The Beginning of Infinity

Explanations That Transform the World
Author: David Deutsch
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101549823
Category: Science
Page: 496
View: 9110

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The New York Times bestseller: A provocative, imaginative exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge In this groundbreaking book, award-winning physicist David Deutsch argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe—and that improving them is the basic regulating principle of all successful human endeavor. Taking us on a journey through every fundamental field of science, as well as the history of civilization, art, moral values, and the theory of political institutions, Deutsch tracks how we form new explanations and drop bad ones, explaining the conditions under which progress—which he argues is potentially boundless—can and cannot happen. Hugely ambitious and highly original, The Beginning of Infinity explores and establishes deep connections between the laws of nature, the human condition, knowledge, and the possibility for progress.

The Beginning of Infinity

Explanations that Transform The World
Author: David Deutsch
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141969695
Category: Science
Page: 496
View: 6081

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A bold and all-embracing exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge from one of today's great thinkers. Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life's mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation, argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe. They have unlimited scope and power to cause change, and the quest to improve them is the basic regulating principle not only of science but of all successful human endeavor. This stream of ever improving explanations has infinite reach, according to Deutsch: we are subject only to the laws of physics, and they impose no upper boundary to what we can eventually understand, control, and achieve. In his previous book, The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch describe the four deepest strands of existing knowledge-the theories of evolution, quantum physics, knowledge, and computation-arguing jointly they reveal a unified fabric of reality. In this new book, he applies that worldview to a wide range of issues and unsolved problems, from creativity and free will to the origin and future of the human species. Filled with startling new conclusions about human choice, optimism, scientific explanation, and the evolution of culture, The Beginning of Infinity is a groundbreaking book that will become a classic of its kind.

The Beginning of Infinity

Explanations that Transform the World
Author: David Deutsch
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0140278168
Category: Explanation
Page: 487
View: 567

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'This is Deutsch at his most ambitious, seeking to understand the implications of our scientific explanations of the world . . . I enthusiastically recommend this rich, wide-ranging and elegantly written exposition of the unique insights of one of our most original intellectuals' Michael Berry, Times Higher Education Supplement In our search for truth, how far have we advanced? This uniquely human quest for good explanations has driven amazing improvements in everything from scientific understanding and technology to politics, moral values and human welfare. But will progress end, either in catastrophe or completion - or will it continue infinitely? In this profound and seminal book, David Deutsch explores the furthest reaches of our current understanding, taking in the Infinity Hotel, supernovae and the nature of optimism, to instill in all of us a wonder at what we have achieved - and the fact that this is only the beginning of humanity's infinite possibility. 'David Deutsch may well go down in history as one of the great scientists of our age' Scotsman 'Bold . . . profound . . . provocative and persuasive' Economist 'Science has never had an advocate quite like David Deutsch . . . A computational physicist on a par with his touchstones Alan Turing and Richard Feynman, and a philosopher in the line of his greatest hero, Karl Popper. His arguments are so clear that to read him is to experience the thrill of the highest level of discourse available on this planet and to understand it' Peter Forbes, Independent

The Fabric of Reality


Author: David Deutsch
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 014196961X
Category: Science
Page: 400
View: 5354

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An extraordinary and challenging synthesis of ideas uniting Quantum Theory, and the theories of Computation, Knowledge and Evolution, Deutsch's extraordinary book explores the deep connections between these strands which reveal the fabric of realityin which human actions and ideas play essential roles.

Infinity

Beyond the Beyond the Beyond
Author: Lillian R. Lieber
Publisher: Paul Dry Books
ISBN: 1589880366
Category: Mathematics
Page: 262
View: 5333

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This book offers an entertaining, yet thorough, explanation of the concept of, yes, infinity. Accessible to non-mathematicians, this book also cleverly connects mathematical reasoning to larger issues in society.

Our Mathematical Universe

My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality
Author: Max Tegmark
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 038535049X
Category: Science
Page: 432
View: 6472

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Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mind-boggling theories, but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist. Fascinating from first to last—this is a book that has already prompted the attention and admiration of some of the most prominent scientists and mathematicians.

