And Yet It MovesStrange Systems and Subtle Questions in Physics

Cambridge University Press, 1993

ISBN 0-521-44631-7 (hardcover)
ISBN 0-521-39173-3 (softcover)

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Publisher's Commentary

This book of essays is a largely nonmathematical account of some of the strange behaviour, both classical and quantum, exhibited by diverse physical systems. Drawn from the author's wide-ranging researches in quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics, electromagnetism and optics, gravity, thermodynamics, and the physics of fluids, the essays describe different physical systems whose behaviour provokes surprise and challenges the imagination. There are strange processes for which no visualisable mechanism can be given; processes that seem to violate fundamental physical laws, but which is reality do not; processes that are superficially well understood, yet turn out to be subtly devious. The essays address questions of controversies from whose resolution emerge lessons of general significance regarding the mystery and fascination of motion. Anyone with a basic physics background or with an interest in the fundamental questions of physics will be able to read and enjoy this book.

Reviewer's Commentary

Here is a book to delight any physicist with the time and sense to enjoy a guided tour of some of the most fascinating byways in physics. If you're like me, you may be familiar with some of the topics covered in this collection of essays, but others you may not even have heard of. By contrast, the author, Mark Silverman, is an expert on all of them. His long list of publications in most of the major journals includes several contributions to each of the experiments discussed here.