the nature of space and time princeton science library

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The Nature Of Space And Time

Author : Stephen Hawking
ISBN : 1400834740
Genre : Science
File Size : 22. 10 MB
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Einstein said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. But was he right? Can the quantum theory of fields and Einstein's general theory of relativity, the two most accurate and successful theories in all of physics, be united into a single quantum theory of gravity? Can quantum and cosmos ever be combined? In The Nature of Space and Time, two of the world’s most famous physicists—Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time) and Roger Penrose (The Road to Reality)—debate these questions. The authors outline how their positions have further diverged on a number of key issues, including the spatial geometry of the universe, inflationary versus cyclic theories of the cosmos, and the black-hole information-loss paradox. Though much progress has been made, Hawking and Penrose stress that physicists still have further to go in their quest for a quantum theory of gravity.

Of Clocks And Time

Author : Lutz Hüwel
ISBN : 9781681741604
Genre : Science
File Size : 82. 60 MB
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Of Clocks and Time takes readers on a five-stop journey through the physics and technology (and occasional bits of applications and history) of timekeeping. On the way, conceptual vistas and qualitative images abound, but since mathematics is spoken everywhere the book visits equations, quantitative relations, and rigorous definitions are offered as well. The expedition begins with a discussion of the rhythms produced by the daily and annual motion of sun, moon, planets, and stars. Centuries worth of observation and thinking culminate in Newton's penetrating theoretical insights since his notion of space and time are still influential today. During the following two legs of the trip, tools are being examined that allow us to measure hours and minutes and then, with ever growing precision, the tiniest fractions of a second. When the pace of travel approaches the ultimate speed limit, the speed of light, time and space exhibit strange and counter-intuitive traits. On this fourth stage of the journey, Einstein is the local tour guide whose special and general theories of relativity explain the behavior of clocks under these circumstances. Finally, the last part of the voyage reverses direction, moving ever deeper into the past to explore how we can tell the age of "things" - including that of the universe itself.

Is God A Mathematician

Author : Mario Livio
ISBN : 1416594434
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 53. 67 MB
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Bestselling author and astrophysicist Mario Livio examines the lives and theories of history’s greatest mathematicians to ask how—if mathematics is an abstract construction of the human mind—it can so perfectly explain the physical world. Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner once wondered about “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” in the formulation of the laws of nature. Is God a Mathematician? investigates why mathematics is as powerful as it is. From ancient times to the present, scientists and philosophers have marveled at how such a seemingly abstract discipline could so perfectly explain the natural world. More than that—mathematics has often made predictions, for example, about subatomic particles or cosmic phenomena that were unknown at the time, but later were proven to be true. Is mathematics ultimately invented or discovered? If, as Einstein insisted, mathematics is “a product of human thought that is independent of experience,” how can it so accurately describe and even predict the world around us? Physicist and author Mario Livio brilliantly explores mathematical ideas from Pythagoras to the present day as he shows us how intriguing questions and ingenious answers have led to ever deeper insights into our world. This fascinating book will interest anyone curious about the human mind, the scientific world, and the relationship between them.

Our Cosmic Habitat

Author : Martin Rees
ISBN : 9781400888986
Genre : Science
File Size : 69. 31 MB
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Our universe seems strangely ''biophilic,'' or hospitable to life. Is this happenstance, providence, or coincidence? According to cosmologist Martin Rees, the answer depends on the answer to another question, the one posed by Einstein's famous remark: ''What interests me most is whether God could have made the world differently.'' This highly engaging book explores the fascinating consequences of the answer being ''yes.'' Rees explores the notion that our universe is just a part of a vast ''multiverse,'' or ensemble of universes, in which most of the other universes are lifeless. What we call the laws of nature would then be no more than local bylaws, imposed in the aftermath of our own Big Bang. In this scenario, our cosmic habitat would be a special, possibly unique universe where the prevailing laws of physics allowed life to emerge. Rees begins by exploring the nature of our solar system and examining a range of related issues such as whether our universe is or isn't infinite. He asks, for example: How likely is life? How credible is the Big Bang theory? Rees then peers into the long-range cosmic future before tracing the causal chain backward to the beginning. He concludes by trying to untangle the paradoxical notion that our entire universe, stretching 10 billion light-years in all directions, emerged from an infinitesimal speck. As Rees argues, we may already have intimations of other universes. But the fate of the multiverse concept depends on the still-unknown bedrock nature of space and time on scales a trillion trillion times smaller than atoms, in the realm governed by the quantum physics of gravity. Expanding our comprehension of the cosmos, Our Cosmic Habitat will be read and enjoyed by all those--scientists and nonscientists alike--who are as fascinated by the universe we inhabit as is the author himself.

