9780253331236 / 0253331234

Doing Physics: How Physicists Take Hold of the World (A Midland Book)


Publisher:Indiana University Press, 2000



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About the book:

This book is a cultural phenomenology of doing physics. It describes the ways physicists actually do their work--their motives, and their ways of making sense of the world--so that outsiders can understand it. Martin H. Krieger explains that physicists employ a small number of everyday notions to get at the world experimentally and conceptually. Krieger's stories focus on five of these models: the division of labor among particles, fields, and spacetime in the ""factory"" of Nature; the analysis of the world as a clockworks of comparatively dumb parts whose composition is often surprisingly complex and rich; the play of freedom and necessity given by a set of kinship rules that govern the families of particles; the setting of a simple stage, a vacuum, on which something arises out of nothing; and a mode of grasping the world with the handles, probes, and tools that make up a physicist's tool kit. In each case, Krieger shows that the deepest principles of physics are embodied in the physicist's craft and conventions.

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