13.8

The Quest to Find the True Age of the Universe and the Theory of Everything
Author: John Gribbin
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300218273
Category: Science
Page: 256
View: 5360

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A celebrated astronomer makes a powerful case for the harmony between two of physics most important and seemingly contradictory theories"

13.8

The Quest to Find the True Age of the Universe and the Theory of Everything
Author: John Gribbin
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 030022317X
Category: Science
Page: 256
View: 8441

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The twentieth century gave us two great theories of physics. The general theory of relativity describes the behavior of very large things, and quantum theory the behavior of very small things. In this landmark book, John Gribbin—one of the best-known science writers of the past thirty years—presents his own version of the Holy Grail of physics, the search that has been going on for decades to find a unified “Theory of Everything” that combines these ideas into one mathematical package, a single equation that could be printed on a T-shirt, containing the answer to life, the Universe, and everything. With his inimitable mixture of science, history, and biography, Gribbin shows how—despite skepticism among many physicists—these two great theories are very compatible, and point to a deep truth about the nature of our existence. The answer lies, intriguingly, with the age of the universe: 13.8 billion years.

13.8

The Quest to Find the True Age of the Universe and the Theory of Everything
Author: John Gribbin
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
ISBN: 1848319193
Category: Science
Page: 352
View: 6552

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The 20th century gave us two great theories of physics: the general theory of relativity, which describes the behaviour of things on a very large scale, including the entire Universe; and quantum theory, which describes the behaviour of things on a very small scale, the sub-atomic world. The refusal of the Universe to reveal an equation that combines these two great ideas has caused some people to doubt our whole understanding of physics. In this landmark new book, popular science master John Gribbin tells the dramatic story of the quest that has led us to discover the true age of the Universe (13.8 billion years) and the stars (just a little bit younger). This discovery, Gribbin argues, is one of humankind’s greatest achievements and shows us that physics is on the right track to finding the ‘Theory of Everything’. 13.8 provides an eye-opening look at this cutting-edge area of modern cosmology and physics, and tells the compelling story of what modern science has achieved – and what it can still achieve.

Universe on a T-Shirt

The Quest for the Theory of Everything
Author: Dan Falk
Publisher: Skyhorse
ISBN: 1611454603
Category: Social Science
Page: 256
View: 7207

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No scientific quest is as compelling as the search for the key to understand the universe—the elusive unified “Theory of Everything”—a theory so concise it could fit on a T-shirt. Lively and thought-provoking, Universe on a T-Shirt tells the fascinating story of the search for the Holy Grail of physics. Dan Falk places this intriguing story in its historical context, tracing the quest from ancient Greece to the breakthroughs of Newton, Maxwell, and Einstein, to the excitement over string theory and today’s efforts to merge quantum theory with general relativity. With as much emphasis on history as on science, Falk’s accessible approach is ideal for anyone intrigued by the advances in modern physics but still wondering what theoretical physicists are searching for, and why. Today’s physicists use sophisticated methods, but their goal—the search for simplicity—has not changed since the time of the ancient Greeks. Universe on a T-Shirt is filled with quirky personalities, brilliant minds, and bold ideas—high science and high drama. An admirably concise and comprehensive overview of cosmology . . . [that] offers intriguing insights into the philosophic and personal outlooks motivating the scientists involved, from the ancient Greeks through Newton and Einstein . . . [and] Stephen Hawking and Ed Witten.”—Booklist

New Theories of Everything

The Quest for Ultimate Explanation
Author: John D. Barrow
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019954817X
Category: Science
Page: 260
View: 5849

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Cosmology & the universe.

