The perennial bestseller: Big science explained in a beautifully clear and entertaining way by the popular cosmologist.
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.
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.
As physics has progressed through the ages it has succeeded in explaining more and more diverse phenomena with fewer and fewer underlying principles. This lucid and wide-ranging book explains how this understanding has developed by periodically uncovering unexpected 'hidden unities' in nature. The author deftly steers the reader on a fascinating path which goes to the heart of physics - the search and discovery of elegant laws which unify and simplify our understanding of the intricate Universe in which we live. Starting with the Ancient Greeks, the author traces the development of major concepts in physics right up to the present day. Throughout, the presentation is crisp and informative and only a minimum of mathematics is used. Any reader with a background in mathematics or physics will find this book a fascinating insight into the development of our fundamental understanding of the world, and the apparent simplicity underlying it.
With wit, colour and clarity, What A Wonderful World quickly and painlessly brings us up to speed on how the world of the 21st century works. From economics to physics and biology to philosophy, Marcus Chown explains the complex forces that shape our universe. Why do we breathe? What is money? How does the brain work? Why did life invent sex? Does time really exist? How does capitalism work - or not, as the case may be? Where do mountains come from? How do computers work? How did humans get to dominate the Earth? Why is there something rather than nothing? In What a Wonderful World, Marcus Chown, bestselling author of Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You and the Solar System app, uses his vast scientific knowledge and deep understanding of extremely complex processes to answer simple questions about the workings of our everyday lives. Lucid, witty and hugely entertaining, it explains the basics of our essential existence, stopping along the way to show us why the Atlantic is widening by a thumbs' length each year, how money permits trade to time travel why the crucial advantage humans had over Neanderthals was sewing and why we are all living in a giant hologram.
Bimal G’s book ‘Solving the 111-Year-Old Riddle’ opens an unexplored window of physics for the readers. Through this book, the author has aimed to solve the riddles generated by the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics. He believes that something is oddly wrong with the explanations and interpretations of these most celebrated theories even though the equations and its predictions are perfect and powerful. Puzzling paradoxes and logic-defying ideas had confounded the realm of physics ever since the formulation of special theory of relativity in 1905. By flouting reality, the theory of quantum mechanics too challenged common sense. Both these theories failed to give rational explanations to various natural phenomena. This book is a bold attempt to demystify the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics, which seem besotted with mathematical formalism than logical reasoning. It seeks to unite the two strong pillars of physics, fix the inconsistencies between them, and fill in the missing link by giving a new avatar to absolute space and time. In the process, the author puts forth a revolutionary new theory that removes paradoxes in the realm of physics, redefines the puzzling inertia and explains the riddling dark matter & dark energy along with other natural phenomena and scientific experiments.
Blending science, history, and biography, this book reveals the mysteries of mathematics, focusing on the life and work of three of Albert Einstein's heroes: Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, and James Clerk Maxwell.
One of the world’s most beloved and bestselling writers takes his ultimate journey -- into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer. In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail -- well, most of it. In In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand -- and, if possible, answer -- the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining. From the Hardcover edition.
From what actually happened in the Big Bang to the accidental discovery of post-it notes, the history of science is packed with surprising discoveries. Did you know, for instance, that if you were to get too close to a black hole it would suck you up like a noodle (it's called spaghettification), why your keyboard is laid out in QWERTY (it's not to make it easier to type) or why animals never evolved wheels? New Scientist does. And now they and award-winning illustrator Jennifer Daniel want to take you on a colorful, whistle-stop journey from the start of our universe (through the history of stars, galaxies, meteorites, the Moon and dark energy) to our planet (through oceans and weather and oil) and life (through dinosaurs to emotions and sex) to civilization (from cities to alcohol and cooking), knowledge (from alphabets to alchemy) ending up with technology (computers to rocket science). Witty essays explore the concepts alongside enlightening infographics that zoom from how many people have ever lived, to showing you how a left-wing brain differs from a right-wing one...
One of the most famous science books of our time, the phenomenal national bestseller that "buzzes with energy, anecdote and life. It almost makes you want to become a physicist" (Science Digest). Richard P. Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, thrived on outrageous adventures. In this lively work that “can shatter the stereotype of the stuffy scientist” (Detroit Free Press), Feynman recounts his experiences trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and cracking the uncrackable safes guarding the most deeply held nuclear secrets—and much more of an eyebrow-raising nature. In his stories, Feynman’s life shines through in all its eccentric glory—a combustible mixture of high intelligence, unlimited curiosity, and raging chutzpah. Included for this edition is a new introduction by Bill Gates.
