Quantum Cosmology

A Fundamental Description of the Universe
Author: Martin Bojowald
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1441982752
Category: Science
Page: 310
View: 1382

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Consequences of quantum gravity on grander scales are expected to be enormous: only such a theory can show how black holes really behave and where our universe came from. Applications of loop quantum gravity to cosmology have especially by now shed much light on cosmic evolution of a universe in a fundamental, microscopic description. Modern techniques are explained in this book which demonstrate how the universe could have come from a non-singular phase before the big bang, how equations for the evolution of structure can be derived, but also what fundamental limitations remain to our knowledge of the universe before the big bang. The following topics will be covered in this book: Hamiltonian cosmology: a general basic treatment of isotropy, perturbations and their role for observations; useful in general cosmology. Effective equations: an efficient way to evaluate equations of quantum gravity, which is also useful in other areas of physics where quantum theory is involved. Loop quantization: a new formalism for the atomic picture of space-time; usually presented at a sophisticated mathematical level, but evaluated here from an intuitive physical side. The book will start with physical motivations, rather than mathematical developments which is more common in other expositions of this field. All the required mathematical methods will be presented, but will not distract the reader from seeing the underlying physics. Simple but representative models will be presented first to show the basic features, which are then used to work upwards to a general description of quantum gravity and its applications in cosmology. This will make the book accessible to a more general physics readership.

The Universe

A View from Classical and Quantum Gravity
Author: Martin Bojowald
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 3527667687
Category: Science
Page: 370
View: 9046

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Written by a well-known author in the field, this book presents a modern understanding of the universe based on relativity, quantum physics and their elusive combination. It introduces the crucial theoretical ingredients in an accessible way, starting from the physics of Newton and developing subsequent theories all the way to the modern enigma of quantum gravity. The intermediate level presentation assumes only a general knowledge of math and physics, adopting a "two-level" approach: equations are retained throughout the chapters but set apart from the main text in boxes to allow for lay readers to understand the book. For scientists, researchers, students and lecturers in cosmology, astronomy, gravitation, quantum and theoretical physics; as well as mathematicians, students, lecturers, academics and non-experts in related fields with an interest in the subject.

Symmetries and Groups in Contemporary Physics

Author: Chengming Bai,Jean-Pierre Gazeau,Mo-Lin Ge
Publisher: World Scientific
ISBN: 9814518565
Category: Mathematics
Page: 664
View: 4474

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This volume focuses on developments in the field of group theory in its broadest sense and is of interest to theoretical and experimental physicists, mathematicians, and scientists in related disciplines who are interested in the latest methods and applications. In an increasingly ultra-specialized world, this volume will demonstrate the interchange of ideas and methods in theoretical and mathematical physics. Contents:The Wigner MedalThe Hermann Weyl PrizePlenary SessionParallel Sessions:Nonlinear SciencesQuantum AlgebrasSuperintegrable HamiltoniansApplications in BiologyQuantum Information and Representation TheoryFinite Quantum Systems and Combinatorial PhysicsSymmetries in String Theory and SupergravityLoop Quantum GravityTensor and Group Field Theories for Quantum GravityConformal Field TheoriesSupersymmetry and Quantum GroupsApplications in Particle and Nuclear PhysicsGeneral Quantum Mechanics and Its Mathematical Methods Involving Group TheoryPoster Session Readership: Researchers and specialists in group theory and its applications to mathematics, physics and other fields in natural science. Keywords:Symmetries;Group Theory;Quantum Physics;Coherent States;Quantum Information;Nonlinear Physics;Supersymmetry;Quantum Gravity;Strings;Conformal Fields;Tensor Fields;Mathematical Biology;Particle Physics;Quantum Algebras;Foundations Of Quantum Mechanics;Combinatorial PhysicsKey Features:Wide range of topics in theoretical and mathematical physicsContains the most recent developments in innovative fields like quantum information, physics and biology, quantum gravity (e.g., strings, loop, tensor fields approaches), combinatorial physicsCross-sectional view of these developments given by prominent specialists, be they promising young scientists (e.g. Gurau, Chiribella, etc.) or confirmed researchers (e.g., Lewandowski, Batchelor, Wang, Murakami, Busch, etc.)