The Ascent of Gravity: The Quest to Understand the Force that Explains Everything


Author: Marcus Chown
Publisher: Pegasus Books
ISBN: 1681775948
Category: Science
Page: 256
View: 6573

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Why the force that keeps our feet on the ground holds the key to understanding the nature of time and the origin of the universe. Gravity is the weakest force in the everyday world yet it is the strongest force in the universe. It was the first force to be recognized and described yet it is the least understood. It is a "force" that keeps your feet on the ground yet no such force actually exists. Gravity, to steal the words of Winston Churchill, is "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma." And penetrating that enigma promises to answer the biggest questions in science: what is space? What is time? What is the universe? And where did it all come from? Award-winning writer Marcus Chown takes us on an unforgettable journey from the recognition of the "force" of gravity in 1666 to the discovery of gravitational waves in 2015. And, as we stand on the brink of a seismic revolution in our worldview, he brings us up to speed on the greatest challenge ever to confront physics.

Einstein and the Quantum

The Quest of the Valiant Swabian
Author: A. Douglas Stone
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400874041
Category: Science
Page: 344
View: 9334

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Einstein and the Quantum reveals for the first time the full significance of Albert Einstein's contributions to quantum theory. Einstein famously rejected quantum mechanics, observing that God does not play dice. But, in fact, he thought more about the nature of atoms, molecules, and the emission and absorption of light--the core of what we now know as quantum theory--than he did about relativity. A compelling blend of physics, biography, and the history of science, Einstein and the Quantum shares the untold story of how Einstein--not Max Planck or Niels Bohr--was the driving force behind early quantum theory. It paints a vivid portrait of the iconic physicist as he grappled with the apparently contradictory nature of the atomic world, in which its invisible constituents defy the categories of classical physics, behaving simultaneously as both particle and wave. And it demonstrates how Einstein's later work on the emission and absorption of light, and on atomic gases, led directly to Erwin Schrödinger's breakthrough to the modern form of quantum mechanics. The book sheds light on why Einstein ultimately renounced his own brilliant work on quantum theory, due to his deep belief in science as something objective and eternal.

Edge of the Universe

A Voyage to the Cosmic Horizon and Beyond
Author: Paul Halpern
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 111822082X
Category: Science
Page: 240
View: 8598

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An accessible look at the mysteries that lurk at the edge of the known universe and beyond The observable universe, the part we can see with telescopes, is incredibly vast. Yet recent theories suggest that there is far more to the universe than what our instruments record—in fact, it could be infinite. Colossal flows of galaxies, large empty regions called voids, and other unexplained phenomena offer clues that our own "bubble universe" could be part of a greater realm called the multiverse. How big is the observable universe? What it is made of? What lies beyond it? Was there a time before the Big Bang? Could space have unseen dimensions? In this book, physicist and science writer Paul Halpern explains what we know—and what we hope to soon find out—about our extraordinary cosmos. Explains what we know about the Big Bang, the accelerating universe, dark energy, dark flow, and dark matter to examine some of the theories about the content of the universe and why its edge is getting farther away from us faster Explores the idea that the observable universe could be a hologram and that everything that happens within it might be written on its edge Written by physicist and popular science writer Paul Halpern, whose other books include Collider: The Search for the World's Smallest Particles, and What's Science Ever Done For Us: What the Simpsons Can Teach Us About Physics, Robots, Life, and the Universe

The Copernicus Complex

Our Cosmic Significance in a Universe of Planets and Probabilities
Author: Caleb Scharf
Publisher: Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374709467
Category: Science
Page: 288
View: 6873

