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1. Physics Of Space Plasmas: An Introduction,
2. Physics of the Space Environment
3. Physics of Solar System Plasmas
4. The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time
5. A Course in Modern Mathematical
6. Art & Physics: Parallel Visions
7. Do Your Ears Pop in Space and
8. Space, Time, and Spacetime
9. Space Physics: An Introduction
10. Introduction to the Physics of
11. Quantum Fields in Curved Space
12. Understanding Space-Time: The
13. Ionospheres: Physics, Plasma Physics,
14. Quantum Mechanics in Hilbert Space:
15. Atomic and Molecular Data for
16. Art and Physics: Parallel Visions
17. On Space and Time
18. Hilbert Space Operators in Quantum
19. Vector Spaces and Matrices in
20. Spinors and Space-Time: Volume

1. Physics Of Space Plasmas: An Introduction, Second Edition
by George Parks
Paperback: 616 Pages (2003-12-05)
list price: US$72.00 -- used & new: US$84.27
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Asin: 0813341299
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Physics of Space Plasmas was one of the first textbooks published in the area of space plasma physics and included up-to-date observations from space available at that time. It has been used in the United States and abroad by many universities as a text in introductory space plasma physics courses. A considerable number of new space plasma observations have been made since publication of the first edition. These more recent observations have revealed new and exciting information about space plasma and will enhance the quality of the overarching discussion and analyses of space plasma physics. Citing results from several NASA and ESA space missions, the completely revised Second Edition now expands the interpretation using kinetic physics to explain the kinetic features in the plasma data.Parks also includes a clear and simple discussion of how electromagnetic fields behave in rotating frames. This revision retains the thoughtful examples and problems of the First Edition and includes new ones to complement the new material and changes in the Second Edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars This book is the real deal
For one who wants the full mathematical plasma physics approach to geospace, this is the book to get.

When it comes to looking up phenomena associated with the maths however, I found the book difficult. It often doesn't explain in enough depth in simple terms certain happenings around the earth (whistlers, instabilities etc). The chapters are organised around the maths aswell.

I suppose it depends on what you need the book for. If you want the full maths approach, get this book. If you want something based around the concepts, get a copy of Kivelson & Russell, or Kallenrode - both excellent texts. ... Read more

2. Physics of the Space Environment (Cambridge Atmospheric and Space Science Series)
by Tamas I. Gombosi
Paperback: 360 Pages (2004-08-19)
list price: US$90.00 -- used & new: US$80.99
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Asin: 052160768X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the physical phenomena that result from the interaction of the sun and the planets - often termed space weather. Physics of the Space Environment explores the basic processes in the Sun, in the interplanetary medium, in the near-Earth space, and down into the atmosphere. The first part of the book summarizes fundamental elements of transport theory relevant for the atmosphere, ionosphere and the magnetosphere. This theory is then applied to physical phenomena in the space environment. The fundamental physical processes are emphasized throughout, and basic concepts and methods are derived from first principles. This book is unique in its balanced treatment of space plasma and aeronomical phenomena. Students and researchers with a basic mathematics and physics background will find this book invaluable in the study of phenomena in the space environment. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Physics Textbook
The item arrived in the in the described condition in a timely manner.I would buy from this seller again.

3-0 out of 5 stars Physics of the Space Environment
The book is not recommended for people who have had no introduction to the topic.It is a good reference for people who are somewhat experienced in this area. It is mostly equations and very little theory.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books in the field
This book provides a comprehensive introduction to space physics.The information in this book is invaluable to anyone in the field.Dr. Gombosi's explanations are clear, easy to follow, and instructive (there are no pointless sections what so ever).Although the book is mainly mathematical, the derivations are presented in such a way that this is no handicap to the readers and a strong sense of the physics of space situations is conveyed.I have used this book as a reference in research, in classes, and for presentations/papers.I strongly recommend it. ... Read more

3. Physics of Solar System Plasmas (Cambridge Atmospheric and Space Science Series)
by Thomas E. Cravens
Paperback: 496 Pages (2004-11-11)
list price: US$95.00 -- used & new: US$70.00
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Asin: 0521611946
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Physics of Solar System Plasmas provides a comprehensive introduction to the plasma physics and magnetohydrodynamics that are needed to study the solar wind and magnetosphere. The text includes a broad introduction to plasma physics, including important discussions of kinetic theory, single particle motion, magnetohydrodynamics, geomagnetically trapped energetic particles and the physics of magnetic reconnection. This leads into a thorough description of the Sun and the solar wind, and, finally, the author addresses magnetospheric physics. Among the topics covered here are magnetospheric morphology, bow shocks, magnetospheric convection and electrical currents, substorms, ionospheric physics, magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling, auroral physics and the interaction of the solar wind with the planets. Problem sets at the end of each chapter make this a useful text for advanced undergraduate students in astrophysics, geophysics, or atmospheric sciences. Graduate students and researchers will also find it a valuable source of information. ... Read more

4. The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time (Cambridge Monographs on Mathematical Physics)
by Stephen W. Hawking, G. F. R. Ellis, P. V. Landshoff, D. R. Nelson, D. W. Sciama, S. Weinberg
Paperback: 400 Pages (1975-03-28)
list price: US$94.99 -- used & new: US$68.94
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Asin: 0521099064
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Einstein's General Theory of Relativity leads to two remarkable predictions: first, that the ultimate destiny of many massive stars is to undergo gravitational collapse and to disappear from view, leaving behind a 'black hole' in space; and secondly, that there will exist singularities in space-time itself. These singularities are places where space-time begins or ends, and the presently known laws of physics break down. They will occur inside black holes, and in the past are what might be construed as the beginning of the universe. To show how these predictions arise, the authors discuss the General Theory of Relativity in the large. Starting with a precise formulation of the theory and an account of the necessary background of differential geometry, the significance of space-time curvature is discussed and the global properties of a number of exact solutions of Einstein's field equations are examined. The theory of the causal structure of a general space-time is developed, and is used to study black holes and to prove a number of theorems establishing the inevitability of singualarities under certain conditions. These conditions are shown to be satisfied in the vicinity of stars of more than twice the solar mass near the endpoint of their nuclear evolution, and in a time-reversed sense for the universe as a whole. In the first case, the singularity in our past. A discussion of the Cauchy problem for General Relativity is also included in the book. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Large Scale structure of good science books (& spacetime
I think that this book has great depth, and is one of the best Stephen Hawking books I have read.My favourite remains 'A Brief History of Time', but still this book is extremely excellent.My compliments to the chef.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic in mathematical general relativity
This book is now a classic and is written by two giants in mathematics and physics. It wil be used for many years to come and is certainly one of the most widely quoted in the subject.

The authors begin the book by a discussion of the role of gravity in physics and its role as determining the causal structure of the universe. They introduce the idea of a closed trapped surface, setting the stage for the goal of the book, namely the study of the conditions under which a space-time singularity must occur. Black holes and the beginning of the universe are cited as examples of these singularities. The authors also outline briefly the content of each chapter. A neat argument is given for the significance of focal points via the use of Raychaudhari's equation.