Classical and Quantum Cosmology

Author: Gianluca Calcagni
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319411276
Category: Science
Page: 839
View: 2498

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This comprehensive textbook is devoted to classical and quantum cosmology, with particular emphasis on modern approaches to quantum gravity and string theory and on their observational imprint. It covers major challenges in theoretical physics such as the big bang and the cosmological constant problem. An extensive review of standard cosmology, the cosmic microwave background, inflation and dark energy sets the scene for the phenomenological application of all the main quantum-gravity and string-theory models of cosmology. Born of the author's teaching experience and commitment to bridging the gap between cosmologists and theoreticians working beyond the established laws of particle physics and general relativity, this is a unique text where quantum-gravity approaches and string theory are treated on an equal footing. As well as introducing cosmology to undergraduate and graduate students with its pedagogical presentation and the help of 45 solved exercises, this book, which includes an ambitious bibliography of about 3500 items, will serve as a valuable reference for lecturers and researchers.

The Thirteenth Marcel Grossmann Meeting

On Recent Developments in Theoretical and Experimental General Relativity, Astrophysics, and Relativistic Field Theories(In 3 Volumes)
Author: Kjell Rosquist,Robert T Jantzen,Remo Ruffini
Publisher: World Scientific
ISBN: 9814630004
Category: Science
Page: 2800
View: 6513

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The Marcel Grossmann Meetings seek to further the development of the foundations and applications of Einstein's general relativity by promoting theoretical understanding in the relevant fields of physics, mathematics, astronomy and astrophysics and to direct future technological, observational, and experimental efforts. The meetings discuss recent developments in classical and quantum aspects of gravity, and in cosmology and relativistic astrophysics, with major emphasis on mathematical foundations and physical predictions, having the main objective of gathering scientists from diverse backgrounds for deepening our understanding of spacetime structure and reviewing the current state of the art in the theory, observations and experiments pertinent to relativistic gravitation. The range of topics is broad, going from the more abstract classical theory, quantum gravity, branes and strings, to more concrete relativistic astrophysics observations and modeling. The three volumes of the proceedings of MG13 give a broad view of all aspects of gravitational physics and astrophysics, from mathematical issues to recent observations and experiments. The scientific program of the meeting included 33 morning plenary talks during 6 days, and 75 parallel sessions over 4 afternoons. Volume A contains plenary and review talks ranging from the mathematical foundations of classical and quantum gravitational theories including recent developments in string/brane theories, to precision tests of general relativity including progress towards the detection of gravitational waves, and from supernova cosmology to relativistic astrophysics including such topics as gamma ray bursts, black hole physics both in our galaxy and in active galactic nuclei in other galaxies, and neutron star and pulsar astrophysics. Volumes B and C include parallel sessions which touch on dark matter, neutrinos, X-ray sources, astrophysical black holes, neutron stars, binary systems, radiative transfer, accretion disks, quasors, gamma ray bursts, supernovas, alternative gravitational theories, perturbations of collapsed objects, analog models, black hole thermodynamics, numerical relativity, gravitational lensing, large scale structure, observational cosmology, early universe models and cosmic microwave background anisotropies, inhomogeneous cosmology, inflation, global structure, singularities, chaos, Einstein–Maxwell systems, wormholes, exact solutions of Einstein's equations, gravitational waves, gravitational wave detectors and data analysis, precision gravitational measurements, quantum gravity and loop quantum gravity, quantum cosmology, strings and branes, self-gravitating systems, gamma ray astronomy, and cosmic rays and the history of general relativity. Contents:On the Cosmological Singularity (Vladimir A Belinski)GRB Afterglow Discovery with Bepposax: Its Story 15 Years Later (Filippo Frontera)Rotation, Convection, and Core Collapse (W David Arnett)Spacetime Singularities: Recent Developments (Claes Uggla)Hidden Symmetries: From BKL to Kac–Moody (Philipp Fleig & Hermann Nicolai)Recent Results in Mathematical GR (Sergiu Klainerman)Higher Dimensional Black Holes (Harvey S Reall)Causal Dynamical Triangulations and the Search for a Theory of Quantum Gravity (Jan Ambjorn, Andrzej Görlich, Jerzy Jurkiewicz & Renate Loll)On Quantum Gravity, Asymptotic Safety, and Paramagnetic Dominance (Andreas Nink & Martin Reuter)Perturbative Quantum Gravity as a Double Copy of Gauge Theory and Implications for UV Properties (Zvi Bern)Type Ia Supernova Cosmology: Past and Future (Ariel Goobar)The Energetic Universe: A Nobel Surprise (Robert P Kirshner)Strong, Weak, Electromagnetic and Gravitational Interactions in Neutron Stars (Jorge Rueda & Remo Ruffini)Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Using Ground-Based Interferometers (David H Reitze & David H Shoemaker)Gamma-Ray Burst Prompt Emission (Bing Zhang)Black Holes, Supernovae and Gamma Ray Bursts (Remo Ruffini)Precisions Tests of Theories of Gravity Using Pulsars (Michael Kramer)The Planck Mission: Recent Results, Cosmological and Fundamental Physics Perspectives (Nazzareno Mandolesi, Carlo Burigana, Alessandro Gruppuso & Paolo Natoli)Observation of a New Boson at a Mass of 125 GeV with the CMS Experiment at the LHC (Chiara Mariotti)Unavoidable CMB Spectral Features and Blackbody Photosphere of Our Universe (Rashid Sunyaev & Rishi Khatri)Search for the Standard Model Higgs Boson with the ATLAS Detector (Domizia Orestano) Readership: Graduate students in astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology, and scientists interested in general relativity, gravitation, astrophysics, quantum gravity, particle physics, cosmology and theoretical physics. Keywords:General Relativity;Gravitation;Astrophysics;Quantum Gravity;Particle Physics;Cosmology;Theoretical Physics

