Physics in the Past Essay

One hundred years ago, in a poky apartment in Bern, Switzerland, Albert Einstein, then Just a 26-year-old patent office clerk still working part-time towards his PhD, published five ground breaking scientific papers. Each of these papers, written during Einstein anus miracles , has become a “classic” in the history of science: On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light , which discusses optical photons and photoelectric effects.

Molecular and New Measurement , which deduces the mathematical equation for calculating the speed of the diffusion of molecules. On the Motion of Small Particles Suspended in Stationary Liquids Required by the Molecular-Kinetic Theory of Heat , which provides proof for the existence of atoms. Does the Inertia of a Body Depend upon its Internal Energy, which proposes the idea for two-way transformation between mass and energy according to the special theory of relativity. On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies , which proposes a new theory on the relationship between time and space.

This paper served as the foundation for the theory of relativity. The contemporary physics revolution, based on the theory of relativity and quantum theory, has led science into a new era. Starting from this, human exploration has extended to the boundless universe, to the distant origin of the cosmos and to the microscopic structure of objects previously unknown to mankind. Contemporary physics revolution has also spurred revolution in life sciences and conscience in the last years. All these have changed mankind’s outlook on matter, time, space, life and the universe.

Moreover, this contemporary physics revolution has also given birth to technological physics including nuclear energy, semiconductors, laser, new materials such as with superconductivity, and fostered rapid development of a wide range of ewe technologies that have changed the methods of our industrial production and our ways of life while bringing the world to the new knowledge economics era. Founders of contemporary physics, Einstein the most outstanding among them, are undoubtedly epoch figures in the history of science and the history of mankind.

It is therefore both of significance and importance for us to commemorate them in our reflections on the development of physics in the last one hundred years not Just to express our gratitude but to draw inspiration from their achievements and build on their legacy to create a better future for all humankind. 1. The inconsistency between experiments and theories gave birth to new science concepts At the end of the 19 the century, people were still intoxicated with the interpretations given by classical physics. Some even held that there was not much more to do in physics.

It was under such a state that the discovery of some physical phenomena revealed the limitations of interpretations given by classical physics. High-temperature measurement technology, called for by the rapid development of the metallurgical industry, led to research in thermal radiation. In the mid 19 the century, Germany emerged as the birthplace for research in this field. Thermal radiation refers to the electromagnetic waves emitted by matter when heated and largely depends on the temperature of electromagnetic phenomenon.

Although this explains the propagation of light, it does not explain the emission and reception of thermal radiation. G. R. Kerchief (1824-? 1887) advanced to use black body as an ideal body for research on thermal radiation (1859). W. Wine (1864-1928) confirmed that it is possible to regard the thermal radiation performance of a pored cavity as a black body (1896). A series of experiments demonstrated that the density of the energy emitted by such black body s related to its temperature and not to its shape or materials.

Theoretical explanation of the energy spectrum curve of a black body became an essential issue in research on thermal radiation at the time. Based on the general principle of thermal mechanics and some special assumptions, Wine developed a formula to determine the energy density associated with particular wavelengths for any given temperature of a radiating black body (1896). Max Plank Joined research on heat radiation during the same period. To explain the energy distribution curve of the radiated light spectrum of a black body, Plank developed a formula.

It was not until 1900 that scientists proved the veracity of the formula through experimentation. Plank’s formula requires that the energy emitted or absorbed by black body is the energy quanta that determine its amount. This implies that energy, like a matter, has the properties of particles, I. E. , energy also has capability and discreteness. In 1905, Einstein extended the concept of quanta to the propagation of light and proposed the light quantum theory, successfully using it to explain photoelectric effect. In 1913, the Danish physicist N.

