Matter A Very Short Introduction

Author: Geoff Cottrell
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192529188
File Size: 26,66 MB
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What is matter? Matter is the stuff from which we and all the things in the world are made. Everything around us, from desks, to books, to our own bodies are made of atoms, which are small enough that a million of them can fit across the breadth of a human hair. Inside every atom is a tiny nucleus and orbiting the nucleus is a cloud of electrons. The nucleus is made out of protons and neutrons, and by zooming in further you would find that inside each there are even smaller particles, quarks. Together with electrons, the quarks are the smallest particles that have been seen, and are the indivisible fundamental particles of nature that have existed since the Big Bang, almost 14 billion years ago. The 92 different chemical elements that all normal matter is made from were forged billions of years ago in the Big Bang, inside stars, and in violent stellar explosions. This Very Short Introduction takes us on a journey from the human scale of matter in the familiar everyday forms of solids, liquids, and gases to plasmas, exotic forms of quantum matter, and antimatter. On the largest scales matter is sculpted by gravity into planets, stars, galaxies, and vast clusters of galaxies. All the matter that that we normally encounter however constitutes only 5% of the matter that exists. The remaining 95% comes in two mysterious forms: dark matter, and dark energy. Dark matter is necessary to stop the galaxies from flying apart, and dark energy is needed to explain the observed acceleration of the expansion of the universe. Geoff Cottrell explores the latest research into matter, and shows that there is still a lot we don't know about the stuff our universe is made of. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Soft Matter A Very Short Introduction

Author: Tom McLeish
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192533908
File Size: 49,83 MB
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Soft Matter science is concerned with soft materials such as polymers, colloids, liquid crystals, and foams, and has emerged as a rich interdisciplinary field over the last 30 years. Drawing on physics, chemistry, mathematics and engineering, soft matter links fundamental scientific ideas to everyday phenomena. One such example is 'polymers', encountered in plastic materials and melted cheese, which illustrate how 'sliminess' emerges from the flow and form of giant molecules. This Very Short Introduction delves into the field of soft matter, looking beneath the appearances of matter into its inner structure. Tom McLeish shows how Brownian Motion - the random local motion of molecules that gives rise to 'heat' - is an underlying principle of soft matter. From hair conditioner to honey, he discusses how the shared physical properties and characteristics of these materials influence the way they behave, and their industrial applications. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Physical Chemistry

Author: Peter Atkins
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199689091
File Size: 36,35 MB
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In this essential guide for students of chemistry, Peter Atkins' Very Short Introduction explains the principles and phenomena of physical chemistry. Using few formulas, Atkins shows how physical chemistry draws its ideas from physics, quantum mechanics, and mathematics, and how it has contributed to our understanding of the natural world.

Cosmology A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter Coles
Editor: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191579440
File Size: 12,13 MB
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This book is a simple, non-technical introduction to cosmology, explaining what it is and what cosmologists do. Peter Coles discusses the history of the subject, the development of the Big Bang theory, and more speculative modern issues like quantum cosmology, superstrings, and dark matter. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Particle Physics A Very Short Introduction

Author: Frank Close
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192804340
File Size: 53,33 MB
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Beginning with a guide to what matter is and what it is made of this book discusses everything from quarks and electrons to exotic matter and antimatter. The author concludes by speculating as to the number of dimensions that might be in the universe, and what the next 50 years of research might uncover.

Reality A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jan Westerhoff
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199594414
File Size: 46,74 MB
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'What is real?' has been one of the key questions of philosophy since its beginning in antiquity. But it is not just a question that philosophers ask. This Very Short Introduction discusses what reality is by looking at a variety of arguments, theories, and thought-experiments from philosophy, physics, and cognitive science.

