256 pages, illustrations
In this unconventional and stimulating primer, world-class physicist Leonard Susskind and citizen-scientist George Hrabovsky combine forces to provide a brilliant first course in modern physics. Unlike most popular physics books – which give readers a taste of what physicists know but not what they actually do – Susskind and Hrabovsky teach the skills you need to do physics yourself. Combining crystal-clear explanations of the laws of the universe with basic exercises, the authors cover the minimum – the theoretical minimum of the title – that readers need to master in order to study more advanced topics. In a lucid, engaging style, they introduce all the key concepts, from classical mechanics to general relativity to quantum theory. Instead of shying away from the equations and maths that are essential to any understanding of physics, The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics provides a toolkit that you won't find in any other popular science book.
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Leonard Susskind has been the Felix Bloch Professor in Theoretical Physics at Stanford University since 1978. The author of The Black Hole War and The Cosmic Landscape, he lives in Palo Alto, California. He is widely considered to be one of the fathers of string theory.
George Hrabovsky is the president of Madison Area Science and Technology (MAST), a nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific and technological research and education. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.