The second chapter is an overview of the background in differential geometry needed in the rest of the book. Although complete from an axiomatic point of view, the approach is much too formal for readers who do not have a knowledge of differential geometry. Such a reader should gain the necessary background elsewhere.

General relativity as a theory of gravitation is discussed in chapter 3. Spacetime is assumed to be a connected 4-dimensional smoothmanifold on which is defined a Lorentz metric. The topologyis assumed to be Hausdorff. Some of the more interesting or well-written parts of this chapter include the example of a spacetime that is not inextendible, the determination of the conformal factor for the spacetime metric, and the discussion of alternative field equations.

The authors discuss the physicial significance of curvature in chapter 4, namely its effect on families of timelike and null curves. The most important part of this chapter is the discussion on certain inequalities tht the energy-momentum tensor should satisfy from a physical viewpoint. These inequalities, called the weak energy condition and the dominant energy condition, allow the authors to prove the existence of singularities ina later chapter. The reader can see clearly the role of the Jacobi equation, and its solution, the Jacobi field, in measuring the separation of nearby geodesics. The existence of conjugate points is proven, and shown to imply the existence of self-intersections in families of geodesics. As a warm-up to showing the non-existence of geodesics of maximal length, the authors employ variational calculus to study how to vary non-spacelike curves connecting points in convex normal neighborhoods in spacetime, and between points and hypersurfaces. In particular, it is shown that a timelike geodesic curve from a hypersurface to a point is maximal iff there is no conjugate point to the hypersurface along the curve. In addition, the authors prove that two points joined by a non-spacelike curve which is not a null geodesic can be joined by a timelike curve.

The authors consider the exact solutions of the Einstein field equations in chapter 5. Most of the "usual" spacetimes are considered, including Minkowski, De Sitter, Anti-de-Sitter, Robertson-Walker, Schwarzschild, Reissner-Nordstrom, Kerr, Taub-Nut, and Godel. The emphasis in on the global properties of the spacetimes and the existence of singularities in them. The famous Penrose diagrams are used to "compactify" spacetimes in order to study their behavior at infinity and their conformal properties. The authors first introduce the concept of a future (past) Cauchy development here, so important in later developments in the book. The reader can see the tools developed in chapter 4 in play here; for example, the existence of a singularity in a spatially homogeneous cosmology is shown to follow directly from the Raychaudhuri equation. The existence of the singularity is proved to be independent of any acceleration or rotation of matter in such cosmologies.

In chapter 5, the authors consider the causal structure of spacetime, namely the study of its conformal geometry. The consideration of the set of all metrics conformal to the physical metric allows one to discuss "geodesic completeness" of spacetime, this concept forming the basis of a later definition of a singularity in spacetime. The more interesting topics discussed in this chapter include the causality conditions (there are no closed non-spacelike curves), and the Alexandrov topology and its connection with the strong causality condition (every neighborhood of a point contains a neighborhood of the point no non-separable curve of which intersects it more than once). When strong causality does hold, the Alexandrov topology is equivalent to the usual manifold topology, and thus the topology of spacetime can be determined by the observation of causal relationships. The discussion on the role of global hyperbolicity in showing the existence of a maximal geodesic is also very well-written.

The next chapter is pretty much independent of the rest, and was put in no doubt for the mathematician who desires to understand the Einstein equations as a set of nonlinear second-order hyperbolic partial differential equations with initial data on a 3-dimensional manifold, the famous Cauchy problem in general relativity.

Chapter 8 is the most important in the book, for its uses the constructions of earlier chapters to define the notion of a singularity in spacetime. The authors argue that singularities are points where physical laws break down and thus to characterize them one attempts to find out whether any such points have been removed, making spacetime "incomplete" in some sense. Such a notion of incompleteness is very meaningful in topological spaces with a positive definite metric, since in that case one can define completeness in terms of the convergence of Cauchy sequences. In spacetimes with a Lorentz metric, the authors discuss the notion of geodesic completeness for null and timelike geodesics. A very detailed treatment of the now famous singularity theorems is given, these theorems involving an inequality of the Ricci tensor. The last two chapters of the book are more physical in nature wherein the singularity problem is shown to have physical relevance via the occurence of black holes at the endpoint of evolution of massive stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, foundational work of mathematical physics.
The early seventies saw a revolution in cosmology; for the first time, modern mathematical methods were applied to the discipline, with intriguing results.This book was (along with Penrose's articles) the seminal work in global general relativity.Often overlooked is that the first half ofHawking & Ellis is devoted to traditional GR via the tensor calculus,and the q-form conception.However, trying to learn GR with this volume isnot recommended (instead, cf. D'Inverno).The meat-and-potatoes of thebook is the discussion of gravitational collapse, and the singularitytheorems.They provide us with intuitively good reasons for believing insome very strange phenomenon.If you're interested in the frontiers ofmodern science, and have the appropriate mathematical background, this bookcannot be recommended too highly.The little yellow book stands supreme inthe hierarchy of works of modern physics.

3-0 out of 5 stars Suitable only for mathematicians
Don't be mislead by Hawking's popular works, this is a book by a mathematician written for mathematicians.Unless you studied mathematics to at least graduate level (you need to understand vector calculus, vectorspaces and tensors to get anywhere) you are unlikely to get much from thisbook.Even then to read it at anything other than the most superficiallevel is very hard work.However even at the superficial level it givesone insights into some interesting aspects of general relativity.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book on modern General Relativity
This book of Stephen Hawking is the more elegant one on modern General Relativity and is my favorite book. It covers in brilliant form the gravitational collapse of a star, the theory of black holes, the space-time singularities, the causal structure of space-time, and in its end the initial singularity of the universe, popularly known as the Big Bang. Thebook is highly mathematical, and is pressuposed that the reader have studied basic abstract algebra and point set topology. But, for the readers highly interested in these subjects(as I am), this is not a obstacle. All theoretical physicists interested in modern General Relativity should have this book, a testimony of the Genius of Stephen Hawking. Definitively, a magnific book. ... Read more

5. A Course in Modern Mathematical Physics: Groups, Hilbert Space and Differential Geometry
by Peter Szekeres
Hardcover: 600 Pages (2004-01-17)
list price: US$95.00 -- used & new: US$68.98
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Asin: 0521829607
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Presenting an introduction to the mathematics of modern physics for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, this textbook introduces the reader to modern mathematical thinking within a physics context. Topics covered include tensor algebra, differential geometry, topology, Lie groups and Lie algebras, distribution theory, fundamental analysis and Hilbert spaces. The book also includes exercises and proofed examples to test the students' understanding of the various concepts, as well as to extend the text's themes. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Provides an excellent foundation for advanced studies
I started this book with very little mathematical background (just an electrical engineer's or applied physicist's exposure to mathematics). By the end of this book, I had an advanced exposure to foundational modern mathematics. Now, I am planning to start on "Differential Topology and Quantum Field Theory" by Charles Nash (with other mathematics reference books to complete the proofs in it).