A Universe from Nothing

Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing
Author: Lawrence M. Krauss
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451624476
Category: Science
Page: 224
View: 6553

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Bestselling author and acclaimed physicist Lawrence Krauss offers a paradigm-shifting view of how everything that exists came to be in the first place. “Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And finally, why is there something rather than nothing?” One of the few prominent scientists today to have crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss describes the staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories that demonstrate not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. With a new preface about the significance of the discovery of the Higgs particle, A Universe from Nothing uses Krauss’s characteristic wry humor and wonderfully clear explanations to take us back to the beginning of the beginning, presenting the most recent evidence for how our universe evolved—and the implications for how it’s going to end. Provocative, challenging, and delightfully readable, this is a game-changing look at the most basic underpinning of existence and a powerful antidote to outmoded philosophical, religious, and scientific thinking.

Physical Foundations of Cosmology

Author: Viatcheslav Mukhanov
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139447114
Category: Science
Page: N.A
View: 1673

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Inflationary cosmology has been developed over the last twenty years to remedy serious shortcomings in the standard hot big bang model of the universe. This textbook, first published in 2005, explains the basis of modern cosmology and shows where the theoretical results come from. The book is divided into two parts; the first deals with the homogeneous and isotropic model of the Universe, the second part discusses how inhomogeneities can explain its structure. Established material such as the inflation and quantum cosmological perturbation are presented in great detail, however the reader is brought to the frontiers of current cosmological research by the discussion of more speculative ideas. An ideal textbook for both advanced students of physics and astrophysics, all of the necessary background material is included in every chapter and no prior knowledge of general relativity and quantum field theory is assumed.

