Once Before Time

Autor: Martin Bojowald
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307594254
File Size: 28,37 MB
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In 2000, Martin Bojowald, then a twenty-seven-year-old post-doc at Pennsylvania State University, used a relatively new theory called loop quantum gravity—a cunning combination of Einstein’s theory of gravity with quantum mechanics—to create a simple model of the universe. Loop quantum cosmology was born, and with it, a theory that managed to do something even Einstein’s general theory of relativity had failed to do—illuminate the very birth of the universe. Ever since, loop quantum cosmology, or LQC, has been tantalizing physicists with the idea that our universe could conceivably have emerged from the collapse of a previous one. Now the theory is poised to formulate hypotheses we can actually test. If they are verified, the big bang will give way to the big bounce. Instead of a universe that emerged from a point of infinite density, we will have one that recycles, possibly through an eternal series of expansions and contractions, with no beginning and no end. Bojowald’s major realization was that unlike general relativity, the physics of LQC do not break down at the big bang. The greatest mystery surrounding the origin of the universe is what cosmologists call the big bang “singularity”—the point at the beginning of the universe, prior to the existence of space and time, when gravity, along with the temperature and density of the universe, becomes infinite. The equations of general relativity can’t cope with such infinities, and as a result big bang theory has never been able to give any explanation for the initial condition of our universe, succeeding only in describing and explaining the evolution of the universe from that instant onward. Bojowald’s theory takes us right up to the first moment of the universe—and then back, even before the big bang itself. From the Hardcover edition.

Worlds Without End

Autor: Mary-Jane Rubenstein
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023152742X
File Size: 22,74 MB
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“Multiverse” cosmologies imagine our universe as just one of a vast number of others. While this idea has captivated philosophy, religion, and literature for millennia, it is now being considered as a scientific hypothesis—with different models emerging from cosmology, quantum mechanics, and string theory. Beginning with ancient Atomist and Stoic philosophies, Mary-Jane Rubenstein links contemporary models of the multiverse to their forerunners and explores the reasons for their recent appearance. One concerns the so-called fine-tuning of the universe: nature’s constants are so delicately calibrated that it seems they have been set just right to allow life to emerge. For some thinkers, these “fine-tunings” are evidence of the existence of God; for others, however, and for most physicists, “God” is an insufficient scientific explanation. Hence the allure of the multiverse: if all possible worlds exist somewhere, then like monkeys hammering out Shakespeare, one universe is bound to be suitable for life. Of course, this hypothesis replaces God with an equally baffling article of faith: the existence of universes beyond, before, or after our own, eternally generated yet forever inaccessible to observation or experiment. In their very efforts to sidestep metaphysics, theoretical physicists propose multiverse scenarios that collide with it and even produce counter-theological narratives. Far from invalidating multiverse hypotheses, Rubenstein argues, this interdisciplinary collision actually secures their scientific viability. We may therefore be witnessing a radical reconfiguration of physics, philosophy, and religion in the modern turn to the multiverse.

Dark Energy

Autor: Philip J. Skerry
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1623564212
File Size: 25,63 MB
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Alfred Hitchcock and the cinema grew up together. Born in 1899, four years after the first 'official' film showing in Paris, Hitchcock demonstrated an early fascination with the new art of the cinema. He entered the film industry in 1920, and by 1925, he had directed his first feature-length film, The Pleasure Garden. His subsequent film career paralleled the phenomenal growth of the film industry during the years 1925-1976, the year of his last film. In the same way, Hitchcock's films are consonant with the revolutionary theories in the fields of physics and cosmology that were transforming the twentieth century, personified by the genius of Albert Einstein. Philip Skerry's book applies the theories of dark energy, entropy, black holes, and quantum mechanics to Hitchcock's technological genius and camera aesthetics, helping to explain the concept of 'pure cinema' and providing verification for its remarkable power. Including interviews with influential physicists, this study opens up new ways of analyzing Hitchcock's art.

The Island Of Knowledge

Autor: Marcelo Gleiser
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465080731
File Size: 36,40 MB
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Why discovering the limits to science may be the most powerful discovery of all How much can we know about the world? In this book, physicist Marcelo Gleiser traces our search for answers to the most fundamental questions of existence, the origin of the universe, the nature of reality, and the limits of knowledge. In so doing, he reaches a provocative conclusion: science, like religion, is fundamentally limited as a tool for understanding the world. As science and its philosophical interpretations advance, we face the unsettling recognition of how much we don't know. Gleiser shows that by abandoning the dualistic model that divides reality into the known and the unknown, we can embark on a third way based on the acceptance of our limitations. Only then, he argues, will we be truly able to experience freedom; for to be free in an age of science we cannot turn science into a god. Gleiser ultimately offers an uplifting exploration of humanity's longing to conquer the unknown, and of science's power to transform and inspire.

