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Fundamentals

Author : Frank Wilczek
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2021-01-12
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780735223790

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Book Fundamentals Description/Summary:

“Fundamentals might be the perfect book for the winter of this plague year. . . . Wilczek writes with breathtaking economy and clarity, and his pleasure in his subject is palpable.” —The New York Times Book Review One of our great contemporary scientists reveals the ten profound insights that illuminate what everyone should know about the physical world In Fundamentals, Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek offers the reader a simple yet profound exploration of reality based on the deep revelations of modern science. With clarity and an infectious sense of joy, he guides us through the essential concepts that form our understanding of what the world is and how it works. Through these pages, we come to see our reality in a new way--bigger, fuller, and stranger than it looked before. Synthesizing basic questions, facts, and dazzling speculations, Wilczek investigates the ideas that form our understanding of the universe: time, space, matter, energy, complexity, and complementarity. He excavates the history of fundamental science, exploring what we know and how we know it, while journeying to the horizons of the scientific world to give us a glimpse of what we may soon discover. Brilliant, lucid, and accessible, this celebration of human ingenuity and imagination will expand your world and your mind.

Fundamentals

Author : Frank Wilczek
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2021-01-12
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780735223899

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Book Fundamentals Description/Summary:

“Fundamentals might be the perfect book for the winter of this plague year. . . . Wilczek writes with breathtaking economy and clarity, and his pleasure in his subject is palpable.” —The New York Times Book Review One of our great contemporary scientists reveals the ten profound insights that illuminate what everyone should know about the physical world In Fundamentals, Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek offers the reader a simple yet profound exploration of reality based on the deep revelations of modern science. With clarity and an infectious sense of joy, he guides us through the essential concepts that form our understanding of what the world is and how it works. Through these pages, we come to see our reality in a new way--bigger, fuller, and stranger than it looked before. Synthesizing basic questions, facts, and dazzling speculations, Wilczek investigates the ideas that form our understanding of the universe: time, space, matter, energy, complexity, and complementarity. He excavates the history of fundamental science, exploring what we know and how we know it, while journeying to the horizons of the scientific world to give us a glimpse of what we may soon discover. Brilliant, lucid, and accessible, this celebration of human ingenuity and imagination will expand your world and your mind.

Fundamentals

Author : Frank Wilczek
Publisher : Penguin UK
Release : 2021-01-12
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780241302477

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Book Fundamentals Description/Summary:

One of our great contemporary scientists reveals the ten profound insights that illuminate what everyone should know about the physical world In Fundamentals, Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek offers the reader a simple yet profound exploration of reality based on the deep revelations of modern science. With clarity and an infectious sense of joy, he guides us through the essential concepts that form our understanding of what the world is and how it works. Through these pages, we come to see our reality in a new way--bigger, fuller, and stranger than it looked before. Synthesizing basic questions, facts, and dazzling speculations, Wilczek investigates the ideas that form our understanding of the universe: time, space, matter, energy, complexity, and complementarity. He excavates the history of fundamental science, exploring what we know and how we know it, while journeying to the horizons of the scientific world to give us a glimpse of what we may soon discover. Brilliant, lucid, and accessible, this celebration of human ingenuity and imagination will expand your world and your mind.

Fundamentals

Author : Frank Wilczek
Publisher : Unknown
Release : 2022-01-06
Category : Uncategorized
ISBN : 0141985771

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Book Fundamentals Description/Summary:

In Fundamentals, Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek offers the reader a simple yet profound exploration of reality based on the deep revelations of modern science. With clarity and an infectious sense of joy, he guides us through the essential concepts that form our understanding of what the world is and how it works. Through these pages, we come to see our reality in a new way--bigger, fuller, and stranger than it looked before. Synthesizing basic questions, facts, and dazzling speculations, Wilczek investigates the ideas that form our understanding of the universe: time, space, matter, energy, complexity, and complementarity. He excavates the history of fundamental science, exploring what we know and how we know it, while journeying to the horizons of the scientific world to give us a glimpse of what we may soon discover. Brilliant, lucid, and accessible, this celebration of human ingenuity and imagination will expand your world and your mind.

