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An undergraduate text taking the reader along the trail of light from Newton's particles to Einstein's relativity. Like the best detective stories, it presents clues and encourages the reader to draw conclusions before the answers are revealed.
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' ... I find Baierlein's approach highly congenial. Indeed I expect that some of the fascinating stories I learned from him and, more importantly, some of the excellent tricks he has taught me (particularly several neat and simple gedanken experiments that lead to relativistic momentum) will make my own course very much better. I can offer no higher praise. N. David Mermin, American Journal of Physics
'The exposition is absolutely sound and lucid. The discussion is never allowed to get too abstract, being filled with fine descriptions of modern experimental demonstrations of the fundamental relativistic effects. I could quite happily teach a course from this book, and I can recommend it warmly.' American Journal of Physics
'The book has many excellent features ... includes some recent and quite interesting experiments not found in other textbooks ... This is a fine textbook that should give students a real 'feel' for what physics is and how it progresses ... It also makes these topics, which are inherently difficult, as easy as possible for students to grasp.' Joseph F. Mulligan, JCST
'Although written for classroom use, an excellent introduction to some of the important ideas of modern physics that should be both interesting and accessible to the proverbial intelligent general reader ... Highly recommended for all college and university libraries.' K. L. Schick, Choice
'... a pleasure ... it is a must for every library.' Peter Borcherds, European Journal of Physics
'This undergraduate text is an excellent introduction to some of the important ideas of modern physics that should be both interesting and accessible also to the general reader.' GLASS Science and Technology
This engaging text takes the reader along the trail of light from Newton's particles to Einstein's relativity. Like the best detective stories, it presents clues and encourages the reader to draw conclusions before the answers are revealed. The first seven chapters cover the behavior of light, Newton's particle theory, waves and an electromagnetic wave theory of light, the photon, and wave-particle duality. Baierlein goes on to develop the special theory of relativity, showing how time dilation and length contraction are consequences of the two simple principles underlying the theory. An extensive chapter derives the equation E = mc2 clearly from first principles and then explores its consequences.
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