Professor Visits ER after Suffering Exhaustion from Book Project
JACKSONVILLE -- December 4, 2001 -- A Jacksonville State University professor who authored an important new physics textbook -- and was admitted to the emergency room at Jacksonville Hospital with exhaustion after spending 17-hour days at the keyboard for weeks at a time -- says acclaim from top scholars and the publisher more than makes up for the ordeal.
Dr. Nouredine Zettili, Jacksonville State University associate professor of physics, said the constant sitting and intense focus required to meet a publisher’s deadline for minor style changes to scientific notation in his 664-page manuscript took a physical and mental toll.
After completing the manuscript, Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and Applications, Dr. Zettili was treated at the emergency room this past summer for an episode of extreme exhaustion.
“I was determined to meet the deadline so that the publisher could go to press with the book and make it available this fall,” said Zettili, who says he is now well rested and ready to begin other research projects.
The textbook was published in August by John Wiley & Sons, the world’s top publisher of physics texts, amid praise for the professor’s unique perspective in a highly competitive area of physics publishing, quantum mechanics.
Zettili explained that textbooks on quantum mechanics are grouped into two broad categories -- textbooks that focus on formalism, and books that deal with problem-solving. Zettili’s book combines both formats into a single text. He said books in that format are practically nonexistent and are very essential for students, professors and researchers alike.
The professor said the format is particularly suitable for students because it gives them quick access to theory and practical aspects in a single volume.
In explaining quantum mechanics, Zettili said, “Unlike Newtonian mechanics, which describes the motion of macroscopic objects, quantum mechanics deals with matter at the molecular, atomic and sub-atomic levels. It is the only valid theory that describes matter at the microscopic level.”
His book is intended for a two-semester undergraduate course as well as a one-semester graduate course. The book includes more than 65 solved examples, more than 154 fully solved multipart problems, and an indepth treatment of practical mathematical tools of quantum mechanics.
The book will be adopted at JSU in Spring 2002 in the course “Quantum Mechanics,” Physics 491G. A number of other universities across the world have also decided to adopt it as a textbook.
The book, which comes in two formats -- hardcover (ISBN: 0-471-48943-3) and paperback (ISBN: 0-471-48944-1) -- is available at Amazon.com.
For Zettili, the reaction of jurors and publishing executives is ample reward for his exhaustive work.
Academic textbooks are reviewed and commented upon in writing by a panel of anonymous experts in the field called jurors. Their comments can make or break a project. Thumbs-down by jurors leads inevitably to the rejection of a manuscript.
In Zettili’s case, the juror’s comments were overwhelmingly positive.
One juror wrote: “It is a perfect teaching text. I feel that the author has got the level and technical detail just right for an advanced undergraduate course…. I think it should be a primary text for students taking an advanced quantum mechanics course…. I wish it was available last year when I started giving this course.”
Wiley’s senior production editor, Robert Hambrook, told Zettili in an email that “I can only admire your wonderful effort to achieve your purpose…. I have the impression that you are very passionate about your work and that you will continue relentlessly until your objective is met.”
Dr. Andy Slade, senior physics editor at Wiley, told Zettili in an email that “You are one of the best!…. I wish all my authors were as committed and dedicated as you!”
Zettili received his Ph.D. in 1986 from MIT. His research interests include nuclear theory, the many body problem, quantum mechanics and mathematical physics. He has published two booklets designed to help students improve their study skills.
For more information about this course and others in physics, contact Dr. Zettili at 782-8077 or at email@example.com.
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