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Six Ideas That Shaped Physics: Unit R - Laws of Physics are Frame-Independent 2nd Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0072397147
ISBN-10: 0072397144
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  • Six Ideas That Shaped Physics: Unit R - Laws of Physics are Frame-Independent
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  • Six Ideas That Shaped Physics: Unit C: Conservation Laws Constrain Interactions
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thomas A. Moore is a professor in the physics department of Pomona College. He graduated from Carleton College in 1976, and earned an M. Phil. in 1978 and a Ph. D. in 1981 from Yale University. He then taught at Carleton College and Luther College before taking his current position at Pomona College in 1987, where he won a Wig Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1991. He served as an active member of the national Introductory University Physics Project (IUPP), and has published a number of articles about astrophysical sources of gravitational waves, detection of gravitational waves, and new approaches to teaching physics. His previous books include A Traveler's Guide to Spacetime (McGraw-Hill, 1995) on special relativity, and a six-volume introductory calculus-based physics text called Six Ideas That Shaped Physics (McGraw-Hill, 2003).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 2 edition (August 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0072397144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0072397147
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After finishing the first half of an advanced first year physics class, I was hopelessly confused with the subject of relativity as it had been presented by my teacher and by my text book. A few months later, I borrowed this book from my father and read it in about a week. When I was done with the book, I was amazed that I had ever been confused with such a simple and beautiful subject as relativity.
The author skillfully anticipates many possible misconceptions and clearly explains the correct principles. The book at times can be tedious, but only when reinforcement of fundamental ideas is necessary.
I've never read a physics book as good as this one.
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By A Customer on May 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a very good intro to special relativity. The author uses spacetime diagrams very skillfuly and explains even confusing topics very clearly. Overall, a very good book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Physic is amazing and this book proves it. Brought it for PHYS 344 course at Purdue University. Do not need to go to the class ever since. Pass all exams related to the topice accordingly. The book is not very thick, but well printed and is written in clear and consistent language. Bravo!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Six Ideas That Shaped Physics Unit R is a one of a kind introductory physics textbook, catering to advanced high school mechanics classes and university-level introductory mechanics. The book itself is thin enough to be manageable, yet examines the experiments leading up to the development of Special Relativity and clearly explains the consequences of the field.

The Six Ideas series as a whole provides a far superior introduction to physics than stock college textbooks (such as Halliday & Resnick, etc), but falls short of the great introductory textbooks used by elite schools (Berkeley Physics Course, Kleppner and Kolenkow). This can easily seen due to the insufficient coverage of angular momentum in this unit. Rather than give a thorough treatment of physics, the author seems to have built the book (in combination with Units C and N) to fit a semester-based time schedule which consequently allows for in-depth focus on a few chosen topics. It should be noted that the series as a whole seems to be geared for the MCAT Physics section (six chapters on geometric optics available on the Six Ideas website).

The book is written in a conversational tone which mitigates the dullness of technical lecture. In addition, I am particularly fond of the pre-chapter outline; a tool that informs the reader the general direction of the arguments and proofs before he or she dives in. The few examples provide challenging demonstrations of problem-solving technique; they are not merely plug-and-chug. These combined with the in-chapter mental exercises are perhaps less testing of knowledge (although some are fairly complex), but are more beneficial as much needed breaks between new ideas.
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Format: Paperback
I am using these book in a physics class in college and while it is very helpful and good at explaining concepts, there are very few worked out problem which makes it very hard to apply the material. Also, the publisher will not give teachers permission to post the answers in the book so there is no way to check if you did the practice problems right. Overall I would not recommend this as the primary book for a physics course.
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I mean, I got a B+ in Modern Physics, so I can't complain.

It's a pretty short book, with a lot of info crammed in. Structure and pacing is really easy to follow, it's an easy read (insofar as relativity can be), and they give you plenty of examples of the calculations you're probably going to be doing in class.

Even if it's not for school, I imagine most people could pick this up and learn a lot about high-speed relativistic physics.

World-line diagrams were really fantastic, I thought, especially the warped second set of axes. Calibrating the axes though aren't super fun. If you're making world-line diagrams, I'd suggest looking up some hyperbolic graph paper, you wouldn't believe how much easier it makes it.
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