27 March 2012

Books received

Books received

Weimar Culture and Quantum Mechanics: Selected Papers by Paul Forman and Contemporary Perspectives on the Forman Thesis
By Cathryn Carson, Alexei Kojevnikov and Helmuth Trischler (eds.)
World Scientific
Hardback: £98 $150
E-book: $195

This collection reprints Paul Forman’s classic papers on the history of the scientific profession in Germany after the First World War and the invention of quantum mechanics. The Forman thesis became famous for its demonstration of the cultural conditioning of scientific knowledge, in particular by showing the historical connection between the culture of Weimar Germany – known for its irrationality and antiscientism – and the emerging concept of quantum acausality. In 2007, participants at a conference in Vancouver discussed the implications of the Forman thesis for contemporary historiography. Their contributions are also in this volume.

Cosmic Rays for Particle and Astroparticle Physics: Proceedings of the 12th ICATPP Conference
By S Giani, C Leroy and P G Rancoita (eds.)
World Scientific
Hardback: £137 $210
E-book: $273

The 12th ICATPP conference was aimed at promoting contacts between scientists involved in solar-terrestrial physics, space physics, astroparticle physics and cosmology from both the theoretical and the experimental approaches. The conference was devoted to physics and the physics requirements; a survey of theoretical models and performances of detectors; astroparticle physics; astrophysics research; and the space environment. It also covered the use of cosmic rays to extend the scientific research experience to teachers and students with air-shower arrays and other techniques.

International Seminar on Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies: 43rd Session
By R Ragaini (eds.)
World Scientific
Hardback: £112 $170
E-book: $221

This volume in The Science and Culture Series: Nuclear Strategy and Peace Technology, edited by Antonino Zichichi, is the proceedings of a seminar focusing on planetary emergencies that was held in Erice in August 2010. Talks ranged from “The Evolving Nuclear Weapon Threat to Society” by Richard L Garwin to “Carbon Dioxide, Friend or Foe” by William Happer. Scientists in all fields, politicians and decision-makers in ministries of foreign affairs, science and interior and security, as well as international organizations, will find this an interesting resource.

Neutrino Physics, Second Edition
By Kai Zuber
CRC Press
Hardback: £82
E-book: $129.95

When Kai Zuber’s text on neutrinos was published in 2003, the author correctly predicted that the field would see tremendous growth in the immediate future. Now, revised and expanded to include the latest research, conclusions and implications, Neutrino Physics, Second Edition delves into neutrino cross-sections, mass measurements, double-beta decay, solar neutrinos, neutrinos from supernovae and high-energy neutrinos, as well as new experimental results in the context of theoretical models. It also provides an entirely new discussion on the resolution of the solar-neutrino problem, the first real-time measurement of solar neutrinos below 1 MeV, geoneutrinos and long-baseline accelerator experiments.

Modern Perspectives in Lattice QCD: Quantum Field Theory and High Performance Computing. Lecture Notes of the Les Houches Summer School: Volume 93, August 2009
By Laurent Lellouch, Rainer Sommer, Benjamin Svetitsky, Anastassios Vladikas and Leticia F Cugliandolo
Oxford University Press
Hardback: £47.50 $85.50

This book is based on the lectures delivered at the XCIII Session of the École de Physique des Houches, held in August 2009. The aim of the event was to familiarize the new generation of PhD students and postdoctoral fellows with the principles and methods of modern lattice field theory, which aims to resolve fundamental, non-perturbative questions about QCD without uncontrolled approximations. The emphasis is on the theoretical developments that have shaped the field and turned lattice gauge theory into a robust approach to the determination of low-energy hadronic quantities and of fundamental parameters of the Standard Model.

Introduction to Black Hole Physics
By Valeri P Frolov and Andrei Zelnikov
Oxford University Press
Hardback: £55 $98.50

For many years, black holes have been considered interesting solutions of the theory of general relativity with a number of amusing mathematical properties. Now, following the discovery of astrophysical black holes, Einstein’s gravity has become an important tool for their study. This text combines physical, mathematical and astrophysical aspects of black-hole theory. It also contains “standard” material on black holes as well as new subjects, such as the role of hidden symmetries in black-hole physics, and black holes in space–times with large extra dimensions.

Relativistic Quantum Physics: From Advanced Quantum Mechanics to Introductory Quantum Field Theory
By Tommy Ohlsson
Cambridge University Press
Hardback: £38 $65
E-book: $52

Quantum physics and special relativity theory were two of the greatest breakthroughs in physics during the 20th century and contributed to paradigm shifts in physics. This book combines these two discoveries to provide a complete description of the fundamentals of relativistic quantum physics, guiding the reader from relativistic quantum mechanics to basic quantum field theory. It gives a detailed treatment of the subject, beginning with the classification of particles, the Klein–Gordon equation and the Dirac equation. Exercises and problems are featured at the end of most chapters.

Quantum Engineering: Theory and Design of Quantum Coherent Structures
By A M Zagoskin
Cambridge University Press
Hardback: £45 $80
E-book: $64

Quantum engineering has emerged as a field with important potential applications. This book provides a self-contained presentation of the theoretical methods and experimental results in quantum engineering. It covers topics such as the quantum theory of electric circuits, the quantum theory of noise and the physics of weak superconductivity. The theory is complemented by up-to-date experimental data to help put it into context.

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