Finite and Infinite Games


Author: James Carse
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451657293
Category: Philosophy
Page: 256
View: 6931

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“There are at least two kinds of games,” states James Carse as he begins this extraordinary book. “One could be called finite; the other infinite.” Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life; they are played in order to be won, which is when they end. But infinite games are more mysterious. Their object is not winning, but ensuring the continuation of play. The rules may change, the boundaries may change, even the participants may change—as long as the game is never allowed to come to an end. What are infinite games? How do they affect the ways we play our finite games? What are we doing when we play—finitely or infinitely? And how can infinite games affect the ways in which we live our lives? Carse explores these questions with stunning elegance, teasing out of his distinctions a universe of observation and insight, noting where and why and how we play, finitely and infinitely. He surveys our world—from the finite games of the playing field and playing board to the infinite games found in culture and religion—leaving all we think we know illuminated and transformed. Along the way, Carse finds new ways of understanding everything from how an actress portrays a role, to how we engage in sex, from the nature of evil, to the nature of science. Finite games, he shows, may offer wealth and status, power and glory. But infinite games offer something far more subtle and far grander. Carse has written a book rich in insight and aphorism. Already an international literary event, Finite and Infinite Games is certain to be argued about and celebrated for years to come. Reading it is the first step in learning to play the infinite game.

A Matter of Degrees

What Temperature Reveals about the Past and Future of Our Species, Planet, and U niverse
Author: Gino Segre
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101640170
Category: Science
Page: 320
View: 4663

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In a wonderful synthesis of science, history, and imagination, Gino Segrè, an internationally renowned theoretical physicist, embarks on a wide-ranging exploration of how the fundamental scientific concept of temperature is bound up with the very essence of both life and matter. Why is the internal temperature of most mammals fixed near 98.6°? How do geologists use temperature to track the history of our planet? Why is the quest for absolute zero and its quantum mechanical significance the key to understanding superconductivity? And what can we learn from neutrinos, the subatomic "messages from the sun" that may hold the key to understanding the birth-and death-of our solar system? In answering these and hundreds of other temperature-sensitive questions, Segrè presents an uncanny view of the world around us.

One Two Three . . . Infinity

Facts and Speculations of Science
Author: George Gamow
Publisher: Courier Corporation
ISBN: 0486135179
Category: Science
Page: 384
View: 7860

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Over 120 delightful pen-and-ink illustrations by the author add another dimension of good-natured charm to these wide-ranging explorations. A mind-expanding volume for the layman and the science-minded.

Programming the Universe

A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes on the Cosmos
Author: Seth Lloyd
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307264718
Category: Science
Page: 240
View: 9672

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Is the universe actually a giant quantum computer? According to Seth Lloyd, the answer is yes. All interactions between particles in the universe, Lloyd explains, convey not only energy but also information–in other words, particles not only collide, they compute. What is the entire universe computing, ultimately? “Its own dynamical evolution,” he says. “As the computation proceeds, reality unfolds.” Programming the Universe, a wonderfully accessible book, presents an original and compelling vision of reality, revealing our world in an entirely new light. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Science of Heroes

The Real-Life Possibilities Behind the Hit TV Show
Author: Yvonne Carts-Powell
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1440638098
Category: Social Science
Page: 288
View: 8220

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A fun, fact-filled examination of the science (or lack thereof) behind the hit television series Heroes. Ordinary people with extraordinary powers populate the world of the hit television show Heroes, where characters exhibit such abilities as flight, telepathy, tissue regeneration, prognostication, invisibility, and teleportation through space and time. The Science of Heroes explores these superpowers and many more through real-world research into the potential of human physical and mental capabilities. Citing the work of renowned scientists and engineers, Yvonne Carts-Powell reveals that even the least likely of powers has been studied?and in some cases, even developed. From the wonders found in nature and cutting-edge technological achievements to the latest discoveries in genetics and mutations, humanity might just possess the knowledge to achieve the extraordinary.

Beyond Infinity

An expedition to the outer limits of the mathematical universe
Author: Eugenia Cheng
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 1782830812
Category: Mathematics
Page: 204
View: 5261

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SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE Even small children know there are infinitely many whole numbers - start counting and you'll never reach the end. But there are also infinitely many decimal numbers between zero and one. Are these two types of infinity the same? Are they larger or smaller than each other? Can we even talk about 'larger' and 'smaller' when we talk about infinity? In Beyond Infinity, international maths sensation Eugenia Cheng reveals the inner workings of infinity. What happens when a new guest arrives at your infinite hotel - but you already have an infinite number of guests? How does infinity give Zeno's tortoise the edge in a paradoxical foot-race with Achilles? And can we really make an infinite number of cookies from a finite amount of cookie dough? Wielding an armoury of inventive, intuitive metaphor, Cheng draws beginners and enthusiasts alike into the heart of this mysterious, powerful concept to reveal fundamental truths about mathematics, all the way from the infinitely large down to the infinitely small.

