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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: 5486

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

Universe on a T-Shirt

The Quest for the Theory of Everything
Author: Dan Falk
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 1611454603
Category: Science
Page: 256
View: 6298

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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: 3633

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Cosmology & the universe.

How Old Is the Universe?


Author: David A. Weintraub
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691147314
Category: Science
Page: 370
View: 2200

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"Tells the story of how astronomers solved one of the most compelling mysteries in science and, along the way, introduces readers to fundamental concepts and cutting-edge advances in modern astronomy"--From publisher description.

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: 9242

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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.

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: 3608

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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.

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: 376

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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: 9410

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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.

The Grand Design


Author: Stephen Hawking,Leonard Mlodinow
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 0553907077
Category: Science
Page: 208
View: 9491

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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: 4023

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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.

The 4-Percent Universe


Author: Richard Panek
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1780741243
Category: Science
Page: 320
View: 3061

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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.

The Grip of Gravity

The Quest to Understand the Laws of Motion and Gravitation
Author: Prabhakar Gondhalekar
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521018678
Category: Nature
Page: 372
View: 2502

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Gravity is the most enigmatic of all known forces of nature. It controls everything, from ocean tides to the expansion of the Universe. The search for the laws of motion and gravitation started over two thousand years ago. The reader is taken on an exciting journey through the subsequent centuries, identifying the blind alleys, the profound insights and flashes of inspiration that have punctuated this search. Despite the fantastic progress that has been made, the true nature of gravity is still a mystery and this book attempts to show how the current developments in string theory(s) (perhaps the 'Theory of Everything') may lead to a new and radical interpretation of gravity. This book describes the fundamental concepts, developments and experiments, both performed and planned, to increase our understanding of gravity and the natural phenomena in which gravity is the principal player.

In the Light of Science

Our Ancient Quest for Knowledge and the Measure of Modern Physics
Author: Demetris Nicolaides
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616144556
Category: Science
Page: 266
View: 1342

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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 Science is 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.

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: 8514

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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 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: 6424

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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.

Companion to the Cosmos


Author: John R. Gribbin
Publisher: Phoenix
ISBN: 9781857998917
Category: Astronomy
Page: 615
View: 2355

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COMPANION TO THE COSMOS is the brilliant science populariser and an award-winning writer, John Gribbin tells us everything we want to know about the universe.

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: 7923

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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 Science of Interstellar


Author: Kip Thorne
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393351386
Category: Science
Page: 336
View: 6644

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A journey through the otherworldly science behind Christopher Nolan’s award-winning film, Interstellar, from executive producer and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Kip Thorne. Interstellar, from acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, takes us on a fantastic voyage far beyond our solar system. Yet in The Science of Interstellar, Kip Thorne, the Nobel prize-winning physicist who assisted Nolan on the scientific aspects of Interstellar, shows us that the movie’s jaw-dropping events and stunning, never-before-attempted visuals are grounded in real science. Thorne shares his experiences working as the science adviser on the film and then moves on to the science itself. In chapters on wormholes, black holes, interstellar travel, and much more, Thorne’s scientific insights—many of them triggered during the actual scripting and shooting of Interstellar—describe the physical laws that govern our universe and the truly astounding phenomena that those laws make possible. Interstellar and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s14).

Einstein's Masterwork: 1915 and the General Theory of Relativity


Author: John Gribbin
Publisher: Pegasus Books
ISBN: 1681772655
Category: Science
Page: 240
View: 7208

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One of the world's most celebrated science writers reveals the origins of Einstein's General Theory—and provides a greater understanding of who Einstein was at the time of this pivotal achievement. In 1915, Albert Einstein presented his masterwork to the Prussian Academy of Sciences—a theory of gravity, matter, space and time: the General Theory of Relativity. Einstein himself said it was “the most valuable theory of my life,” and “of incomparable beauty.” It describes the evolution of the universe, black holes, the behavior of orbiting neutron stars, and why clocks run slower on the surface of the earth than in space. It even suggests the possibility of time travel. And yet when we think of Einstein's breakthrough year, we think instead of 1905, the year of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and his equation E=mc2, as his annus mirabilis, even though the Special Theory has a narrower focus. Today the General Theory is overshadowed by these achievements, regarded as 'too difficult' for ordinary mortals to comprehend. In Einstein's Masterwork, John Gribbin puts Einstein's astonishing breakthrough in the context of his life and work, and makes it clear why his greatest year was indeed 1915 and his General Theory his true masterpiece.