This book also provides a good amount of material showing the application of mathematical structures in physics - Tensors and Exterior algebra in Special relativity and Electromagnetics, Functional Analysis in Quantum mechanics, Differentiable Forms in Thermodynamics (Caratheodory's) and Classical mechanics (Lagrangian, Hamiltonian, Symplectic structures etc), General Relativity etc.

3-0 out of 5 stars A fast introduction to mathematics in physics
The book does not assume prior knowledge of the topics covered. However, the reader will find use of prior knowledge in algebra, in particular group theory, and topology. Compared to texts, such as Arfken Weber, Mathematical Methods for Physics, A Course in Modern Mathematical Physics is different, and emphasis is on proof and theory. The text is reasonably rigorous and build around stating theorems, giving the proofs and lemmas with occasional examples. The style is not the strictest, although making the text more reader friendly, it is easy to get confused with which assumptions have been made, and the direction of the proof. Sometimes only the "if" part is proven.

Students familiar with algebra will notice that the emphasis is on group theory, interestingly the concept of ideals is left mostly untouched. For more on representation theory a good reference is Groups Representations and Physics by H.F. Jones where solutions to some of the exercises can be found, and examples of the use of the fundamental orthogonality theorem applied to characters of represenations.

The first 6 chapters are relatively straight forward, but in chapter 7 Tensors the text becomes much more advanced and difficult. Chapter 10 on topology offers some lighter material but the reader should be careful, these consepts are to re-appear in the discussion of differential geometry, differentiable forms, integration on manifolds and curvature. These are not the most simple subjects and it is clear that they deserve entire courses of their own.

The book has insight and makes many good remarks. However, chapter 15 on Differential Geometry is perhaps too brief considering the importance of understanding this material, which is applied in the chapters thereinafter. The book is suitable for second to third year student in theoretical physics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jumping over the Gap
Most physicists avoid mathematical formalism, the book attacks this by exposing mathematical structures, the best approach I've ever experience. After reading the first chapter of this books I can assure is a must for everyone lacking mathematical formation undergraduate or graduate.

It surely jumps over this technical gap experienced by most physics opening the gate for advanced books an mathematical thinking with physic intuition.

Unfortunately is very expensive, i hope i could have it some day.

5-0 out of 5 stars A serious, wide spectrum introduction to modern mathematical physics
This book covers almost every subject one needs to begin a serious graduate study in mathematical and/or theoretical physics. The language is clear, objective and the concepts are presented in a well organized and logical order. This book can be regarded as a solid preparation for further reading such as the works of Reed/Simon, Bratteli/Robinson or Nakahara.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not a review, only a little more information
Since I don't yet have this book, I cannot review it; however, I have found the contents of this book on the publisher's web site in case it would help anyone decide to purchase it or not.


1. Sets and structures
2. Groups
3. Vector spaces
4. Linear operators and matrices
5. Inner product spaces
6. Algebras
7. Tensors
8. Exterior algebra
9. Special relativity
10. Topology
11. Measure theory and integration
12. Distributions
13. Hilbert space
14. Quantum theory
15. Differential geometry
16. Differentiable forms
17. Integration on manifolds
18. Connections and curvature
19. Lie groups and lie algebras

I will return at a later date to properly review it in case I need to change the rating I gave it. ... Read more

6. Art & Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light (P.S.)
by Leonard Shlain
Paperback: 496 Pages (2007-03-01)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$7.95
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Asin: 0061227978
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Art interprets the visible world. Physics charts its unseen workings. The two realms seem completely opposed. But consider that both strive to reveal truths for which there are no words––with physicists using the language of mathematics and artists using visual images. In Art & Physics, Leonard Shlain tracks their breakthroughs side by side throughout history to reveal an astonishing correlation of visions. From the classical Greek sculptors to Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, and from Aristotle to Einstein, artists have foreshadowed the discoveries of scientists, such as when Monet and Cezanne intuited the coming upheaval in physics that Einstein would initiate. In this lively and colorful narrative, Leonard Shlain explores how artistic breakthroughs could have prefigured the visionary insights of physicists on so many occasions throughout history. Provicative and original, Art & Physics is a seamless integration of the romance of art and the drama of science––and an exhilarating history of ideas.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars Misleading and confusing
First of all this book should have been called "Religion and physics" or "Christianity and physics". Often using biblical stories and god as supportive examples, the ground stone of this book is not objective, nor academic or scientific at all. What Shlein seems to try to study and prove is not the relationship/connection between art and physics, but religion and science in a way that he constantly and subtly refers modern science to religious myths. Such as, he pointed out that ancient Greeks believed that all matters came from 4 elements: air, fire, water and earth, while later Aristotle added the 5th element - "stuff of stars" (what stuff?), then he links this to physics in which he thinks that physics is all about 4 elements too: space, time, force and matter, the 5th would be light which would be equivalent to Aristotle's "stuff of stars" he thinks..... I am an art student and a physic enthusiast and I found this book is so very very misleading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Schlain's vast insight
As a musician and life long educator in a school of the arts here in Pittsburgh, I am inspired by Mr. Schlain's vast insight into the relationship of creativity, science, and the human spirit. I believe this work should be a fundamental guide for educators who believe in the power of art as it historically has influenced culture and science. BRAVO Mr. Schlain!

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Connections
This book seeks to provide connections about art and science.I would have liked more visual illustrations, but anyone who seeks to understand the patterns of this world will find the ideas interesting.

Academic disciplines have become segregated in our individual disciplines, so this kind of synthesis is unique.

I bought this book because it was recommended by one of my graduate students.The book was a gift for an engineer who enjoys art and design.

2-0 out of 5 stars Shallow and confused
Leonard Shlain is a surgeon, not an art historian neither a physicist. His culture is impressively broad, but unfortunately shallow. His main thesis in this book is that basically all scientific discoveries were anticipated by artists. I find the interwoven relationship between art and science absolutely fascinating, but this book is not a reference that I would recommand on the topic.

The main problem is that this book abuses of the juxtaposition of unrelated facts, and presents them with such virtuosity that a magical causality seem to appear. Shlain presents ancient thoughts with the enlightenment of modern frameworks, subtly rewriting them, emphasizing concept and translating them such that they seem to fit with forthcoming theories.

This kind of pitfall has been described by Kuhn (the structure of scientific revolution). For example, if Newtonian mechanics can be expressed in the framework of relativity, relativity is NOT and extension of Newtonian physics, there is a fundamental revolution between them. It is only because Newtonian physics has been rewritten that it becomes more compatible with Einstein's new insights.

Moreover, Shlain's understanding of relativity is weak at best. For example, he often makes the confusion between the effect of the finite speed of light (which can be expressed in a Newtonian context) and relativity.

