Bookbeat: January 2000

Patterns for America: Modernism and the Concept of CulturePatterns for America: Modernism and the Concept of Culture

by Susan Hegeman, Department of English
(Princeton University Press, 2000)
Available through Princeton Press

In recent decades, historians and social theorists have given much thought to the concept of "culture," its origins in Western thought, and its usefulness for social analysis. In this book, Susan Hegeman focuses on the term's history in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century. She shows how, during this period, the term "culture" changed from being a technical term associated primarily with anthropology into a term of popular usage. She shows the connections between this movement of "culture" into the mainstream and the emergence of a distinctive "American culture," with its own patterns, values, and beliefs.



The] association of "America" with modernity itself is...part of modernist mythology. For, if the modernity of the American scene was such a crucial inspirational source of modernism, why did all those American expatriates go to Paris; why would Faulkner write about life in the rural South; or why would Georgia O'Keefe abandon her fascination with New York skylines to paint in the rural environs of Taos, New Mexico?

Beyond Conventional QuantizationBeyond Conventional Quantization

by John R. Klauder, Department of Physics
(Cambridge University Press, 2000)
Available through Amazon

This text begins with a review of classical mechanics, Hilbert space, quantum mechanics and scalar quantum field theory. Next, analytical skills are further developed, a special class of models is studied, and a discussion of continuous and discontinuous perturbations is presented. Later chapters cover two further classes of models both of which entail discontinuous perturbations. The final chapter offers a brief summary, concluding with a conjecture regarding interacting covariant scalar quantum field theories. Symmetry is repeatedly used as a tool to help develop solutions for simple and complex problems alike. Challenging exercises and detailed references are included.



At present there is, in the author's opinion, no satisfactory quantum theory of self-interacting relativistic scalar fields in four and more space-time dimensions, and while there is no lack of attempts there is no consensus on a satisfactory theory of the quantum gravitational field. These problems are significant and need to be faced. It has been clear to some workers that the methods and confines of "conventional quantization" techniques are inadequate to resolve the very real irreconcilable conflicts that arise in the usual approaches, and consequently, an enlarged framework is called for. The material in this text is designed to offer one view, and a rather conservative one at that, of just such an enlarged viewpoint on how quantum field theory may be formulated with an eye to dealing with hitherto insoluble problems.

Aspects of Galois Theory

Aspects of Galois Theoryby J.G. Thompson, Department of Mathematics, H. Völklein, P. Müller, D. Harbater
(Cambridge University Press, 2000)
Available through Cambridge Press

Galois theory is a central part of algebra, dealing with symmetries between solutions of algebraic equations in one variable. This is a collection of papers from the participants of a conference on Galois Theory, and brings together articles from some of the world's leading experts in this field. Topics are centered around the Inverse Galois Problem, comprising the full range of methods and approaches in this area, making this an invaluable resource for all those whose research involves Galois theory.


From Introduction

This volume grew out of the "UF Galois Theory Week," a conference held at the University of Florida, Oct. 14-18, 1996. The conference was dedicated to the Inverse Galois Problem. The richness of this area stems from the fact that it attracts people from all kinds of mathematical and even numerical computer calculation to the structure and character theory of finite simple groups and up to the most abstract methods of algebraic/arithmetic geometry (like moduli stacks). In the original spirit of Galois, all these turn out to be just different aspects of the same matter.

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