how the universe got its spots diary of a finite time in a finite space

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How The Universe Got Its Spots

Author : Janna Levin
ISBN : 9781400032723
Genre : Science
File Size : 65. 28 MB
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A physicist describes what we know about the shape, extent, origins, and evolution of the universe, the complexities of space and time, and the secrets of black holes, time warps, and other phenomena.

How The Universe Got Its Spots

Author : Janna Levin
ISBN : 0753813769
Genre : Cosmography
File Size : 77. 94 MB
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Conventional wisdom says the universe is infinite. But could it be finite, merely giving the illusion of infinity? Modern science is beginning to drag this abstract issue into the realm of the real, the tangible and the observable. HOW THE UNIVERSE GOT ITS SPOTS looks at how science is coming up sharp against the mind-boggling idea that the universe may be finite. Through a decade of observation and thought-experiment, we have started to chart out the universe in which we live, just as we have mapped the oceans and continents of our planet. Through a kind of cosmic archaeology and without leaving Earth, we can look at the pattern of hot spots left over from the big bang and begin to trace the 'shape of space'. Beautifully written in a colloquial style by a world authority, Janna Levin explores our aspirations to observe our universe and contemplate our deep connection with it.

How The Universe Got Its Spots

Author : Janna Levin
ISBN : 0691096570
Genre : Science
File Size : 74. 62 MB
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In a popular introduction to the mysteries of the universe, a physicist describes what we know about the shape, extent, origins, and evolution of the universe, the vast complexities of space and time, the efforts of science to explain the universe, and the secrets of black holes, time warps, and other phenomena.

A Madman Dreams Of Turing Machines

Author : Janna Levin
ISBN : 9780307538031
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 26. 85 MB
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Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems sent shivers through Vienna’s intellectual circles and directly challenged Ludwig Wittgenstein’s dominant philosophy. Alan Turing’s mathematical genius helped him break the Nazi Enigma Code during WWII. Though they never met, their lives strangely mirrored one another—both were brilliant, and both met with tragic ends. Here, a mysterious narrator intertwines these parallel lives into a double helix of genius and anguish, wonderfully capturing not only two radiant, fragile minds but also the zeitgeist of the era. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Black Hole Blues

Author : Janna Levin
ISBN : 9780307948489
Genre : Science
File Size : 58. 88 MB
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"In 1916, Einstein became the first to predict the existence of gravitational waves: sounds without a material medium generated by the unfathomably energy-producing collision of black holes. Now, Janna Levin, herself an astrophysicist, recounts the story of the search, over the last fifty years, for these elusive waves--a quest that has culminated in the creation of the most expensive project ever funded by the National Science Foundation ($1 billion-plus). She makes clear the how the waves are created in the cosmic collision of black holes, and why the waves can never be detected by telescope. And, most revealingly, she delves into the lives and fates of the four scientists currently engaged in--and obsessed with--discerning this soundtrack of the universe's history. Levin's account of the surprises, disappointments, achievements, and risks of this unfolding story provides us with a uniquely compelling and intimate portrait of the people and processes of modern science"--