I was all the more disappointed that some of the issues are actually relevant and fascinating: relativity, non Euclidean, surrealism and cubism for example do share a common revolution of the notion of space (and thus of the place of humans in the world). Unfortunately, Shlain's caricatural statements are irrelevant: Manet had absolutely no idea of the concepts involved in relativity, and Einstein himself pointed out that cubism had nothing to deal with relativity (as opposed to Picasso's claims).

If you want a good introduction to art history, read Gombrich, if you want to learn about physics in a broad context, read Zajong (Catching the light).

5-0 out of 5 stars Art & Physics:Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light
I thought this was a wonderful book. Tying the evolution of art to the evolution of thinking and science gave me a more holistic way to look at art. From the ancient Greeks through the Dark and Middle Ages, the Impressionists, and into modern times the parallels of physics to art are simply amazing.Perfect for us "left-brained" types. ... Read more

7. Do Your Ears Pop in Space and 500 Other Surprising Questions about Space Travel
by R. Mike Mullane
Paperback: 256 Pages (1997-01-22)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471154040
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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"An excellent reference. This book has to be on the shelf of every space buff." —James Lovell, Commander, Apollo 13.

Get the inside story on outer space from three-time shuttle astronaut R. Mike Mullane.

"A fascinating collection of honest, factual, from-the-heart answers to the most often asked questions about spaceflight and spacefliers. Required reading for all who aspire to travel in space." —Kathy Thornton, 4-mission Shuttle Astronaut, World Record Holder for Spacewalks by a Woman.

"A brilliant addition to the understanding of space flight. Only a man who has been there—outer space—and done that—fly the Space Shuttle—could render the complexities of flying in space so lucidly." —Walter J. Boyne, Colonel, USAF (Ret.), Former Director, National Air and Space Museum.

"A highly informative inside view of what astronauts really experience in space." —Ed Buckbee, Former Director, U.S. Space & Rocket and U.S. Space Camp.

"All astronauts have been peppered with great questions. Mike Mullane has great answers." —Vice Admiral Richard H. Truly, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Columbia 1981, Challenger 1983, NASA Administrator 1989-1992. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars A little outdated, but nice on Kindle
This is a very light and interesting read. The Q&A format makes it a very easy reading, especially for younger space fans. All aspects of space (shuttle) flight are covered. My only issue is that it needs an updated edition. This is a 1995 book, and references about the "future" international space station sounds dated. Also some of the statistics could be brought up to date.
The Kindle edition is well formatted, no problems here, and graphics ans pictures are preserved.
Overall a 4 star reading for space enthusiasts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely delightful reading!
Highly informative. A few aspects need to be updated, though. I'd buy a second edition without any hesitation.

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ!
I bought this book at the Kennedy Space Center Space Store and at first thought the cover and title looked sort of juvenile. However, once I started reading it I couldn't put it down! Mullane answers so many questions I didn't even think to ask and answered questions I had in my mind while touring NASA. This book enriched my NASA experience and I feel so much more knowledgeable about what astronauts experience. His writing style is as lighthearted and accessible as it is thorough. From explaining how astronauts have to work the toilet system on shuttles to how they are chosen to be an astronauts to facts about the Challenger tragedy, the simple question/answer format makes it fast reading and easy to go back and peruse. Published in 1997, I wish Mullane would update it and add more, but this is such a good introduction to the whole shuttle experience, I won't complain. In fact, this book has given me a better understanding of the current spacewalks on the space station and the Cassini spacecraft that just reached Saturn's orbit. I can easily see how this book could be very inspirational for a wanna-be or don't-yet-know-they-wanna-be astronaut, as well.

It's always more fun hearing about space from an astronaut who's been there and especially one who includes a picture of himself in a "urine collection device." I guarantee you'll be glad for reading this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative and addictive!
Three times Space Shuttle Astronaut R. Mike Mullane answers 500 questions regarding space traveling and life onboard the Space Shuttle. From the technical ones [Shuttle weight or the gravity escape velocity] to very simple questions [Do yor ears pop in space? or Have you seen any ufo's?] this book is a delight for anyone interested in knowing more about the current state of space exploration and shuttle manned missions. The format of the book is quite simple: A question in bold letteringfollowed by a simple, yet intelligent and informative answer. Topics covered range from Take off, reentering the atmosphere, life onboard the ship to some tips for becoming an astronaut. Some black and white pictures and illustrations make the book a little more atractive. The author also provides the reader with many email addresses throughout the book in order to contact him or other astronauts or space program workers. Once you star reading this book, you won't be able to put it down! A must for space enthusiasts, and if you want to know the answer to the title question, you'll have to get the book...

4-0 out of 5 stars Prep book for space exploration
This book is easy to read and is a must for any fan of space travel. The book format uses one line questions followed up with an answer of a paragraph or two. The great thing is that the questions cover EVERY aspect of life in outer space that you can imagine - sleeping, hygene, eating, going to the bathroom, bleeding, clothing and back pain! There is also a great chapter which gives tips on what it takes to get into the space program. Once I picked up this book, I couldn't put it down! ... Read more

8. Space, Time, and Spacetime
by Lawrence Sklar
Paperback: 400 Pages (1977-03-15)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$12.50
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Asin: 0520031741
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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In this book, Lawrence Sklar demonstrates the interdependence of science and philosophy by examining a number of crucial problems on the nature of space and time--problems that require for their resolution the resources of philosophy and of physics.
The overall issues explored are our knowledge of the geometry of the world, the existence of spacetime as an entity over and above the material objects of the world, the relation between temporal order and causal order, and the problem of the direction of time. Without neglecting the most subtle philosophical points or the most advanced contributions of contemporary physics, the author has taken pains to make his explorations intelligible to the reader with no advanced training in physics, mathematics, or philosophy. The arguments are set forth step-by-step, beginning from first principles; and the philosophical discussions are supplemented in detail by nontechnical expositions of crucial features of physical theories. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Around
I read this book years ago when I was quite interested in the topics addressed.During that time I read quite a bit ranging from fluff popularizations to hard-core philosophy of science.Sklar's book was by for my favorite.Why?I found it really addressed the issues in philosphy of science and relativity that fascinated me.I found solid answers and insighful analysis that I didn't find elsewhere.No poetic, but vacuous, metaphors or needless formalism--just getting to the heart of the problems.

2-0 out of 5 stars it takes a lot of space and time to read "Spacetime"
However monumental the book maybe, if it bores the reader to death, the ideas contained in it just never get conveyed.This is one of the most boring books I have ever read (and I can tell you I'm also a frequent reader books laden with heavy and long-winded mathematical/philosophical concepts).I fail to see why Sklar would prefer to drain every bit of fun out of the book and make it dry like a brittle, dessicated autumn leaf - or perhaps he is just not funny.Plus, it doesn't make a book more important by sounding important - he could have shed half of the weight of the book by being more concise and direct to the reader rather than being circular and mysterious.There are few keynotes concepts in the book but they are buried under layers of fat, and I'm sure it's not a reader's responsibility to have to painstakingly dig out the truths in a book.For a better read, opt for "the Philosophy of Space & Time" by Hans Reichenbach, translated by his wife Maria Reichenbach.