Sizing Up the Universe

The Cosmos in Perspective
Author: J. Richard Gott,Robert J. Vanderbei
Publisher: National Geographic Books
ISBN: 9781426206511
Category: Science
Page: 246
View: 9596

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Using space photographs and scaled maps, demonstrates the actual size of objects in the cosmos, from Buzz Aldrin's historic footprint on the Moon to the entire visible universe, with a gatefold of the Gott-Juric Map of the Universe.

The Infinity of You & Me

A Novel
Author: J.Q. Coyle
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 1250099234
Category: Young Adult Fiction
Page: 256
View: 8350

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"The clever, fast-moving plot features a strong, appealing heroine, Sylvia Plath's poetry, romance, betrayal, and heart-stopping suspense." - Kirkus Reviews "This ambitious sci-fi novel, filled with multiverses and what-ifs... contains complex world building that would appeal to fans of TV's Orphan Black." - Booklist Almost fifteen, Alicia is smart and funny with a deep connection to the poet Sylvia Plath, but she’s ultimately failing at life. With a laundry list of diagnoses, she hallucinates different worlds—strange, decaying, otherworldly yet undeniably real worlds that are completely unlike her own with her single mom and one true friend. In one particularly vivid hallucination, Alicia is drawn to a boy her own age named Jax who’s trapped in a dying universe. Days later, her long-lost father shows up at her birthday party, telling her that the hallucinations aren’t hallucinations, but real worlds; she and Jax are bound by a strange past and intertwining present. This leads her on a journey to find out who she is while trying to save the people and worlds she loves. J.Q. Coyle’s The Infinity of You & Me is a wild ride through unruly hearts and vivid worlds guaranteed to captivate.

The Poetics of Space


Author: Gaston Bachelard
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698170431
Category: Philosophy
Page: 304
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A beloved multidisciplinary treatise comes to Penguin Classics Since its initial publication in 1958, The Poetics of Space has been a muse to philosophers, architects, writers, psychologists, critics, and readers alike. The rare work of irresistibly inviting philosophy, Bachelard’s seminal work brims with quiet revelations and stirring, mysterious imagery. This lyrical journey takes as its premise the emergence of the poetic image and finds an ideal metaphor in the intimate spaces of our homes. Guiding us through a stream of meditations on poetry, art, and the blooming of consciousness itself, Bachelard examines the domestic places that shape and hold our dreams and memories. Houses and rooms; cellars and attics; drawers, chests, and wardrobes; nests and shells; nooks and corners: No space is too vast or too small to be filled by our thoughts and our reveries. In Bachelard’s enchanting spaces, “We are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.” This new edition features a foreword by Mark Z. Danielewski, whose bestselling novel House of Leaves drew inspiration from Bachelard’s writings, and an introduction by internationally renowned philosopher Richard Kearney who explains the book’s enduring importance and its role within Bachelard’s remarkable career. For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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: 5829

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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.

They Called Me Mad

Genius, Madness, and the Scientists Who Pushed the Outer Limits of Knowledge
Author: John Monahan
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101445874
Category: Science
Page: 304
View: 9617

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Discover the true genius behind history's greatest "madmen". From Dr. Frankenstein to Dr. Jekyll, the image of the mad scientist surrounded by glass vials, copper coils, and electrical apparatus remains a popular fixture. In films and fiction, he's comically misguided, tragically misunderstood, or pathologically evil. But the origins of this stereotype can be found in the sometimes-eccentric real life men and women who challenged our view of the world and broke new scientific frontiers. They Called Me Mad recounts the amazing true stories of such historical luminaries as Archimedes, the calculator of pi and creator of the world's first death ray; Isaac Newton, the world's first great scientist and the last great alchemist; Nikola Tesla, who built the precursors of robots, fluorescent lighting, and particle beam weapons before the turn of the twentieth century-and more.

Infinity and Me


Author: Kate Hosford
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
ISBN: 1467737917
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Page: 32
View: 7290

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When I looked up, I shivered. How many stars were in the sky? A million? A billion? Maybe the number was as big as infinity. I started to feel very, very small. How could I even think about something as big as infinity? Uma can't help feeling small when she peers up at the night sky. She begins to wonder about infinity. Is infinity a number that grows forever? Is it an endless racetrack? Could infinity be in an ice cream cone? Uma soon finds that the ways to think about this big idea may just be . . . infinite.