Professor Andrew Rex Publishes New Book: Commonly Asked Questions in Physics

April 9, 2014

A book for students, scientists, and the just plain curious


TACOMA, Wash.
– Andrew Rex, professor of physics at University of Puget Sound, has published a new book Commonly Asked Questions in Physics (CRC Press, 2014).

The highly-accessible book requires no prior background in physics or mathematics, and is part of the CRC Press “Commonly Asked Questions” series. It is intended for students of physics and scientists, as well as for anyone with an interest in some of the basic principles that rule our universe.

Readers will find themselves clearly briefed on many physics fundamentals, on recent discoveries, and on some of the most interesting questions about cosmology, relativity, and fundamental forces that still challenge physicists today.

“This is a unique book, somewhere between a very basic introductory text, a quick refresher, and a sequence of answers to interesting physics questions … a quick, yet coherent, introduction to the basic ideas of physics," wrote Richard Wolfson, Benjamin F. Wissler Professor of Physics at Middlebury College, in a review of the book.

Physics plays a role in our lives every day—using cell phones, listening to music, turning on a light switch or dishwasher, and even standing out in the yard looking up at the sky. Keeping the mathematics at a very basic level, this book addresses many physics questions frequently posed by students, scientists in other fields, and, of course, by our ever-curious children.

Commonly Asked Questions in Physics probes the basic mysteries of force, energy, and gravity that were partially explained 300 years ago by Isaac Newton; as well as Albert Einstein’s radical ideas of relativity that proved not so radical after all; and the many more recent discoveries and controversies that pop up in our daily newspapers, dealing with antimatter, quarks, leptons, the weak force, and the now celebrity Higgs Boson.

Each chapter explains the numbers and units used to measure things, and some chapters include a “Going Deeper” feature that provides more mathematical details for readers who are up to the challenge. The suggested readings range from classic textbooks to some of the best books written for the general public, offering readers the option to study each topic in more depth.

Andrew Rex, professor and chair of the Department of Physics at University of Puget Sound, has been teaching at the Pacific Northwest national liberal arts college since 1982. His prior publications include Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers (Brooks/Cole–Cengage Learning, 2013), Essential College Physics (Pearson Addison Wesley, 2010), and Integrated Physics and Calculus (Addison Wesley Longman, 2000), to name a few. He teaches courses in general physics, statistical mechanics, and the history of physics, including “Physics in the Modern World: Copenhagen to Manhattan.” His interests include integrating physics with calculus, Maxwell’s Demon, and the physics of information; and foundations of the second law of thermodynamics. Rex holds a bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and a doctoral degree from University of Virginia.

Press photos of Andrew Rex and the book cover can be downloaded from: pugetsound.edu/pressphotos

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