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Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
Brian Greene
0375708111
February 2000
Paperback
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Book Review
There is an ill-concealed skeleton in the closet of physics: "As they are currently formulated, general relativity and quantum mechanics cannot both be right." Each is exceedingly accurate in its field: general relativity explains the behavior of the universe at large scales, while quantum mechanics describes the behavior of subatomic particles. Yet the theories collide horribly under extreme conditions such as black holes or times close to the big bang. Brian Greene, a specialist in quantum field theory, believes that the two pillars of physics can be reconciled in superstring theory, a theory of everything.

Superstring theory has been called "a part of 21st-century physics that fell by chance into the 20th century." In other words, it isn't all worked out yet. Despite the uncertainties--"string theorists work to find...



The New Physics and Cosmology Dialogues with the Dalai Lama

0195159942


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Book Description
What happens when the Dalai Lama meets with leading physicists and a historian? This book is the carefully edited record of the fascinating discussions at a Mind and Life conference in which five leading physicists and a historian (David Finkelstein, George Greenstein, Piet Hut, Arthur Zajonc,
Anton Zeilinger, and Tu Weiming) discussed with the Dalai Lama current thought in theoretical quantum physics, in the context of Buddhist philosophy. A contribution to the science-religion interface, and a useful explanation of our basic understanding of quantum reality, couched at a level that
intelligent readers without a deep involvement in science can grasp. In the tradition of other popular books on resonances between modern quantum physics and Zen or Buddhist mystical traditions--notably The Dancing Wu Li Masters and...


Universe
Robert Dinwiddie
0756613647
Oct 2005
Hardcover
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From Booklist
*Starred Review* Notable for its outstanding color illustrations, this work was written by a team of astronomers and science writers in language accessible to high-school students and the general reader. The topically arranged entries range in length from a short paragraph to several pages. This book should be of interest to anyone who appreciates the wonders of the universe and would enjoy a beautifully illustrated guided tour by experts.The volume is divided into three sections. The first, called "Introduction," presents an overview of basic concepts, organized under the broad topics "What Is the Universe?" "The Beginning and End of the Universe," "The View from Earth," and "Exploring Space." The next section, "Guide to the Universe," focuses on the features of the solar system, the Milky Way, and the regions beyond....


Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction
Peter Coles
019285416X
December 2001
Paperback
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Book Description
Written in simple and accessible language, this non-technical introduction to cosmology, or the creation and development of the universe, explains the discipline, covers its history, details the latest developments, and explains what is known, what is believed, and what is purely speculative.
In addition, the author discusses the development of the Big Bang theory, and more speculative modern issues like quantum cosmology, superstrings, and dark matter.


Introduction to Cosmology

0805389121


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Book Description
Introduction to Cosmology provides a rare combination of a solid foundation of the core physical concepts of cosmology and the most recent astronomical observations. The book is designed for advanced undergraduates or beginning graduate students and assumes no prior knowledge of general relativity. An emphasis is placed on developing the readers' physical insight rather than losing them with complex math. An approachable writing style and wealth of fresh and imaginative analogies from "everyday" physics are used to make the concepts of cosmology more accessible. The book is unique in that it not only includes recent major developments in cosmology, like the cosmological constant and accelerating universe, but also anticipates key developments expected in the next few years, such as detailed results on the cosmic...


The Case for a Creator--Student Edition
Lee Strobel
0310249775
Sept 2004
(Paperback) - Student Ed.
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Book Review
Are Christianity and science incompatible? If there is a God, is he only an impersonal starter force? An introductory high school biology class first propelled Lee Strobel toward a life of atheism. God and science, he reasoned, were mutually exclusive. When the former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune converted to Christianity, he decided to investigate the science he had once accepted as truth. Did science point toward or away from God? As Strobel interviews a variety of scientists on everything from debunking evolutionary icons to the implications of the Big Bang to the existence of the human soul, he builds his case: scientific evidence points toward Intelligent Design.

Although the discussion often veers into the academic, Strobel works hard to make it accessible to those without scientific training....



The Infinite Cosmos : Questions from the Frontiers of Cosmology

0198505108


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Book Description
From time immemorial, poets and philosophers have looked in awe and wonder at the Universe. Such awe is shared by astrophysicists, too as they seek to understand its nature, and whether it has any limits. In he Infinite Cosmos, Joseph Silk, Savillian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford
University, cosmologist and well-known science writer, brings together the modern understanding of the Universe, its structure, its evolution, and its possible fate, combining the latest from theory and observation. The narrative is peppered with quotations from literature and philosophy, and
reflects too on the process of scientific discovery and the implications of our discoveries.


Warped Passages
Lisa Randall
0060531088
Sept 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The concept of additional spatial dimensions is as far from intuitive as any idea can be. Indeed, although Harvard physicist Randall does a very nice job of explaining—often deftly through the use of creative analogies—how our universe may have many unseen dimensions, readers' heads are likely to be swimming by the end of the book. Randall works hard to make her astoundingly complex material understandable, providing a great deal of background for recent advances in string and supersymmetry theory. As coauthor of the two most important scientific papers on this topic, she's ideally suited to popularize the idea. What is absolutely clear is that physicists simply do not yet know if there are extra dimensions a fraction of a millimeter in size, dimensions of infinite size or only the dimensions we see....


Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
Brian Greene
0393058581
October 2003
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
There is an ill-concealed skeleton in the closet of physics: "As they are currently formulated, general relativity and quantum mechanics cannot both be right." Each is exceedingly accurate in its field: general relativity explains the behavior of the universe at large scales, while quantum mechanics describes the behavior of subatomic particles. Yet the theories collide horribly under extreme conditions such as black holes or times close to the big bang. Brian Greene, a specialist in quantum field theory, believes that the two pillars of physics can be reconciled in superstring theory, a theory of everything.

Superstring theory has been called "a part of 21st-century physics that fell by chance into the 20th century." In other words, it isn't all worked out yet. Despite the uncertainties--"string theorists work to find...



The Universe in a Nutshell
Stephen Hawking
055380202X
January 2001
Hardcover
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Book Review's Best of 2001
Stephen Hawking, science's first real rock star, may be the least-read bestselling author in history--it's no secret that many people who own A Brief History of Time have never finished it. Hawking's The Universe in a Nutshell aims to remedy the situation, with a plethora of friendly illustrations to help readers grok some of the most brain-bending ideas ever conceived.

Does it succeed? Yes and no. While Hawking offers genuinely accessible context for such complexities as string theory and the nature of time, it's when he must translate equations to sentences that the limits of language get in the way. But Hawking has simplified the origin of the universe, the nature of space and time, and what holds it all together to an unprecedented degree, inviting nonscientists to share his obvious awe and love of the...



Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points toward God
Lee Strobel
0310241448
March 2004
Hardcover
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Book Review
Are Christianity and science incompatible? If there is a God, is he only an impersonal starter force? An introductory high school biology class first propelled Lee Strobel toward a life of atheism. God and science, he reasoned, were mutually exclusive. When the former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune converted to Christianity, he decided to investigate the science he had once accepted as truth. Did science point toward or away from God? As Strobel interviews a variety of scientists on everything from debunking evolutionary icons to the implications of the Big Bang to the existence of the human soul, he builds his case: scientific evidence points toward Intelligent Design.

Although the discussion often veers into the academic, Strobel works hard to make it accessible to those without scientific training....



The Road to Reality : A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe
Roger Penrose
0679454438
February 22, 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
If Albert Einstein were alive, he would have a copy of The Road to Reality on his bookshelf. So would Isaac Newton. This may be the most complete mathematical explanation of the universe yet published, and Roger Penrose richly deserves the accolades he will receive for it. That said, let us be perfectly clear: this is not an easy book to read. The number of people in the world who can understand everything in it could probably take a taxi together to Penrose's next lecture. Still, math-friendly readers looking for a substantial and possibly even thrillingly difficult intellectual experience should pick up a copy (carefully--it's over a thousand pages long and weighs nearly 4 pounds) and start at the beginning, where Penrose sets out his purpose: to describe "the search for the underlying principles that govern the behavior...


The Fabric of the Cosmos
Brian Greene
0375727205
Feb 2005
Paperback
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Book Review
As a boy, Brian Greene read Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus and was transformed. Camus, in Greene's paraphrase, insisted that the hero triumphs "by relinquishing everything beyond immediate experience." After wrestling with this idea, however, Greene rejected Camus and realized that his true idols were physicists; scientists who struggled "to assess life and to experience the universe at all possible levels, not just those that happened to be accessible to our frail human senses." His driving question in The Fabric of the Cosmos, then, is fundamental: "What is reality?" Over sixteen chapters, he traces the evolving human understanding of the substrate of the universe, from classical physics to ten-dimensional M-Theory.

Assuming an audience of non-specialists, Greene has set himself a daunting task: to explain...



A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes
Stephen Hawking
0553380168
September 1998
Paperback
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Book Review
Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists in history, wrote the modern classic A Brief History of Time to help nonscientists understand the questions being asked by scientists today: Where did the universe come from? How and why did it begin? Will it come to an end, and if so, how? Hawking attempts to reveal these questions (and where we're looking for answers) using a minimum of technical jargon. Among the topics gracefully covered are gravity, black holes, the Big Bang, the nature of time, and physicists' search for a grand unifying theory. This is deep science; these concepts are so vast (or so tiny) as to cause vertigo while reading, and one can't help but marvel at Hawking's ability to synthesize this difficult subject for people not used to thinking about things like alternate dimensions. The...


The Case for a Creator
Lee Strobel
0310240506
Mar 2005
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
Are Christianity and science incompatible? If there is a God, is he only an impersonal starter force? An introductory high school biology class first propelled Lee Strobel toward a life of atheism. God and science, he reasoned, were mutually exclusive. When the former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune converted to Christianity, he decided to investigate the science he had once accepted as truth. Did science point toward or away from God? As Strobel interviews a variety of scientists on everything from debunking evolutionary icons to the implications of the Big Bang to the existence of the human soul, he builds his case: scientific evidence points toward Intelligent Design.

