the trouble with physics

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The Trouble With Physics

Author : Lee Smolin
ISBN : 0547348487
Genre : Science
File Size : 62. 31 MB
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“A splendid, edifying report from the front lines of theorectical physics” (San Francisco Chronicle). In this illuminating book, renowned physicist Lee Smolin argues that fundamental physics—the search for the laws of nature—is losing its way. Ambitious ideas about extra dimensions, exotic particles, multiple universes, and strings have captured the public’s imagination—and the imagination of experts. But these ideas have not been tested experimentally, and some, like string theory, seem to offer no possibility of being tested. Even still, these speculations dominate the field, attracting the best talent and much of the funding, while creating a climate in which emerging physicists are often penalized for pursuing other avenues. The situation threatens to impede the very progress of science. With clarity, passion, and authority, Smolin offers an unblinking assessment of the troubles that face modern physics, and an encouraging view of where the search for the next big idea may lead. “The best book about contemporary science written for the layman that I have ever read.” —The Times (London)

The Trouble With Physics

Author : Lee Smolin
ISBN : 9780141919638
Genre : Science
File Size : 40. 80 MB
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The Trouble with Physics is a groundbreaking account of the state of modern physics: of how we got from Einstein and Relativity through quantum mechanics to the strange and bizarre predictions of string theory, full of unseen dimensions and multiple universes. Lee Smolin not only provides a brilliant layman’s overview of current research as we attempt to build a ‘theory of everything’, but also questions many of the assumptions that lie behind string theory. In doing so, he describes some of the daring, outlandish ideas that will propel research in years to come.

Einstein S Unfinished Revolution

Author : Lee Smolin
ISBN : 9780141979175
Genre : Science
File Size : 27. 64 MB
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Human beings, says Lee Smolin, author of The Trouble With Physics, have always had a problem with the boundary between reality and fantasy, confusing our representations of the world with the world itself. Nowhere is this more evident than in quantum physics, which forms the basis for our understanding of everything from elementary particles to the behaviour of materials. While quantum mechanics is currently our best theory of nature at an atomic scale, it has many puzzling qualities - qualities that preclude realism and therefore give an incomplete description of nature. Rather than question this version of quantum mechanics, however, whole groups of physicists have embraced it as correct and rejected realism. Subscribing to a kind of magical thinking, they believe that what is real is far beyond the world we perceive: indeed, that the 'true' world is hidden from our perception. Back in the 1920s Einstein, both a realist and a physicist, believed that it was necessary to go beyond quantum mechanics to discover what was missing from a true theory of the atoms. This was Einstein's unfinished mission, and it is Lee Smolin's too. Not only will this new model of quantum physics form the basis of solutions to many of the outstanding problems of physics, but, crucially, it is a theory that is realist in nature. At a time when science is under attack, and with it the belief in a real world in which facts are either true or false, never has the importance of building science on the correct foundations been more urgent.

Time Reborn

Author : Lee Smolin
ISBN : 9780547511771
Genre : Science
File Size : 81. 1 MB
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A radical new view of the nature of time and the cosmos—“at once entertaining, thought-provoking, fabulously ambitious and fabulously speculative” (The New York Times Book Review). What is time? This deceptively simple question is the single most important problem facing science as we probe deeper into the fundamentals of the universe. All of the mysteries physicists and cosmologists face—from the Big Bang to the future of the universe, from the puzzles of quantum physics to the unification of forces and particles—come down to the nature of time. The fact that time is real may seem obvious. You experience it passing every day when you watch clocks tick, bread toast, and children grow. But most physicists, from Newton to Einstein to today’s quantum theorists, have seen things differently. The scientific case for time being an illusion is formidable. That is why the consequences of adopting the view that time is real are revolutionary. Here, the author of The Trouble with Physics argues that a limited notion of time is holding physics back—and what we need now is a major shift in scientific thought. The true reality of this manmade construct could be the key to the next big breakthrough in theoretical physics—and could hold implications relevant to issues from climate change to the economy. What if the laws of physics themselves were not ageless? What if they could evolve? Time Reborn offers a radical approach to cosmology that embraces the concept of time and opens up a whole new universe of possibilities. “With rare conceptual daring, Smolin beckons toward a new perspective for doing cosmological theory . . . A thrilling intellectual ride.” —Booklist, starred review

The Singular Universe And The Reality Of Time

Author : Roberto Mangabeira Unger
ISBN : 9781107074064
Genre : Science
File Size : 49. 2 MB
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Roberto Mangabeira Unger and Lee Smolin argue for a revolution in our cosmological ideas. Ideal for non-scientists, physicists and cosmologists.

Beyond Einstein

Author : Michio Kaku
ISBN : 0192861964
Genre : Science
File Size : 87. 69 MB
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What is superstring theory and why is it important? Can superstrings offer the fulfilment of Einstein's lifelong dream of a Theory of Everything? This account of the discoveries that have led scientists to the brightest new prospect in theoretical physics today is co-authored by the best-selling author of Hyperspace and one of the leading pioneers in superstrings, Michio Kaku. Revised and updated with groundbreaking research, the book approaches scientific questions with the excitement of a detective story, offering a look at the new science that may make the impossible possible.