The God Problem

Author : Howard Bloom
ISBN : 9781616145521
Genre : Religion
File Size : 89. 72 MB
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God’s war crimes, Aristotle’s sneaky tricks, Einstein’s pajamas, information theory’s blind spot, Stephen Wolfram’s new kind of science, and six monkeys at six typewriters getting it wrong. What do these have to do with the birth of a universe and with your need for meaning? Everything, as you’re about to see. How does the cosmos do something it has long been thought only gods could achieve? How does an inanimate universe generate stunning new forms and unbelievable new powers without a creator? How does the cosmos create? That’s the central question of this book, which finds clues in strange places. Why A does not equal A. Why one plus one does not equal two. How the Greeks used kickballs to reinvent the universe. And the reason that Polish-born Benoît Mandelbrot—the father of fractal geometry—rebelled against his uncle. You’ll take a scientific expedition into the secret heart of a cosmos you’ve never seen. Not just any cosmos. An electrifyingly inventive cosmos. An obsessive-compulsive cosmos. A driven, ambitious cosmos. A cosmos of colossal shocks. A cosmos of screaming, stunning surprise. A cosmos that breaks five of science’s most sacred laws. Yes, five. And you’ll be rewarded with author Howard Bloom’s provocative new theory of the beginning, middle, and end of the universe—the Bloom toroidal model, also known as the big bagel theory—which explains two of the biggest mysteries in physics: dark energy and why, if antimatter and matter are created in equal amounts, there is so little antimatter in this universe. Called "truly awesome" by Nobel Prize–winner Dudley Herschbach, The God Problem will pull you in with the irresistible attraction of a black hole and spit you out again enlightened with the force of a big bang. Be prepared to have your mind blown. From the Hardcover edition.

Without End

Author : Adam Zagajewski
ISBN : 9780374528614
Genre : Poetry
File Size : 38. 7 MB
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I love to swim in the sea, which keeps talking to itself in the monotone of a vagabond who no longer recalls exactly how long he’s been on the road. Swimming is like prayer: palms join and part, join and part, almost without end. --from "On Swimming" Without End draws from each of Adam Zagajewski's English-language collections, both in and out of print--Tremor, Canvas, and Mysticism for Beginners--and features new work that is among his most refreshing and rewarding. These poems, lucidly translated, share the vocation that allows us, in Zagajewski's words, "to experience astonishment and to stop still in that astonishment for a long moment or two."

Five Billion Years Of Solitude

Author : Lee Billings
ISBN : 9780698137684
Genre : Science
File Size : 23. 82 MB
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“A definitive guide to astronomy’s hottest field.” —The Economist Since its formation nearly five billion years ago, our planet has been the sole living world in a vast and silent universe. But over the past two decades, astronomers have discovered thousands of “exoplanets,” including some that could be similar to our own world, and the pace of discovery is accelerating. In a fascinating account of this unfolding revolution, Lee Billings draws on interviews with the world’s top experts in the search for life beyond earth. He reveals how the search for exoplanets is not only a scientific challenge, but also a reflection of our culture’s timeless hopes, dreams, and fears.

The Cosmic Cocktail

Author : Katherine Freese
ISBN : 9781400850075
Genre : Science
File Size : 22. 85 MB
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The ordinary atoms that make up the known universe—from our bodies and the air we breathe to the planets and stars—constitute only 5 percent of all matter and energy in the cosmos. The rest is known as dark matter and dark energy, because their precise identities are unknown. The Cosmic Cocktail is the inside story of the epic quest to solve one of the most compelling enigmas of modern science—what is the universe made of?—told by one of today's foremost pioneers in the study of dark matter. Blending cutting-edge science with her own behind-the-scenes insights as a leading researcher in the field, acclaimed theoretical physicist Katherine Freese recounts the hunt for dark matter, from the discoveries of visionary scientists like Fritz Zwicky—the Swiss astronomer who coined the term "dark matter" in 1933—to the deluge of data today from underground laboratories, satellites in space, and the Large Hadron Collider. Theorists contend that dark matter consists of fundamental particles known as WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles. Billions of them pass through our bodies every second without us even realizing it, yet their gravitational pull is capable of whirling stars and gas at breakneck speeds around the centers of galaxies, and bending light from distant bright objects. Freese describes the larger-than-life characters and clashing personalities behind the race to identify these elusive particles. Many cosmologists believe we are on the verge of solving the mystery. The Cosmic Cocktail provides the foundation needed to fully fathom this epochal moment in humankind’s quest to understand the universe.

Trespassing On Einstein S Lawn

Author : Amanda Gefter
ISBN : 9780345539632
Genre : Science
File Size : 28. 42 MB
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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.

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