2-0 out of 5 stars it takes a lot of space and time to read "Spacetime"
However monumental the book maybe, if it bores the reader to death, the ideas contained in it just never get conveyed.This is one of the most boring books I have ever read (and I can tell you I'm also a frequent reader books laden with heavy and long-winded mathematical/philosophical concepts).I fail to see why Sklar would prefer to drain every bit of fun out of the book and make it dry like a brittle, dessicated autumn leaf - or perhaps he is just not funny.Plus, it doesn't make a book more important by sounding important - he could have shed half of the weight of the book by being more concise and direct to the reader rather than being circular and mysterious.There are few keynotes concepts in the book but they are buried under layers of fat, and I'm sure it's not a reader's responsibility to have to painstakingly dig out the truths in a book.For a better read, opt for "the Philosophy of Space & Time" by Hans Reichenbach, translated by his wife Maria Reichenbach.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thorough, if somewhat dry, look at the issues of space-time
This book has won philosophical awards, and with good reason- it is a valuable resource for anyone looking to learn about the philosophical issues surrounding space and time.In fact, this is the book that isusually read for classes on the topic.A few of the central topics hediscusses are the philosophy of geometry, the reality of space-time, andthe arrow of time.Some of these topics do not recieve the coverage a lonebook on them would achieve, but this is only to be expected, and Sklartells the reader this in the introduction.

Sklar's writing is lucid, andhe weaves the various topics together very nicely.The style is a littledry, but that is probably as it should be- the book is a seriousphilosophical work.While the book was not written for the lay reader,there is nothing inherent in the nature of the material that would preventsomeone unschooled in philosophy from taking it up. ... Read more

9. Space Physics: An Introduction to Plasmas and Particles in the Heliosphere and Magnetospheres (Advanced Texts in Physics)
by May-Britt Kallenrode
Paperback: 482 Pages (2010-11-02)
list price: US$139.00 -- used & new: US$110.66
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Asin: 3642058299
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Observations and physical concepts are interwoven to give basic explanations of phenomena and also show the limitations in these explanations and identify some fundamental questions.

Compared to conventional plasma physics textbooks this book focuses on the concepts relevant in the large-scale space plasmas. It combines basic concepts with current research and new observations in interplanetary space and in the magnetospheres.

Graduate students and young researchers starting to work in this special field of science, will find the numerous references to review articles as well as important original papers helpful to orientate themselves in the literature.

Emphasis is on energetic particles and their interaction with the plasma as examples for non-thermal phenomena, shocks and their role in particle acceleration as examples for non-linear phenomena.

This second edition has been updated and extended. Improvements include: the use of SI units; addition of recent results from SOHO and Ulysses; improved treatment of the magnetosphere as a dynamic phenomenon; text restructured to provide a closer coupling between basic physical concepts and observed complex phenomena.





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10. Introduction to the Physics of Space
by Rossi
 Hardcover: 480 Pages (1970-01-01)

Isbn: 0070538298
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11. Quantum Fields in Curved Space (Cambridge Monographs on Mathematical Physics)
by N. D. Birrell, P. C. W. Davies
Paperback: 352 Pages (1984-04-27)
list price: US$65.00 -- used & new: US$58.00
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Asin: 0521278589
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book presents a comprehensive review of the subject of gravitational effects in quantum field theory. Although the treatment is general, special emphasis is given to the Hawking black hole evaporation effect, and to particle creation processes in the early universe. The last decade has witnessed a phenomenal growth in this subject. This is the first attempt to collect and unify the vast literature that has contributed to this development. All the major technical results are presented, and the theory is developed carefully from first principles. Here is everything that students or researchers will need to embark upon calculations involving quantum effects of gravity at the so-called one-loop approximation level. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Out of date but motivates modern developments
At the time of publication of this book, there was growing interest in how to formulate quantum field theory in spactimes with curved metrics with the intent of studying to what extent a non-flat curvature would change the properties and behavior of quantum fields as compared to the Minkowski case.The authors give an introduction to this research and they do a good job in that regard. Due to the influence of superstring and M-theory on high energy physics at the present time, fewer researchers are studying the problems as they are cast in this book. On the other hand, interest in the Casimir effect and the behavior of quantum fields at boundaries is still very much alive. This book could still be use to motivate this research. It is expected that anyone reading this book will have a background in quantum field theory in flat space, but one could still perhaps read it without such a background.

Quantum field theory in flat spacetime is difficult enough, and it is still not entirely understood from a mathematical perspective. Even the physics of interacting quantum fields is still poorly understood in flat spacetime, especially in its ability to predict a bound state. Therefore, it might seem a bit disconcerting to some for researchers to add further complications to quantum field theory by casting them in curved backgrounds. However, cosmological and astrophysical interests drives this research, as well as more practical considerations arising from the Casimir effect.

The renormalization procedures in quantum field theory are further complicated in curved spacetime via the "trace" or "conformal" anomalies. The reader gets a good dose of these in the book in the discussion on the renormalization of the stress. The idea of an "effective" action, which has been exploited with zeal in the flat spacetime case, appears here also.

The most important thing to carry away from this book is that the idea of a particle in curved space quantum field theory is not very well-formulated, i.e. particle detectors in such situations are not related to the quantity of matter present in a region as they are in the flat-space case. Doing quantum field theory when gravity is present has instigated a huge amount of research, related to the still unsolved problem of just how to quantize the gravitational field.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
One of the better books on quantum fields that I have read so far. An especially good treatment of the Casimir effect and boudary terms is given. The authors have a wonderfully conversive manner of discourse which Ienjoyed very much. ... Read more

12. Understanding Space-Time: The Philosophical Development of Physics from Newton to Einstein
by Robert DiSalle
Paperback: 192 Pages (2008-10-14)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$4.45
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Asin: 0521083176
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Presenting the history of space-time physics, from Newton to Einstein, as a philosophical development DiSalle reflects our increasing understanding of the connections between ideas of space and time and our physical knowledge. He suggests that philosophy's greatest impact on physics has come about, less by the influence of philosophical hypotheses, than by the philosophical analysis of concepts of space, time and motion, and the roles they play in our assumptions about physical objects and physical measurements. This way of thinking leads to interpretations of the work of Newton and Einstein and the connections between them. It also offers ways of looking at old questions about a priori knowledge, the physical interpretation of mathematics, and the nature of conceptual change. Understanding Space-Time will interest readers in philosophy, history and philosophy of science, and physics, as well as readers interested in the relations between physics and philosophy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I am transitioning from a Ph.D program in physics to a Ph.D program in the History and Philosophy of Physics.This is the second book on philosophy of physics that I read, and it was great.My specialty is in gravity and, consequently, space and time.This book added a great deal of perspective to my knowledge, and I found myself savoring the technical rigor of this book.Disalle wrote this book with great academic spirit, assuming the reader has a strong grasp of Newton's Principia to the mathematics of Relativity.A must read, even for those who are physics majors/engineers. ... Read more

