We know that there is always a separation between two types of books in the field of science, and any other field of knowledge alike. The first is simplified and presented to those who want to get acquainted with the general idea or the scientific concept of a theory or an exciting phenomenon without the need to enter into complications, and the second is specialized, haunted With hundreds of equations, and presumably advanced previous knowledge of this science, whatever it is.
But between these two types, there are books that not many people know about. They usually present physics, or any other field of knowledge, in a form that is suitable for novice students in university levels and perhaps before, to create an intermediate level between the popular and the specialized, which helps them to become familiar with the specialized language. However, these books remain as simplified as possible conceptually, and rely only on the foundations that each student has learned in the preparatory and secondary stages, or he can learn them by reviewing those curricula, and because it is rare to find this type of books, we have decided to collect some of them together in one report.
Basic concepts in physics
Well, let’s start from a book that was translated several years ago and did not find almost any interest in the Arabic library, perhaps because whoever opens it will find a large number of equations, then he will be shocked immediately and leave it aside. The book is “Basic Concepts in Physics: From the Universe to the Quarks” the Cosmos to Quarks) by Masoud Chechian, Hugo Pérez Rojas and Anka Turin, and in it is a really wonderful fusion of physics and its history, with a great variety that includes the basic topics of all physics.
The book begins with Pythagoras and the Middle Ages, then reaches Newton, passes through classical mechanics and then statistics, then enters into electricity and magnetism, then relativity with its two theories, then goes to the quantum field, and from there to the quantum field and particle physics, and then concludes with two interesting chapters on scientists’ attempts to unify the forces of Nature under one theory, the relationship between physics and life.
The book targets first- and second-year university students who study physics as a major or a side major (such as students of engineering, computer science or pharmacy, for example), as well as scientists from fields other than physics, and finally the general reader, provided that he avoids some areas in the book identified by its authors, the book does not require There is more than high school mathematics, from elementary arithmetic, matrix algebra, vector analysis and calculus, and you can learn all of them by searching on YouTube, where you will find many of the short courses it offers. For the book’s comprehensive account of all the fundamental domains of physics, these requirements are fairly simple.
In Praise of Simple Physics
Well, don’t be fooled by the title of this book “In Praise of Simple Physics: The Science and Mathematics Behind Everyday Questions”, it is loaded with a plethora of physics equations that may seem complicated at first glance, but they are just some of the math basics related to high school physics and before, With a bit of a complexity at times, this is undoubtedly a book for math and physics hobbyists and first-year undergraduate students.
In this book, Paul Jay Nahn presents a set of ordinary daily life problems, such as the effect of lane winds on his hair, how to detect the third turn key, the method of changing tires in motor racing, etc., and then analyzes them physically and mathematically in a way that shows you the importance of these areas , which is unusual for physics students and lovers, as the problems of daily life are usually presented in the form of physical concepts without equations, or equations are presented in foundation books that are not related to daily life. This is a book for physics lovers.
Relativity for everyone
In the introduction to this book “Relativity for Everyone How Space-Time Bends,” its Japanese physicist Kurt Fischer says: “I came across the theory of relativity when I was a teenager in the public library in my hometown. There were two kinds of books: the easy books didn’t really explain, but they showed pictures Big and colorful science fiction type. Serious books seemed to explain something, but that was hidden in a block of mathematical symbols.” This book was the result of an attempt by the writer to fill the void between the two types of books.
This book explains how special and general relativity works, and uses a lot of thought experiments to do so, while showing how physicists make and solve models. – It provides the knowledge material to a wide range of readers, even non-specialists or amateurs, as it uses simple arithmetic mathematics that does not cross the barrier of basic operations.
In the first chapter of the book, you will learn about some basics about mass and energy, and then in the second chapter you will learn why time and length are “relative.” This is the beginning of the special theory of relativity, which continues for four chapters, followed by general relativity, and then the book does not stop there, but rather explains General relativity solutions are in remarkable ranges such as black holes.
General relativity without differential
At a more advanced, but still undergraduate, level comes the book “General Relativity Without Calculus: A Concise Introduction to the Geometry of Relativity”, which is a guide to a one-week course aimed at outstanding students in their final years of secondary education, taught in Department of Mathematics at the Higher Technical Institute in Lisbon, Portugal.
