Why do polished stones look wet? How does the Twin Paradox work? What if Jupiter were a star? How can we be sure that pi never repeats? How does a quantum computer break encryption? Discover the answers to these, and other profound physics questions! This fascinating book presents a collection of articles based on conversations and correspondences between the author and complete strangers about physics and math. The author, a researcher in mathematical physics, responds to dozens of questions posed by inquiring minds from all over the world, ranging from the everyday to the profound. Rather than unnecessarily complex explanations mired in mysterious terminology and symbols, the reader is presented with the reasoning, experiments, and mathematics in a casual, conversational, and often comical style. Neither over-simplified nor over-technical, the lucid and entertaining writing will guide the reader from each innocent question to a better understanding of the weird and beautiful universe around us. Advance praise for Do Colors Exist?: “Every high school science teacher should have a copy of this book. The individual articles offer enrichment to those students who wish to go beyond a typical ‘dry curriculum’. The articles are very fun. I probably laughed out loud every 2-3 minutes. This is not easy to do. In fact, my children are interested in the book because they heard me laughing so much.” – Ken Ono, Emory University
Expands the search for the origins of the universe beyond God and the Big Bang theory, exploring more bizarre possibilities inspired by physicists, theologians, mathematicians, and even novelists.
A respected physicist presents a survey of related discoveries, from Plato and Pythagoras up to the present, that explore how intertwined ideas about beauty and art are with scientific understandings of the cosmos.
Richard Feynman once quipped that "Time is what happens when nothing else does." But Julian Barbour disagrees: if nothing happened, if nothing changed, then time would stop. For time is nothing but change. It is change that we perceive occurring all around us, not time. Put simply, time does not exist. In this highly provocative volume, Barbour presents the basic evidence for a timeless universe, and shows why we still experience the world as intensely temporal. It is a book that strikes at the heart of modern physics. It casts doubt on Einstein's greatest contribution, the spacetime continuum, but also points to the solution of one of the great paradoxes of modern science, the chasm between classical and quantum physics. Indeed, Barbour argues that the holy grail of physicists--the unification of Einstein's general relativity with quantum mechanics--may well spell the end of time. Barbour writes with remarkable clarity as he ranges from the ancient philosophers Heraclitus and Parmenides, through the giants of science Galileo, Newton, and Einstein, to the work of the contemporary physicists John Wheeler, Roger Penrose, and Steven Hawking. Along the way he treats us to enticing glimpses of some of the mysteries of the universe, and presents intriguing ideas about multiple worlds, time travel, immortality, and, above all, the illusion of motion. The End of Time is a vibrantly written and revolutionary book. It turns our understanding of reality inside-out.
An integrated study of the history, philosophy, and science of color that offers a novel theory of the metaphysics of color.
Building on quantum physics, Biocentrism turns the planet upside down with the revolutionary view that life creates the universe rather than the other way around. The central claim of Biocentrism is that what is referred to as space and time are forms of animal perception rather than external physical objects. Lanza and Berman take readers on a fascinating journey through a foreign universe - our own - that will alter their perception of reality for ever.
An award-winning scientist argues that theoretical physics have become too abstract and that the scientific community needs to return to the experimental method to advance current goals, identifying flaws in recent findings while sharing accessible explanations of recent high-profile theories. 25,000 first printing.
A leading neuroscientist embarks on a groundbreaking exploration of how time works inside the brain. In Your Brain Is a Time Machine, brain researcher and best-selling author Dean Buonomano draws on evolutionary biology, physics, and philosophy to present his influential theory of how we tell, and perceive, time. The human brain, he argues, is a complex system that not only tells time but creates it; it constructs our sense of chronological flow and enables “mental time travel”—simulations of future and past events. These functions are essential not only to our daily lives but to the evolution of the human race: without the ability to anticipate the future, mankind would never have crafted tools or invented agriculture. The brain was designed to navigate our continuously changing world by predicting what will happen and when. Buonomano combines neuroscience expertise with a far-ranging, multidisciplinary approach. With engaging style, he illuminates such concepts as consciousness, spacetime, and relativity while addressing profound questions that have long occupied scientists and philosophers alike: What is time? Is our sense of time’s passage an illusion? Does free will exist, or is the future predetermined? In pursuing the answers, Buonomano reveals as much about the fascinating architecture of the human brain as he does about the intricacies of time itself. This virtuosic work of popular science leads to an astonishing realization: your brain is, at its core, a time machine.
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.
Examines Goethe's neglected but sizable body of scientific work, considers the philosophical foundations of his approach, and applies his method to the real world of nature.