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Longlisted for the 2015 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award Short-listed for Physics World's Book of the Year The Sunday Times (UK) Best Science Book of 2014 A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Science Book of Fall 2014 An NBC News Top Science and Tech Book of 2014 A Politics & Prose 2014 Staff Pick In the sixteenth century, Nicolaus Copernicus dared to go against the establishment by proposing that Earth rotates around the Sun. Having demoted Earth from its unique position in the cosmos to one of mediocrity, Copernicus set in motion a revolution in scientific thought. This perspective has influenced our thinking for centuries. However, recent evidence challenges the Copernican Principle, hinting that we do in fact live in a special place, at a special time, as the product of a chain of unlikely events. But can we be significant if the Sun is still just one of a billion trillion stars in the observable universe? And what if our universe is just one of a multitude of others-a single slice of an infinity of parallel realities? In The Copernicus Complex, the renowned astrophysicist Caleb Scharf takes us on a scientific adventure, from tiny microbes within the Earth to distant exoplanets, probability theory, and beyond, arguing that there is a solution to this contradiction, a third way of viewing our place in the cosmos, if we weigh the evidence properly. As Scharf explains, we do occupy an unusual time in a 14-billion-year-old universe, in a somewhat unusual type of solar system surrounded by an ocean of unimaginable planetary diversity: hot Jupiters with orbits of less than a day, planet-size rocks spinning around dead stars, and a wealth of alien super-Earths. Yet life here is built from the most common chemistry in the universe, and we are a snapshot taken from billions of years of biological evolution. Bringing us to the cutting edge of scientific discovery, Scharf shows how the answers to fundamental questions of existence will come from embracing the peculiarity of our circumstance without denying the Copernican vision. With characteristic verve, Scharf uses the latest scientific findings to reconsider where we stand in the balance between cosmic significance and mediocrity, order and chaos. Presenting a compelling and bold view of our true status, The Copernicus Complex proposes a way forward in the ultimate quest: determining life's abundance, not just across this universe but across all realities.

In Search of the Multiverse

Parallel Worlds, Hidden Dimensions, and the Ultimate Quest for the Frontiers of Reality
Author: John Gribbin
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0470926570
Category: Science
Page: 240
View: 6672

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Critical acclaim for John Gribbin "The master of popular science." —Sunday Times (London) "Gribbin explains things very well indeed, and there's not an equation in sight." —David Goodstein, The New York Times Book Review (on Almost Everyone's Guide to Science) "Gribbin breathes life into the core ideas of complexity science, and argues convincingly that the basic laws, even in biology, will ultimately turn out to be simple." —Nature magazine (on Deep Simplicity) "Gribbin takes us through the basics [of chaos theory] with his customary talent for accessibility and clarity. [His] arguments are driven not by impersonal equations but by a sense of wonder at the presence in the universe and in nature of simple, self-organizing harmonies underpinning all structures, whether they are stars or flowers." —Sunday Times (London) (on Deep Simplicity) "In the true quantum realm, Gribbin remains the premier expositor of the latest developments." —Booklist (on Schrödinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality)

The Very First Light

The True Inside Story of the Scientific Journey Back to the Dawn of the Universe
Author: John Boslough,John Mather
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0786726474
Category: Science
Page: 384
View: 6290

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In the early 1990s, a NASA-led team of scientists changed the way we view the universe. With the COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) project, they showed that the microwave radiation that fills the universe must have come from the Big Bang—effectively proving the Big Bang theory beyond any doubt. It was one of the greatest scientific findings of our generation, perhaps of all time. In The Very First Light, John Mather, one of COBE's leaders, and science writer John Boslough tell the story of how it was achieved. A gripping tale of big money, bigger egos, tense politics, and cutting-edge engineering, The Very First Light offers a rare insider's account of the world of big science.

Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn

A Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing, and the Beginning of Everything
Author: Amanda Gefter
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 034553963X
Category: Science
Page: 432
View: 6366