13. Ionospheres: Physics, Plasma Physics, and Chemistry (Cambridge Atmospheric and Space Science Series)
by Robert Schunk, Andrew Nagy
Hardcover: 628 Pages (2009-09-21)
list price: US$150.00 -- used & new: US$120.00
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Asin: 0521877067
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This combination of text and reference book describes the physical, plasma and chemical processes controlling the behavior of ionospheres, upper atmospheres and exospheres. It summarizes the structure, chemistry, dynamics and energetics of the terrestrial ionosphere and other solar system bodies, and discusses the processes, mechanisms and transport equations for solving fundamental research problems. This second edition incorporates new results, model developments and interpretations from the last 10 years. It includes the latest material on neutral atmospheres; the terrestrial ionosphere at low, middle and high latitudes; and planetary atmospheres and ionospheres, where results from recent space missions have yielded fresh data. Appendices outline physical constants, mathematical formulas, transport coefficients, and other important parameters for ionospheric calculations. This is an essential resource for researchers studying ionospheres, upper atmospheres, aeronomy and plasma physics. It is also an ideal textbook for graduate-level courses, with supplementary problem sets, and solutions for instructors at www.cambridge.org/9780521877060. ... Read more

14. Quantum Mechanics in Hilbert Space: Second Edition (Dover Books on Physics)
by Eduard Prugovecki
Paperback: 720 Pages (2006-12-01)
list price: US$36.95 -- used & new: US$20.47
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Asin: 0486453278
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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A rigorous, critical presentation of the basic mathematics of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics, this text is suitable for courses in functional analysis at the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels. Its readable, self-contained form is accessible to students without an extensive mathematical background. Numerous exercises include hints and solutions. 1981 edition.
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars mathematical basics
I wrote this to offset the only other review of this book which I thought was unfair.If you are interested in learning quantum PHYSICS, then this is not the book for you.However, if you are interested in learning the underlying mathematical principles of Hilbert space as applied to QM in a semi-rigorous fashion, then this is a very good book.It reviews the relevant techniques from analysis such as spectral theory and does a good job on formalized scattering theory.I probably would have given it four stars if I was being completely unbiased.I liked it.

2-0 out of 5 stars math tricks, no physical insight
Read this about 20 years ago, so bear with me. What I remember, it has some neat mathematical tricks to teach you, but for the title, I would expect it to delve more profoundly into the physics behind completeness of a Hilbert space and what it means for the physical world. It's probably an OK book, but not something that will let you have a revelation or breakthrough. And as one of the founders of group theory and "revolutionaire extraordinaire" (Evariste Galois) said, "study (only) the masters"- so hard these days when mediocrity and marketing guys rule. ... Read more

15. Atomic and Molecular Data for Space Astronomy: Needs, Analysis, and Availabilty (Lecture Notes in Physics)
 Hardcover: 158 Pages (1992-11-05)
list price: US$89.95 -- used & new: US$315.73
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Asin: 0387979093
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This is a very useful reference book for working astronomers and astrophysicists. Forming the proceedings of a recent IAU meeting where the availability and the needs of atomic and molecular data were discussed, the papers published here discuss existing and planned instruments for astronomical spectroscopy from earth-orbiting satellites. In particular, the atomic and molecular parameters that are, or will be, needed for analysis of the data obtained by these instruments are considered. A number of significant shortcomings in the available databases are identified. The needs highlighted will be of interest to laboratory astrophysicists, both experimentalists and theorists, who can produce the data required. A second group of papers provides a current inventory of atomic and molecular data compilations. ... Read more

16. Art and Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light
by Leonard Shlain
Paperback: 480 Pages (1993-01-28)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$19.93
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Asin: 0688123058
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Art interprets the visible world, physics charts its unseen workings--making the two realms seem completely opposed. But in Art & Physics, Leonard Shlain tracks their breakthroughs side by side throughout history to reveal an astonishing correlation of visions.

From the classical Greek sculptors to Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, and from Aristotle to Einstein, aritsts have foreshadowed the discoveries of scientists, such as when Money and Cezanne intuited the coming upheaval in physics that Einstein would initiate. In this lively and colorful narrative, Leonard Shlain explores how artistic breakthroughs could have prefigured the visionary insights of physicists on so many occasions throughtout history.

Provacative and original, Art & Physics is a seamless integration of the romance of art and the drama of science...and exhilarating history of ideas.

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Customer Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars inspiring
this book changed the way i work as an artist.Shlain has wonderful insight and is exciting to read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Grossly Incompetent.
Interesting read? Maybe.Not badly written.But it's so full of false "parallels" between art and physics concepts that, even with slight art training, and precious little physics, I can see the speciousness of his arguments readily.
I was highly disappointed.
There ARE connections between scientific thought and art - visual and written- and the interplay of these fields historically are documented (there are even college entry level courses on them) but Shlain touches on none of these. As a free-wheeling thought game, perhaps, but as a serious pursuit of finding palpable connections? No. One can IMAGINE connections between anything one chooses; it doesn't show that they exist.The intent of the artists cited should be an important aspect of each artwork when trying to find these "parallels", but Shlain wants to ignore them or even rewrite them to suit his purposes.He approaches his study with the intent to prove his forgone conclusion.
I hope he is a better surgeon.
I'm not even going to sell my copy.Its trashed.

5-0 out of 5 stars MUST READ
This literally exploded my understanding - not only of physics but of the interconnectedness of the brain, intuition, the universe.It may not be possible, as yet to totally understand how the art precedes science but as Dr. Shlian so beautifully illustrates, it does, it does in the same way that myth precedes discovery and sci-fi is preparing us to go into space. This book should be in every classroom in the country if not the world.it is required reading if you wish to be educated.Stupendous.Gift everyone you know with this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read
This is a wonderful book, a fantastic read. Those upset with Shlain and think his work twaddle don't appreciate the vision behind his words. Sure, he might not get everything right. Loosen up, science folks. The work is visionary - not proven theory. One thing he talks about that is incredibly fascinating is how the left/right brains of humans evolved. This man has a lot of fascinating things to say. He doesn't need to be perfectly perfect with his facts to interest me.

3-0 out of 5 stars Glass half empty or half full?
I understand the criticism many people have had for this book.There is some fuzzy thinking here.There is a lot of repetition, a tendency to bend concepts to fit the narrative rather than letting the art and physics shape the argument.Dr. Shlain overreaches here, perhaps trying to say too much about subjects he does not have an adequate grasp of.There is room out there for a more scholarly work approaching the subject of the intersection of art and physics.I'd like to see someone go into more detail about what artists' real grasp of physics has been at any given time, I'd like to see the zeitgeist of the periods discussed better analyzed to truly reveal the larger cultural trends at work and how they relate to both artistic innovation as well as scientific discovery.I think there are profound weaknesses in Dr. Shlain's book.

