A dense and thorough look at advanced scientific concepts.

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Frame-Dependent Analysis of Classical and Modern Physics

VOLUME 1, PART 1 ELECTRODYNAMICS

Calculation-heavy coverage of developments in physics over the 20th century.

Schenker starts his book, the first in what appears to be a series, with an overview of classical mechanics, focusing on transformation formulas and their applications and consequences. He takes a detailed look at the Lorentz transformation equations of rigid bodies (i.e., coordinate transformations) and, in many pages of equations, goes into more detail as he outlines the issues with length contraction and time dilation. For instance, “Now according to Special Relativity,” he says, “the time dilation effect should not be directionally dependent. And if the effect were examined with just respect to the mechanics underlying the design and function of the atomic clocks the values should equal according to the Principle of Relativity.” His attention then turns to Maxwell-Lorentz equations (or systems of equations), which he details at length as well. After this initial overview, Schenker turns his gaze toward areas of electrodynamics, which he investigates with pages upon pages of calculations. In fact, there are limited discussions from this point forward, just equations, and the grasp of mathematics required to follow along is quite formidable. Much of the text can feel like a quick romp through graduate-level physics—a feeling not unrealized by the author. “This work is designed for upper-graduate and graduate students and anyone familiar with Calculus, linear algebra, electrodynamics, and electromagnetism,” he says. That “familiarity” is a bit of an understatement. The work is academic through and through, which might be exactly what some students and passionately curious enthusiasts want. But if you’re hoping for an accommodating primer on classical and modern physics, you’ll need to start somewhere else.

A dense and thorough look at advanced scientific concepts.

Pub Date: April 26, 2009

ISBN: 978-1419689543

Page Count: 544

Publisher: BookSurge Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2015

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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