Boor (1885 – 1962) extended the concept of quanta to atoms, ND established a quantum structural model for atoms based on the discreteness hypothesis of the energy state of atoms. Dissatisfied with the lack of self- sufficiency of Boor’s atom theory, the German physicist Werner Karl Heisenberg (1901-?1976) developed matrix mechanics in 1925 by starting directly from a priori data on the frequency and intensity of spectrum of visible light. The following year, the Austrian physicist E. Scar? Dinner (1892-?1961) improved the wave-particle duality matter wave theory of L. V. De Broglie (1892-?1994), leading to wave mechanics.

Subsequent search proved the mathematical equivalence of both matrix mechanics and wave mechanics. The American physicist R. P. Funnyman (1918 – 1988) later developed the third equivalent – path integral quantum mechanics. It is until this period of time that quantum theory was established to its robust architecture. The thermal radiation hypothesis became the logical starting point for the birth of quantum theory. The quantum of energy concept was developed in 1900. As a result of its development and extended application, quantum mechanics, which describes the motion of subatomic particles, took form in the asses.

The combination of quantum mechanics tit the special theory of relativity gave birth to quantum field theory, which describes the generation and annihilation of subatomic particles. Development of quantum field theory has experienced three stages: classical quantum field theory (symmetrical), standard quantum field theory (non-symmetrical) and super- symmetrical quantum field theory. It has not only revealed the secrets of the subatomic world invisible to the naked eye, but deepened our understanding of the evolution of the universe and revolutionized the way people perceive the world.

Quantum field theory, moreover, has set the stage for a series of key technological odd radiation to the advancement of the quantum theory that science is, after all, still a positivistic knowledge system. That is, as long as a theory is not consistent with rigorous experimental results, a scientist has all the reasons to doubt the theory itself no matter how authoritative the theory it may be, no matter how many people have upheld it, and no matter how many years it has been embraced.

At the same time, we should understand that the ultimate results of scientific research should give theoretical interpretation of natural phenomena discovered while this requires not only rigorous and scientific attitude and rational challenging spirit, but also profound thinking ability and deliberate analysis ability and theoretical reasoning ability. 2. Key breakthroughs in science hinge upon distillation of scientific research questions The theory of relativity advanced by Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955) is a brand new outlook on space and time. The key scientific question for the theory of relativity lies in simultaneous relativity.

The theory of relativity has given Justified interpretations about the relationship between time and space, the relationship between space and striation of matters, and the relationship between matters and energy. In the process, it transformed the knowledge system of classical physics dating back to Sir Isaac Newton(1642-1727). The theory of relativity, together with quantum theory, not only formed the foundation for development of physics in the 20 the century but also raised our understanding of the nature to an entirely new level, thus having a profound effect on the way of thinking and perceptions of the world.

The founding of the theory of relativity originated from the crisis of Ether, a hypothesized carrier for electromagnetic waves. The experiment report On the Relative Motion between the Earth and Light Ether published by the American physicist A. A. Michelson (1852-? 1931), revealed that the theory of relativity, which is universally correct in the reference to Newtonian mechanics, is incorrect in Maxwell electromagnetic field theory. Both the Dutch physicist H. A. Lorenz (1853-?1928) and the French physicist J. H. Poinciana (1854-?1912) attempted to solve this contradiction by maintaining the Ether hypothesis.

Lorenz proved that the earth system and Ether follow the same away at the first-order approximation by incorporating “length contraction” (1892), “regional time” (1895) and a new conversion relationship (1904) while the relativity principle developed by Poinciana and the conversion group (1905) developed by Lorenz emphasized the universal validity of the relativity principle. Although both deviated from the framework of classical physics lay at the doorstep to the theory of relativity,but it was left to Albert Einstein to turn the key and push the door open.

Einstein believed that the electromagnetic field had an independent physical existence and held the Ether hypothesis to be superfluous. His most important contribution may reside inside in the fact that he raised the critical scientific problem of “simultaneous relativity’. In On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies (1905), Einstein claimed that two events happening simultaneously in the same location do not depend on the observations of the observers; yet two events happening simultaneously at two different locations do depend on their observations.

