Author: John Gribbin
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2016-03-08
The twentieth century gave us two great theories of physics. The general theory of relativity describes the behavior of very large things, and quantum theory the behavior of very small things. In this landmark book, John Gribbin—one of the best-known science writers of the past thirty years—presents his own version of the Holy Grail of physics, the search that has been going on for decades to find a unified “Theory of Everything” that combines these ideas into one mathematical package, a single equation that could be printed on a T-shirt, containing the answer to life, the Universe, and everything. With his inimitable mixture of science, history, and biography, Gribbin shows how—despite skepticism among many physicists—these two great theories are very compatible, and point to a deep truth about the nature of our existence. The answer lies, intriguingly, with the age of the universe: 13.8 billion years.
Presents the life and accomplishments of the English scientist, who, despite suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease, has become a renowned cosmologist whose theory of black holes has had a profound influence on the modern study of the universe.
Author: Abraham Pais
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2005-08-25
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Subtle is the Lord is widely recognized as the definitive scientific biography of Albert Einstein. The late Abraham Pais was a distinguished physicist turned historian who knew Einstein both professionally and personally in the last years of his life. His biography combines a profound understanding of Einstein's work with personal recollections from their years of acquaintance, illuminating the man through the development of his scientific thought.Pais examines the formulation of Einstein's theories of relativity, his work on Brownian motion, and his response to quantum theory with authority and precision. The profound transformation Einstein's ideas effected on the physics of the turn of the century is here laid out for the serious reader. Pais also fills many gaps in what we know of Einstein's life - his interest in philosophy, his concern with Jewish destiny, and his opinions of great figures from Newton to Freud. This remarkablevolume, written by a physicist who mingled in Einstein's scientific circle, forms a timeless and classic biography of the towering figure of twentieth-century science.
Author: J. Douglas Kenyon
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
Release Date: 2016-05-01
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
Have we lost our way? Lost our psychic “sense of smell”? The conventional notion of the human psyche is that it is a product of our mass culture, and we are conditioned to see and understand only the stimulus that is provided to it. However, there is a deeper process at work, something coming from our innate ability to discern greater truth. Tapping into this subconscious truth-detector is key in determining whether we buy into the premises of the many mainstream “truths” presented to us in popular culture and popular science. In the quest to reestablish that universal connection, editor J. Douglas Kenyon has culled from the pages of Atlantis Rising® magazine this collection of 34 concise and well-illustrated articles by world-class philosophers and theoreticians who offer thought-provoking insights from the lost secrets of ancient and primordial wisdom. Featuring: Secrets of the Alchemists, by Joseph Robert Jochmans The Psi in CSI, by Barbara Jason Can We See into the Future?, by Robert M. Schoch Psychokinesis, by Robert M. Schoch The Superhero Factor, by Len Kasten Deathbed Visitations, by Michael Tymn War and Reincarnation, by John Chambers Time Travel Evidence, by Joseph Robert Jochmans The Case for Immortality, by Patrick Marsolek
Author: Sang-Hee Lee
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2018-02-20
In this captivating bestseller, Korea’s first paleoanthropologist offers fresh insights into humanity’s dawn and evolution. What can fossilized teeth tell us about the life expectancy of our ancient ancestors? How did farming play a problematic role in the history of human evolution? How can simple geometric comparisons of skull and pelvic fossils suggest a possible origin to our social nature? And what do we truly have in common with the Neanderthals? In this captivating international bestseller, Close Encounters with Humankind, Korea’s first paleoanthropologist, Sang-Hee Lee, explores some of our greatest evolutionary questions from new and unexpected angles. Through a series of entertaining, bite-sized chapters, we gain fresh perspectives into our first hominin ancestors and ways to challenge perceptions about the traditional progression of evolution. By combining anthropological insight with exciting, cutting-edge research, Lee’s surprising conclusions shed new light on our beginnings and connect us to a faraway past. For example, our big brains may have served to set our species apart and spur our societal development, but perhaps not in the ways we have often assumed. And it’s possible that the Neanderthals, our infamous ancestors, were not the primitive beings portrayed by twentieth-century science. With Lee as our guide, we discover that from our first steps on two feet to our first forays into toolmaking and early formations of community, we have always been a species of continuous change. Close Encounters with Humankind is the perfect read for anyone curious about where we came from and what it took to get us here. As we mine the evolutionary path to the present, Lee helps us to determine where we are heading and tackles one of our most pressing scientific questions—does humanity continue to evolve?
