The latest physics textbooks

November 23, 2007

Astrophysics: Decoding the Cosmos Astrophysics: Decoding the Cosmos
Author: Judith Irwin
Edition: First
Publisher: Wiley
Price: £90.00 and £34.95
ISBN 9780470013052 and 3069

The Canadian physicist aims to provide upper-year undergraduate astronomers with the tools that will explain the "why" of astrophysics via a series of sections progressing from "the signal observed" through the signal perturbed, emitted and decoded. The author notes: "In the age of the internet, it is easy for students to download any number of descriptions of astronomical objects. What is more difficult is finding the thread of physics that links them, and it is this that I wanted to address."

Inquiry into Physics
Authors: Vern Ostdiek and Donald Bord
Edition: Sixth
Publisher: Brooks Cole
Pages: 576
Price: £51.99
ISBN 9780495119432

Benedictine College's Vern Ostdiek and University of Michigan's Donald Bord continue to emphasise conceptual knowledge within a problem-solving framework, demonstrating the relevance of physics to our daily lives using a range of examples including iPods, kaleidoscopes, smoke and metal detectors.

The Theory of Open Quantum Systems
Authors: Heinz-Peter Breuer and Francesco Petruccione
Edition: Second
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Price: £63.00 and £37.00
ISBN 9780198520634 and 9213900

Heinz-Peter Breuer and Francesco Petruccione have written a text aimed at providing a self-contained presentation of the subject for undergraduate and graduate students in physics, theoretical physics and applied mathematics, as well as researchers and lecturers in quantum mechanics.

Liquid Crystal Elastomers
Authors: Mark Warner and Eugene Terentjev
Edition: Revised paperback
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Price: £29.95
ISBN 9780199214860

Cambridge University academics Mark Warner and Eugene Terentjev have aimed this title, a primer for liquid crystals, polymers, rubber and elasticity, at graduate-level physicists, chemists, material scientists, engineers and applied mathematicians.

Mathematics for Physics and Physicists
Author: Walter Appel
Edition: First
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Price: £35.00
ISBN 9780691131023

Walter Appel, a theoretical physicist and mathematics educator who currently teaches mathematics at the Henri Poincare School in France, seeks in his book - appearing here in translation - to cover all the mathematics that a physicist requires above undergraduate level, including recent topics such as convergence, Green functions and Fourier series, as well as offering biographical sketches of mathematicians and problem sets.

Astrophysics in a Nutshell
Author: Dan Maoz
Edition: First
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Price: £29.95
ISBN 9780691125848

Tel Aviv University professor Dan Maoz aims to provide a concise guide to the subject for advanced science undergraduates. The essentials of modern astrophysics are covered, from traditional topics such as stellar remnants and galaxies to recent research including dark matter and dark energy, while training students in order-of-magnitude analysis.

Discovering the Solar System
Author: Barrie W. Jones
Edition: Second
Publisher: Wiley
Price: £37.50
ISBN 9780470018316

This second edition of a title intended as an introduction for science students now offers new material on exoplanetary systems and presents results from Mars Rover and the Cassini-Huygens missions. Barrie Jones, professor of astronomy at the Open University, covers topics ranging from the origin of the solar system to the atmospheres of the giant planets.

Computational Physics
Author Jos Thijssen
Edition Second
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Price £45.00
ISBN 9780521833462

Delft University of Technology physicist Jos Thijssen offers new sections covering finite element methods and lattice Boltzmann simulation, density functional theory, Monte Carlo simulation and more. In his introduction, the author says: “Although computers have become very powerful, they are still unable to provide a solution to most problems without approximations to the physical equations. In this book, we shall focus on these approximations.”

Mesoscopic Physics of Electrons and Photons
Authors Eric Akkermans and Gilles Montambaux
Edition First
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Price £55.00 and $79.00 (e-book)
ISBN 9780521855129 and 11286926 (e-book)

Physicists Eric Akkermans (Technion-Haifa) and Gilles Montambaux (Paris-Sud IX) aim to provide a self-contained text with all elementary presentations of the necessary basic theories in quantum mechanics and scattering theory, along with a large number of experimental results, to give readers a broad overview.

Theories and Techniques of Crystal Structure Determination
Author Uri Shmueli
Edition First
Publisher Oxford University Press
Price £65.00 and £32.50
ISBN 978 0199213504 and 9667

Chemist Uri Shmueli of Tel Aviv University has written a concise text aimed at those who deal with crystalline matter and the determination of its structure, and who seek greater understanding of the principles involved: chemists, material scientists and physicists.

Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Author Paul Tipler and Gene Mosca
Edition Sixth
Publisher W. H. Freeman and co.
Price £39.99
ISBN 9781429201247

This text offers an integration of text and media solution to help students learn more effectively and to give lecturers the option to customise their classes. It is split into three volumes, with all three including new strategic problem-solving approaches.

Introduction to Quantum Mechanics: A Time-Dependent Perspective
Author David Tannor
Edition First
Publisher University Science Books
Price £43.99
ISBN 9781891389238

It is becoming ever more popular to use time-dependent quantum mechanics to understand many phenomena in physics and chemistry and this textbook outlines the fundamental theory, providing a comprehensive overview with illustrative examples and test questions.

Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Author John Jewett and Raymond Serway
Edition Seventh
Publisher Brooks Cole
Price £41.99
ISBN 9780495112235

As well as providing an introduction to the theories of physics, this text also has more than 200 “Pitfall Preventions” to help avoid common mistakes and misunderstandings. Each chapter ends with a quick quiz so that students can gauge their progress with each topic learnt.

Introduction to Quantum Effects in Gravity
Authors Viatcheslav Mukhanov and Sergei Winitzki
Edition First
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Price £45.00
ISBN 9780521868341

This introductory textbook on quantum field theory in gravitational backgrounds for undergraduates in theoretical astrophysics, cosmology, particle physics, and string theory covers the basics of quantisation of fields in an expanding universe and quantum fluctuations in inflationary spacetime. The Casimir, Unruh, and Hawking effects are explained and the method of effective action used for calculating the back-reaction of quantum systems on a classical external gravitational field is introduced. The book assumes only a basic knowledge of general relativity. Exercises with solutions are provided.

Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy
Author Jeffrey P. Freidberg
Edition First
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Price £75.00
ISBN 9780521851077

This book is based on a series of course notes from graduate courses in plasma physics and fusion energy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It opens with an overview of world energy needs, current methods of energy generation and the role that fusion could play in the future. It covers fusion power production, power balance, the design of a simple fusion reactor and the basic plasma physics issues facing the development of fusion power.

Statistical Physics of Particles
Author Mehran Jardar
Edition First
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Price £40.00
ISBN 9780521873420

Statistical physics has its origins in attempts to describe the thermal properties of matter in terms of its constituent particles and has played a fundamental role in the development of quantum mechanics. This book is based on lectures taught by the author at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and introduces the central concepts and tools of statistical physics. It contains a chapter on probability and related issues such as the central limit theorem and information theory, and covers interacting particles, with a description of the van der Waals equation and its derivation by mean field approximation. It also contains an integrated set of problems, with solutions to selected problems at the end of the book.

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