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Book review

Author(s) Staudenmaier, H.M. (ed.)
Title Physics Experiments Using PCs: A Guide for Instructors and Students
Publisher Springer-Verlag
Year of publication 1993
Reviewed by Vasile Postolica

This book is devoted to physics computerized experimentation and contains may examples which demontrate the powerful potential of computers to control the experiments, take data and analyse and display the results. it is suitable for students participating in laboratory courses, their instructors and anybody who is interested in the field of teaching computer applications in experimental physics.

The book includes also a List of Contributors to the interesting and important computerized experiments described into five parts, taking into account the complexity of the experiments which increases with each part. Every component of a part such as this is followed by references and/or appendices, didactic and pedagogical aspects, conclusions and acknowledgements.

The Part I "Mechanics" deals with "Fourier analysis of periodic signals" and "Point mechanics by experiments - Direct access to motion data".

The subject of Part II is "Thermodynamics" tackled in "Application of PID control to a thermal evaporation source" and "Computer control of the measurement of thermal conductivity".

The solid state physics experiments are setted forth in Part III having in view "Experiments with high-Tc superconductivity", "Computer control of low temperature specific hear measurement" and "Computer-controlled observations of surface plasmon-polaritons".

"Optics and atomic physics" is the subject of Part IV devoted to "Molecular spectroscopy of I2" and "Optical transfer functions".

The last part entitled "Nuclear physics" deals with "Nuclear spectrometry using a PC converted to a multichannel analyses", "Parity violation in the weak interaction" and "Receiving and interpreting orbital satellite data. A computer experiment for educational purposes". A Subject Index ends the book.

We consider this book as a valuable contribution and source of information in the field of computer applications in experimental physics.