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Why Things Are the Way They Are by B.S. Chandrasekhar


Why Things Are the Way They Are by B.S. Chandrasekhar

This fascinating book explains why materials behave as they do. In a completely non-technical style, using only basic arithmetic, the author explains how the properties of materials result from the way they are composed of atoms and why they have the properties they do: for example, why copper and rubies are coloured, why metals conduct heat better than glass, why magnets attract iron nails but not brass pins, and how superconductors can conduct electricity without resistance. The book is intended for general readers, and uses mainly words, pictures and analogies, with only a minimum of very simple mathematics. The author explains how it is possible to understand the basic properties of matter, and translates the technical jargon of physics into a language that can be understood by anyone with an interest in science who wants to know why the world around us behaves in the way that it does.


'... strongly recommended to physicists and non-physicists alike.'
Stuart Palmer and Katherine Palmer, Physics World

'... written for the intelligent general reader and purposefully avoids use of mathematics ... will be useful as a support book for teachers, helping them to answer deep and awkward questions from bright students.'
Geoff Auty, School Science Review

' ... entertaining and informative'. E. Noponen, Endeavour 'This book has been written by a physicist for the lay reader with the aim of explaining why the materials we can see and touch behave in the way they do. Essentially the book is a nontechnical description of atomic physics, quantum mechanics and materials science ... the author does a good job of describing, mostly by analogy, some of the difficult concepts. A. D. Andrews, Irish Astronomical Journal'

About the Author

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Book Info

Publication date

16th October 1997


B.S. Chandrasekhar

More books by B.S. Chandrasekhar
Author 'Like for Like'


Cambridge University Press


268 pages


Condensed matter physics (liquid state & solid state physics)



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