It would be meaningful only if it is indicated clearly that the events are relative to which observer. We could hardly observe such relativity of simultaneity in our daily lives cause this can be discovered only when the speed of an observer is close to the the main conclusions for the theory of special relativity through two principles: constancy of the speed of light and relativity. The general theory of relativity (1915) and the unified field theory are further developments of the theory of special relativity.

Through his trilogy research on the theory of relativity, Einstein revealed to his physics colleagues his extraordinary creativity in scientific thinking. 3. Scientific imagination requires the support of rigorous experimental evidence In the year allowing the publication of his general theory, Einstein bloodthirstiness’s Made on Cosmology Based on the General Theory of Relativity (1917), which marked the birth of modern cosmology. Although Einstein cosmological model followed the static Newtonian view on the universe, its field theory lays the groundwork for the existence of dynamic solutions to cosmology.

The Dutch astronomer W. De Sitter (1878-?1933), the Russian mathematician A. Friedman(1888-?1925) and the Belgian physicist published the expanding universe theory in 1917, 1922 and 1927, respectively. The ‘red shift’ effect observed by the American astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) offered strong support for the expanding universe theory. Drawing on the expanding universe theory, the Russian American physicist G. Gamma (1904-?1968), formulated the idea of a hot explosion of matter and energy at the time of the origin of the universe by incorporating knowledge in nuclear physics.

His student R. A. Lapper(1921-) and others further derived in 1948, that the big bang explosion took place about 15 billion to 20 billion years ago and hypothesized that remains from the big bang explosion may still be circulating in the universe, presenting K cosmological background radiation. In 1964, two American radio engineers, A. A. Pennies (1933-) and R. W. Wilson (1936-), discovered evenly distributed isotropic cosmic microwave background radiation while tracing the source of radio noise that was interfering with the development of a communications program involving satellites.

This microwave radiation is coincidentally equivalent to 3. K blackbody radiation. This discovery is regarded as a confirmation of the cosmic background radiation as a result of the big bang explosion. The latter years witnessed the rise of the big bang theory, which developed as the “standard model” for cosmology. In the early of 20 the century, Einstein listed the origin of a geomagnetic field as one of the five major challenges in physics.

However, not until the asses, after the seismic wave method confirmed the layered structure of the earth, did scientists devise the “self-exciting dynamo’ hypothesis, the full scientific endorsement of which awaited evidence from differential core-mantle movement obtained in 1995. Increased knowledge on the inner structure of the solid earth mainly relies on the seismic wave method. The concept of layered structure of the earth has gradually formed through analysis of variation of the seismic wave passing wrought the inner structure of the earth. The Croatian geophysicist, A.

Moravia? IГ© (1857-?1936), discovered the interface between the earth’s crust and mantle (1909); The German-American seismologist, B. Gutenberg (1889-?1960), discovered the interface between the earth’s mantle and the core (1914); and the Dutch seismologist l. Lehmann discovered the interface between the earth’s liquid outer and solid inner core (1914). The New Zealand physicist K. E. Bullet proposed the layered model of the earth (1940). The differential core-mantle revolving movement, a hypothesis Achaeans to explain the inversion of the polarity of geomagnetism.

However, no direct scientific evidence had been found. Based on their analysis of recorded data for 38 earthquakes, which took place between 1967 to 1995 near the Sandwich Islands close to the South Pole in South America, Dawn (Goading) Song and Paul G. Richards, Columbia University, in US, measured the speed of seismic wave transmitted from the earth’s inner core to a seismographic station in Alaska near the North Pole. They found that the time it took seismic wave to travel from the South Pole to the North Pole had been reduced by 0. Seconds over the previous years.

This confirms that the earth’s inner core is revolving slightly faster than its crust and the mantle-?indeed the earth’s inner core will turn one extra circle in about 300 to 400 years. Dry. Us Weigh, another Chinese scholar residing in the US, and Doeskins, an American seismologist, reached a similar conclusion based on analyses of seismic data from about 2000 seismographic stations around the globe. Based on their computation, the revolving speed of the earth’s inner core is even faster, 20 – 30 degrees Just over the timeshare 1969 to 1973.

