This compendium includes the following 5 complete books featuring renowned physicists Nima Arkani-Hamed, Artur Ekert, Tony Leggett, David Politzer and Paul Steinhardt providing fully accessible insights into cutting-edge academic research while revealing the inspirations and personal journeys behind the research. The books are explicitly designed to provide a unique window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be experienced through standard lectures and textbooks. A detailed preface highlights the connections between the books and all five books are broken into chapters with a detailed introduction and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:
I. The Power of Principles: Physics Revealed - A conversation with Nima Arkani-Hamed, Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Arkani-Hamed is one of today's leading particle physicists. This in-depth conversation explores how we discover the laws of nature, the "scientific method", the relation between theory and experiment and how we can push our understanding well beyond where experiments can currently reach.
II. Cryptoreality - A conversation with Artur Ekert, Professor of Quantum Physics, University of Oxford, and Director of the Centre for Quantum Technologies, National University of Singapore.I Artur Ekert is one of the pioneers of quantum cryptography. This wide-ranging conversation provides detailed insights into his research and covers many fascinating topics such as mathematical and physical intuition, a detailed history of cryptography from antiquity to the present day and how it works in practice, the development of quantum information science, the nature of reality, and more.
III. The Problems of Physics, Reconsidered - A conversation with Nobel Laureate Tony Leggett, University of Illinois. This detailed conversation explores the insightful plain-speaking itemization that Leggett developed of the physics landscape according to 4 basic categories-the very small (particle physics), the very large (cosmology), the very complex (condensed matter physics) and the very unclear (foundations of quantum theory)-while providing a thoughtful follow-up analysis from a contemporary perspective to assess how much progress we've made and which mysteries remain or have come on the scene since his groundbreaking book was published.
IV. The Physics of Banjos - A conversation with David Politzer, Nobel Laureate and the Richard Chace Tolman Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech. This conversation examines many of the intriguing aspects associated with the physics of banjos, including the ocarina effect, string-stretching, the subtleties of how we hear pitch, transient growth, and the mysterious ringing sound of banjos; while also touching briefly on contemporary issues in black holes and particle physics.
V. Indiana Steinhardt and the Quest for Quasicrystals - A conversation with Paul Steinhardt, the Albert Einstein Professor of Science and Director of the Center for Theoretical Science at Princeton University. The reader will be taken on a fascinating tour through the physics of materials, from theory, to the laboratory, to the discovery of a new state of matter, that culminated in Paul Steinhardt's dramatic Siberian expedition. Paul Steinhardt talks about his encounters with mineral smugglers, secret diaries and quasi-mythical characters during his "Indiana Jones" expedition from Florence to Israel, Amsterdam to California, Princeton to Kamchatka which led him to find quasicrystals that are quite literally out of this world...