Friday, 15 February 2008

Book meme

Rita has tagged me on the 123 book meme. She wonders whether it will be a physics book or one to do with religious faith. Being indecisive, I am going to do both, both books being pulled off my shelves with moderate randomness.

The meme, by the way, is: (1) find the nearest book, with more than 123 pages. (2) open p 123 (3) find the 5th sentence(4) post the next three.

The Physics book is: Charles Kittel Introduction to Solid State Physics 6th edn. And as you might have predicted p.123 is a page of questions at the end of a chapter on phonons:

2. Rms thermal dilation of a crystal cell.[Does this count as a sentence?] (a) Estimate for 300 K the root mean square thermal dilation delta V/V for a primitive cell of sodium. Take the bulk modulus as 70 000 000 000 erg per centimetre cubed [what an awful unit!]. Note that the Debye temperature 158 K is less than 300 K, so that the thermal energy is of the order kBT.

The theology book is Karl Rahner Foundations of Christian Faith.

Even with respect to the created subject presupposed as already existing, God's self-communication is a further miracle of his free love which is the most self-evident thing of all, and at the same time it cannot be logically deduced from anything else. The doctrine that grace and fulfillment in the immediate vision of God are supernatural does not mean that the supernatural "elevation" of a spiritual creature is added extrinsically and accidentally to the essence and the structure of a spiritual subject of unlimited transcendence. In the concrete order which we encounter in our transcendental experience and as interpreted by Christian revelation, the spiritual creature is constituted to begin with as the possible addressee of such a divine self-communication.

I do not lay any claim to great understanding of either of the above - perhaps commenters could vote as to which of the two they think is most intelligible! My understanding of the physics, in particular, has undergone exponential decay over some length of time ....


Rita said...

Both quotes win a prize for being supremely dull, dry and unedifying. I'm only familiar with the Kittel and actually, it was not a bad text book. I always enjoyed solid state physics.

However, I'm quite sure the subject matter of the second quote doesn't deserve to sound so dull, it should be the stuff of poetry!

Joe said...

Solid State was one of my final year options ... Perhaps the Rahner is more poetic in the original German...?