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The Beautiful Invisible: Creativity, Imagination, and Theoretical Physics

By: Giovanni Vignale

320 pages, b/w photos, illus

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Mar 2011 | #191040 | ISBN-13: 9780199574841
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £16.99 $22/€19 approx

About this book

The realm of theoretical physics is teeming with abstract and beautiful concepts. And the task of imagining them is one that demands profound creativity.

In this unusual and sometimes poetic book, Vignale presents his own unorthodox accounts of fundamental theoretical concepts such as Newtonian mechanics, superconductivity, and Einstein's theory of relativity, showing that what may seem at first quite simple in fact turns out to be much more profound.

As we delve behind now-familiar metaphors such as 'electron spin' and 'black hole', the world that we take for granted melts away, leaving a glimpse of something much stranger.

For anyone thinking of starting a physics degree, or wishing they had done one, this is an excellent someone who is eveidently a first-rate teacher. Andrew Crumey, The Scotsman


Prologue; 1. The way of the abstract; 2. Limits; 3. Laws are made to be broken; 4. Of first and last things; 5. Representations; 6. The invisible light; 7. The double helix; 8. Quantum mechanics: the triumph of the abstract; 9. Tales of quantum reality; 10. The spinning electron and other metaphors; 11. Margarita

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