Materials

Author: Christopher Hall
Editor: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199672679
File Size: 16,12 MB
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The study of materials is a major field of research that supports and drives innovation in technology. Using modern scientific techniques, materials scientists and engineers explore and manipulate materials, and create new ones with remarkable strength and extraordinary optical and electricalproperties. In this Very Short Introduction, Christopher Hall looks at a wide range of materials, from steel, wood, and rubber, to gold, silicon, and graphene, describing how materials are used, how their properties arise from their internal structure, and how useful and novel things are made fromthem. He concludes by looking at how the global scale of materials consumption now threatens the goal of sustainability.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Superconductivity A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Blundell
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019954090X
File Size: 53,96 MB
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Superconductivity is one of the most exciting areas of research in physics today. Outlining the history of its discovery, and the race to understand its many mysterious phenomena, this Very Short Introduction also explores the deep implications of the theory, and its potential to revolutionize the physics and technology of the future.

Metaphysics A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Mumford
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199657122
File Size: 74,55 MB
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An introduction to metaphysics offers questions and answers covering such issues as properties, changes, time, personal identity, nothingness, and consciousness.

Global Catastrophes

Author: Bill McGuire
Editor: Oxford University Press (UK)
ISBN: 0198715935
File Size: 74,93 MB
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Life on Earth will eventually come to an end. This work focuses on the many potential catastrophes facing our planet in the future, from global warming and new Ice Ages to asteroid impact, supervolcanoes and mega-tsunami. It looks at the science behind these events and our chances of survival.

The Welfare State A Very Short Introduction

Author: David Garland
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199672660
File Size: 63,91 MB
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The programmes that make up the welfare state vary from nation to nation and from time to time, and the balance between markets and government, and free enterprise and social protection is perennially in question. In contemporary political debate the welfare state seems to be mostly viewed asa problem rather than a solution, and welfare programmes appear constantly on the defensive. ThisVery Short Introduction describes the modern welfare state, explaining its historical and contemporary significance and arguing that far from being 'a failure' or 'a problem', welfare states are an essential element of contemporary capitalism, and a vital concomitant of democratic government.In this accessible and entertaining account, David Garland cuts through the fog of misunderstandings to explain in clear and simple terms, what the welfare state is, how it works, and why it matters.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The English Language

Author: Simon Horobin
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198709250
File Size: 67,49 MB
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First published in hardback as How English became English, 2016.

Literary Theory A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Culler
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199691347
File Size: 44,18 MB
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Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction offers insights into theories about the nature of language and meaning, human identity, and the power of language. Fully updated for 2011 and including a new chapter on 'Ethics and aesthetics', it steers a clear and lucid path through an often impenetrable subject.

Intelligence A Very Short Introduction

Author: Ian J. Deary
Editor: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 019879620X
File Size: 18,77 MB
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Some people are cleverer than others. This everyday observation is the subject of an academic field that is often portrayed as confused and controversial, when in fact, the field of intelligence holds some of psychology's best-replicated findings. This Very Short Introduction describes what psychologists have discovered about how and why people differ in their thinking powers. Drawing on large scale data Ian Deary considers how many types of intelligence there are, and how intelligence changes with age. Along the way he tackles some of the most burning questions surrounding intelligence, such as whether larger brains are cleverer, and how genes and environments contribute to people's intelligence differences. He also considers the new field of cognitive epidemiology, which draws links between intelligence and better health, less illness, and longer life, and asks whether intelligence is increasing. In this new edition Deary also addresses the controversial question of whether men and women differ in intelligence. Throughout he provides a clear description of the data we can use to answer these questions and more. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Quantum Theory A Very Short Introduction

Author: John Polkinghorne
Editor: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191577677
File Size: 17,42 MB
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Quantum Theory is the most revolutionary discovery in physics since Newton. This book gives a lucid, exciting, and accessible account of the surprising and counterintuitive ideas that shape our understanding of the sub-atomic world. It does not disguise the problems of interpretation that still remain unsettled 75 years after the initial discoveries. The main text makes no use of equations, but there is a Mathematical Appendix for those desiring stronger fare. Uncertainty, probabilistic physics, complementarity, the problematic character of measurement, and decoherence are among the many topics discussed. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Nuclear Physics

Author: Frank Close
Editor: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0198718632
File Size: 57,61 MB
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Frank Close describes the historical development of nuclear physics, our understanding of the nucleus, how nuclei form, and the applications of the field in medicine. Exploring key concepts, he shows how nuclear physics brings the physics of the stars to Earth.