The book aims to give a quick, but non-trivial introduction to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, and because students are at a beginner-to-intermediate level in mathematics, there were restrictions on the use of mathematics and physics except at the elementary levels, which included the removal of calculus from the game, namely – as Students know – what most prevents beginners from entering the world of physics, since the vast majority of people do not know anything about this area. The book requires only basic or possibly rudimentary knowledge of basic algebra, geometry, trigonometry, a little mechanics (velocity, acceleration, mass), force and energy. These are things that can be learned in less than a month if you are passionate about it.
This book, and its predecessor, come in about 130-150 pages only, which facilitates their study for a beginner, and both are located in a distinguished group called “Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics” issued by Springer International Publishing House, which opens its doors for free in several Arab countries such as Egypt.
The exciting possibilities of quantum theory
Leonid Ponomarev, the author of this book and a specialist in nuclear physics, tends to move away from the fantasy of quantum mechanics, and focuses more on explaining basic concepts in a school-style format, and he uses a few equations, but they are first easy and understandable equations with mathematics at the level of basic operations to a level Secondly, you can override these equations if you want, and this will not detract from your knowledge much, but we assure that delving into the equations gives you a degree of depth that is very important for a more comprehensive understanding of this range.
Ponomarev begins the book with a massive introduction in five complete chapters, which he calls “Origins”, during which he proceeds in a calm manner in the history of atoms. Bohr, passing through Dibruley, Schrödinger, and Heisenberg. Then, in eight chapters, Ponomarev explains the applications of quantum mechanics, and arrives at a final chapter on speculations about the theory. The book has a high degree of sobriety, and with some effort and focus in its material you will come out with an important introduction to quantum mechanics.
Flying Physics Circus
This book, written by Girl Walker, professor of physics at Cleveland State University in the United States, is undoubtedly an interesting addition to the scientific Arabic content, as it combines two aspects, the first is extreme sobriety, so that it needs introductions in physics to understand its entire material, although it contains Very few mathematical equations, and the second is very interesting, because it is not just a book that explains physics, the cold science that you may think for a moment has nothing to do with your daily life, but turns it into ordinary everyday questions, one of which must have crossed your mind one day.
For example, if a car is behind another car, what is the minimum distance that the rear car will stop before hitting the front car if the driver suddenly applies the brakes and stops? How can a soccer player use a free kick to send the ball down a curved path behind a defensive wall of players and into the goal? Hundreds of questions that Walker answers in his huge book called “The Flying Circus of Physics” for this very reason.
You can find this book for free via the Hendawy Foundation, from here.
Quantum field theory for the gifted hobbyist
Well, this book is undoubtedly different from all its predecessors in this list of proposals. At first glance, you think that it presents the “quantum field theory”, which is the most accurate and most important achievement of physics since its appearance, for the average person who loves physics, but that is not true. The authors of this book, the physicists Tom Lancaster and Stephen Blundell, think that the physics of quantum field theory is so beautiful and so important that it should not remain the preserve of only its specialists, and it should go out of this scope into a wider circle, but it is not the circle that you think it is, but the circle of interested The theory of quantum field from other scientists and students graduates of faculties of physics and students of physics who have not yet graduated, but they have the determination and effort that motivates them to accept this book.
The book, then, represents a transitional stage (which is the rule that we followed in this report), but it is not between the average student and the physics student, but between the level of the physics student and a domain that will not be studied at all except in the master’s and doctoral domains. Lagrange, vector arithmetic, PDEs, Fourier transforms, complex analysis, group theory, etc. So it seems that the “gifted hobbyist” in quantum field theory is not an amateur.
A copy of the book is provided free of charge by CERN here.
Mathematics in our life
Finally, we end our proposals with a book that does not stray too far from physics, by the famous Yugoslav mathematician and educator Zlatka Sporer. It was translated into Arabic in 1987, but it is still one of the most important books that present mathematics to the public in a simplified way, but it is not without complexity, an equation that says Sporer said: “In order to promote mathematics, it is not necessary to be vulgar in its presentation,” suggesting that the writer’s style can be simplified enough to bear some mathematical concepts and symbols, and present them in a simplified manner.
Sporer’s conversational style talks to you or someone while he is speaking, and he is also sarcastic. This helps you to bear the difficulty of what he presents, and he mainly focuses on three areas in mathematics, the first is set theory, the second is the natural numbers, and the third is algebraic and logical operations, which are An amazing introduction, in fact, that brings together the basics of mathematics that every elementary and middle school student learns. The writer does not tire of using equations and geometric and arithmetic images, but he establishes each one of them so that a beginner can understand them from scratch.
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