The Big Bang, the birth of the universe, was a singular event. All of the matter of the universe was concentrated at a single point, with temperatures so high that even the familiar protons and neutrons of atoms did not yet exist, but rather were replaced by a swirling maelstrom of energy, matter and antimatter. Exotic quarks and leptons flickered briefly into existence, before merging back into the energy sea. This book explains the fascinating world of quarks and leptons and the forces that govern their behavior. Told from an experimental physicist's perspective, it forgoes mathematical complexity, using instead particularly accessible figures and apt analogies. In addition to the story of quarks and leptons, which are regarded as well-accepted fact, the author (who is a leading researcher at one of the world's highest energy particle physics laboratories) also discusses mysteries at both the experimental and theoretical frontiers, before tying it all together with the exciting field of cosmology and indeed the birth of the universe itself. The text spans the tiny world of the quark to the depths of the universe with breathtaking clarity. The casual student of science will appreciate the careful distinction between what is known (quarks, leptons and antimatter), what is suspected (Higgs bosons, neutrino oscillations and the reason why the universe has so little antimatter) and what is merely dreamed (supersymmetry, superstrings and extra dimensions). Included is an unprecedented chapter explaining the accelerators and detectors of modern particle physics experiments. The chapter discussing the hunt for the Higgs boson — currently consuming the efforts of nearly 6000 physicists — reveals drama that only big-stakes science can give. Understanding the Universe leaves the reader with a deep appreciation of the fascinating particle realm and reverence for just how much it determines the rich beauty of our universe. Since the release of the first edition, the landscape has changed. The venerable Fermilab Tevatron has ceased operations after a quarter century of extraordinary performance, to be replaced by the CERN Large Hadron Collider, an accelerator with a design energy of seven times greater than the Tevatron and a collision rate of nearly a billion collisions per second. The next few years promise to be very exciting as scientists explore this new realm. This revised edition of Understanding the Universe will leave the reader with a deep appreciation of just why physicists are so excited. Contents:Early HistoryThe Path to Knowledge (History of Particle Physics)Quarks and LeptonsForces: What Holds It All TogetherHunting for the HiggsAccelerators and Detectors: Tools of the TradeNear Term MysteriesExotic Physics (The Next Frontier)Recreating the Universe 10,000,000 Times a SecondEpilogue: Why Do We Do It? Readership: Students, scientists and lay people. Keywords:Quarks;Leptons;Accelerators;UniverseReviews: “Lincoln has an infectious love for physics … (and) demonstrates a humorous writing style that successfully engages the reader.” Publishers Weekly “The author is well equipped to write a book on the topic … It is not light reading, but worth the effort … Lincoln is careful to distinguish between what is known versus what is merely dreamed.” Mensa Bulletin “A veteran of many popular talks on physics, (Lincoln) charmingly relates the tale of humankind's almost insatiable curiosity about the ultimate nature of nature and the quest to determine the basic particles of matter. His style is engaging and obviously directed to informed lay readers, but the more scientifically minded will find it equally appealing … If digested with the notion that this topic is presented in a broad swath, both historically and scientifically, and not meant to be definitive, the work offers readers an appreciation of the investigative procedure, the accumulated body of research, and the people who did the investigating.” Library Journal “Don Lincoln, an experimentalist on DZero at Fermilab, motivates his tale of the development of particle physics, from its origins to its current state, almost entirely by experiments, a refreshing alternative to the usual theoretical treatments. Rather than posing thought experiments, Lincoln describes real experiments that have led to deeper questions and the consequent progress of particle physics … With his light and easy-to-read style, Lincoln's humor and personal tales do much to convey the flavor of modern particle physics research — a picture that is not often painted so realistically in other popular physics books. The content is more complicated than in most similar books, but this is a virtue for its intended audience, as it allows for greater depth.” Symmetry “Knowledgeably written … ‘Understanding the Universe’ provides the nonspecialist general reader with a fascinating and informative introduction to the complex world of quarks, leptons, and the forces that govern particle physics. Written especially to introduce lay readers to subatomic mysteries, (the book) discusses the Big Bang, known and proven theories, suspected hypotheses that have yet to be firmly established, cutting-edge discussions of modern particle physics experiments, and much more. Black-and-white diagrams help illustrate the amazing ideas presented with a minimum of mathematics and a maximum of awe.” Midwest Book Review “Don Lincoln takes us on a rollicking tour of the universe: The reader finds out what we particle physicists understand about it, how we arrived at that understanding and where we think we're going next with our research … Lincoln enlivens the landscape with fresh details, irreverent (yet never unkind) remarks on the cast of characters, and explanations that are homey, humorous and often completely original … In his epilogue Lincoln addresses explicitly the question of why particle physicists ask why … the real reason we do research is simply this: It's tremendously fun to figure the universe out.” American Scientist “… Lincoln offers lay readers a complete tour of particle physics …(he) writes very well, using a mixture of humor, history and analogies as well basic scientific explanations … (and) does a particularly good job of covering the full gamut of particle physics.” Choice “This book is addressed to the curious layman, with only a murky recollection of school physics, who wants to know how far mankind has gone in understanding the world around us … It is an excellent reference for any scientist who is occasionally unsure how best to explain a particular physics concept to a non-specialist audience … his understanding and explanations of complex phenomena are excellent and the book strikes a balance between depth and accessibility.” CERN Courier “The author faces complex topics in a very simple and clever way without using mathematics but by simple (and suitable) analogies. The reading is intriguing and very flowing and, sometimes, very entertaining. The book is peppered with amusing anecdotes that make reading smoother and funny. This book is a masterpiece of scientific disclosure. I recommend its reading for those people who want to delve into the wonders of modern Physics.” Zentralblatt MATH
