Motion Mountain - the free physics textbook
Motion Mountain is a freely downloadable 1300 page physics textbook written by Christoph Schiller. The text tries to convey the passion for physics by presenting physics in a way that is as vivid, up-to-date and simple as possible. The text covers mechanics, thermodynamics, electrodynamics, special and general relativity, quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and modern unification attempts.
The Motion Mountain text got its name because it aims to describe motion - the central aim of physics - with higher and higher precision; each increase in precision is imagined to be a step towards reaching the top of a mountain.
At every new chapter, the arguments start from everyday life observations:
How does a rainbow form? Where do colours come from?
Is the speed of shadows limited?
Do surprises exist? What does biology tell us about physics? What does 'quantum' mean?
Is 'empty space' really empty?
What determines the number of particles in the universe? Is the universe a set?
The approach is conceptual, with mathematics playing a smaller role than usual. The book is written to be entertaining, surprising and challenging on every page.
In particular, the book tries to be as unconventional in its didactic approach as possible. It includes the newest research results from the physics literature, the best web sites, the most interesting puzzles and the most intriguing anecdotes of the history of physics.
Distributed as a pdf file, the book uses all possibilities that pdf and embedded multimedia can offer, including clickable internet links, embedded animations, and clickable internal references.
The book is mostly addressed to undergraduate students, aiming at letting the readers enjoy the topic.
Exercises are chosen in a way that readers could think in a new way about the possibilities and the limitations of the physical aspects of nature.
Since the book also incorporates the newest research results in physics, the text is also interesting for teachers and physicists who want to have a fresh approach to physics. The book already enjoys considerable success around the world, being popular in over 100 countries, including many where readers cannot afford buying paper books.
Christoph Schiller, born in 1960, was raised in Varese, studied physics in Stuttgart and received his physics PhD in Brussels. He has been writing his internet text since many years, improving it regularly based on readers feedback.
How to get the book
The 1300 page pdf is downloadable for free by anybody who agrees to send a feedback email to the author after reading it and not to use it for commercial purposes.
You can download the book at www.motionmountain.eu.
The text is also included in the Xplora DVD.