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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS In a memoir of family bonding and cutting-edge physics for readers of Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality and Jim Holt’s Why Does the World Exist?, Amanda Gefter tells the story of how she conned her way into a career as a science journalist—and wound up hanging out, talking shop, and butting heads with the world’s most brilliant minds. At a Chinese restaurant outside of Philadelphia, a father asks his fifteen-year-old daughter a deceptively simple question: “How would you define nothing?” With that, the girl who once tried to fail geometry as a conscientious objector starts reading up on general relativity and quantum mechanics, as she and her dad embark on a life-altering quest for the answers to the universe’s greatest mysteries. Before Amanda Gefter became an accomplished science writer, she was a twenty-one-year-old magazine assistant willing to sneak her and her father, Warren, into a conference devoted to their physics hero, John Wheeler. Posing as journalists, Amanda and Warren met Wheeler, who offered them cryptic clues to the nature of reality: The universe is a self-excited circuit, he said. And, The boundary of a boundary is zero. Baffled, Amanda and Warren vowed to decode the phrases—and with them, the enigmas of existence. When we solve all that, they agreed, we’ll write a book. Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn is that book, a memoir of the impassioned hunt that takes Amanda and her father from New York to London to Los Alamos. Along the way, they bump up against quirky science and even quirkier personalities, including Leonard Susskind, the former Bronx plumber who invented string theory; Ed Witten, the soft-spoken genius who coined the enigmatic M-theory; even Stephen Hawking. What they discover is extraordinary: the beginnings of a monumental paradigm shift in cosmology, from a single universe we all share to a splintered reality in which each observer has her own. Reality, the Gefters learn, is radically observer-dependent, far beyond anything of which Einstein or the founders of quantum mechanics ever dreamed—with shattering consequences for our understanding of the universe’s origin. And somehow it all ties back to that conversation, to that Chinese restaurant, and to the true meaning of nothing. Throughout their journey, Amanda struggles to make sense of her own life—as her journalism career transforms from illusion to reality, as she searches for her voice as a writer, as she steps from a universe shared with her father to at last carve out one of her own. It’s a paradigm shift you might call growing up. By turns hilarious, moving, irreverent, and profound, Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn weaves together story and science in remarkable ways. By the end, you will never look at the universe the same way again. Praise for Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn “Nothing quite prepared me for this book. Wow. Reading it, I alternated between depression—how could the rest of us science writers ever match this?—and exhilaration.”—Scientific American “To Do: Read Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn. Reality doesn’t have to bite.”—New York “A zany superposition of genres . . . It’s at once a coming-of-age chronicle and a father-daughter road trip to the far reaches of this universe and 10,500 others.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer From the Hardcover edition.

The Grand Design


Author: Stephen Hawking,Leonard Mlodinow
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 0553907077
Category: Science
Page: 208
View: 7921

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? What is the nature of reality? Is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation? In this startling and lavishly illustrated book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about these and other abiding mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by brilliance and simplicity. According to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history. The authors explain that we ourselves are the product of quantum fluctuations in the early universe, and show how quantum theory predicts the “multiverse”—the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. They conclude with a riveting assessment of M-theory, an explanation of the laws governing our universe that is currently the only viable candidate for a “theory of everything”: the unified theory that Einstein was looking for, which, if confirmed, would represent the ultimate triumph of human reason.

In Search of Schrodinger's Cat

Quantum Physics And Reality
Author: John Gribbin
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 9780307790446
Category: Science
Page: 320
View: 5718

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Quantum theory is so shocking that Einstein could not bring himself to accept it. It is so important that it provides the fundamental underpinning of all modern sciences. Without it, we'd have no nuclear power or nuclear weapons, no TV, no computers, no science of molecular biology, no understanding of DNA, no genetic engineering. In Search of Schrodinger's Cat tells the complete story of quantum mechanics, a truth stranger than any fiction. John Gribbin takes us step by step into an ever more bizarre and fascinating place, requiring only that we approach it with an open mind. He introduces the scientists who developed quantum theory. He investigates the atom, radiation, time travel, the birth of the universe, superconductors and life itself. And in a world full of its own delights, mysteries and surprises, he searches for Schrodinger's Cat - a search for quantum reality - as he brings every reader to a clear understanding of the most important area of scientific study today - quantum physics. In Search of Schrodinger's Cat is a fascinating and delightful introduction to the strange world of the quantum - an essential element in understanding today's world. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Travelling to Infinity


