Carver A. Mead

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.

  • Collective Electrodynamics

    Collective Electrodynamics

    Quantum Foundations of Electromagnetism

    Carver A. Mead

    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.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £38.00
    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00

Contributor

  • Street-Fighting Mathematics

    Street-Fighting Mathematics

    The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving

    Sanjoy Mahajan

    An antidote to mathematical rigor mortis, teaching how to guess answers without needing a proof or an exact calculation.

    In problem solving, as in street fighting, rules are for fools: do whatever works—don't just stand there! Yet we often fear an unjustified leap even though it may land us on a correct result. Traditional mathematics teaching is largely about solving exactly stated problems exactly, yet life often hands us partly defined problems needing only moderately accurate solutions. This engaging book is an antidote to the rigor mortis brought on by too much mathematical rigor, teaching us how to guess answers without needing a proof or an exact calculation.

    In Street-Fighting Mathematics, Sanjoy Mahajan builds, sharpens, and demonstrates tools for educated guessing and down-and-dirty, opportunistic problem solving across diverse fields of knowledge—from mathematics to management. Mahajan describes six tools: dimensional analysis, easy cases, lumping, picture proofs, successive approximation, and reasoning by analogy. Illustrating each tool with numerous examples, he carefully separates the tool—the general principle—from the particular application so that the reader can most easily grasp the tool itself to use on problems of particular interest. Street-Fighting Mathematics grew out of a short course taught by the author at MIT for students ranging from first-year undergraduates to graduate students ready for careers in physics, mathematics, management, electrical engineering, computer science, and biology. They benefited from an approach that avoided rigor and taught them how to use mathematics to solve real problems.

    Street-Fighting Mathematics will appear in print and online under a Creative Commons Noncommercial Share Alike license.

    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00
  • Analog VLSI

    Analog VLSI

    Circuits and Principles

    Shih-Chii Liu, Jörg Kramer, Giacomo Indiveri, Tobias Delbrück, and Rodney Douglas

    An introduction to the design of analog VLSI circuits.

    Neuromorphic engineers work to improve the performance of artificial systems through the development of chips and systems that process information collectively using primarily analog circuits. This book presents the central concepts required for the creative and successful design of analog VLSI circuits. The discussion is weighted toward novel circuits that emulate natural signal processing. Unlike most circuits in commercial or industrial applications, these circuits operate mainly in the subthreshold or weak inversion region. Moreover, their functionality is not limited to linear operations, but also encompasses many interesting nonlinear operations similar to those occurring in natural systems. Topics include device physics, linear and nonlinear circuit forms, translinear circuits, photodetectors, floating-gate devices, noise analysis, and process technology.

    • Hardcover $19.75 £15.99