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May 17, 2004


Physics faculty on a roll with book publishers

Two new textbooks have just been published by faculty in the Department of Physics, and three other books by UCSC physicists are in various stages of production.

Abraham Seiden, professor of physics and director of the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, has written a textbook on particle physics for second-year graduate students. Particle Physics: A Comprehensive Introduction, from Addison-Wesley, is currently available through Amazon.com and will also be featured by the Scientific American Book Club as the editor's main selection in October.

George Gaspari, professor emeritus of physics, and Joseph Rudnick, a former UCSC faculty member now at UCLA, are the coauthors of Elements of the Random Walk: An Introduction for Advanced Students and Researchers, from Cambridge University Press. Random walks have proven to be a useful model in understanding processes across a wide spectrum of scientific disciplines. This book is an introduction to some of the most powerful and general techniques used in the application of these ideas.

Physics professor Bruce Schumm, meanwhile, has a book due out in December. Deep Down Things: The Breathtaking Beauty of Particle Physics, from Johns Hopkins University Press, provides an exposition of the Standard Model of particle physics written on a purely conceptual level. The book is intended for an audience with a deep interest, but not necessarily a formal background, in the underlying principles of modern science.

Two other book projects by physics faculty have received major advances from publishers. Professor Emeritus Bruce Rosenblum and lecturer Fred Kuttner are working on a book about the "quantum enigma," while professor Joel Primack is writing a book about cosmology and culture with his wife, Nancy Abrams. Both books grew out of UCSC courses. Rosenblum and Kuttner teach a course for nonmajors in which they explore the bizarre nature of physical reality and the spooky connectedness revealed by quantum mechanics. Their book, The Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness, will be published by Oxford University Press. Primack and Abrams have taught a course on cosmology and culture for many years. Their book has the working title "The Meaningful Universe" and will be published in the United States by Penguin (foreign editions are also in the works).

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