A Beautiful Question

Author : Frank Wilczek
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2016-07-12
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780143109365

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Book A Beautiful Question Description/Summary:

Does the universe embody beautiful ideas? Artists as well as scientists throughout human history have pondered this “beautiful question.” With Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek as your guide, embark on a voyage of related discoveries, from Plato and Pythagoras up to the present. Wilczek’s groundbreaking work in quantum physics was inspired by his intuition to look for a deeper order of beauty in nature. This is the deep logic of the universe—and it is no accident that it is also at the heart of what we find aesthetically pleasing and inspiring. Wilczek is hardly alone among great scientists in charting his course using beauty as his compass. As he reveals in A Beautiful Question, this has been the heart of scientific pursuit from Pythagoras and the ancient belief in the music of the spheres to Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, and into the deep waters of twentieth-century physics. Wilczek brings us right to the edge of knowledge today, where the core insights of even the craziest quantum ideas apply principles we all understand. The equations for atoms and light are almost the same ones that govern musical instruments and sound; the subatomic particles that are responsible for most of our mass are determined by simple geometric symmetries. Gorgeously illustrated, A Beautiful Question is a mind-shifting book that braids the age-old quest for beauty and the age-old quest for truth into a thrilling synthesis. It is a dazzling and important work from one of our best thinkers, whose humor and infectious sense of wonder animate every page. Yes: The world is a work of art, and its deepest truths are ones we already feel, as if they were somehow written in our souls.

Fantastic Realities

Author : Frank Wilczek,Betsy Devine
Publisher : World Scientific
Release : 2006
Category : Science
ISBN : 9789812566492

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Book Fantastic Realities Description/Summary:

The fantastic reality that is modern physics is open for your exploration, guided by one of its primary architects and interpreters, Nobel Prize winner Frank Wilczek. Some jokes, some poems, and extracts from wife Betsy Devine's sparkling chronicle of what it's like to live through a Nobel Prize provide easy entertainment. There's also some history, some philosophy, some exposition of frontier science, and some frontier science, for your lasting edification. 49 pieces, including many from Wilczek's award-winning Reference Frame columns in Physics Today, and some never before published, are gathered by style and subject into a dozen chapters, each with a revealing, witty introduction. Profound ideas, presented with style: What could be better? Enjoy.

Longing for the Harmonies

Author : Frank Wilczek,Betsy Devine
Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
Release : 1989
Category : Music
ISBN : 0393305961

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Book Longing for the Harmonies Description/Summary:

Explores ten major themes of physics--including the nature of reality, the uniformity of nature's building blocks, and the centrality of symmetry--and, through a series of variations, show how one simple idea can generate many interpretations

The End of Everything

Author : Katie Mack
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2021-05-04
Category : Science
ISBN : 9781982103552

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Book The End of Everything Description/Summary:

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2020 NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY * THE WASHINGTON POST * THE ECONOMIST * NEW SCIENTIST * PUBLISHERS WEEKLY * THE GUARDIAN From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an “engrossing, elegant” (The New York Times) look at five ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in cosmology. We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it expanded from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life as we know it. But what happens to the universe at the end of the story? And what does it mean for us now? Dr. Katie Mack has been contemplating these questions since she was a young student, when her astronomy professor informed her the universe could end at any moment, in an instant. This revelation set her on the path toward theoretical astrophysics. Now, with lively wit and humor, she takes us on a mind-bending tour through five of the cosmos’s possible finales: the Big Crunch, Heat Death, the Big Rip, Vacuum Decay (the one that could happen at any moment!), and the Bounce. Guiding us through cutting-edge science and major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory, and much more, The End of Everything is a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of all that we know.

Consistent Quantum Theory

Author : Robert B. Griffiths
Publisher : Cambridge University Press
Release : 2003-11-13
Category : Science
ISBN : 0521539293

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Book Consistent Quantum Theory Description/Summary:

Quantum mechanics is one of the most fundamental yet difficult subjects in physics. Nonrelativistic quantum theory is presented here in a clear and systematic fashion, integrating Born's probabilistic interpretation with Schrödinger dynamics. Basic quantum principles are illustrated with simple examples requiring no mathematics beyond linear algebra and elementary probability theory. The quantum measurement process is consistently analyzed using fundamental quantum principles without referring to measurement. These same principles are used to resolve several of the paradoxes that have long perplexed physicists, including the double slit and Schrödinger's cat. The consistent histories formalism used here was first introduced by the author, and extended by M. Gell-Mann, J. Hartle and R. Omnès. Essential for researchers yet accessible to advanced undergraduate students in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and computer science, this book is supplementary to standard textbooks. It will also be of interest to physicists and philosophers working on the foundations of quantum mechanics.

The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness

Author : Mark Solms
Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
Release : 2021-02-16
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780393542028

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Book The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness Description/Summary:

A revelatory new theory of consciousness that returns emotions to the center of mental life. For Mark Solms, one of the boldest thinkers in contemporary neuroscience, discovering how consciousness comes about has been a lifetime’s quest. Scientists consider it the "hard problem" because it seems an impossible task to understand why we feel a subjective sense of self and how it arises in the brain. Venturing into the elementary physics of life, Solms has now arrived at an astonishing answer. In The Hidden Spring, he brings forward his discovery in accessible language and graspable analogies. Solms is a frank and fearless guide on an extraordinary voyage from the dawn of neuropsychology and psychoanalysis to the cutting edge of contemporary neuroscience, adhering to the medically provable. But he goes beyond other neuroscientists by paying close attention to the subjective experiences of hundreds of neurological patients, many of whom he treated, whose uncanny conversations expose much about the brain’s obscure reaches. Most importantly, you will be able to recognize the workings of your own mind for what they really are, including every stray thought, pulse of emotion, and shift of attention. The Hidden Spring will profoundly alter your understanding of your own subjective experience.

