Physics, Chemistry All books
How can we control nuclear power ? This question has been preoccupying Georges Charpak and Richard Garwin for a long time. They here engage themselves in a thought-process concerning the stakes of nuclear power in civil society and the military. It is high time to see the issue clearly, and steering clear of sterile polemics, to denounce the true risks. This book describes in detail everything we need to know about the question : what is a chain reaction ? What exactly happened at Chernobyl ? What should be done with radioactive waste ? How are nuclear arms made and what would future war confrontations be like ? etc... Georges Charpak is a Nobel Prize winner in physics. Richard Garwin is a nuclear physicist.
Few scientific notions have aroused the speculative imagination like the thermodynamic entropy. All organised systems - societies, living creatures - are destined without exception to decline and eventual death. This book clearly exposes the historical and conceptual development of thermodynamics. Born from a desire to understand and master steam powered machines - the symbol of our industrialised societies - it became the science of the human body. However, it was suddenly passed over in favour of the theory of atoms. It was thus demolished by statistical mechanics which ceded to the imperatives dictated by the atomical structure of the body. After an epic struggle, sometimes quite ferocious, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics have been reconciled by adopting the base of the second with the techniques of the first. This book reads like a novel about contemporary physics. Bernard Diu, a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieur, is a professor at the University of Paris VII.
As we come to the end of the century, the question of the future of science is often posed. I believe we are just at the beginning of a new endeavour. We are witnessing the development of a science which is no longer limited to simplified, idealised situations, but makes us face the complexity of the real world. This new science will allow human creativity to be experienced as the unique expression of a fundamental trait common to all aspects of nature. Ive tried to present this conceptual transformation, which implies the beginning of a new chapter in the fruitful relations between physics and mathematics, in a manner that will be comprehensible and accessible to all readers interested in the evolution of our ideas of nature. We are but at the threshold of a new chapter in the history of our dialogue with nature, writes Ilya Prigogine. Ilya Prigogine, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, teaches at the Free University of Brussels and at the University of Texas, in Austin.
Georges Charpak has taken the initiative for a complete reform of our methods of science teaching. He proposes a teaching method based on creativity and problem-solving, instead of the old theoretical, book-based approach. This book recounts the experiences of two teams of French educators in a research institution created by Leon Lederman in Chicago, and the lessons which we can take from their experiences. Pollens shows that to learn is to discover, and that it is in discovering that one learns. Georges Charpak is a Nobel laureate in physics, and the author of La vie à fil tendu and Feux follets et champignons nucléaires, both published by Editions Odile Jacob.
In this book, Yuval Neeman and Yoram Kirsh recount the story of particle physics in the twentieth century. They explain how physicists first discovered the various levels of the atom and then tried to describe its structure, culminating in the most recent "standard model". Assuming that the readers knowledge of physics is limited to basic notions such as energy, mass, and electrical charge, the authors explain the theory of relativity and the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics, which have guided physicists in their search for the ultimate particles of matter. Yuval Neeman teaches theoretical physics at the University of Tel Aviv. Yoram Kirsh teaches physics at the Open University of Israel.
Nuclear fusion can be likened to God or the devil. Out there among the stars, it is godlike, creating atoms and giving birth to life. But down below, on earth, nuclear fusion is the devil: it has been used to make bombs that can annihilate everything, including all forms of life. Now that the devil of thermonuclear destruction seems to have been locked back in its box, nuclear fusion kept under tight control in civil reactors offers the hope for long-term economic development. Isnt it the only inexhaustible, non-polluting form of energy that offers no limits except that of human technical knowledge? Paul-Henri Rebut is a member of the Academy of Science.