Monday, July 4, 2016

Book Review: Remodeling Reality

Remodeling Reality: The Impact of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics on Our Worldview’ by Mike Corwin a good overview of the first 2000 years of known history, where the great thinkers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, along with their ideas are examined. After a brief discussion about dark ages, the period between Copernicus and Newton with the contributions from Galileo, Brahe, Kepler, and the early development of astronomy are covered. After discussing topics like Matter (Atom), light, energy etc, the nest chapter focuses on problems of thermal radiation, photo electricity and ultraviolet catastrophe.
Max Plank and the concept of quantum form the next chapter. How Max Plank could solve the problems of thermal radiation by introducing such a concept is discussed here. The next chapter is about the miracle year of Albert Einstein. Here is discussed, how, among all the contributions Einstein made to science, namely, Brownian Motion and the reality of atoms, Photo Electric Effect and the quantum nature of light, Special Theory of Relativity, Mass Energy equivalence (E=Mc2) and, certain considerations of molecular dimensions, the last paper, the least revolutionary of all, was chosen as the basis for awarding him doctorate (in 1906). Author then goes on with General Theory of Relativity and concept of space-time. A discussion the historical background of atoms and its structure follows in next chapter.
Heisenberg’s Matrix Mechanics is then considered with the need for a new theory of atom, in the light of quantum revolution and Plank’s theory of radiation. Erwin Schrodinger and wave mechanics finds its place in next chapter. Discourse on more esoteric scientific topics like Uncertainty Principle, Delayed Choice Experiment, bring the book to a close.
First thing I noticed is that this book is quite reader friendly. The descriptions in this book align with what I have come across in good text books, a romantic discussion of science. The language is clear and simple, above all, each subdivision is self contained. Author seems to have taken special care to keep mathematics out, which makes this book a wonderful treatise on the history of modern scientific principles.

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