Books by our Academics

Below are a selection of books by our academics in the School of Physics:

View of the entrance to the Fitzgerald Building Physics Lab TCD


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Three Centuries of Physics in Trinity College Dublin Book

Three Centuries of Physics in Trinity College Dublin

by Eric Finch, Fellow Emeritus, School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin

Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: Living Edition
Price: €20.00 (+P&P)

This book, the sixth volume in the Fitzgerald series, is a historical guide to the development of physics in Trinity College Dublin. It focuses primarily on the three centuries from 1683 to 1984. The study of physics was formalised when in 1724 Richard Helsham became the first Erasmus Smith’s Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, as the position is still called. Some of the other distinguished physicists appearing in the book are Molyneux, Bartholomew and Humphrey Lloyd, Hamilton, MacCullagh, Stoney, Fitzgerald, Joly, Trouton, Townsend, Lyle, Preston, Ditchburn, the Nobel Laureate E.T.S. Walton, Delaney, Henderson and Bradley. A detailed analysis is included of the difficult times for physics in Trinity after 1900 and the remarkable revival that began in the 1960s.




Lectures on Natural Philosophy Book

Lectures on Natural Philosophy

by Richard Helsham (1730) facsimile edition Edited by Denis Weaire, Patrick Kelly and David Attis

Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: CRC Press
Price: €25.00 (+P&P)

With its intuitive explanations and its coverage of all the major topics of physic, A Course of Lectures on Natural Philosophy was reprinted at least seven times from 1739 to 1818 and was used as a standard work in the course at Trinity College in Dublin up until 1850. One of the very first textbooks on Newtonian physics, the book provides a remarkable window into the early development of Newtonian physics in a very readable contemporary form.




An image of the Mathematics as a Language understanding and using maths book

Mathematics as a Language
understanding and using maths

by Dr. Sara M. McMurry, Emeritus, School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin

Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: Living Edition
Price: €15.00 (+P&P)

The book is aimed at undergraduates and teachers of maths in schools (many of whom are not maths graduates). It provides an approach to learning mathematics, which will not only help the reader to understand and use the basic ideas covered in the book, but also provides a way of learning which should help students to get to grips with new mathematical topics. It promotes the use of mathematical reasoning as opposed to the memorizing of recipes.




Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton Book

Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton (1903-1995)
The Irish Scientist

by Vincent J. McBrierty

Paperback: 98 pages
Publisher: Trinity College Dublin Press
Price: €10.00 (+P&P)

Ireland's only Nobel Laureate in science founded, together with Cockcroft, the kind of accelerator-based nuclear physics that has grown to giant proportions in CERN and elsewhere. Subsequently he returned to his alma mater in Dublin and modestly devoted the rest of his career to teaching the subject that he loved. A life grounded in deep convictions, expressed in selfless service, is honoured in this affectionate account by a former colleague. The proceeds will support an undergraduate prize or scholarship.




Cover Image of George Francis Fitzgerald Book

George Francis Fitzgerald

by Denis Weaire (Editor)

Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Living Edition
Price: €20.00 (+P&P)

Denis Weaire FRS, one of Fitzgerald’s successors as Erasmus Smith Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy in Trinity College Dublin, has gathered together a wealth of information and critical comment on one of the 19th century’s most imaginative and inspiring physicists. It includes five essays originally commissioned by Weaire for the European Review, together with notes on Fitzgerald's publications and other records of his career.




Hutchie: The Life and Works of Edward Hutchinson Synge (1890-1957)

Hutchie: The Life and Works of Edward Hutchinson Synge (1890-1957)

by J.F. Donegan (Editor), D. Weaire (Editor), P. Florides (Editor)

Paperback: 154 pages
Publisher: Living Edition
Price: €20.00 (+P&P)

Edward Hutchinson Synge was a tragic genius. Hiding himself away in Dublin, in a manner that would today be categorised as Asperger Syndrome, he pursued private study in physics, despite little formal education in the subject. His conceptual inventions include the scanning optical microscope, realised nearly half a century later as an instrument in nanotechnology. He published this, thanks to the encouragement of Albert Einstein, with whom he corresponded. Probably much else is lost. He was a nephew of John Millington Synge, whose bequest enabled him to live in isolation for most of his life. This book gives a full account of all that is known about him, and reproduces his scientific publications.




A Mystic Dream of 4 A sonnet sequence based on the life of William Rowan Hamilton

A Mystic Dream of 4
A sonnet sequence based on the life of William Rowan Hamilton

by Dr. Iggy McGovern, Fellow Emeritus, School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin

Hardback: 92 pages
Publisher: Quaternia Press
Price: €20.00 (+P&P)

This is a poetic biography of the 19th century mathematician (and poet) whose discoveries have wide ranging application in modern science and engineering. Appointed Professor of Astronomy while still technically an undergraduate, he was the first Foreign Member of the American National Academy of Science. The life is presented in 64 sonnets, largely in the voices of people who knew him, viz. family & friends, poets & paramours, astronomers & aristocrats and reverends & rebels.