Physics Today

Volume XIII in the ambitious Project of History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization envisioned by D. P. Chattopadhyaya is on Physics, Then and Now. The Now in question is post--Independence, and this volume seeks to summarize the state of affairs in the subject, with reference to India, but also more generally...

Edited by Professor Asoke Mitra who taught physics at the University of Delhi for many decades, India in the World of Physics: Then and Now has an impressive list of contributors that includes Jayant Narlikar, C. N. R. Rao, U. R. Rao, A. P. Mitra, Asoke Mitra, N. Mukunda, M. Vijayan, D. Lal, and T. V. Ramakrishnan among others, some of the most illustrious names in Indian science. The scholarship they bring to the subject is formidable.

The volume seeks to provide a bird’s eye view of globally significant contributions by Indian physicists in post–World War II India. Each of the 11 parts of the book highlights contributions in a particular area of physics, judged significant by a common international standard. It begins by charting the path from quantum field theory to string theory. It then proceeds to developments in classical physics, from probability and stochastic processes to nonlinear dynamics and chaos. The cutting edge of atomic, molecular, and optical physics, which is also the ‘controlling physics’ for accessing more complex systems spread across condensed matter, materials sciences, biophysics is discussed. The other essays capture perspectives in vast domains of physics: from the small (nuclear and hadronic) to the large (cosmology and general relativity), including the intermediate discipline of geophysics, especially cosmogenic geophysics. The spectacular recent achievements of India- Chandrayaan- was made possible by the major developments in space physics and that, along with reactor physics and atmospheric sciences, form the last part of the book.

A good bridge across the two cultures. Hardcover, 625 pages, Rs 2200. From Pearson Longman, ISBN: 9788131715796. In our Physics Section.