THE DIVINE MATRIX Are the miracles that we see in the quantum world actually showing us our greatest possibilities rather than our scientific limits? Could the spontaneous healing of disease, an instant connection with everyone and everything, and even time travel, be our true heritage in the universe? There is a place where all things begin, the place of pure energy that simply ''is.'' In this quantum incubator for reality, everything is possible. In 1944, Max Planck, the father of quantum theory, shocked the world by saying that this ''matrix'' is where the birth of stars, the DNA of life, and everything between originates. Recent discoveries reveal dramatic evidence that Planck's matrix - The Divine Matrix - is real. It is this missing link in our understanding that provides the container for the universe, the bridge between our imagination and our reality, and the mirror in our world for what we create in our beliefs. To unleash the power of this matrix in our lives, we must understand how it works and speak the language that it recognizes. For more than 20 years, Gregg Braden, a former senior aerospace computer systems designer, has searched for the understanding to do just that. From the remote monasteries of Egypt, Peru, and Tibet to the forgotten texts that were edited by the early Christian church, the secret of the Divine Matrix was left in the coded language of our most cherished traditions. It is verified in today's science. In this paradigm-shattering book, Gregg shares what he's found. Through 20 keys of conscious creation, we're shown how to translate the miracles of our imagination into what is real in our lives. With easy-to-understand science and real-life stories, Gregg shows us that we're limited only by our beliefs, and what we once believed is about to change!
This is the story of the cosmic background radiation, the "afterglow" of the Big Bang in which the Universe was born. Fifteen billion years after the event, the afterglow still permeates all of space, making it the oldest relic in creation and providing an imprint of the Universe as it was in its infancy. But the most astonishing thing about the afterglow of creation is that it wasn't discovered until 1965, and then only by accident - despite the fact that it had been predicted in 1948 and the technology to detect it existed during World War II. Chown brilliantly weaves a tale of the search for the origins of the Universe. Beginning in the 1920s and culminating with the flight of the COBE satellite and what it found, this book uncovers the secrets of the Universe.
Stephen Hawking described it as 'the discovery of the century, if not of all time', yet the scientists who first detected the cosmic radiation that was identified as the afterglow of the big bang had to admit that it was more by accident than intention. At first its discoverers mistook the readings for the disruption caused by the droppings of pigeons that had nested in their telescope, and yet they went on to win the Nobel prize. In the mid-1990s New Scientist writer Marcus Chown drove across America to interview the key scientists who had made this astonishing discovery. Their account and Chown's description of their achievement was published to much acclaim. But now, over a decade later, in this new and fully revised edition he goes behind the hype and the hysteria to provide a clear and lively explanation of one of the biggest discoveries in modern science - and a brilliant picture of what happened next.
We're used to thinking about the self as an independent entity, something that we either have or are. In The Ego Tunnel, philosopher Thomas Metzinger claims otherwise: No such thing as a self exists. The conscious self is the content of a model created by our brain - an internal image, but one we cannot experience as an image. Everything we experience is ''a virtual self in a virtual reality.'' But if the self is not ''real,'' why and how did it evolve? How does the brain construct it? Do we still have souls, free will, personal autonomy, or moral accountability? In a time when the science of cognition is becoming as controversial as evolution, The Ego Tunnel provides a stunningly original take on the mystery of the mind.
'Brilliant and fascinating. No one is better at making the recondite accessible and exciting' Bill Bryson Britain's most famous mathematician takes us to the edge of knowledge to show us what we cannot know. Is the universe infinite? Do we know what happened before the Big Bang? Where is human consciousness located in the brain? And are there more undiscovered particles out there, beyond the Higgs boson? In the modern world, science is king: weekly headlines proclaim the latest scientific breakthroughs and numerous mathematical problems, once indecipherable, have now been solved. But are there limits to what we can discover about our physical universe? In this very personal journey to the edges of knowledge, Marcus du Sautoy investigates how leading experts in fields from quantum physics and cosmology, to sensory perception and neuroscience, have articulated the current lie of the land. In doing so, he travels to the very boundaries of understanding, questioning contradictory stories and consulting cutting edge data. Is it possible that we will one day know everything? Or are there fields of research that will always lie beyond the bounds of human comprehension? And if so, how do we cope with living in a universe where there are things that will forever transcend our understanding? In What We Cannot Know, Marcus du Sautoy leads us on a thought-provoking expedition to the furthest reaches of modern science. Prepare to be taken to the edge of knowledge to find out if there's anything we truly cannot know.