It can be seen from the propositions and improvement of the theory of relativity by Einstein, the big bang theory and the geomagnetic theory that while it is important to solve problems in development of science, it seems even more important to raise key questions in science. Raising questions is the prelude to scientific research. More importantly, raising key questions reveals the creativity associated with science. Sometimes a key question in science leads to new fields and new research directions.

To ask the right questions, one must have a through understanding of existing knowledge, a love for truth that renascences respect for authority, and fine observational skills and creative thinking. At the same time, one must be rational bold and confident. 4. Natural science needs mathematical language Mathematics is the written language of contemporary sciences. The German astronomer J. Keeper (1 571-?1630), who used algebraic equations in formulating and verifying the three laws concerning the movement of planets (1609-?1619), is regarded as the world’s first mathematical physicist.

The Italian physicist Galileo Galilee (1564-?1642) used geometric method to discover the laws of falling bodies (1638). Sir Isaac Newton (1642-?1727) established mathematics as the foundation of science in Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1687). Most advances in celestial mechanics in the 18 the century were driven by mathematics and only in the 19 the century did experiments began to stand out as a key methodology. The “mathematicians” of experimental physics became a hallmark for physics in the 19 the century.

The great thinker and revolutionist Karl Marx even held that only a discipline that successfully uses mathematics can be called a mature discipline. The relationship between physics and mathematics in the 20 the moved closer than during he three previous centuries as mathematics and physics found more inherent consistency with each other. From non-Euclidean geometry to the general theory of relativity, from Hilbert space to quantum mechanics, and from differential geometry to gauge field theory, mathematics seemingly laid the groundwork for advances in physics.

On the other hand, physics has brought mathematicians face-to-face with one new problem after another, continually leading mathematics in new directions. -?1984) and R. P. Funnyman made mathematics of Funnyman integral an important mathematical topic in the 20 the century. The relationship between statistical physics and probability mathematics has gradually made phase variable mathematical theory a core issue in strict mathematics as a foundation for statistical physics. Now, we must be prepared for the mathematicians of life sciences.

Indeed, the relationship between mathematics and life sciences will inevitably draw closer with the growth of theoretical biology. While life sciences will increasingly turn to mathematics to describe life phenomena, mathematics will increasingly turn to the life sciences to chart new directions. Electronic digital computer is one of the greatest lolls for combination of mathematics and physics. Computers have helped physics implement the computing principles devised by mathematics.

The British mathematician A. M. Turing (1912-?1954) advanced a mechanic computation model (1936). The American mathematician C. E. Shannon (1916-?2001) proposed to use Boolean algebra to analyze complex switching circuits (1938). The American mathematician N. Wiener (1894-?1964) put forward that automatic computers should use electronic tube high-speed switches to form logic circuits to perform binary digital computations of addition and multiplication (1940). The Hungarian American mathematician J.

L. Von Nonhuman (1903-?1957) advanced the memory program theory for computers (1945). These concepts guided by the design and development of digital electronic computer. The march of progress leading to the development of the electronic tube, transistor and integrated circuits have enabled electronic computers to become ubiquitous personal tools. Electronic digital computer is a machine that extends the human brain. It is the result of the combination between mathematics and physics.

Its invention has brought about a vast influence on both mathematics ND physics and has enabled mathematical simulation of physics. We have all the reasons to anticipate biological computers through the combination of mathematics and life science and such new tools will help us understand better the complex laws of a wide range of life activities such as the operations of the human brain. 5. Invention of new instruments helps open new windows for science Our earliest ancestors used their naked eyes to observe nature.

