scientists who can write with cleverness and style....is delightful for browsing." Peter Franken, Physics Today
"Readers from undergraduate science students to professional physicists and mathematicians will find this book both entertaining and full of ideas." Perry Smith, Mathematical Reviews
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- Date Published: March 1990
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521388801
- length: 332 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 158 x 21 mm
- weight: 0.54kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. Reflections on the Pursuit of Physics:
1. E. pluribus boojum: the physicist as neologist
2. Commencement address
3. One of the great physicists ... and great characters
4. My life with Landeau
5. What's wrong with this lagrangean?
6. What's wrong with this library?
7. What's wrong with this prose?
8. What's wrong with these equations?
9. What's wrong with these prizes?
Part II. The Quantum Theory:
10. Quantum mysteries for anyone
11. Can you help your team tonight by watching on TV?
12. Spooky actions at a distance: mysteries of the quantum
13. A bolt from the blue: The Eistein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox
14. The philosophical writings of Neils Bohr
15. The great quantum muddle
16. What's wrong with this pillow?
Part III. Relativity:
17. Cruel nature: a relativistic tragicomedy
18. The amazing many coloured relativity engine
19. Relativistic addition of velocities directly from the constancy of the velocity of light
20. Relativity without light
21. E = Mc2 (written with M. J. Feigenbaum)
Part IV Mathematical Musings:
23. Stirling's formula!
24. Pi in the sky
25. Variational principles in dynamics and quantum theory
26. Special functions: a group theoretic approach.
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