Princeton University Press, 2000
ISBN 0-691-00962-7 (cloth : alk. paper)
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The many-faceted efforts to understand the structure and interactions
of atoms over the past hundred years have contributed decisively and
dramatically to the explosive development of physics. There is hardly a
branch of modern physical science that does not in some seminal way rely
on the fundamental principles and mathematical and experimental insights
that derive from these studies. This book gives an in-depth account of
the author's own penetrating experimental and theoretical investigations
of the hydrogen atom, while simultaneously providing broad lessons in
the application of quantum mechanics to atomic structure and
interactions. A pioneer in the combined use of atomic accelerators and
radiofrequency spectroscopy for probing the internal structure of the
hydrogen atom, Mark Silverman examines the general principles behind
this far-reaching experimental approach.
This book is a personal account of how physicists understand, and go
about understanding, atomic structures and interactions with
electromagnetic fields. It is a story because the book has an overriding
vision. Subjects are not simply thrown together, but instead flow
smoothly; it is like sitting and talking physics with a trusted mentor.
Silverman achieves his goal and provides a timeless view of the major
ideas and techniques of atomic physics.