Newton to Einstein: the Trail of Light An Excursion to the Wave-Particle Duality and the Special Theory of Relativity

ISBN-10: 0521423236

ISBN-13: 9780521423236

Edition: 2001

Authors: Ralph Baierlein
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Description: This undergraduate text aims to take the reader along the trail of light from Newton's particles to Einstein's relativity. Like a detective story, it presents clues intended to encourage the reader to draw conclusions before the answers are revealed.

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Book details

List price: $79.99
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 8/16/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 348
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 4.246
Language: English

Mike Prest is Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Manchester.

Preface
How light behaves
First observations
The speed of light in vacuum
White light and colors
Sidedness
Variations in intensity
The rainbow
Newton's particle theory
Theory building
The particle theory of refraction
Ramifications
A decisive test
Summary
Newton himself
A wave theory of light
Waves
Some general properties of waves
Light as a wave?
Refraction quantitatively
Waves in perspective
Interference
Interference defined
Two-source interference
Interference in light?
Measuring the wavelength of light
Color and wavelength
Thomas Young
The single slit
More interference phenomena
Electromagnetic waves
The electric field
Franklin's clapper
The magnetic field
The entities
Faraday's law
Electromagnetic waves
The electromagnetic spectrum
"Sidedness" explained and explored
Odds and ends
The photon
Preview
The photoelectric effect
The Compton effect
Einstein's Nobel Prize
The bare essentials
The wave-particle duality
Hertz revisited
A connection via probability
A trajectory for a photon?
The wave-particle duality
Understanding light: some further help
Does the speed of light depend on the motion of the source of light?
Transition
The question answered
A few comments
The contrast
The principles of the Special Theory of Relativity
The big picture
The two principles
The logic of our development
The constancy of the speed of light
Synchronizing clocks within a single reference frame
The relativity of simultaneity
Albert Einstein
Time dilation and length contraction
Time dilation
Checking a tacit assumption: perpendicular lengths
An interlude on radioactivity
A test of time dilation
Length contraction
The muons revisited
Compendium
E=mc[superscript 2]
Energy, mass, and momentum reviewed
A thought experiment for [Delta]E=([Delta]m)c[superscript 2]
Conversions and parallel changes
Mass and speed
From [Delta]E=([Delta]m)c[superscript 2] to E=mc[superscript 2]
Nuclear fission
Processes in nuclear physics
Scales of energy release
Leo Szilard
Retrospection
The twins
Theory
Experimental test
Reflection
The Lorentz transformations
Deriving the Lorentz transformations
Combining velocities
Trying to beat the speed of light
The chapter in a nutshell
Space and time
Glossary
Energy
The dependence of mass on speed
More about E=mc[superscript 2]
Index
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