Author: Jane Hawking
Publisher: Alma Books
ISBN: 1846882850
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 400
View: 5344

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The Big Picture


Author: Sean Carroll
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1780746075
Category: Science
Page: 464
View: 7037

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Where are we? Who are we? Do our beliefs, hopes and dreams mean anything out there in the void? Can human purpose and meaning ever fit into a scientific worldview? Acclaimed award-winning author Sean Carroll brings his extraordinary intellect to bear on the realms of knowledge, the laws of nature and the most profound questions about life, death and our place in it all. In a dazzlingly unique presentation, Carroll takes us through the scientific revolution’s avalanche of discoveries, from Darwin and Einstein to the origins of life, consciousness and the universe itself. Delving into the way the world works at the quantum, cosmic and human levels, he reveals how human values relate to scientific reality. An extraordinary synthesis of cosmos-sprawling science and profound thought, The Big Picture is Carroll’s quest to explain our world. Destined to sit alongside the works of our greatest thinkers, from Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan to Daniel Dennett and E. O. Wilson, this book shows that while our lives may be forever dwarfed by the immensity of the universe, they can be redeemed by our capacity to comprehend it and give it meaning.

In the Light of Science

Our Ancient Quest for Knowledge and the Measure of Modern Physics
Author: Demetris Nicolaides
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 1615922253
Category: History
Page: 266
View: 3275

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The birth of science in ancient Greece had a historical impact that is still being felt today. Physicist Demetris Nicolaides examines the epochal shift in thinking that led pre-Socratic philosophers of the sixth and fifth centuries BCE to abandon the prevailing mythologies of the age and, for the first time, to analyze the natural world in terms of impersonal, rationally understood principles. He argues not only that their conceptual breakthroughs anticipated much of later science but that scientists of the twenty-first century are still grappling with the fundamental problems raised twenty-five hundred years ago. Looking at the vast sweep of human history, the author delves into the factors that led to the birth of science- urbanization, the role of religion, and in Greece a progressive intellectual curiosity that was unafraid to question tradition. Why did the first scientific approach to understanding the world take place in Greece? The author makes a convincing case that, aside from factors of geography and politics, the power of the Greek language and a cultural proclivity for critical thinking played a large role. In the Light of Scienceis a unique approach to the history of science revealing the important links between the ancient past and the present scientific endeavor to understand the universe.

Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos

The Story of the Scientific Quest for the Secret of the Universe
Author: Dennis Overbye
Publisher: Back Bay Books
ISBN: 9780316648967
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 464
View: 8982

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In southern California, nearly a half century ago, a small band of researchers -- equipped with a new 200-inch telescope and a faith born of scientific optimism -- embarked on the greatest intellectual adventure in the history of humankind: the search for the origin and fate of the universe. Their quest would eventually engulf all of physics and astronomy, leading not only to the discovery of quasars, black holes, and shadow matter but also to fame, controversy, and Nobel Prizes. Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos tells the story of the men and women who have taken eternity on their shoulders and stormed nature in search of answers to the deepest questions we know to ask.

The 4-Percent Universe


Author: Richard Panek
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1780741243
Category: Science
Page: 320
View: 3958

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It is one of the most disturbing aspects of our universe: only four per cent of it consists of the matter that makes up every star, planet, and every book. The rest is completely unknown. Acclaimed science writer Richard Panek tells the story of the handful of scientists who have spent the past few decades on a quest to unlock the secrets of “dark matter” and the even stranger substance called “dark energy”. These are perhaps the greatest mysteries in science,and solving them will reshape our understanding of the universe and our place in it. The stakes could not be higher. Panek’s fast-paced narrative, filled with original, in-depth reporting and intimate, behind-the-scenes details, brings this epic story to life for the very first time.

A Brief History of Time


Author: Stephen Hawking
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 9780553896923
Category: Science
Page: 224
View: 9245

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends? Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.