Later, telescopes and microscopes were invented and their further developments in the 20 the century are radio telescopes and electronic microscopes. However, the most important instruments invented in the 20 the century are particle accelerators and electronic computers. Particle accelerators are a tool for mankind to understand the microscopic world while electronic computers are a key auxiliary tool for human intelligence. Radio, infrared and ultraviolet, X-ray and y-ray all generate electromagnetic radiation.

However, we still have no means to observe black celestial bodies without electromagnetic radiation. Radio telescopes have helped us find neutron stars. Humankind has found indirect evidence for the existence of gravitational wave through observing changes in orbits of dual pulsars in ten years room 1974 to 1984. In the early stages, scientists relied on radioactive matter and high-energy particles from the universe to explore the properties of matter within the nucleus, finding such as p meson (1936), meson (1947) and K meson (1947).

The invention of particle accelerators has brought us deep into the colorful world of (1933), cyclotron (1932), synchrotron (1946), isochronous cyclotron (1956) and the collided (1956), a series of particle accelerators began operation in rapid succession: Long Island (1952, Q.V.), Birmingham (1953, 1 Gave), Berkeley (1954, Q.V.), Dubbed (1957, Give) and Thacker (1958, Kiev). After accelerators produced the meson in 1948, new particles were found, also in rapid succession. Then, a batch of “resonance” particles was found in the asses.

Based on categorized research on these particles, the quark model was established and additional efforts were made to confirm and improve standard models for basic particles. As tunable light sources, synchrotron radiation devices and free electron laser devices, which were developed on basis of the principle of accelerators, have found wide applications in multidisciplinary research in basic science and industrial fields. The electronic digital computers are significant in physics research for two reasons.

First, computers can obtain numerical solutions for physics without analytic solutions. Second, computers can simulate experiments that can be conceived but not conducted in the real world. As in previous experimental and theoretical methodologies, physics has held centre stage in mathematical simulation, which draws its strength by standing midstream between the classic deductive and experimental methodologies. The essence of simulation lies in the fact that it involves experiments on mathematical models instead of experiments on objective phenomena.

Mathematical simulation encompasses four basic elements; establishment of an “objective” mathematical model, formulation of numerical method for model analysis, development of analytical program and program execution on electronic computers. Mathematical simulation has brought a new tripod pattern in physics, consisting of experimental physics, theoretical physics and computational physics. The watchword for computational physics is not computation but digital simulation of natural processes.

The purpose of such simulation is to arrive at new discoveries and further confirm hose new discoveries through analysis by theoretical physics and tests by experimental physics. The emergence of computational physics takes back to the report, Research on Nonlinear Problems(1955) by E. Fermi-J. Pasta-S. Lam as its starting point, and it is symbolized by three major discoveries through mathematical simulation: chaos (1963) by E. N. Lorenz; solution (1964) by M. D. Karakas and N. J. Suburbs and the “long-time tail” (1967) by B. J. Alder.

Computational physics later witnessed the emergence of new branches, including computational biology and computational neural science. In a certain sense, I would give my affirmative vote for the computational physics as a key scientific methods in the new era. While science relies increasing on new research methodologies nowadays, progress in experimental means has also opened new doors for science. New research methodologies not only help foster theoretical breakthroughs, but also change the way scientists think and spearhead new fields of research.

Scientific research would be brought to a halt or led into a tight corner if experimental methodologies were to be taken too lightly. 6. Interactions between physics and life sciences The intersection and interaction between physics and other disciplines in natural science have already given rise to chemical physics, biophysics, psychophysics and numerous other interdisciplinary branches, including celestial physics, geophysics, product of such intersection and interaction is the revolutionary changes to the profound impact in the life sciences based on physics brought by the discovery of the double-helix DNA structure.

The American biologist J. D. Watson (1928-), and the British chemist F. Crick (1916-?2004) discovered the double-helix structure of DNA in 1953. the Russian- American physicist, G. Gamma advanced orbited triplet genetic code in 1954. In 1958, F. Crick advanced the central law for genetic information to transfer from DNA to RNA and then to protein. In 1961, F. Jacob (1920-) and J. Monody (1910 – 1976), both French biologists, proposed a classification of the functions of genes and the concept of regulatory genes.

