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Waves (Berkeley Physics Course, Vol. 3) Hardcover – June 1, 1968

ISBN-13: 978-0070048607 ISBN-10: 0070048606

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 600 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill (June 1, 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070048606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070048607
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 8.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic book. It must have taken decades for the author (Frank Crawford) to write all these things, to imagine so many simple experiments, to invent such instructive exercises. The approach is very concrete, with little mathematics in the beginning. Actually, the mathematics grows with the book in a very natural way. As one would expect, the apotheosis of this great show happens when light waves, that is optics, appears. There is a small kit of quarter plates, polaroids, etc, which permit you to make beautiful observations. The explanation of how Edwin Land hit on the idea of artificial nicols (polaroids) is one of my favorites. Whenever I teach anything connected to waves, even mathematical topics, like the Fourier theorem, I always give a look at this volume. Usually it pays! It is a pity that, by its content, it seldom fits in the usual courses.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Conal on November 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Scattered through the book are a number of wonderfully informal "kitchen physics" type experiments.
Example, p. 378: "Why is the sky blue?" Pour some milk into a glass of water, shine a flashlight toward yourself from the back side of the glass and see, in effect, the setting sun (red). Now shine it from one side of the glass and see, instead, the daytime sky (blue). It works!! (This is my quick synopsis. Crawford's presentation is worded much better, and is tied back into his on-going presentation of certain physics equations of course.)
So, why "Scary at first..."? Because just a few pages into Chapter 1, you see stuff like this...
sin (psi) = psi - (psi^3/3!) + (psi^5/5!) - ..., (the Taylor's series expansion)
...and two pages before that (at the very beinning of the book) you see this...
psi(x) = A cos (wt + phi1)
...i.e., that Schroedinger-looking psi (and the "phi-1" variant on Greek letter phi) where you might expect the following which occurs in most "normal" textbooks:
x(t) = A cos (wt + phi)
(I've borrowed 'w' to represent little omega throughout.)
In short, when you first open the book, it has a distinctly "advanced" flavor, beyond a normal college level physics text. But against that you have to weigh the effect of Crawford's many "Home experiments" (with tuning forks or an empty paper towel roll bonked on your head, etc). Overall, even a nonengineer might find a lot to appreciate in this book.

(Personal note: When I was around 10 to 12 years old, Frank Crawford, the author, was my mother's landlord, in Berkeley, and I have vivid memories of him, half a century later -- as he worked on his Ph.D. dissertation at our shared diningroom table, and took radios apart like a kid. Advanced and "scary" though his book may look, I know he was simply not like that. Rather, he was a child at heart, with many of the same qualities often cited in connection with Richard Feynman, but minus Feynman's competitive edginess.)
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Maybe the best volume of Berkeley physics. For those who are aware of series Berkeley Physics I have to say that it can be compared only with the second in Emags. It is quite an extensive book and covers almost everything concerning wave theory. Although it is rather old it is still one of the best reference books which however doesn't include the application of wave theory in quantum mechanics. The author explains with every detail the material and provides the reader with pictures that make the book comprehensive. It may be a big book but the reader can choose the chapters he or she wants and read the independantly. Although the material covers many applications of wave theory it is suggested for those who just want to learn the basic principles.
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