A Companion To The Philosophy Of Time

Autor: Adrian Bardon
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118522052
File Size: 29,80 MB
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A Companion to the Philosophy of Time presents the broadest treatment of this subject yet; 32 specially commissioned articles - written by an international line-up of experts – provide an unparalleled reference work for students and specialists alike in this exciting field. The most comprehensive reference work on the philosophy of time currently available The first collection to tackle the historical development of the philosophy of time in addition to covering contemporary work Provides a tripartite approach in its organization, covering history of the philosophy of time, time as a feature of the physical world, and time as a feature of experience Includes contributions from both distinguished, well-established scholars and rising stars in the field

A Universe From Nothing

Autor: Lawrence M. Krauss
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451624476
File Size: 70,83 MB
Format: PDF
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Bestselling author and acclaimed physicist Lawrence Krauss offers a paradigm-shifting view of how everything that exists came to be in the first place. “Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And finally, why is there something rather than nothing?” One of the few prominent scientists today to have crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss describes the staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories that demonstrate not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. With a new preface about the significance of the discovery of the Higgs particle, A Universe from Nothing uses Krauss’s characteristic wry humor and wonderfully clear explanations to take us back to the beginning of the beginning, presenting the most recent evidence for how our universe evolved—and the implications for how it’s going to end. Provocative, challenging, and delightfully readable, this is a game-changing look at the most basic underpinning of existence and a powerful antidote to outmoded philosophical, religious, and scientific thinking.

The Grand Design

Autor: Stephen Hawking
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 0553907077
File Size: 27,75 MB
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? What is the nature of reality? Is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation? In this startling and lavishly illustrated book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about these and other abiding mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by brilliance and simplicity. According to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history. The authors explain that we ourselves are the product of quantum fluctuations in the early universe, and show how quantum theory predicts the “multiverse”—the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. They conclude with a riveting assessment of M-theory, an explanation of the laws governing our universe that is currently the only viable candidate for a “theory of everything”: the unified theory that Einstein was looking for, which, if confirmed, would represent the ultimate triumph of human reason.

Reality Is Not What It Seems

Autor: Carlo Rovelli
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0735213933
File Size: 26,30 MB
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"The man who makes physics sexy . . . the scientist they're calling the next Stephen Hawking." --The Times Magazine From the New York Times-bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and the forthcoming The Order of Time, a closer look at the mind-bending nature of the universe. What are the elementary ingredients of the world? Do time and space exist? And what exactly is reality? In elegant and accessible prose, theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli leads us on a wondrous journey from Democritus to Einstein, from Michael Faraday to gravitational waves, and from classical physics to his own work in quantum gravity. As he shows us how the idea of reality has evolved over time, Rovelli offers deeper explanations of the theories he introduced so concisely in Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. Rovelli invites us to imagine a marvelous world where space breaks up into tiny grains, time disappears at the smallest scales, and black holes are waiting to explode--a vast universe still largely undiscovered.

The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe

Autor: Douglas Adams
Publisher: Del Rey
ISBN: 9780307497567
File Size: 58,98 MB
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"DOUGLAS ADAMS IS A TERRIFIC SATIRIST." --The Washington Post Book World Facing annihilation at the hands of the warlike Vogons is a curious time to have a craving for tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his curious comrades in arms as they hurtle across space powered by pure improbability--and desperately in search of a place to eat. Among Arthur's motley shipmates are Ford Prefect, a longtime friend and expert contributor to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the three-armed, two-headed ex-president of the galaxy; Tricia McMillan, a fellow Earth refugee who's gone native (her name is Trillian now); and Marvin, the moody android who suffers nothing and no one very gladly. Their destination? The ultimate hot spot for an evening of apocalyptic entertainment and fine dining, where the food (literally) speaks for itself. Will they make it? The answer: hard to say. But bear in mind that the Hitchhiker's Guide deleted the term "Future Perfect" from its pages, since it was discovered not to be! "What's such fun is how amusing the galaxy looks through Adams' sardonically silly eyes." --Detroit Free Press From the Paperback edition.

Life The Universe And Everything

Autor: Douglas Adams
Publisher: Del Rey
ISBN: 0307496503
File Size: 65,91 MB
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"HYSTERICAL!" --The Philadelphia Inquirer The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads--so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals stand between the white killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation. They are Arthur Dent, a mild-mannered space and time traveler, who tries to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing; Ford Prefect, his best friend, who decides to go insane to see if he likes it; Slartibartfast, the indomitable vicepresident of the Campaign for Real Time, who travels in a ship powered by irrational behavior; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-head honcho of the Universe; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox. How will it all end? Will it end? Only this stalwart crew knows as they try to avert "universal" Armageddon and save life as we know it--and don't know it! "ADAMS IS ONE OF THOSE RARE TREASURES: an author who, one senses, has as much fun writing as one has reading." --The Arizona Daily Star From the Paperback edition.