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Featured I Physics From Symmetry

  1. Jul 7, 2017 #41

    bhobba

    Staff: Mentor

    I have now gone through the book.

    It has technical errors, but gee so do other textbooks I read - its in fact a good exercise picking them up. It is also too cumbersome in places - I can find more elegant explanations to replace some of the long calculations he does.

    But actually wrong - not so sure about that. Its advantage is exactly what I said. A professor that posts here has said, and IMHO its totally true as far as reactions go - it was mine when I learnt about it and had a very deep effect on me - when he teaches Noether's Theorem there is stunned silence as its import sinks in. This whole book is built around that famous theorem at a level 2-3 year undergrads would understand. It contains nothing new - but being exposed to exactly why the Higgs theoretically was thought to exist and other areas not usually at the undergrad level is very uplifting. And for many that genuinely likes theoretical physics seeing the importance of symmetry early on is - well uplifting.

    It's like Landau - Mechanics. It contains nothing new - but is presented in such a brilliant, different and concise manner you sit in awe - all physicists should study it. Of course this guy is nowhere in Landau's class but like Landaus book, its different perspective is so inspiring.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
  2. Jul 7, 2017 #42

    vanhees71

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    That's really ridiculous. The book was written very early in the history of relativity (15 years from Einstein's SR paper and just 5 years from the final formulation of GR), and not only given that it's very good. It's written by a physicist, and that it is not overwhelmingly differential geometrical is rather a good than a bad point. The only thing, I'd consider outdated in this book is the treatment of thermodynamics. Nowadays we consider temperature and chemical potential to be scalars, and that's how these quantities should be considered, but these issues were settled in the 1960ies only. Otherwise you can pretty well use this book to learn about SR and GR from it even nearly 100 years later!

    Another masterpiece of Pauli's is the book on quantum mechanics. Although from the 1930ies it's astonishingly up to date.
     
  3. Jul 7, 2017 #43

    vanhees71

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    I don't know, what you mean. It's been some time I've looked into Pauli's relativity book, but I cannot remember that I found any technical errors. Can you point specifically to some? I wish more textbooks today had the quality of Pauli's book!
     
  4. Jul 7, 2017 #44

    Demystifier

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    That was not about the Pauli's book.
     
  5. Jul 8, 2017 #45

    bhobba

    Staff: Mentor

    No it wasn't. Its not even approaching the class of those all time classics.

    It's far from perfect. Why I like is it is a different take on physics not usually presented at the level of its intended audience ie the importance of symmetry unifying all of physics. It was written by a 22 yo masters degree candidate so don't expect anything earth shattering. Guys like Pauli etc are very very rare and this guy is no Pauli.

    If you like it as I do - great - if you don't - that's great as well. Its just different.

    We have a number of professors that post here - they may or may not use it in their classes, but what I can say for sure is the ideas it presents would have been of great value to me if I was taught it second or third year of my degree. So maybe, perhaps not using this book, something along those line could be done.

    Another similar book at that level, although it doesn't cover as much material, is:
    https://www.amazon.com/Noethers-Wonderful-Theorem-Dwight-Neuenschwander/dp/0801896940

    I have a copy - and really like it as well.

    Have a look at:


    She wanted to be a writer. But after being exposed to Noether saw the real beauty of physics. Want more people to study physics? Expose them to these ideas early on. That's why I like these books - physics real beauty can be taught a bit earlier than is usually done. I don't mean hand-wavy pseudo science - but the real deal. These ideas were life changing for me, for the girl in the video and if exposed to it I suspect for many others. She wanted to be a writer - me applied math - but physics real essence and beauty had me hooked once I understood it.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
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