The Discipline In General > s.a. history of physics;
paradigms; theory [including nature of physical laws].
* Goals: Identify those aspects of the physical world which are subject to precise prediction; Give clear definitions of the properties of physical objects which are used in the prediction; Model those objects and find ("discover") the laws relating those properties to each other and their evolution.
* Motivation / usefulness of basic physics: Prediction and control of physical phenomena; Possibility of guiding technology in distinguishing correct/incorrect, feasible/unfeasible approaches; Knowledge.
* Limitations of physics: To what extent can biological processes, life and thought, be treated ultimately like physics? This question may be related to the role of quantum mechanics and complexity.
@ General references: Thomson AJP(60)mar [nature of physics]; Holton 85; Krumhansl PT(91)mar; Brody 93; Benka PT(06)dec; Durham a1301-FQXi; blog pt(15)jun [science-and-society communication anf the concept of "theory"]; Gleiser & Sowinski a1710-in [making sense of the world].
@ Basic physics: Contreras PT(02)oct; Kramer PT(10)aug [quantifying its benefits]; Rothman AS(11)may; news tc(16)feb [role of theoretical physics]; blog forbes(16)sep [usefulness]; news cosmos(18)apr [dividends from blue sky research in biology]; Murray & Treanor Phys(21)feb [usefulness].
@ Limits of physics: Ellis PT(05)jul; Calude & Svozil in(12)-a0910-FQXi; Luminet a0804-proc; Hossenfelder a1001-FQXi; Petkov a1001-FQXi.
@ Status, predictions: Davies ed-89; Maddox 98; Durrani pw(99)dec [status]; Weart PT(06)jun; Fraser ed-06; Harnad MI-a0709; news pw(08)oct; Ghassib a1209; Baggott 13, Unzicker & Jones 13, news obs(13)jun [theoretical physics' departure from science]; Wilczek a1503-talk, PT(16)apr [physics in 100 years]; news Forbes(15)jun [Turok's all known physics]; > s.a. areas [including the future of physics].
@ Poetry: Lowell PT(89)apr [T S Eliot on physics]; Coletta & Tamres TPT(92) [R Frost on physics].
General References on Physics Topics
> s.a. experimental physics; main areas.
@ Books, I: Whitehead 20; Bridgman 29, 36, 61; Schrödinger 57; Feynman 65; Baker 70; Matthews 71; March 83; Spielberg & Anderson 85; Barrow 88; Sachs 88; Wilczek & Devine 88; Wolf 89; Barrow 91; Glashow 91; Lederman & Teresi 93; Matthews 93; Newton 93; Hilgevoord ed-94; Rothman 95; Hey & Walters 97 [modern physics]; Lightman 97; Marshall et al 98; Landsberg 00; Malone 01 [mysteries]; Novikov 01; Charap 02; Ho-Kim et al 04; Barrow 07, 08; Azároff 10; Anderson 11; Pickover 11 [many 1-page stories]; Schommers 11; blog pt(17)oct [on Chris Ferries's physics for babies].
@ I, recommended: Kuhn 57, Koestler 59, Weinberg 77 [J Rigden, pw(05)oct]; von Baeyer & Bowers AJP(04)feb [RL]; Ananthaswamy 10 [r CP(11)]; Lewin 11; Czerski 16 [everyday life]; Weinberg 18 [essays].
@ I, texts: Krauss 93; Glashow 94; Hobson 09; Rau 14 [conceptual].
@ I, fundamental physics: Laughlin 05; Turok 12; Albert 16; Wilczek 21 [fundamentals].
@ I, especially spacetime and matter: Ridley 95; Blin-Stoyle 97; Morris 99; Hammond 01; Calle 09 [including strings]; Padmanabhan 09; Marburger 11 [r PT(12)apr]; Baaquie & Willeboordse 15 [from black holes to superstrings].
@ IIa: Lindsay & Margenau 57; Feynman et al 63-65; Wallace 91; Mills 94; Rohlf 94; Okun 12; Susskind & Hrabovsky 13; Cunningham 17 [overview].
@ IIb: Furth 70; Taylor 01 [overview]; Fischer-Cripps 03; Rogalski & Palmer 05; Wachter & Hoeber 06; Lawrie 12; Shepherd 13; Chaichian et al 14; Kuehn 15; Padmanabhan 15 [surprises and puzzles]; Stauffer et al 17; Longair 20.
@ III, Texts: Landau & Lifshitz course; Levich 73; Stevens 96; Tribble 96; Lindner & Strauch 18.
@ III: Penrose 04; Stamatescu & Seiler 07 [fundamental physics]; Ni 14.
@ Reference: Rosen 04 [encyclopedia]; Poole 07 [handbook]; Daintith 10 [dictionary].
@ Cartoons: AS 78(90)449 [cartoons]; Gonick & Huffman 91; Bunk et al 06 [Quantoons]; Bahr et al 16; > s.a. astronomy.
Practical Aspects, Relationship with Other Disciplines
> s.a. physics teaching.
* And other disciplines: 1996, Alan Sokal tricked the top humanities journal Social Text into publishing as genuine scholarship a totally nonsensical paper that celebrated fashionable literary theory and then applied it to all manner of scientific questions; Sokal showed that, with a little flattery, laymen could be induced to swallow the most ridiculous of scientific canards—so why should we value their opinions on science as highly as scientists'? 2000s, Harry Collins showed that he can talk gravitational waves as well as an insider [@ Slate(06)oct].
@ Physics careers: Jacob 95 [scientific editing]; Hermanowicz 98; issue PT(01)apr, issue pw(01)oct; Rigden & Stith PT(03)nov; Kaplan PT(07)apr [industry vs academia]; Hermanowicz 09 [r PT(10)jan]; Irving & Sayre PT(16)may [how students come to think of themselves as physicists]; Aleta et al a1904 [evolution of individual physicists' research interests].
@ On doing physics: Krieger 92; Buchwald 95; Porter 98 [controversies]; Osheroff AJP(01)jan [discoveries]; issue PT(04)nov [ethics]; Hermanowicz pw(09)sep [career satisfaction]; Blau pt(10)dec [what physicists are like]; news bbc(11)aug [physics cool again?]; Sherwood PT(11)oct [controversies]; Edwards & Wilcox a1110 [consensus and tolerance]; Loeb nPhys-a1305 [the importance of conceptual thinking]; Lee PhD(14)-a1406 [speculative physics, conceptualization and articulation]; Kuhn et al PRX(14) [memes, frequency of occurrence and propagation].
@ Applications, relationships: Holton PT(70)nov; Durrani PW(96)nov [business]; Jamieson pw(99)sep, Varmus pw(99)sep [biology]; Feder PT(09)mar [forensics]; Herczyński et al PT(11)jun [Jackson Pollock and other artists]; series Lancet(12)apr [medicine]; Pyenson HSNS(13) [art: neo-idealist abstraction]; Rowat et al PhysEd(14) [food]; Bialek a1512-conf [towards a unified theoretical physics of biological systems].
@ The Sokal affair: Sokal ST(96), LF(96); Weinberg NYRB(96); Schweber PT(97)mar; Mukerjee SA(98)mar; Beller SA(98)sep; Echenique-Robba a1311 [and scientists].
Online Resources > see MathPages pages;
Scholarpedia Encyclopedia of Physics;
> Other sites: see Physics Comments; Physics Hypertextbook; Quantum Spot Academy.
> Video clips: Physicists on physics as a never-ending puzzle.
– journals – comments
– other sites – acknowledgements
send feedback and suggestions to bombelli at olemiss.edu – modified 8 feb 2021