As a result of these contributions, the theoretical framework of molecular biology took shape. With the discovery of the double-helix DNA structure, the establishment of the central law, and the emergence of genetic recombination technology, virtually all research on biological phenomena as gone deep into molecular level to look for the laws of the nature of life. Molecular biology has become the key discipline for research on biological phenomena and the source for development of the principles of biological technology.

Genetic recombination kindled the possibility for engineering application of genetic technology in the asses, thus unveiling the prospect for promoting mankind welfare through biotechnology. These revolutionary transformations of life science are the results of intersection and interaction between disciplines including physics, chemistry and biology. During this process, physicists has made key contributions in the concepts and methodology in physics and by making in-depth explorations in the field of life sciences.

We should not underestimate the impact of the theories of E. Such? Dinner, the founder of quantum wave mechanics. His What Is Life (1944) deeply influenced generations of physicists and biologists and contributed to the rise of three schools of science: the school of chemistry represented by G. W. Beadle (1903-1989); of information science represented by M. DelbertГјKC (1906-?1981); and of structuralism represented by J. C. Kindred (1917-1997). The three schools were deeply influenced by ideas and methods in physics.

X-ray crystal diffraction method in physics provided a powerful tool for structuralisms to probe the crystal macrostructure of large molecules in biology. The triplet genetic code scheme first proposed by the physicist G. Gamma, boosted development of the school of information science. On the other hand, we should not take for granted the influence of life science on physics. N. Boor (1885-?1962), one of the main founders of quantum theory, called physicists to pay close attention to research on biological phenomena. One of Boor’s goals was to look for the boundary of applicability of quantum physics in biology. 7.

The drive of social demand and the interaction between science and technology Early in 1959, the American physicist Funnyman envisaged to use large machines to create small machines and to use small machines to create even smaller one, so small that the entire Britannica can be packed into a device as small as a needle tip and atoms can be moved and re-arranged. Ideal as it was at the time, significant progress has made in microscope manufacturing driven by scientific knowledge and social demand. Today, people have already pushed forward processing scale from the order of micrometer (10 -? 6 m) to the order of nanometer (10 -? 9 m).

After physicists pointed out in 1897 that the growth of a crystal depends of crystallization and heat conductivity-?semiconductors became the material featuring the deepest understanding of the macrostructure and macroscopic properties and the most mature mastery of processing and production technologies. After the British physicist M. Faraday (1791-?1867) discovered that the resistively of silver oxide increases with the rise of temperature (1833), three physical effects about nonconductors–photocopying (1873), photovoltaic (1877) and current rectification (1906)– were discovered.

These semiconductor physical effects began to find commercial applications in the asses. They boosted research on semiconductor physics and, as a result, H. A. Wilson (1874-?1964), a British physicist, proposed the conductivity model of semiconductors (1931) while further development of research of semiconductor physics resulted in the invention of transistor (1947) by W. Shockley (1910-?1989), J. Bearded (1908-1991) and W. H. Britain (1902-?1987) of sell Labs, US. Before long, transistors, which are smaller in size and have a longer life, began to replace vacuum tubes (1950) while after the British physicist G.

W. A. Dimmer came up with a concept for integrated circuits in 1952, C. Silky and R. Nonce, both American physicists, independently developed the earliest integrated circuits in 1958. Following the birth of the first transistor and the first integrated circuit, and development and improvement of monstrosity growing technology, ion implantation technology, diffusion technology, epithelial growth technology and photographing technology, cricketer-order material processing technology began to see incessant progress.

