June 24, 2024

Susquehanna University Professor of Physics Samya Zain has published her third textbook, The Physics of Sound and Music, Volumes 1 and 2.

“This textbook provides an introduction for undergraduate students to understand the physics of sound and music, beginning with the various aspects of sound, from how it is produced to how it propagates and how we hear it,” Zain said. “This textbook presents music not just as an artistic phenomenon but as a precise manifestation of physical laws and mathematical relationships, revealing the harmony between science and art.”

Volume 1 of The Physics of Sound and Music opens with an introduction to these concepts. The remainder of the book focuses on the various aspects of music, from musical tones to musical instruments, and concludes with a discussion of how sound can be recorded for replay. Volume 2 is a lab manual consisting of practical and written activities that can be completed independently or during laboratory time.

Born in Pakistan, Zain earned her master’s degree in physics and later her doctorate in experimental particle physics from the University at Albany-State University of New York before joining Susquehanna’s faculty in 2008. Zain has been a member of the BaBar scientific research collaboration at SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center) at Stanford University, California, and the ATLAS collaboration at CERN, Geneva.

In 2019, Zain became the first Pakistani woman to publish an international physics e-textbook. Techniques of Classical Mechanics: From Lagrangian to Newtonian Mechanics, which serves as a steppingstone between introductory physics to graduate-level physics. She published her second textbook, Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics: An Introduction for Physicists and Engineers, two years later, which develops basic concepts for thermodynamics and statistical mechanics required for both physicists and engineers.

All three of Zain’s works are published by Institute of Physics (IOP) Publishing.