All of that being said, I got a lot from this book.It provoked a curiosity in me for a large variety of subjects.Dr. Shlain's enthusiasm and curiosity is apparent, and also catching: I went to this site specifically to see what other books on the subject might be around, and what other people had to say and recommend on the subject.I think that is very positive and not to be dismissed.The book is certainly engaging, filled with interesting ideas (even if they are not all correct or entirely logical) and compelling: the basic premise is certainly worth considering, even if it is unclear on what level or to what degree an artistic "precognition" of scientific discovery is happening.

So, would I recommend this?Yes, I would, with the caveat that one should tread carefully and be skeptical...which is good advice for just about anything you read.
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17. On Space and Time
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2008-10-31)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$14.00
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Asin: 052188926X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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What is the true nature of space and time? These concepts are at the heart of science, but they remain deeply wrapped in mystery. Both house their structure at the smallest pre-subatomic and the largest cosmological levels continues to defy modern physics and may require revolutionary new ideas for which science is still grasping. This unique volume brings together world leaders in cosmology, particle physics, quantum gravity, mathematics, philosophy and theology, to provide fresh insights into the deep structure of space and time. Andrew Taylor, Shahn Majid, Roger Penrose, Alain Connes, Michael Heller, and John Polkinghorne all experts in their respective fields, explain their theories in this outstanding compiled text.

A note from Simon Capelin, one of scholarly science publishing's leading editors:What is space? What is time? Is space infinite? Does time have a beginning? These questions have fascinated scientists, philosophers and theologians alike for hundreds of years, and the answers continue to elude us today. Current theories fall short of answers to the deeper questions, and the structure of space and time continues to defy modern physics. But the quest to understand the nature of space and time does not just lie with scientists. The search raises theological questions about the nature of physical reality itself, and what it means to exist. So, after more than two thousand years of thought and several hundred years of science, what do we know about the nature of space and time? This question was posed to a panel of six world leaders in physics, mathematics, and theology in a public discussion held at Emmanuel College, Cambridge: Sir Roger Penrose, who has made many remarkable contributions to science; John Polkinghorne KBE, a renowned theologian and particle physicist; Alain Connes, Fields medalist, and one of the world's foremost mathematicians; Michael Heller, a key contributor to the fields of science, theology, and philosophy; Shahn Majid, one of the pioneers in the theory of quantum symmetry; and Andrew Taylor, who has made major contributions in the study of dark matter and dark energy. In this book, each of these very distinguished authors expands on the theories presented at the discussion. They offer their personal perspectives, providing unique insights on this matter, from the structure of spacetime, dark matter, quantum spacetime, and what happened before the Big Bang, to the nature of time, metaphysics, and the philosophical and theological implications of spacetime. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars The mathematical universe
I found "On Space and Time" a refreshing change from the usual, related popular book fare. The latter too often proselytize about string theory-related approaches, without making the reader adequately aware about how speculative are the theories. After a very readable and usefully up-to-date introductory overview of cosmology by astrophysicist Andrew Taylor, we have the core three chapters by leading mathematicians Shahn Majid, Roger Penrose, and Alain Connes, who each present quite different ideas about the possible fundamental structure of space-time. I particularly enjoyed the contributions by Majid and Penrose. Majid introduces in a leisurely and not overly technical way the subject of 'non-commutative geometry' and describes how it might furnish a mathematical framework for quantum space-time. Particularly intriguing is Majid's thesis that a fundamental theory of space-time (and hence physics) will involve so-called 'self-dual structures'. I liked very much his original use of Plato's cave allegory to help explain his thesis.

Penrose's chapter begins with a nice overview about how classical space-time is described using the tools of geometry. Later on, he reviews his longstanding ideas about the nature of the birth and ultimate fate of our expanding universe. His main thesis is that the laws of physics around the time of the big bang and in the remote future are 'conformally invariant'. This has the remarkable consequence that no meaning can be attached to the question of when the universe began and when it ends: there is simply no notion of time passing.

This book is not quite a 'popular' account of the subject, with equations and technical language frequently making an appearance. Yet, it is breathtaking ideas such as those exampled above that make the book well worth the effort. A reader without a mathematics background will still get a lot out of this book, not least a rare impression about the invaluable insights mathematicians have about the unsolved problems of the quantum nature of space-time.

2-0 out of 5 stars On Space and Time
It started out good but got way to technical for the non- physics person.
I have a BS in Math and Physics and got lost in his equations and use of functions and swaping functions.

Had I known I would not have bought it. I was much more interested in understanding how time is dilated by speed and time and how that affects cosmology.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for right audience
The books falls very nicely between casual mass-market popularization literature and professional PhD texts. The average reader can easily follow the popular books, yet one can read only so many times about ray of light in moving train and curved spacetime. To follow the real developments in modern physics is next to impossible without well-developed math skills.

Majid does a terrific job of leading to the very edge of layman understanding, proving minimal math concepts to explain structure of his ideas... and then just at the moment where loosing his train of thoughts seems inescapable provide simple and yet brilliant summation of surprising insights on his ideas about reality.

The book is not trivial to follow, and knowledge of basic math concepts would be very helpful. However, it doesn't require the actual PhD level math or deriving anything. You just need to be ready to apply much more math thinking when reading the text then it would be typical for say Brian Greene book. Working your mental gears through very simple yet fun facts like (x*y)^-1 = (y^-1*y)(x*y)^-1=(y^-1*x^-1*x*y)*(x*y)^-1==(y^-1*x^-1)*(x*y)*(x*y)^-1= y^-1*x^-1 is very satisfying.

Of many recently purchased books (including terrific works by Lee Smolin, Lisa Randal, etc) this one lets you come as close as one can to watch actual workings of modern theoretical physicist research, and almost grasp the building blocks and connections without the nitty-gritty details of rigid proof. Majid conjectures are very thought provoking, and put new light on many familiar physical concepts. Strongly recommend and just wish there were more high-end popularization books like that one.

3-0 out of 5 stars Very difficult to follow
I really love the idea behind this book, which is that a unified theory of forces requires a rethink of the nature of space and time.However the passages written by Alain Connes and Majid are very difficult to follow, because the mathematics is way beyond me.I can understand the concept of noncommutative geometry both of these are working with but the actual application to physics and practical understanding is hard to follow.Some of Connes' remarks regarding solving physical problems through his theory surprise me in their optimism.Roger Penrose's article is very much indebted to 'the road to reality' in its ideas and expositions.

For some reason there are philosophical chapters and religious ones included, which appear to me completely gratuitous, hence the 3-star rating.The first chapter is a very quick and brief review of cosmology and quantum theory, ending with the puzzle of unifying standard model and gravity (i.e. general relativity).I would love to understand more about Connes and Majid but unfortunately these mathematicians are not intending to make their theories too understandable for the educated layperson in this particular book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Mixed quality
I bought this book in the hope to learn in particular about noncommutative spacetime theories. This new book by Fields medalist and undisputed world leader in the field of noncommutative geometry, Alain Connes, would be the first popular science book presenting these ideas for a non-specialist audience. So my expectations were high.

Too high it appears.

