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In this book Carver Mead offers a radically new approach to the standard problems of electromagnetic theory. Motivated by the belief that the goal of scientific research should be the simplification and unification of knowledge, he describes a new way of doing electrodynamics—collective electrodynamics—that does not rely on Maxwell's equations, but rather uses the quantum nature of matter as its sole basis. Collective electrodynamics is a way of looking at how electrons interact, based on experiments that tell us about the electrons directly. (As Mead points out, Maxwell had no access to these experiments.)
The results Mead derives for standard electromagnetic problems are identical to those found in any text. Collective electrodynamics reveals, however, that quantities that we usually think of as being very different are, in fact, the same—that electromagnetic phenomena are simple and direct manifestations of quantum phenomena. Mead views his approach as a first step toward reformulating quantum concepts in a clear and comprehensible manner.
The book is divided into five sections: magnetic interaction of steady currents, propagating waves, electromagnetic energy, radiation in free space, and electromagnetic interaction of atoms. In an engaging preface, Mead tells how his approach to electromagnetic theory was inspired by his interaction with Richard Feynman.
About the Author
Carver A. Mead is the Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, at the California Institute of Technology. He won the 1999 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Invention and Innovation.
The advent of the quantum theory in the years 1920-1930 brought with it the possibility of understanding the origin of consciousness. During the last decade, research on the mysterious Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) effect and "tangled quantum states" has created an added appeal that there may be a connection between consciousness and 'tangled state' quantum phenomena. This could be true. There is a phrase often spoken in hindsight after a new scientific advance, "Nature did it first!" This fact of nature suggests that the human brain during evolution, could have made use of this unique and mysterious means of communication. Now, physics research of the last five years has gone a step further and delineated the origin of quantum waves and the EPR effect (Wolff,1990-1998). They are no longer mysterious but a consequence of the matter wave structure of charged particles, particularly the electron-positron. This reality of communication in Nature, which we cannot directly sense, has implications for religious and philosophical thought....
In relation to his 2002 award with the National Medal of Technology, his biography at a webpage of the Technology Administration of the United States government says:
Carver Mead is a key pioneer of modern microelectronics. His 40-year academic and industry career touches all aspects of microelectronics, from spearheading the development of tools and techniques for modern integrated circuit design, to laying the foundation for fabless semiconductor companies, to catalyzing the electronic design automation field, to training generations of engineers, to founding more than twenty companies, including Actel Corporation, Silicon Compilers, Synaptics, and Sonic Innovations.
Carver's career is characterized by an endless string of "firsts." He built the first GaAs MESFET, a device that is today a mainstay of wireless electronics. He was the first to use a physics-based analysis to predict a lower limit to transistor size. His predictions, along with the notions of scalability that came with them, were instrumental in setting the industry on its path toward submicrometre technology. He was the first to predict millions of transistors on a chip, and, on the basis of these predictions, he developed the first techniques for designing big, complex microchips. He taught the world's first VLSI design course. He created the first software compilation of a silicon chip.
Halfway through his career he switched direction, teaming with Professor John Hopfield and Nobelist Richard Feynman to study how animal brains compute. The trio catalyzed three fields: Neural Networks, Neuromorphic Engineering, and Physics of Computation. Carver created the first neurally inspired chips, including the silicon retina and chips that learn from experience, and founded the first companies to use these technologies: Synaptics, and Foveon, Inc., a Santa Clara, California company developing CMOS image sensor/processing chips (for use in e.g. digital photography)." --wikipedia
1. Heisenberg Uncertainty principle.
2. Mach's Principle.
3. The size of our observable universe within infinite Space (thus the motion of distant galaxies will behave as if they are surrounded by matter).
4. Curvature of the space-time continuum in Einstein's general relativity.
5. That light is due to resonant coupling - and thus is discrete. i.e. The electron can only exist in discrete wave functions thus discrete energy states in an atom or molecule.
6. That the de Broglie wave is a phase wave with high velocity for low relative motion, where de Broglie phase wave has velocity c^2 / relative velocity. This provides a simple explanation for non-locality as found in the EPR experiment.