From the Universe to the Elementary Particles

A First Introduction to Cosmology and the Fundamental Interactions
Author: Ulrich Ellwanger
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3642243754
Category: Science
Page: 192
View: 7501

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In this book, the author leads the reader, step by step and without any advanced mathematics, to a clear understanding of the foundations of modern elementary particle physics and cosmology. He also addresses current and controversial questions on topics such as string theory. The book contains gentle introductions to the theories of special and general relativity, and also classical and quantum field theory. The essential aspects of these concepts are understood with the help of simple calculations; for example, the force of gravity as a consequence of the curvature of the space-time. Also treated are the Big Bang, dark matter and dark energy, as well as the presently known interactions of elementary particles: electrodynamics, the strong and the weak interactions including the Higgs boson. Finally, the book sketches as yet speculative theories: Grand Unification theories, supersymmetry, string theory and the idea of additional dimensions of space-time. Since no higher mathematical or physics expertise is required, the book is also suitable for college and university students at the beginning of their studies. Hobby astronomers and other science enthusiasts seeking a deeper insight than can be found in popular treatments will also appreciate this unique book.

The Future of Theoretical Physics and Cosmology

Celebrating Stephen Hawking's Contributions to Physics
Author: G. W. Gibbons,E. P. S. Shellard,S. J. Rankin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521820813
Category: Science
Page: 879
View: 9142

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Based on lectures given in honour of Stephen Hawking's sixtieth birthday, this book comprises contributions from some of the world's leading theoretical physicists. It begins with a section containing chapters by successful scientific popularisers, bringing to life both Hawking's work and other exciting developments in physics. The book then goes on to provide a critical evaluation of advanced subjects in modern cosmology and theoretical physics. Topics covered include the origin of the universe, warped spacetime, cosmological singularities, quantum gravity, black holes, string theory, quantum cosmology and inflation. As well as providing a fascinating overview of the wide variety of subject areas to which Stephen Hawking has contributed, this book represents an important assessment of prospects for the future of fundamental physics and cosmology.

Quantum Cosmology - The Supersymmetric Perspective - Vol. 1

Author: Paulo Vargas Moniz
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3642115756
Category: Science
Page: 350
View: 457

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We read in order to know we are not alone, I once heard, and perhaps it could also be suggested that we write in order not to be alone, to endorse, to promote continuity. The idea for this book took about ten years to materialize, and it is the author’s hope that its content will constitute the beginning of further explorations beyond current horizons. More speci cally, this book appeals to the reader to engage upon and persevere with a journey, moving through the less well explored territories in the evolution of the very early universe, and pushing towards new landscapes. P- haps, during or after consulting this book, this attitude and this willingness will be embraced by someone, somewhere, and this person will go on to enrich our quantum cosmological description of the early universe, by means of a clearer supersymm- ric perspective. It is to these creative and inquisitive ‘young minds’ that the book is addressed. The reader will not therefore nd in this book all the answers to all the problems regarding a supersymmetric and quantum description of the early universe, and this remark is substantiated in the book by a list of unresolved and challenging problems, itself incomplete.

Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe

Author: Roger Penrose
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400880289
Category: Science
Page: 520
View: 2356

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What can fashionable ideas, blind faith, or pure fantasy possibly have to do with the scientific quest to understand the universe? Surely, theoretical physicists are immune to mere trends, dogmatic beliefs, or flights of fancy? In fact, acclaimed physicist and bestselling author Roger Penrose argues that researchers working at the extreme frontiers of physics are just as susceptible to these forces as anyone else. In this provocative book, he argues that fashion, faith, and fantasy, while sometimes productive and even essential in physics, may be leading today's researchers astray in three of the field's most important areas—string theory, quantum mechanics, and cosmology. Arguing that string theory has veered away from physical reality by positing six extra hidden dimensions, Penrose cautions that the fashionable nature of a theory can cloud our judgment of its plausibility. In the case of quantum mechanics, its stunning success in explaining the atomic universe has led to an uncritical faith that it must also apply to reasonably massive objects, and Penrose responds by suggesting possible changes in quantum theory. Turning to cosmology, he argues that most of the current fantastical ideas about the origins of the universe cannot be true, but that an even wilder reality may lie behind them. Finally, Penrose describes how fashion, faith, and fantasy have ironically also shaped his own work, from twistor theory, a possible alternative to string theory that is beginning to acquire a fashionable status, to "conformal cyclic cosmology," an idea so fantastic that it could be called "conformal crazy cosmology." The result is an important critique of some of the most significant developments in physics today from one of its most eminent figures.