First, let it be stated very clear here: this book is not by Connes. Amazon should update their database and display "Shahn Majid (Ed.)" as author. Connes is just one of the contributers, yet his name is conveniently displayed as first author. The blurb claims: "this unique volume brings together world leaders in cosmology, particle physics, quantum gravity, mathematics, philosophy and theology". As far as I can judge, there are only two big names amongst the contributers (Connes and Penrose). The others might be established names, but they seem far removed from being "world leaders".

The contribution by Connes itself (covering about 40 pages of the book) I found disappointing. Lots of generalities and very little about noncommutative geometry. Where it goes deeper into mathematics, the notation and definitions are unclear, and it seems he never gets to the heart of the matter.

The contribution of the other 'big name', Roger Penrose is better, but contains a lot of material presented already in his superb book 'The Road to Reality'. The new material Penrose has added is about conformal cyclic cosmology.

In my opinion, the best contribution (and certainly the largest at close to 90 pages) comes from the editor Shahn Majid. He actually does go into noncommutative geometry, explains its relevance to quantum gravity, and presents some simple examples of noncommutative algebras one can play with mathematically. The last two sections of his text (on 'self-dual structures and 'relative reality') were however rather vague.

Amongst the other contributors you will find Michael Heller and John Polkinghorne. The former is linked to the Vatican, and the latter an Anglican theologian. Their contributions are of metaphysical nature and try to make a link between modern physics and theology. In my opinion the book would have been better without these two contributions.

The editor, Majid, has also written the preface. I suspect it proved impossible to attract a renowned scientist to write a preface to this collection of popular science texts of rather mixed quality.

On the positive side, this hardcover edition is of good binding quality, with an attractive cover, and certainly priced favourably (even surprisingly so for a book in this category). Yet, someone interested to read a book containing a collection of contemporary theories on quantum gravity and the nature of spacetime, I would advise similar, perhaps more expensive but content wise better,collections such as Callender and Huggett's "Physics Meets Philosophy at the Planck Scale: Contemporary Theories in Quantum Gravity".

Barely three stars, with the very affordable price and Majid's contribution preventing this book from dropping below that level.
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18. Hilbert Space Operators in Quantum Physics (Theoretical and Mathematical Physics)
by Jirí Blank, Pavel Exner, Miloslav Havlícek
Paperback: 664 Pages (2010-11-30)
list price: US$139.00 -- used & new: US$110.66
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Asin: 9048180120
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This course-tested book explains in detail the theory of linear Hilbert-space operators and their use in quantum physics. The central mathematical tool of the book is the spectral theory of self-adjoint operators; in order to make the exposition self-contained, selected topics of functional analysis are included. An introduction to the theory of operator sets and algebras is also presented. This mathematical material is then used for a systematic analysis of the operator structure of quantum theory. Logical building of the theory is discussed as well as its practical aspects, such as spectral properties of quantum mechanical Hamiltonians, scattering theory, and more.

The second edition was extended by two new chapters devoted to properties of quantum waveguides and quantum graphs. The bibliography was amended by about 130 new items.

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19. Vector Spaces and Matrices in Physics
by M. C. Jain
Hardcover: 184 Pages (2000-11-13)
list price: US$59.95 -- used & new: US$59.95
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Asin: 0849309786
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A textbook for graduate and undergraduate students of physics and a reference for professionals introducing and elucidating the theory of vector spaces and matrices. Offers discussion of many related mathematical topics and provides solved and unsolved problems to make the text self-sufficient. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Vector Spaces and Matrices in Physics
I am a first year graduate student in physics.I found this book extremely useful.It is very easy to read, easy to understand, and very concise.The material is presented in a logical way and the entire book can be read in a few hours if you are short on time.It is one of my favorite linear algebra books. ... Read more

20. Spinors and Space-Time: Volume 2, Spinor and Twistor Methods in Space-Time Geometry (Cambridge Monographs on Mathematical Physics)
by Roger Penrose, Wolfgang Rindler
Paperback: 512 Pages (1988-04-29)
list price: US$90.00 -- used & new: US$74.00
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Asin: 0521347866
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Spinor and Twistor Methods in Space-Time Geometryintroduces the theory of twistors, and studies in detail how the theory of twistors and 2-spinors can be applied to the study of space-time. Twistors have, in recent years, attracted increasing attention as a mathematical tool and as a means of gaining new insights into the structure of physical laws.This volume also includes a comprehensive treatment of the conformal approach to space-time infinity with results on general-relativistic mass and angular momentum, a detailed spinorial classification of the full space-time curvature tensor, and an account of the geometry of null geodesics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Twistors from their creator
The first volume of this set provided a through development of two-spinor calculus. This book, the second volume, uses two-spinor calculus to analyze some problems in physics. It examines situations where spinor methods unquestionably provide value, such as Witten's proof of the positive energy theorem. It also introduces twistors (only briefly mentioned in volume I). The original goal of twistor theory was very ambitious, to essentially quantize space-time by making it a concept derived from twistor space. Obviously that hasn't be achieved, but that goal isn't a primary focus of this book.

The first chapter is a quick recap of volume I, including most of the formulas from it that are used in this book. After this, twistors are introduced. The algebra is easy to follow, but there is a lot of it. A geometric description of null twistors is given in terms of the spinors it's composed of. Later it's shown how to construct a null twistor, up to a phase factor, from the momentum and spin of a massless particle. I thought this provided a nice physical model. One of the interesting things is that conformal invariance has a fairly central role, as it does in string theory. Overall the contact with physics in this chapter is fairly light.

From this point on application to physics are more central, of course there is still plenty of math. The first topic considered is congruences of null geodesics. A couple of things stand out. One is the coverage is more complete than usual. The other is that the authors describe the relation of twistors to shear free ray congrucences, normally it's only spinors that are used to describe the congruences.

The next chapter covers on of the more widely used applications of spinor methods to general relativity, the classification of the Weyl tensor. While this is perhaps the most widely discussed application of spinors in general relativity, the depth of the discussion here is much greater than the usual. Instead of just showing how much more transparent the analysis is with spinors, this book also adds a twist that cannot be done with tensors, it considers changing the phase and magnitude of the Weyl spinor, i.e. it considers more than the principal null directions. There is also material on the classification of the Ricci curvature, which is uncommon.

Following this spinors are applied to asymptotic questions in general relativity. The chapter begins with a review of causal structure and compactification (compactification in the sense of conformal compactification, not in the sense of wrapping extra dimensions in a small torus). The view that space-time points are entities derived from twistor space is further developed here, but still not in great detail. For me the best parts of this, rather long, chapter were the discussions of peeling properties of gravitational radiation the use of spinors and twistors to analyze energy-momentum and angular momentum. Regarding the latter, it also includes the use of spinors to prove the positive energy theorem.

I liked this book a lot, even more than volume I. One thing that surprised me is that I expected more development of twistor theory, there was a fair amount, but I would have liked to have seen more. A lot of the material in this book is clearly relevant to physics, however there is also a substantial amount that is more speculative. ... Read more

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