Einstein's Physics: Hardback: Ta-Pei Cheng
- Oxford University Press

We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Presents Einstein's physics for a broad readership

All derivations are worked out in detail with intermediate steps provided

Enough background material is supplied so that anyone with a solid background in introductory physics can, in principle, follow the presentation.

Offers physics in a historical context

Extends beyond Einstein to later developments

Many regard Albert Einstein as the greatest physicist since Newton. What exactly did he do that is so important in physics? We provide an introduction to his physics at a level accessible to an undergraduate physics student. All equations are worked out in detail from the beginning.

Einstein's doctoral thesis and his Brownian motion paper were decisive contributions to our understanding of matter as composed of molecules and atoms. Einstein was one of the founding fathers of quantum theory: his photon proposal through the investigation of blackbody
radiation, his quantum theory of photoelectric effect and specific heat, his calculation of radiation fluctuation giving the first statement of wave-particle duality, his introduction of probability in the description of quantum radiative transitions, and finally the quantum statistics and Bose-Einstein condensation. Einstein's special theory of relativity gave us the famous E=mc² relation and the new kinematics leading to the idea of the 4-dimensional spacetime as the arena in which physical events take place. Einstein's geometric theory of gravity, general relativity, extends Newton's theory to time-dependent and strong gravitational fields. It laid the ground work for the study of black
holes and cosmology.

This is a physics book with material presented in the historical context. We do not stop at Einstein's discovery, but carry the discussion onto some of the later advances: Bell's theorem, quantum field theory, gauge theories and Kaluza-Klein unification in a spacetime with an extra spatial dimension.

Accessibility of the material to a modern-day reader is the goal of our presentation. Although the book is written with primarily a physics readership in mind (it can also function as a textbook), enough pedagogical support material is provided that anyone with a solid background in introductory physics can, with some effort,
understand a good part of this presentation.

Readership: Physics students (advanced undergraduates as well as graduate students), working physicists, and general readers with an introductory physics background.

Ta-Pei Cheng, University of Missouri - St. Louis, and Portland State University

Ta-Pei Cheng is a particle physics theorist. He received a PhD from Rockefeller University with the noted physicist and Einstein biographer Abraham Pais. He is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, and an Adjunct Professor at Portland State University in Oregon. He is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society. Among many concurrent appointments, he was at the Institute for Advanced study (Princeton), the University of Minnesota, and the Lawrence Berkeley Lab. Professor Cheng is the
co-author (with Ling-Fong Li) of the book Gauge Theory of Elementary Particle Physics (Oxford, 1984) that has introduced the subject to several generations of particle physics students. Its companion book GTEPP: Problems and Solutions was published in 2000. He is also the author of Relativity, Gravitation, and Cosmology: A basic introduction, (Oxford 2005, 2nd ed. 2010). It is among the first books adopting a `physics-first approach' to the pedagogy of general relativity.

"With its clear figures and mathematical appendices (which serve to fill in some gaps in the discussion or material that may be unfamiliar), this is a book that can be very highly recommended to any physicist who enjoys a fascination with nature and an interest in history." - Tom Lancaster, Contemporary Physics,

Part I : Atomic nature of matter
1: Molecular size from classical fluid
2: The Brownian motion Part II : Quantum theory
3: Blackbody radiation: From Kirchhoff to Planck
4: Einstein's proposal of light quanta
5: Quantum theory of specific heat
6: Waves, particles, and quantum jumps
7: Bose-Einstein statistics and condensation
8: Local reality and the Einstein-Bohr debate Part III : Special relativity
9: Prelude to special relativity
10: The new kinematics and E = mc2
11: Geometric formulation of relativity Part IV : General relativity
12: Towards a general theory of relativity
13: Curved spacetime as gravitational field
14: The Einstein field equation
15: Cosmology Part V : Walking in Einstein's steps
16: Internal symmetry and gauge interactions
17: The Kaluza-Klein theory and extra dimensions
Appendix A: Mathematics supplements

The specification in this catalogue, including without limitation price, format, extent, number of illustrations, and month of publication, was as accurate as possible at the time the catalogue was compiled. Occasionally, due to the nature of some contractual restrictions, we are unable to ship a specific product to a particular territory. Jacket images are provisional and liable to change before publication.