Author: New Scientist,
Publisher: Nicholas Brealey
Release Date: 2017-11-14
How did we get here? All cultures have a creation story, but a little over 150 years ago Charles Darwin introduced a revolutionary new one. We, and all living things, exist because of the action of evolution on the first simple life form and its descendants. We now know that it has taken 3.8 billions of years of work by the forces of evolution to turn what was once a lump of barren rock into the rich diversity of into plants, animals and microbes that surround us. In the process, evolution has created all manner of useful adaptions, from biological computers (brains) to a system to capture energy from the sun (photosynthesis). But how does evolution actually work? In How Evolution Explains Everything, leading biologists and New Scientist take you on a journey of a lifetime, exploring the question of whether life is inevitable or a one-off fluke, and how it got kick-started. Does evolution have a purpose or direction? Are selfish genes really the driving force of evolution? And is evolution itself evolving?
Author: Pedro G. Ferreira
Release Date: 2014-02-04
“One of the best popular accounts of how Einstein and his followers have been trying to explain the universe for decades” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). Physicists have been exploring, debating, and questioning the general theory of relativity ever since Albert Einstein first presented it in 1915. This has driven their work to unveil the universe’s surprising secrets even further, and many believe more wonders remain hidden within the theory’s tangle of equations, waiting to be exposed. In this sweeping narrative of science and culture, an astrophysicist brings general relativity to life through the story of the brilliant physicists, mathematicians, and astronomers who have taken up its challenge. For these scientists, the theory has been both a treasure trove and an enigma. Einstein’s theory, which explains the relationships among gravity, space, and time, is possibly the most perfect intellectual achievement of modern physics—yet studying it has always been a controversial endeavor. Relativists were the target of persecution in Hitler’s Germany, hounded in Stalin’s Russia, and disdained in 1950s America. Even today, PhD students are warned that specializing in general relativity will make them unemployable. Still, general relativity has flourished, delivering key insights into our understanding of the origin of time and the evolution of all the stars and galaxies in the cosmos. Its adherents have revealed what lies at the farthest reaches of the universe, shed light on the smallest scales of existence, and explained how the fabric of reality emerges. Dark matter, dark energy, black holes, and string theory are all progeny of Einstein’s theory. In the midst of a momentous transformation in modern physics, as scientists look farther and more clearly into space than ever before, The Perfect Theory exposes the greater relevance of general relativity, showing us where it started, where it has led—and where it can still take us.
Author: Sofi Croft
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2016-06-23
Fans of How to Train your Dragon, Harry Potter, and Percy Jackson will love the debut novel Indigo's Dragon, a tale of adventure, mystery, and a legendary trip where he encounters a monster or two ... Indigo lives in the Lake District, and spends his time exploring the mountains he loves. An unexpected parcel arrives containing a first aid kit inside his grandfather's satchel. Indigo's curiosity is raised as he looks through his grandfather's notebook to discover drawings of mythical creatures. Strange things begin to happen and Indigo finds himself treating an injured magpie-cat, curing a cockatrice of its death-darting gaze, and defending a dragon. Indigo realises he must uncover the secrets his family have kept hidden, and travels alone to the Polish mountains to search for his grandfather and the truth. Danger looms as events spiral out of control, and Indigo needs to make choices that change him, his world, and his future forever...
Author: Harvey R. Brown
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Release Date: 2005-11-24
Physical Relativity explores the nature of the distinction at the heart of Einstein's 1905 formulation of his special theory of relativity: that between kinematics and dynamics. Einstein himself became increasingly uncomfortable with this distinction, and with the limitations of what he called the 'principle theory' approach inspired by the logic of thermodynamics. A handful of physicists and philosophers have over the last century likewise expressed doubts about Einstein'streatment of the relativistic behaviour of rigid bodies and clocks in motion in the kinematical part of his great paper, and suggested that the dynamical understanding of length contraction and time dilation intimated by the immediate precursors of Einstein is more fundamental. Harvey Brown both examines andextends these arguments (which support a more 'constructive' approach to relativistic effects in Einstein's terminology), after giving a careful analysis of key features of the pre-history of relativity theory. He argues furthermore that the geometrization of the theory by Minkowski in 1908 brought illumination, but not a causal explanation of relativistic effects. Finally, Brown tries to show that the dynamical interpretation of special relativity defended in the book is consistent with therole this theory must play as a limiting case of Einstein's 1915 theory of gravity: the general theory of relativity.Appearing in the centennial year of Einstein's celebrated paper on special relativity, Physical Relativity is an unusual, critical examination of the way Einstein formulated his theory. It also examines in detail certain specific historical and conceptual issues that have long given rise to debate in both special and general relativity theory, such as the conventionality of simultaneity, the principle of general covariance, and the consistency or otherwise of the special theory withquantum mechanics. Harvey Brown' s new interpretation of relativity theory will interest anyone working on these central topics in modern physics.