Gina Says Adventures In The Blogosphere String War

Author : Kalai Gil
ISBN : 9789813142091
Genre : Science
File Size : 36. 70 MB
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In the summer of 2006 two books attacking string theory, a prominent theory in physics, appeared: Peter Woit's "Not Even Wrong" and Lee Smolin's "The Trouble with Physics." A fierce public debate, much of it on weblogs, ensued. Gina is very curious about science blogs. Can they be useful for learning about or discussing science? What happens in these blogs and who participates in them? Gina is eager to learn the issues and to form her own opinion about the string theory controversy. She is equipped with some academic background, including in mathematics, and has some familiarity with academic life. Her knowledge of physics is derived mainly from popular accounts. Gina likes to debate and to argue. She is fascinated by questions about rationality and philosophy, and was exposed to various other scientific controversies in the past. This book uses the blog debate on string theory to discuss blogs, science, and mathematics. Meandering over various topics from children's dyscalculia to Chomskian linguistics, the reader may get some sense of the chaotic and often confusing scientific experience. The book tries to show the immense difficulty involved in getting the factual matters right, and interpreting fragmented and partial information. Contents: Not Even Wrong: The Blog of Peter Woitn-Category CaféAsymptotia Readership: The general public interested in science, especially those who read scientific blogs. Keywords: Blogosphere;Science Blogs;String TheoryReview: Key Features: It is an unusual combination of popular science, the story of a major scientific debate, the story of scientific blogs, and the story of the hero "Gina" who tries to explore and participate in these blogs

The Trouble With Gravity

Author : Richard Panek
ISBN : 9780544568297
Genre : Science
File Size : 87. 33 MB
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"A thoughtful meditation on the mythic, cultural, philosophical and, yes, scientific implications of what happens when a wet potato or a crystal vase slips from your hand."—Billy Collins A mind-bending exploration of gravity, the universe's greatest mystery. What is gravity? Nobody knows—and just about nobody knows that nobody knows. How something so pervasive can also be so mysterious, and how that mystery can be so wholly unrecognized outside the field of physics, is one of the greatest conundrums in modern science. But as award-winning author Richard Panek shows in this groundbreaking book, gravity is a cold case that we are closer to cracking than ever—and whose very investigation has yielded untold truths about the cosmos and humanity itself. Part scientific detective story, part meta­physical romp, The Trouble with Gravity is a revelation: the first in-depth, accessible study of this ubiquitous, elusive force. Gravity and our efforts to understand it, Panek reveals, have shaped not only the world we inhabit, but also our bodies, minds, and culture. Its influence can be seen in everything from ancient fables to modern furniture, Dante’s Inferno to the pratfalls of Laurel and Hardy, bipedalism to black holes. As we approach the truth about gravity, we should also be prepared to know both our universe and our­selves as never before.

Quantum Space

Author : Jim Baggott
ISBN : 9780192536808
Genre : Science
File Size : 65. 97 MB
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Today we are blessed with two extraordinarily successful theories of physics. The first is Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which describes the large-scale behaviour of matter in a curved spacetime. This theory is the basis for the standard model of big bang cosmology. The discovery of gravitational waves at the LIGO observatory in the US (and then Virgo, in Italy) is only the most recent of this theory's many triumphs. The second is quantum mechanics. This theory describes the properties and behaviour of matter and radiation at their smallest scales. It is the basis for the standard model of particle physics, which builds up all the visible constituents of the universe out of collections of quarks, electrons and force-carrying particles such as photons. The discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN in Geneva is only the most recent of this theory's many triumphs. But, while they are both highly successful, these two structures leave a lot of important questions unanswered. They are also based on two different interpretations of space and time, and are therefore fundamentally incompatible. We have two descriptions but, as far as we know, we've only ever had one universe. What we need is a quantum theory of gravity. Approaches to formulating such a theory have primarily followed two paths. One leads to String Theory, which has for long been fashionable, and about which much has been written. But String Theory has become mired in problems. In this book, Jim Baggott describes ": an approach which takes relativity as its starting point, and leads to a structure called Loop Quantum Gravity. Baggott tells the story through the careers and pioneering work of two of the theory's most prominent contributors, Lee Smolin and Carlo Rovelli. Combining clear discussions of both quantum theory and general relativity, this book offers one of the first efforts to explain the new quantum theory of space and time.

The Physics Of Theism

Author : Jeffrey Koperski
ISBN : 9781118932773
Genre : Science
File Size : 35. 61 MB
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The Physics of Theism provides a timely, critical analysis of the ways in which physics intertwines with religion. Koperski brings clarity to a range of arguments including the fine-tuning argument, naturalism, the laws of nature, and the controversy over Intelligent Design. A single author text providing unprecedented scope and depth of analysis of key issues within the Philosophy of Religion and the Philosophy of Science Critically analyses the ways in which physics is brought into play in matters of religion Self-contained chapters allow readers to directly access specific areas of interest The area is one of considerable interest, and this book is a timely and well-conceived contribution to these debates Written by an accomplished scholar working in the philosophy of physics in a style that renders complex arguments accessible

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