QED The Strange Theory of Light and Matter

ISBN-10: 0691024170
ISBN-13: 9780691024172
Edition: 1988
List price: $16.95
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Description: Famous the world over for the creative brilliance of his insights into the physical world, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman also possessed an extraordinary talent for explaining difficult concepts to the nonscientist. QED--the edited  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.95
Copyright year: 1988
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 10/21/1988
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 176
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.440
Language: English

Famous the world over for the creative brilliance of his insights into the physical world, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman also possessed an extraordinary talent for explaining difficult concepts to the nonscientist. QED--the edited version of four lectures on quantum electrodynamics that Feynman gave to the general public at UCLA as part of the Alix G. Mautner Memorial Lecture series--is perhaps the best example of his ability to communicate both the substance and the spirit of science to the layperson. The focus, as the title suggests, is quantum electrodynamics (QED), the part of the quantum theory of fields that describes the interactions of the quanta of the electromagnetic field-light, X rays, gamma rays--with matter and those of charged particles with one another. By extending the formalism developed by Dirac in 1933, which related quantum and classical descriptions of the motion of particles, Feynman revolutionized the quantum mechanical understanding of the nature of particles and waves. And, by incorporating his own readily visualizable formulation of quantum mechanics, Feynman created a diagrammatic version of QED that made calculations much simpler and also provided visual insights into the mechanisms of quantum electrodynamic processes. In this book, using everyday language, spatial concepts, visualizations, and his renowned "Feynman diagrams" instead of advanced mathematics, Feynman successfully provides a definitive introduction to QED for a lay readership without any distortion of the basic science. Characterized by Feynman's famously original clarity and humor, this popular book on QED has not been equaled since its publication.

Richard Feynman, an American theoretical physicist, received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1942 and worked at Los Alamos, New Mexico, on the atomic bomb during World War II. From 1945 to 1950, he taught at Cornell University and became professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology in 1950. Feynman made important contributions to quantum electrodynamics (QED) and electromagnetic interactions, such as interactions among electrons. In Feynman's approach, interactions are considered exchanges of virtual particles. For example, Feynman explained the interaction of two electrons as an exchange of virtual photons. Feynman's theory has proved to be accurate in its predictions. In 1965 the Nobel Prize for physics was awarded to three pioneers in quantum electrodynamics: Feynman, Julian Schwinger, and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga. Feynman was an outspoken critic of NASA for its failure to notice flaws in the design of the Challenger space shuttle, which resulted in its tragic explosion.

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgment
Introduction
Photons: Particles of Light
Electrons and Their Interactions
Loose Ends
Index

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