Semiconductor integrated circuits develop peed to Extremely Large Scale Integration at the end of the 20 the century( > 10 9 ) from Small Scale Integration ( 102), Medium Scale Integration ( 10 2 -?10 3), Large Scale Integration ( 10 3 -?10 5), Very Large Scale Integration ( 10 5 -?10 7 and Super Large Scale Integration ( 10 7 -?10 9 and its p recessing scale has already reached 0. 1 micrometer. Besides electronic computer chips, two micrometer-order processing technologies are worth noting: microelectronic machinery and gene chip technology.

Microelectronic materials and technologies have been used to manufacture microbes, microgrooves, micrograms, thin film and even microdots. They can also be manufactured in batches like transistors. Gene chips are DNA chips that solidify a large amount of life information. Their spatial resolution ranges from micrometer to nanometer. They are now being used in basic research in biomedicine and molecular biology, research on human genome and clinical medical experiments. ND will have a revolutionary impact on basic life sciences, clinical medicine, diagnostics, pharmacology, and brain and neural science, etc. Semiconductor materials used in production of integrated circuits have witnessed transitions of Ill – V category semiconductors from germanium to silicon to gallium arsenide. The production processes have witnessed transitions from plane process to the layered process and then to graphic process, including the micrometer processing technologies of photographing, etching, deposition, epitaph, diffusion, sputtering, testing and packaging.

Continuous progress in materials for integrated circuits and processes and development in physics have now given birth to nanometer technology. X-ray etcher, electron beam exposure set, on beam photometer derived from micrometer technology itself and atom-order trimming technologies for materials have became the tools for development of scanning probe microscopes including scanning tunnel microscope (STEM) and Atomic Force Microscope (FM) used in atom-scale processing.

Electronic exposure and ion exposure sets are currently practical nanometer processing tools while scanning probe microscopes are still the only tools to date that can be used for atom-scale processing. New tools based on nanometer technology will give rise to finer- than-100-nanometer super-microscopic molecular devices such as molecular amputees and molecular robots. Such molecular devices may have more active and more complex capabilities and can help people carry out more complex operations.

Nanometer technology based on molecular assembling will enable total control of the structure of matters, and mankind will be able to produce super-microscopic intelligent devices according to laws of the nature. As revealed by developments made in semiconductors, integrated circuits and nanometer technology, the driving force for science and technology advancements not only comes from the aspiration of scientists and engineers to create, but from social demand. Indeed the driving force of social demand on scientific discoveries and technological inventions has become more and more significant since World War II.

This requires scientists, engineers and science and technological managers give up their scholastic ways of thinking and management practices to strengthen contacts with society so as to accurately come to grips with social demand, thus effectively pushing forward scientific and technological advancements and innovation. Scientific and technical personnel of developing countries like China should do even more in this aspect as we urgently deed to utilize our limited science and technology resources to expedite modernized construction. 8.

The charm and the future of physics The main achievements of the modern physics revolution, including the theory of relativity, quantum theory and the products of their combination – the theory of quantum field and the unified field theory – have spurred enormous changes in the material and spiritual life of mankind. Understanding how the theory of relativity shed light on the relationship between time, space and matter, and how quantum theory shed light on the inner structure of matter and their laws and motion have not only deeply influenced the views of people but also vastly changed our material world and daily life.

Think of television, transistors and laser, multimedia, personal computers and the internet, and you will realize how significant the “physics revolution” has been. However, the charm of physics is not only revealed in the great changes to human civilization brought by material progress. The rising cognitive ability of mankind spurred in part by physics and especially modern physics, should not be underestimated. Physics extracts the unified properties of matters from complicated phenomena and has overturned many of our superficial knowledge bout the world.

Physics brings to light the marvelous characteristics of matters in essence and provides us with the most rational and concise physical representation with the aid of mathematics and logic. While physics explains to us about the surrounding material world, it also provides us with rich, rigorous and innovative theories, methods and experimental systems. Modern physics revolution of the 20th century grew out of the state of physics at the turn of the last century. At the time, some physicists believed that physics faced a crisis: that, in effect, physicists knew all

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