From New York Times best-selling author of the Dinotopia series, James Gurney, comes a carefully crafted and researched study on color and light in paintings. This art instruction book will accompany the acclaimed Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesnâ€™t Exist. James Gurney, New York Times best-selling author and artist of the Dinotopia series, follows Imaginative Realism with his second art-instruction book, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter. A researched study on two of art's most fundamental themes, Color and Light bridges the gap between abstract theory and practical knowledge. Beginning with a survey of underappreciated masters who perfected the use of color and light, the book examines how light reveals form, the properties of color and pigments, and the wide variety of atmospheric effects. Gurney cuts though the confusing and contradictory dogma about color, testing it in the light of science and observation. A glossary, pigment index, and bibliography complete what will ultimately become an indispensible tool for any artist. This book is the second in a series based on his blog, gurneyjourney.com. His first in the series, Imaginative Realism, was widely acclaimed in the fantastical art world, and was ranked the #1 Bestseller on the Amazon list for art instruction. "James Gurney's new book, Color and Light, cleverly bridges the gap between artistic observation and scientific explanation. Not only does he eloquently describe all the effects of color and light an artist might encounter, but he thrills us with his striking paintings in the process." --Armand Cabrera, Artist
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.
Art interprets the visible world. Physics charts its unseen workings. The two realms seem completely opposed. But consider that both strive to reveal truths for which there are no words––with physicists using the language of mathematics and artists using visual images. In Art & Physics, Leonard Shlain tracks their breakthroughs side by side throughout history to reveal an astonishing correlation of visions. From the classical Greek sculptors to Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, and from Aristotle to Einstein, artists have foreshadowed the discoveries of scientists, such as when Monet and Cezanne intuited the coming upheaval in physics that Einstein would initiate. In this lively and colorful narrative, Leonard Shlain explores how artistic breakthroughs could have prefigured the visionary insights of physicists on so many occasions throughout history. Provicative and original, Art & Physics is a seamless integration of the romance of art and the drama of science––and an exhilarating history of ideas.
Argues that the discoveries of twentieth-century physics--relativity and the quantum theory--demand a radical reformulation of the fundamentals of reality and a way of thinking, that is closer to mysticism than materialism
Excellent primer and classic treatment employs simple experiments to establish a practical basis for the existence and function of surface tension and energy minimization. 83 illustrations. 1911 edition.
This comprehensive and well-organized book focusses on the phenomeno-logical aspects of Particle Physics. It strikes a fine balance between those texts that require sophisticated mathematical physics and those that are too elementary. For, unlike in many books on the subject, which give prominence to gauge theories, the attempt here is to lay stress on phenomenology _ an aspect that needs exposure among students of high energy physics.
On April 6, 1922, in Paris, Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson publicly debated the nature of time. Einstein considered Bergson's theory of time to be a soft, psychological notion, irreconcilable with the quantitative realities of physics. Bergson, who gained fame as a philosopher by arguing that time should not be understood exclusively through the lens of science, criticized Einstein's theory of time for being a metaphysics grafted on to science, one that ignored the intuitive aspects of time. The Physicist and the Philosopher tells the remarkable story of how this explosive debate transformed our understanding of time and drove a rift between science and the humanities that persists today. Jimena Canales introduces readers to the revolutionary ideas of Einstein and Bergson, describes how they dramatically collided in Paris, and traces how this clash of worldviews reverberated across the twentieth century. She shows how it provoked responses from figures such as Bertrand Russell and Martin Heidegger, and carried repercussions for American pragmatism, logical positivism, phenomenology, and quantum mechanics. Canales explains how the new technologies of the period—such as wristwatches, radio, and film—helped to shape people’s conceptions of time and further polarized the public debate. She also discusses how Bergson and Einstein, toward the end of their lives, each reflected on his rival’s legacy—Bergson during the Nazi occupation of Paris and Einstein in the context of the first hydrogen bomb explosion. The Physicist and the Philosopher is a magisterial and revealing account that shows how scientific truth was placed on trial in a divided century marked by a new sense of time.
This expanded edition of C. L. Hardin's ground-breaking work on color features a new chapter, Further Thoughts: 1993, in which the author revisits the dispute between color objectivists and subjectivists from the perspective of the ecology, genetics, and evolution of color vision, and brings to bear new data on individual variability in color perception.
More physicists today are taking on the role of software developer as part of their research, but software development isn’t always easy or obvious, even for physicists. This practical book teaches essential software development skills to help you automate and accomplish nearly any aspect of research in a physics-based field. Written by two PhDs in nuclear engineering, this book includes practical examples drawn from a working knowledge of physics concepts. You’ll learn how to use the Python programming language to perform everything from collecting and analyzing data to building software and publishing your results. In four parts, this book includes: Getting Started: Jump into Python, the command line, data containers, functions, flow control and logic, and classes and objects Getting It Done: Learn about regular expressions, analysis and visualization, NumPy, storing data in files and HDF5, important data structures in physics, computing in parallel, and deploying software Getting It Right: Build pipelines and software, learn to use local and remote version control, and debug and test your code Getting It Out There: Document your code, process and publish your findings, and collaborate efficiently; dive into software licenses, ownership, and copyright procedures