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Padmanabhan T. Quantum Themes. The Charms of the Microworld

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Padmanabhan T. Quantum Themes. The Charms of the Microworld
World Scientific, 2009. – 237 p. – ISBN-10: 981-283-545-8, ISBN-13: 978-981-283-545-1.
Quantum theory is one of the more abstract branches of theoretical physics, yet it makes clear and concrete predictions which are repeatedly verified experimentally. More recently, there has been some confluence between the concepts of microphysics and those of macrophysics. Currently fashionable ideas in cosmology are also deeply linked to concepts from quantum theory, thus piquing greater interest in this subject. This timely book takes stock of what quantum theory has achieved and where it is leading to at present, in a manner understandable to an educated layman.
The book describes concepts in a strictly scientific manner without trying to make them sound overly philosophical or "hyping" them up. At the same time, careful explanation of the concepts and details (including the technical terminology) are given in a nonmathematical language for the general reader. In particular, emphasis is given to the specific aspects of quantum theory that interface with gravity and cosmology, so as to keep the book reasonably up to date and focused on a key underlying theme.
Preface
The hubris of classical physics
Explaining nature: Apples and the moon
More laws of classical physics
Laws of physics in moving cars
Heat as a form of motion
Entropy: A new beast
A peep ahead: Where did it go wrong?
And then there was Einstein
Something crazy about light
Time and its flow
Relativity in action
Principle of equivalence
Gravity and light: More amazing consequences
Gravity and the universe
The odd man out
Madness of the micro-world
Waves
Electron: Wave or particle?
Things are quantized!
Spin and the social behaviour of particles
Interaction of matter and radiation
The atomic nuclei
Quantum states of cats and other conceptual issues
Particles, particles everywhere
Adding relativity to quantum theory
The particle zoo
Quantum electrodynamics: A prototype model
Weak and strong interactions
The secret life of the vacuum
Cosmos and the quantum
Structure of the universe
Thermal history of the universe
Very early universe
Inflation
Dark matter
Structure formation
Ripples in radiation
Dark energy
Matters of gravity
This peculiar thing called gravity
Particles from the vacuum
Horizon, entropy and temperature
Gravity as an emergent phenomenon
Black holes, singularity and the information
In the beginning
But, how did it all begin?
The origin of initial perturbation
Quantum cosmology
Cosmogenesis
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