Doing Physics makes concepts of physics easier to grasp by relating them to everyday kwledge. Addressing some of the models and metaphors that physicists use to explain the physical world, Martin H. Krieger describes the conceptual world of physics by means of analogies to ecomics, anthropology, theater, carpentry, mechanisms such as clockworks, and machine tool design. The interaction of elementary particles or chemical species, for example, can be related to the theory of kinship-who can marry whom is like what can interact with what. Likewise, the description of physical situations in terms of interdependent particles and fields is analogous to the design of a factory with its division of labor among specialists. For the new edition, Krieger has revised the text and added a chapter on the role of mathematics and formal models in physics. Doing Physics will be of special interest to ecomists, political theorists, anthropologists, and sociologists as well as philosophers of science.
Martin H. Krieger, who was trained as a physicist at Columbia University, has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and at the National Humanities Center. He is author of Marginalism and Discontinuity: Tools for the Crafts of Knowledge and Decision (1989), Constitutions of Matter: Mathematically Modeling the Most Everyday of Physical Phenomena (1996), and Doing Mathematics: Convention, Subject, Calculation, Analogy (2003). He is on the faculty of the University of Southern California, and has taught at Berkeley, Minnesota, MIT, and Michigan.