Quantum Gravity and Quantum Cosmology

Author: Gianluca Calcagni,Lefteris Papantonopoulos,George Siopsis,Nikos Tsamis
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3642330363
Category: Science
Page: 399
View: 3471

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Quantum gravity has developed into a fast-growing subject in physics and it is expected that probing the high-energy and high-curvature regimes of gravitating systems will shed some light on how to eventually achieve an ultraviolet complete quantum theory of gravity. Such a theory would provide the much needed information about fundamental problems of classical gravity, such as the initial big-bang singularity, the cosmological constant problem, Planck scale physics and the early-time inflationary evolution of our Universe. While in the first part of this book concepts of quantum gravity are introduced and approached from different angles, the second part discusses these theories in connection with cosmological models and observations, thereby exploring which types of signatures of modern and mathematically rigorous frameworks can be detected by experiments. The third and final part briefly reviews the observational status of dark matter and dark energy, and introduces alternative cosmological models. Edited and authored by leading researchers in the field and cast into the form of a multi-author textbook at postgraduate level, this volume will be of benefit to all postgraduate students and newcomers from neighboring disciplines wishing to find a comprehensive guide for their future research.

The Universe Within

From Quantum to Cosmos
Author: Neil Turok
Publisher: House of Anansi
ISBN: 1770892257
Category: Science
Page: 304
View: 4357

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Winner of the Lane Anderson Award, longlisted for the Charles Taylor Prize, shortlisted for the Libris Award for Non-Fiction and selected as an Amazon.ca Best Book "With [The Universe Within’s] deeply thoughtful reflections on the place of science in society, on the need to educate the underserved, and on plenty of other topics rarely addressed in this sort of book, Turok takes you where no physicist has gone before. It’s well worth making the journey with him." — TIME Magazine The most anticipated nonfiction book of the season, this year's Massey Lectures is a visionary look at the way the human mind can shape the future by world-renowned physicist Neil Turok. Every technology we rely on today was created by the human mind, seeking to understand the universe around us. Scientific knowledge is our most precious possession, and our future will be shaped by the breakthroughs to come. In this personal, visionary, and fascinating work, Neil Turok, Director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, explores the transformative scientific discoveries of the past three centuries — from classical mechanics, to the nature of light, to the bizarre world of the quantum, and the evolution of the cosmos. Each new discovery has, over time, yielded new technologies causing paradigm shifts in the organization of society. Now, he argues, we are on the cusp of another major transformation: the coming quantum revolution that will supplant our current, dissatisfying digital age. Facing this brave new world, Turok calls for creatively re-inventing the way advanced knowledge is developed and shared, and opening access to the vast, untapped pools of intellectual talent in the developing world. Scientific research, training, and outreach are vital to our future economy, as well as powerful forces for peaceful global progress. Elegantly written, deeply provocative, and highly inspirational, The Universe Within is, above all, about the future — of science, of society, of ourselves.

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Author: Carlo Rovelli
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0399184430
Category: Science
Page: 96
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Look out for Carlo Rovelli's next book, Reality Is Not What It Seems. Instant New York Times Bestseller “One of the year’s most entrancing books about science.”—The Wall Street Journal “Clear, elegant...a whirlwind tour of some of the biggest ideas in physics.”—The New York Times Book Review This playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics briskly explains Einstein's general relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, and the role humans play in this weird and wonderful world. Carlo Rovelli, a renowned theoretical physicist, is a delightfully poetic and philosophical scientific guide. He takes us to the frontiers of our knowledge: to the most minute reaches of the fabric of space, back to the origins of the cosmos, and into the workings of our minds. The book celebrates the joy of discovery. “Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world,” Rovelli writes. “And it’s breathtaking.”

Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter Coles
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191579440
Category: Science
Page: 160
View: 4083

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This book is a simple, non-technical introduction to cosmology, explaining what it is and what cosmologists do. Peter Coles discusses the history of the subject, the development of the Big Bang theory, and more speculative modern issues like quantum cosmology, superstrings, and dark matter. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology

A Basic Introduction
Author: Ta-Pei Cheng
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199573638
Category: Science
Page: 435
View: 2564

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This book provides an introduction to Einstein's general theory of relativity. A "physics-first" approach is adopted so that interesting applications come before the more difficult task of solving the Einstein equation. The book includes extensive coverage of cosmology, and is designed to allow readers to study the subject alone.

Principles of Astrophysics

Using Gravity and Stellar Physics to Explore the Cosmos
Author: Charles Keeton
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 146149236X
Category: Science
Page: 434
View: 6743

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This book gives a survey of astrophysics at the advanced undergraduate level, providing a physics-centred analysis of a broad range of astronomical systems. It originates from a two-semester course sequence at Rutgers University that is meant to appeal not only to astrophysics students but also more broadly to physics and engineering students. The organisation is driven more by physics than by astronomy; in other words, topics are first developed in physics and then applied to astronomical systems that can be investigated, rather than the other way around. The first half of the book focuses on gravity. The theme in this part of the book, as well as throughout astrophysics, is using motion to investigate mass. The goal of Chapters 2-11 is to develop a progressively richer understanding of gravity as it applies to objects ranging from planets and moons to galaxies and the universe as a whole. The second half uses other aspects of physics to address one of the big questions. While “Why are we here?” lies beyond the realm of physics, a closely related question is within our reach: “How did we get here?” The goal of Chapters 12-20 is to understand the physics behind the remarkable story of how the Universe, Earth and life were formed. This book assumes familiarity with vector calculus and introductory physics (mechanics, electromagnetism, gas physics and atomic physics); however, all of the physics topics are reviewed as they come up (and vital aspects of vector calculus are reviewed in the Appendix).

The Quantum Universe

(and why Anything that Can Happen, Does)
Author: Brian Cox,Jeffrey Robert Forshaw
Publisher: Da Capo Press
ISBN: 0306819643
Category: Science
Page: 255
View: 7523

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The authors of the best-selling Why Does E=MC2? render fundamental scientific principles in the areas of quantum mechanics comprehensive and engaging to lay readers, working through obscure and vague aspects to explain related natural world observations, how the quantum world was constructed and why it is important. 15,000 first printing.

Feynman Lectures On Computation

Author: Richard P. Feynman
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 0429980078
Category: Science
Page: 324
View: 761

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When, in 1984?86, Richard P. Feynman gave his famous course on computation at the California Institute of Technology, he asked Tony Hey to adapt his lecture notes into a book. Although led by Feynman, the course also featured, as occasional guest speakers, some of the most brilliant men in science at that time, including Marvin Minsky, Charles Bennett, and John Hopfield. Although the lectures are now thirteen years old, most of the material is timeless and presents a ?Feynmanesque? overview of many standard and some not-so-standard topics in computer science such as reversible logic gates and quantum computers.

Introduction to Particle and Astroparticle Physics

Multimessenger Astronomy and its Particle Physics Foundations
Author: Alessandro De Angelis,Mário Pimenta
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319781812
Category: Science
Page: 733
View: 7677

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This book introduces particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology. Starting from an experimental perspective, it provides a unified view of these fields that reflects the very rapid advances being made. This new edition has a number of improvements and has been updated to describe the recent discovery of gravitational waves and astrophysical neutrinos, which started the new era of multimessenger astrophysics; it also includes new results on the Higgs particle. Astroparticle and particle physics share a common problem: we still don’t have a description of the main ingredients of the Universe from the point of view of its energy budget. Addressing these fascinating issues, and offering a balanced introduction to particle and astroparticle physics that requires only a basic understanding of quantum and classical physics, this book is a valuable resource, particularly for advanced undergraduate students and for those embarking on graduate courses. It includes exercises that offer readers practical insights. It can be used equally well as a self-study book, a reference and a textbook.