Author: Philip Lieberman
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2017-11-07
Few people have done as much to change how we view the world as Charles Darwin. Yet On the Origin of Species is more cited than read, and parts of it are even considered outdated. In some ways, it has been consigned to the nineteenth century. In The Theory That Changed Everything, the renowned cognitive scientist Philip Lieberman demonstrates that there is no better guide to the world’s living—and still evolving—things than Darwin and that the phenomena he observed are still being explored at the frontiers of science. In an exploration that ranges from Darwin’s transformative trip aboard the Beagle to Lieberman’s own sojourns in the remotest regions of the Himalayas, this book relates fresh, contemporary findings to the major concepts of Darwinian theory, which transcends natural selection. Drawing on his own research into the evolution of human linguistic and cognitive abilities, Lieberman explains the paths that adapted human anatomy to language. He demystifies the role of recently identified transcriptional and epigenetic factors encoded in DNA, explaining how nineteenth-century Swedish famines alternating with years of plenty caused survivors’ grandchildren to die many years short of their life expectancy. Lieberman is equally at home decoding supermarket shelves and climbing with the Sherpas as he discusses how natural selection explains features from lactose tolerance to ease of breathing at Himalayan altitudes. With conversational clarity and memorable examples, Lieberman relates the insights that led to groundbreaking discoveries in both Darwin’s time and our own while asking provocative questions about what Darwin would have made of controversial issues today, such as GMOs, endangered species, and the God question.
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.
Author: Michael White
Release Date: 2005
As much as we all know that 'E = mc2' was Einstein's most important and groundbreaking equation, do we really know what it means or why Einstein is regarded as one of history's foremost thinkers? In this absorbing biography Michael White and John Gribbin reveal the man behind the physics and introduce us to his theories in an accessible and fascinating way. With an updated preface for this new edition on the fiftieth anniversary of his death and the hundredth anniversary of the theory of relativity, EINSTEIN explains how the scientific icon changed our view of the world and why no one can ever hope to understand that world without first understanding his work.
This book presents the life and personality, the scientific and philosophical work of Ludwig Boltzmann, one of the great scientists who marked the passage from 19th- to 20th-Century physics. His rich and tragic life, ending by suicide at the age of 62, is described in detail. A substantial part of the book is devoted to discussing his scientific and philosophical ideas and placing them in the context of the second half of the 19th century. The fact that Boltzmann was the man who did most to establish that there is a microscopic, atomic structure underlying macroscopic bodies is documented, as is Boltzmann's influence on modern physics, especially through the work of Planck on light quanta and of Einstein on Brownian motion. Boltzmann was the centre of a scientific upheaval, and he has been proved right on many crucial issues. He anticipated Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions and proposed a theory of knowledge based on Darwin. His basic results, when properly understood, can also be stated as mathematical theorems. Some of these have been proved: others are still at the level of likely but unproven conjectures. The main text of this biography is written almost entirely without equations. Mathematical appendices deepen knowledge of some technical aspects of the subject.
Quantum theory is so shocking that Einstein could not bring himself to accept it. It is so important that it provides the fundamental underpinning of all modern sciences. Without it, we'd have no nuclear power or nuclear weapons, no TV, no computers, no science of molecular biology, no understanding of DNA, no genetic engineering. In Search of Schrodinger's Cat tells the complete story of quantum mechanics, a truth stranger than any fiction. John Gribbin takes us step by step into an ever more bizarre and fascinating place, requiring only that we approach it with an open mind. He introduces the scientists who developed quantum theory. He investigates the atom, radiation, time travel, the birth of the universe, superconductors and life itself. And in a world full of its own delights, mysteries and surprises, he searches for Schrodinger's Cat - a search for quantum reality - as he brings every reader to a clear understanding of the most important area of scientific study today - quantum physics. In Search of Schrodinger's Cat is a fascinating and delightful introduction to the strange world of the quantum - an essential element in understanding today's world. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Mary Gribbin
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2008
This fascinating account of eleven remarkable, eccentric, dedicated, and sometimes obsessive individuals that established the science of botany brings to life these extraordinary adventurers and draws out the scientific and cultural value of their work and its legacy.