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 : 29. 71 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.

Philosophy Of Physics

Author : Tim Maudlin
ISBN : 9780691143095
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 34. 39 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.

Our Cosmic Habitat

Author : Martin Rees
ISBN : 9781400888986
Genre : Science
File Size : 39. 18 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.

Fashion Faith And Fantasy In The New Physics Of The Universe

Author : Roger Penrose
ISBN : 9781400880287
Genre : Science
File Size : 55. 9 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.

God Created The Integers

Author : Stephen Hawking
ISBN : 9780762432721
Genre : Science
File Size : 71. 48 MB
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Bestselling author and physicist Stephen Hawking explores the "masterpieces" of mathematics, 25 landmarks spanning 2,500 years and representing the work of 15 mathematicians, including Augustin Cauchy, Bernard Riemann, and Alan Turing. This extensive anthology allows readers to peer into the mind of genius by providing them with excerpts from the original mathematical proofs and results. It also helps them understand the progression of mathematical thought, and the very foundations of our present-day technologies. Each chapter begins with a biography of the featured mathematician, clearly explaining the significance of the result, followed by the full proof of the work, reproduced from the original publication.

The Quantum World

Author : J. C. Polkinghorne
ISBN : 0691023883
Genre : Science
File Size : 75. 62 MB
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In paperback for the first time, this compact volume presents quantum mechanics for the general reader. It offers a lucid description of the intellectual challenges and disagreements in the study of the behavior of atomic and sub-atomic particles--a field that has completely changed our view of the physical world, but that is still the subject of unresolved debate about its own fundamental interpretation. The work is accessible to those with no background in higher mathematics, but will also interest readers who have a more specialized knowledge of scientific topics. The author has spent most of his working life as a theoretical elementary particle physicist and from 1968 to 1979 was Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Cambridge. In 1979 he resigned to train for the ministry of the Church of England, and he is now an ordained priest. Here he describes a theory that has been spectacularly successful in predicting the behavior of objects the size of atoms and smaller but that has aroused conflicting views about the nature of reality and the degree of independence between the world around us and ourselves as observers.

Qed

Author : Richard P. Feynman
ISBN : 9781400847464
Genre : Science
File Size : 22. 79 MB
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Celebrated for his brilliantly quirky insights into the physical world, Nobel laureate Richard Feynman also possessed an extraordinary talent for explaining difficult concepts to the general public. Here Feynman provides a classic and definitive introduction to QED (namely, quantum electrodynamics), that part of quantum field theory describing the interactions of light with charged particles. Using everyday language, spatial concepts, visualizations, and his renowned "Feynman diagrams" instead of advanced mathematics, Feynman clearly and humorously communicates both the substance and spirit of QED to the layperson. A. Zee's introduction places Feynman’s book and his seminal contribution to QED in historical context and further highlights Feynman’s uniquely appealing and illuminating style.

Time S Arrow And Evolution

Author : Harold Francis Blum
ISBN : 9781400874736
Genre : Science
File Size : 53. 79 MB
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In a book that has become a milestone of scientific writing Dr. Blum uses "time's arrow," the second law of thermodynamics, as a key concept to show how the nature and evolution of the nonliving world place limits on the nature and evolution of life. He seeks to show that, from the beginning of the universe, physical and chemical laws have inexorably channeled the course of evolution so that possibilities were already limited when life first emerged. Originally published in 1951. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Searching For The Oldest Stars

Author : Anna Frebel
ISBN : 9781400874286
Genre : Science
File Size : 61. 83 MB
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Astronomers study the oldest observable stars in the universe in much the same way that archaeologists study ancient artifacts on Earth. Here, Anna Frebel—who is credited with discovering several of the oldest and most primitive stars using the world's largest telescopes—takes readers into the far-flung depths of space and time to provide a gripping firsthand account of the cutting-edge science of stellar archaeology. Weaving the latest findings in astronomy with her own compelling insights as one of the world’s leading researchers in the field, Frebel explains how sections of the night sky are "excavated" in the hunt for these extremely rare relic stars—some of which have been shining for more than 13 billion years—and how this astonishing quest is revealing tantalizing new details about the earliest times in the universe. She vividly describes how the very first stars formed soon after the big bang and then exploded as supernovae, leaving behind chemical fingerprints that were incorporated into the ancient stars we can still observe today. She shows how these fingerprints provide clues to the cosmic origin of the elements, early star and galaxy formation, and the assembly process of the Milky Way. Along the way, Frebel recounts her own stories of discovery, offering an insider’s perspective on this exciting frontier of science. Lively and accessible, this book sheds vital new light on the origins and evolution of the cosmos while providing a unique look into life as an astronomer.

Theories Of The Universe

Author : Milton K. Munitz
ISBN : 1439119287
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 24. 5 MB
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The theoretical physicist shares his latest thoughts on the nature of space and time in this anthology of selections from Princeton University Press. Along with eminent colleagues, Hawking extends theoretical frontiers by speculating on the big questions of modern cosmology.

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