Although the discussion often veers into the academic, Strobel works hard to make it accessible to those without scientific training....



A Briefer History of Time
Stephen Hawking
0553804367
September 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In the 17 years since the publication of A Brief History of Time, Dr. Hawking's bestselling exposition of physics, new data from particle physics and observational astronomy have shed light on efforts to find a Grand Unified Theory of Everything that Hawking and Mlodinow use to enhance and update their answers to basic questions about the universe: where it's going and how it began. Discussed at length are the mysterious dark matter and dark energy-both of which can only be observed by their gravitational effects and are believed to make up 90 percent of the universe. Another area of research that has exploded in the past 20 years is string theory. Hawking and Mlodinow provide one of the most lucid discussions of this complex topic ever written for a general audience. Readers will come away with...


Cosmos
Carl Sagan
0345331354
May 1985
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Review
Cosmos was the first science TV blockbuster, and Carl Sagan was its (human) star. By the time of Sagan's death in 1996, the series had been seen by half a billion people; Sagan was perhaps the best-known scientist on the planet. Explaining how the series came about, Sagan recalled:

I was positive from my own experience that an enormous global interest exists in the exploration of the planets and in many kindred scientific topics--the origin of life, the Earth, and the Cosmos, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, our connection with the universe. And I was certain that this interest could be excited through that most powerful communications medium, television.

Sagan's own interest and enthusiasm for the universe were so vivid and infectious, his screen presence so engaging, that viewers and...



The Privileged Planet : How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery
Guillermo Gonzalez, Jay Richards
0895260654
March 2004
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
A movement known as "intelligent design" has emerged in recent years to counter evolution theories that hold that the design of the universe is random. Critics have dubbed this the "new creationism," since many in the movement correlates the intelligent designer with the Judeo-Christian God. Gonzalez and Richards now take the defense of intelligent design one step further. By assessing the elements that compose our planet, they argue, we can tell that it was designed for multicellular organic life. The presence of carbon, oxygen and water in the right proportions makes it possible for organic life to exist; and this combination of minerals and chemical elements exists only on Earth. Moreover, they argue, we can measure the ways that Earth became habitable. Thus, tree rings, stomata on leaves, skeletons in deep...


The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God and the Resurrection of the Dead
Frank J. Tipler
0385467990
September 1995
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Mathematical physicist Tipler attempts to demonstrate via scientific principles the existence of God and the likelihood of reincarnation. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
Expect to hear a great deal about this book, which will be boosted through major advertising and a 13-city author tour. Tipler, a professor of mathematical physics at Tulane, presents a scientific argument for the existence of God.Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Editorial Reviews


The Illustrated a Brief History of Time
Stephen Hawking
0553103741
Oct 1996
(Hardcover) - Revised Ed.
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Book Review
Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists in history, wrote the modern classic A Brief History of Time to help nonscientists understand the questions being asked by scientists today: Where did the universe come from? How and why did it begin? Will it come to an end, and if so, how? Hawking attempts to reveal these questions (and where we're looking for answers) using a minimum of technical jargon. Among the topics gracefully covered are gravity, black holes, the Big Bang, the nature of time, and physicists' search for a grand unifying theory. This is deep science; these concepts are so vast (or so tiny) as to cause vertigo while reading, and one can't help but marvel at Hawking's ability to synthesize this difficult subject for people not used to thinking about things like alternate dimensions. The...


Vault of the Heavens: Exploring the Solar System's Place in the Universe (Portable Professor Series)
James Kaler
0760750084
May 2004
Compact Disc
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From AudioFile
This exceptional series of 14 lectures by Dr. James Kaler, of the University of Illinois, reminds us that the universe is an exciting place. Starting with the sun and proceeding to the farthest known reaches of the cosmos, we are reintroduced in a folksy, personal, and enthusiastic manner to the origins of the light that informs our every day. Sunspots, Kuiper belts, black holes, quasars, neutron stars, and more are explained in everyday terms with awe and reverence that will overwhelm the most cynical among us. The production is relatively unadorned, but the brilliance of the speaker is such that a more ornate setting might detract from the force of his ideas. This is the place where rational persons start talking about religious experiences. J.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2005, Portland,...


Decoding the Universe: How the New Science of Information Is Explaining Everything in the Cosmos, from Our Brains to Black Holes
Charles Seife
067003441X
February 2, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In a book that's all but impossible to put down, science journalist Seife (Alpha & Omega) explains how the concepts of information theory have begun to unlock many of the mysteries of the universe, from quantum mechanics to black holes and the likely end of the universe. Seife presents a compelling case that information is the one constant that ties all of science, indeed all of the universe, together. His skill with language permits him to do what many have tried and few have accomplished—making complicated concepts of quantum mechanics accessible to the average reader. Seife demonstrates how quantum oddities so alien to classical physics actually are consistent with the same physical laws that govern the world we see. For example, the fact that entangled particles half a universe...

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