Lakes

Author: Warwick F. Vincent
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198766734
File Size: 46,90 MB
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From the mysterious depths of Lake Vostok, Antarctica, to tropical floodplain lakes, inland seas, hydro-reservoirs and the variety of waterbodies in our local environment, lakes encompass a huge diversity of shapes, sizes, depths, colours, and even salinities. Often very large and very deep,they sustain important and unique ecosystems which can be hotspots of biodiversity, and are used by humans as sources of drinking water and food, in particular, fish. What is the origin of differences among lakes, and how does that affect the life within them? What are the seasons of a lake, and howdo human actions alter lake ecosystems locally, and at a global scale? In this Very Short Introductions, Warwick Vincent outlines the essential features of lake environments and their biology, offering an up-to-date view of lake ecosystems. Vincent traces the origins of lake science (limnology) from the seminal work of Francois Forel on Lake Geneva at the edge of theSwiss Alps, to modern approaches such as environmental sensors, satellite observations, stable isotope analysis, and DNA-based technologies which are used to probe the microbial life support systems that lead from sunlight to fish. Drawing on varied case studies he considers the intimaterelationship between humans and lakes, the value of lakes as indicators of environmental change, the impact of pollution,and our urgent need to improve the protection and management of these vitally important living resources via an integrated understanding of their ecology. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Nothing A Very Short Introduction

Author: Frank Close
Editor: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191574643
File Size: 12,17 MB
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What is 'nothing'? What remains when you take all the matter away? Can empty space - a void - exist? This Very Short Introduction explores the science and the history of the elusive void: from Aristotle who insisted that the vacuum was impossible, via the theories of Newton and Einstein, to our very latest discoveries and why they can tell us extraordinary things about the cosmos. Frank Close tells the story of how scientists have explored the elusive void, and the rich discoveries that they have made there. He takes the reader on a lively and accessible history through ancient ideas and cultural superstitions to the frontiers of current research. He describes how scientists discovered that the vacuum is filled with fields; how Newton, Mach, and Einstein grappled with the nature of space and time; and how the mysterious 'aether' that was long ago supposed to permeate the void may now be making a comeback with the latest research into the 'Higgs field'. We now know that the vacuum is far from being empty - it seethes with virtual particles and antiparticles that erupt spontaneously into being, and it also may contain hidden dimensions that we were previously unaware of. These new discoveries may provide answers to some of cosmology's most fundamental questions: what lies outside the universe, and, if there was once nothing, then how did the universe begin? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The History Of Chemistry

Author: William H. Brock
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198716486
File Size: 42,36 MB
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From man's first exploration of natural materials and their transformations to today's materials science, chemistry has always been the central discipline that underpins both the physical and biological sciences, as well as technology. In this Very Short Introduction, William H. Brock traces the unique appeal of this fundamental science throughout history. Covering alchemy, early-modern chemistry, pneumatic chemistry and Lavoisier's re-interpretation of chemical change, the rise of organic and physical chemistry, and the transforming power of synthesis, Brock explores the extraordinary and often puzzling transformations of natural and artificial materials, as well as the men and women who experimented, speculated, and explained matter and change. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Michael Faraday A Very Short Introduction

Author: Frank A.J.L James
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199574316
File Size: 43,59 MB
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Known as the 'father' of electrical engineering, Michael Faraday is one of the best known scientific figures of all time. In this Very Short Introduction, Frank A.J.L James looks at Faraday's life and works, examining the institutional context in which he lived and worked, his scientific research, and his continuing legacy in science today.