An introduction to relativistic quantum field theory by S S Schweber

By S S Schweber

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The elders of quantum physics, as pioneers of the post-​Newtonian realm, were strangers in a strange land. Chapter 3 discusses the Newtonian physics that formed the scientific background for these pioneers, which remains an essential background for understanding the quantum. 38 3 Particles and Classical Mechanics Physics as we know it today began during the 17th and 18th centuries with Galileo and Newton. They initiated classical physics, or prequantum physics, comprising Newtonian mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, and related topics.

There are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the observable universe, each typically containing hundreds of billions of stars. Early evidence for dark matter came during the 1930s from the study of clusters of galaxies bound together by the attractive pull of gravity. Some clusters were held together more tightly than astronomers could explain by estimating the gravitational pull of all the 20 20 The Universe is Made of Quanta glowing, visible matter in the galaxies. Astronomers hypothesized that a new, nonglowing form of matter helped hold the clusters together.

During the 1980s, two teams of astronomers used a new way of measuring the expansion speeds and distances of very distant galaxies based on the light received from exploding stars, called supernovas, within those galaxies. Occurring only once every few decades in a typical galaxy, each supernova outshines its entire galaxy for a few days or weeks after its explosion and is visible across, essentially, the entire known universe. This work determined distances and recession speeds of the supernovas, and therefore of the galaxies that contained them, at huge distances away from us.

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