Concepts of Modern Physics (Paperback)

Arthur Beiser , Kok Wai Cheah

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    • The presentation concentrates more on building a conceptual framework of ideas rather than on experimental methods and applications.
    • The sequence of topics is logical (one idea flows from the previous) rather than historical.
    • Important topics are introduced on a relatively elementary level.
    • Exercises are at a variety of levels ranging from the very easy to those that require more thoughtful consideration of the material.
    • Updated with topics on special relativity, quantum mechanics, and elementary particles received major revisions within this new edition. In addition, smaller changes and updates were made throughout the book and several new tipics were added, for example Einstein's derivation of the Planck radiation law. More material on the aspects of astrophysics that illustrate important elements of modern physics have also been added throughout the text where relevant.

  • New To This Edition
    • New introduction chapter to introduce modern physics in the context of its development, covering the discoveries; from "atom to quantum".
    • Topics re-arranged and new section on Computational Physics added in chapter on Relativity.
    • New examples on modern applications in selected early chapters.

Concepts of Modern Physics is an updated, accessible presentation of modern physics available. The book is intended to be used in a one-semester course on modern physics for students who have aleady had basic physics and calculus courses. The balance of the book leans more toward ideas than experimental methods and practical applications because the beginning student is better served by a conceptual framework than by a mass of details. The sequence of topics follows a logical, rather than strictly historical, order. Relativity and quantum ideas are considered first to provide a framework for understanding the physics of atoms and nuclei. The theory of the atom is then developed, and followed by a discussion of the properties of aggregates of atoms, which includes a look at statistical mechanics. Finally atomic nuclei and elementary particles are examined.


1. Relativity
2. Particle Properties of Waves
3. Wave Properties of Particles
4. Atomic Structure 
5. Quantum Mechanics
6. Quantum Theory of the Hydrogen Atom
7. Many-Electron Atoms
8. Molecules
9. Statistical Mechanics
10. The Solid State
11. Nuclear Structure
12. Nuclear Transformations
13. Elementary Particles