This book addresses a fascinating set of questions in theoretical physics which will both entertain and enlighten all students, teachers and researchers and other physics aficionados. These range from Newtonian mechanics to quantum field theory and cover several puzzling issues that do not appear in standard textbooks. Some topics cover conceptual conundrums, the solutions to which lead to surprising insights; some correct popular misconceptions in the textbook discussion of certain topics; others illustrate deep connections between apparently unconnected domains of theoretical physics; and a few provide remarkably simple derivations of results which are not often appreciated. The connoisseur of theoretical physics will enjoy a feast of pleasant surprises skilfully prepared by an internationally acclaimed theoretical physicist. Each topic is introduced with proper background discussion and special effort is taken to make the discussion self-contained, clear and comprehensible to anyone with an undergraduate education in physics.
Professor Padmanabhan, theoretical physicist and cosmologist, is currently a Distinguished Professor at IUCAA, Pune, India. A gifted researcher and teacher, he has published nearly 250 technical papers and authored ten books which have made significant impact. His research has won prizes six times in recent years from the Gravity Research Foundation, USA including the First Award in 2008. He is currently (2011-14) the Chairman of the IUPAP Astrophysics Commission and was the President of the IAU Cosmology Commission (2009-12). He has received numerous national and international awards including Padma Shri, the presidential medal of honor in India.