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Physics, Nature and Society: A Guide to Order


Author: Joaquin Marro

Publisher: Springer


Publish Date: November 15, 2013

ISBN-10: 3319020234

Pages: 204

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

By delving into the laws of nature, physics encountered the concepts of matter and energy, and by looking into their consequences, led to the present-day technological development. Nowadays, physics provides the foundation for many applications—from computation and transport to sophisticated tools for leisure and medicine—and continues, unstoppable, to provide new technology. It also lies at the heart of improvements to our quality of life, since this follows from the advance of scientific knowledge and physics has propitiated the quantitative development of other sciences.

Some readers may feel that this statement overplays the idea they have of physics. Although its influence on our lives may be widely accepted, society, at least as portrayed by the media, often relegates physics to the same league as superstitions and fallacies, or considers it as something deeply mysterious or even to be disdained. The view of physics as something problematic, abstract and remote lies in stark contrast to how we, who work in the field, see it. We feel at one with physics and that it is the most logical way of thinking about the world. However, we scientists make little effort to convince the general public of this and, when we do, we are at a disadvantage, performing before small audiences. With this book I attempt, in the face of prejudice, to popularize the scientific environment that is familiar to me, and hope to convince others that physics is reliable and powerful to explore the frontiers of knowledge. I mainly address those who, while curious about scientific development, wish to avoid texts with a mathematical formulation. Rigor is necessary, and only mathematics can render the scientific discourse reliable, but I attempt to reduce this requirement and obtain a description of quality that nevertheless is accessible and can stimulate reflection in many minds. For those with a mathematical background I also include specific references where some arguments are pinned down, however.

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