Philosophy Of Physics

Author : Tim Maudlin
ISBN : 9780691143095
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 74. 75 MB
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Introduces non-physicists to core philosophical issues surrounding the nature & structure of space & time, & is also an ideal resource for physicists interested in the conceptual foundations of space-time theory. Provides a broad historical overview, from Aristotle to Einstein, & covers the Twins Paradox, Galilean relativity, time travel, & more.

Fashion Faith And Fantasy In The New Physics Of The Universe

Author : Roger Penrose
ISBN : 9781400880287
Genre : Science
File Size : 61. 10 MB
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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.

Einstein

Author : Walter Isaacson
ISBN : 9781416539322
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 36. 41 MB
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By the author of the acclaimed bestsellers Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein. How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson’s biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom. Based on newly released personal letters of Einstein, this book explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk—a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn’t get a teaching job or a doctorate—became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom, and the universe. His success came from questioning conventional wisdom and marveling at mysteries that struck others as mundane. This led him to embrace a morality and politics based on respect for free minds, free spirits, and free individuals. These traits are just as vital for this new century of globalization, in which our success will depend on our creativity, as they were for the beginning of the last century, when Einstein helped usher in the modern age.

Einstein Tagore And The Nature Of Reality

Author : Partha Ghose
ISBN : 9781134859344
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 20. 15 MB
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The nature of reality has been a long-debated issue among scientists and philosophers. In 1930, Rabindranath Tagore and Albert Einstein had a long conversation on the nature of reality. This conversation has been widely quoted and discussed by scientists, philosophers and scholars from the literary world. The important question that Tagore and Einstein discussed was whether the world is a unity dependent on humanity, or the world is a reality independent on the human factor. Einstein took the stand adopted by Western philosophers and mathematicians, namely that reality is something independent of the mind and the human factor. Tagore, on the other hand, adopted the opposite view. Nevertheless, both Einstein and Tagore claimed to be realists despite the fundamental differences between their conceptions of reality. Where does the difference lie? Can it be harmonized at some deeper level? Can Wittgenstein, for example, be a bridge between the two views? This collection of essays explores these two fundamentally different conceptions of the nature of reality from the perspectives of theories of space-time, quantum theory, general philosophy of science, cognitive science and mathematics.

Philosophical Problems Of Space And Time

Author : Adolf Grünbaum
ISBN : 9789401026222
Genre : Science
File Size : 81. 77 MB
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It is ten years since Adolf Griinbaum published the first edition of this book. It was promptly recognized to be one of the few major works in the philosophy of the natural sciences of this generation. In part, this is so because Griinbaum has chosen a problem basic both to philosophy and to the natural sciences - the nature of space and time; and in part, this is so because he so admirably exemplifies that Aristotelian devotion to the intimate and mutual dependence of actual science and philosophical understanding. More than this, however, the quality of his work derives from his achievement in combining detail with scope. The problems of space and time have been among the most difficult in contemporary and classical thought, and Griinbaum has been responsible to the full depth and complexity of these difficulties. This revised and enlarged second edition is a work in progress, in the tradition of reflective analysis of modern science of such figures as Ehrenfest and Reichenbach. In publishing this work among the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, we hope to contribute to and encourage that broad tradition of natural philosophy which is marked by the close collaboration of philoso phers and scientists. To this end, we have published the proceedings of our Colloquia, of meetings and conferences here and abroad, as well as the works of single authors.

The Oxford Book Of Children S Verse In America

Author : Donald Hall
ISBN : 9780195067613
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 77. 11 MB
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A collection of American poems written for children or traditionally enjoyed by children, by such authors as Longfellow, Poe, Eugene Field, Langston Hughes, Dr. Seuss, and Jack Prelutsky.

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