What We Are Reading Today: The Semiclassical Way by Eric J. Heller

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Updated 30 July 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Semiclassical Way by Eric J. Heller

Physical systems have been traditionally described in terms of either classical or quantum mechanics. But in recent years, semiclassical methods have developed rapidly, providing deep physical insight and computational tools for quantum dynamics and spectroscopy. In this book, Eric Heller introduces and develops this subject, demonstrating its power with many examples. 

In the first half of the book, Heller covers relevant aspects of classical mechanics, building from them the semiclassical way through the semiclassical limit of the Feynman path integral. The second half of the book applies this approach to various kinds of spectroscopy, such as molecular spectroscopy and electron imaging and quantum dynamical systems with an emphasis on tunneling. Adopting a distinctly time-dependent viewpoint, Heller argues for semiclassical theories from experimental and theoretical vantage points valuable to research in physics and chemistry.

Featuring more than two hundred figures, the book provides a geometric, phase-space, and coordinate-space pathway to greater understanding.

Filled with practical examples and applications, The Semiclassical Way to Dynamics and Spectroscopy is a comprehensive presentation of the tools necessary to successfully delve into this unique area of quantum mechanics.


What We Are Reading Today: Fallout

Updated 08 August 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Fallout

Author: Lesley M. M. Blume

New York Times bestselling author Lesley M.M. Blume reveals how one courageous American reporter uncovered one of the deadliest cover-ups of the 20th century — the true effects of the atom bomb — potentially saving millions of lives.
Released on the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, Fallout is an engrossing detective story, as well as an important piece of hidden history that shows how one heroic scoop saved — and can still save — the world.
On the bright clear morning of Aug. 6, 1945, the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, immediately killing 70,000 people, and so grievously crushing, burning and irradiating another 50,000 that they too soon died.
Blume, a tireless researcher and beautiful writer, moves through her narrative with seeming effortlessness — a trick that belies the skill and hard labor required to produce such prose.
Knowing what we know today about the nuclear bomb and its devastating consequences, it’s so amazing to read this thoroughly researched report on the man who, against all odds, exposed to the world the true damage of the bomb when it was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.