The child of an alcoholic father and an eccentric artist mother discusses her family's nomadic upbringing, during which she and her siblings fended for themselves while their parents outmaneuvered bill collectors and the authorities.
The Little Book of String Theory offers a short, accessible, and entertaining introduction to one of the most talked-about areas of physics today. String theory has been called the "theory of everything." It seeks to describe all the fundamental forces of nature. It encompasses gravity and quantum mechanics in one unifying theory. But it is unproven and fraught with controversy. After reading this book, you'll be able to draw your own conclusions about string theory. Steve Gubser begins by explaining Einstein's famous equation E = mc2 , quantum mechanics, and black holes. He then gives readers a crash course in string theory and the core ideas behind it. In plain English and with a minimum of mathematics, Gubser covers strings, branes, string dualities, extra dimensions, curved spacetime, quantum fluctuations, symmetry, and supersymmetry. He describes efforts to link string theory to experimental physics and uses analogies that nonscientists can understand. How does Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptu relate to quantum mechanics? What would it be like to fall into a black hole? Why is dancing a waltz similar to contemplating a string duality? Find out in the pages of this book. The Little Book of String Theory is the essential, most up-to-date beginner's guide to this elegant, multidimensional field of physics.
A major scientific revolution has begun, a new paradigm that rivals Darwin's theory in importance. At its heart is the discovery of the order that lies deep within the most complex of systems, from the origin of life, to the workings of giant corporations, to the rise and fall of great civilizations. And more than anyone else, this revolution is the work of one man, Stuart Kauffman, a MacArthur Fellow and visionary pioneer of the new science of complexity. Now, in At Home in the Universe, Kauffman brilliantly weaves together the excitement of intellectual discovery and a fertile mix of insights to give the general reader a fascinating look at this new science--and at the forces for order that lie at the edge of chaos. We all know of instances of spontaneous order in nature--an oil droplet in water forms a sphere, snowflakes have a six-fold symmetry. What we are only now discovering, Kauffman says, is that the range of spontaneous order is enormously greater than we had supposed. Indeed, self-organization is a great undiscovered principle of nature. But how does this spontaneous order arise? Kauffman contends that complexity itself triggers self-organization, or what he calls "order for free," that if enough different molecules pass a certain threshold of complexity, they begin to self-organize into a new entity--a living cell. Kauffman uses the analogy of a thousand buttons on a rug--join two buttons randomly with thread, then another two, and so on. At first, you have isolated pairs; later, small clusters; but suddenly at around the 500th repetition, a remarkable transformation occurs--much like the phase transition when water abruptly turns to ice--and the buttons link up in one giant network. Likewise, life may have originated when the mix of different molecules in the primordial soup passed a certain level of complexity and self-organized into living entities (if so, then life is not a highly improbable chance event, but almost inevitable). Kauffman uses the basic insight of "order for free" to illuminate a staggering range of phenomena. We see how a single-celled embryo can grow to a highly complex organism with over two hundred different cell types. We learn how the science of complexity extends Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection: that self-organization, selection, and chance are the engines of the biosphere. And we gain insights into biotechnology, the stunning magic of the new frontier of genetic engineering--generating trillions of novel molecules to find new drugs, vaccines, enzymes, biosensors, and more. Indeed, Kauffman shows that ecosystems, economic systems, and even cultural systems may all evolve according to similar general laws, that tissues and terra cotta evolve in similar ways. And finally, there is a profoundly spiritual element to Kauffman's thought. If, as he argues, life were bound to arise, not as an incalculably improbable accident, but as an expected fulfillment of the natural order, then we truly are at home in the universe. Kauffman's earlier volume, The Origins of Order, written for specialists, received lavish praise. Stephen Jay Gould called it "a landmark and a classic." And Nobel Laureate Philip Anderson wrote that "there are few people in this world who ever ask the right questions of science, and they are the ones who affect its future most profoundly. Stuart Kauffman is one of these." In At Home in the Universe, this visionary thinker takes you along as he explores new insights into the nature of life.
Good game design happens when you view your game from as many perspectives as possible. Written by one of the world's top game designers, The Art of Game Design presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, visual design, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, puzzle design, and anthropology. This Second Edition of a Game Developer Front Line Award winner: Describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design Demonstrates how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in top-quality video games Contains valuable insight from Jesse Schell, the former chair of the International Game Developers Association and award-winning designer of Disney online games The Art of Game Design, Second Edition gives readers useful perspectives on how to make better game designs faster. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again.

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