Neutron Stars

Author : Katia Moskvitch
Publisher : Harvard University Press
Release : 2020-09-15
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780674250017

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Book Neutron Stars Description/Summary:

The astonishing science of neutron stars and the stories of the scientists who study them. Neutron stars are as bewildering as they are elusive. The remnants of exploded stellar giants, they are tiny, merely twenty kilometers across, and incredibly dense. One teaspoon of a neutron star would weigh several million tons. They can spin up to a thousand times per second, they possess the strongest magnetic fields known in nature, and they may be the source of the most powerful explosions in the universe. Through vivid storytelling and on-site reporting from observatories all over the world, Neutron Stars offers an engaging account of these still-mysterious objects. Award-winning science journalist Katia Moskvitch takes readers from the vast Atacama Desert to the arid plains of South Africa to visit the magnificent radio telescopes and brilliant scientists responsible for our knowledge of neutron stars. She recounts the exhilarating discoveries, frustrating disappointments, and heated controversies of the past several decades and explains cutting-edge research into such phenomena as colliding neutron stars and fast radio bursts: extremely powerful but ultra-short flashes in space that scientists are still struggling to understand. She also shows how neutron stars have advanced our broader understanding of the universe—shedding light on topics such as dark matter, black holes, general relativity, and the origins of heavy elements like gold and platinum—and how we might one day use these cosmic beacons to guide interstellar travel. With clarity and passion, Moskvitch describes what we are learning at the boundaries of astronomy, where stars have life beyond death.

Provoke

Author : Geoff Tuff,Steven Goldbach
Publisher : John Wiley & Sons
Release : 2021-09-16
Category : Business & Economics
ISBN : 9781119787549

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Book Provoke Description/Summary:

Explore a new and effective method for seizing opportunity in the face of uncertainty In Provoke: How Leaders Shape the Future by Overcoming Fatal Human Flaws, renowned strategy consultants and best-selling authors Geoff Tuff and Steven Goldbach deliver an insightful exploration of how people tend to act tentatively in the face of uncertainty and provide the tools we need to do things differently. Tuff and Goldbach offer up a compelling argument for the proposition that taking a "wait and see" approach is the exact opposite of what helps visionary leaders change the world. Drawing on principles from business and behavioral economics, the book shows readers from all walks of life how to provoke action as a mechanism to advance. In this book you’ll discover: An overview of the assortment of cognitive biases which tend to restrain and distort leadership decision making in the face of uncertainty How to recognize the 'phase change' that occurs when an uncertainty resolves from being a question of "if" to being a matter of "when" Five different models of provocation which can be used alone or in combination to anticipate, drive through and exit that phase change in a way that creates the future you desire How true "provocateurs" shake the foundations of their industries, firms, sectors, and governments by overcoming their need for certainty before action Perfect for leaders or aspiring leaders in all walks of life where uncertainty abounds—which is to say, almost everywhere —Provoke will become your go-to guide to overcoming those natural human instincts that keep us frozen in place and prevent us from seizing our opportunities.

Probable Impossibilities

Author : Alan Lightman
Publisher : Pantheon
Release : 2021-02-09
Category : Science
ISBN : 9781524749019

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Book Probable Impossibilities Description/Summary:

"Before the discovery of quarks, we hadn't imagined anything smaller than protons and neutrons. Are quarks the end of the line, the smallest imaginable objects in nature? Can the universe be divided into infinitely smaller units in the same way the universe is ever-expanding? Alan Lightman explores these questions in his characteristic accessible and lyrical prose, considering the igniting element behind consciousness, the origin of life, the anatomy of a smile, our fickle memories. Probable Impossibilities brings together recently published and four original essays. Throughout, Lightman guides a discussion on what we know of the universe, life, the mind, and the conception of things vastly larger than ourselves in time and space"--

Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics

Author : Martinus J G Veltman
Publisher : World Scientific
Release : 2018-03-21
Category : Uncategorized
ISBN : 9789813237070

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Book Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics Description/Summary:

This book provides a comprehensive overview of modern particle physics accessible to anyone with a true passion for wanting to know how the universe works. We are introduced to the known particles of the world we live in. An elegant explanation of quantum mechanics and relativity paves the way for an understanding of the laws that govern particle physics. These laws are put into action in the world of accelerators, colliders and detectors found at institutions such as CERN and Fermilab that are in the forefront of technical innovation. Real world and theory meet using Feynman diagrams to solve the problems of infinities and deduce the need for the Higgs boson. Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics offers an incredible insight from an eyewitness and participant in some of the greatest discoveries in 20th century science. From Einstein's theory of relativity to the spectacular discovery of the Higgs particle, this book will fascinate and educate anyone interested in the world of quarks, leptons and gauge theories. This book also contains many thumbnail sketches of particle physics personalities, including contemporaries as seen through the eyes of the author. Illustrated with pictures, these candid sketches present rare, perceptive views of the characters that populate the field. The Chapter on Particle Theory, in a pre-publication, was termed "superbly lucid" by David Miller in Nature (Vol. 396, 17 Dec. 1998, p. 642). Contents: IntroductionPreliminariesThe Standard ModelQuantum Mechanics. MixingEnergy, Momentum and Mass-ShellDetectionAccelerators and Storage RingsThe CERN Neutrino ExperimentThe Particle ZooParticle TheoryFinding the HiggsQuantum ChromodynamicsEpilogueAddendum Readership: Students, lay people and anyone interested in the world of elementary particles. Keywords: Particle Physics;Quantum Mechanics;Relativity;Quarks;Leptons;Gauge Theories;Higgs ParticleReview: Reviews of the First Edition: "Veltman's life spans the history of particle physics, from Antiparticles to Z bosons. So does his crystal clear book, which tells all you want to know about the strange sub-nuclear world and the stranger scientists that study it ... a thrilling tale about the world's tiniest things." Sheldon Glashow Nobel laureate Boston University "I must congratulate you! The book you have written is truly a masterpiece. Not only have you explained the physics of the world of elementary particles to the young aspiring student, but you have made it available to the intelligent layman. On top of that you gave it the humanity it deserves; reading this book brought me back to the most exciting period of my life in which every day brought a new discovery and we all fought for recognition. I can truly say that there is no book like this." Melvin Schwartz Nobel laureate Columbia University "Veltman's ... transparent explanations of the abstract theories of quantum mechanics and special relativity, his lucid accounts of esoteric subjects in particle physics, such as scaling, Higgs particle and renormalizability ... are very impressive. The book will interest anyone who is interested in the view of the physical world held by contemporary fundamental physicists."T Y Cao Boston University "I greatly enjoyed finally reading a book that goes into the details I always wanted ... Veltman has the courage to try a deeper level about what we understand and what is simply fact ... Even if you have read books popularizing physics befor

The Lightness of Being

Author : Frank Wilczek
Publisher : Basic Books
Release : 2009-03-25
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780786731688

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Book The Lightness of Being Description/Summary:

Our understanding of nature's deepest reality has changed radically, but almost without our noticing, over the past twenty-five years. Transcending the clash of older ideas about matter and space, acclaimed physicist Frank Wilczek explains a remarkable new discovery: matter is built from almost weightless units, and pure energy is the ultimate source of mass. He calls it “The Lightness of Being.” Space is no mere container, empty and passive. It is a dynamic Grid—a modern ether— and its spontaneous activity creates and destroys particles. This new understanding of mass explains the puzzling feebleness of gravity, and a gorgeous unification of all the forces comes sharply into focus. The Lightness of Being is the first book to explore the implications of these revolutionary ideas about mass, energy, and the nature of “empty space.” In it, Wilczek masterfully presents new perspectives on our incredible universe and envisions a new golden age of fundamental physics.

From Eternity to Here

Author : Sean Carroll
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2010-10-26
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780452296541

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Book From Eternity to Here Description/Summary:

"An accessible and engaging exploration of the mysteries of time." -Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe Twenty years ago, Stephen Hawking tried to explain time by understanding the Big Bang. Now, Sean Carroll says we need to be more ambitious. One of the leading theoretical physicists of his generation, Carroll delivers a dazzling and paradigm-shifting theory of time's arrow that embraces subjects from entropy to quantum mechanics to time travel to information theory and the meaning of life. From Eternity to Here is no less than the next step toward understanding how we came to exist, and a fantastically approachable read that will appeal to a broad audience of armchair physicists, and anyone who ponders the nature of our world.

Wetware

Author : Dennis Bray
Publisher : Yale University Press
Release : 2009-05-26
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780300155440

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Book Wetware Description/Summary:

“A beautifully written journey into the mechanics of the world of the cell, and even beyond, exploring the analogy with computers in a surprising way” (Denis Noble, author of Dance to the Tune of Life). How does a single-cell creature, such as an amoeba, lead such a sophisticated life? How does it hunt living prey, respond to lights, sounds, and smells, and display complex sequences of movements without the benefit of a nervous system? This book offers a startling and original answer. In clear, jargon-free language, Dennis Bray taps the findings from the discipline of systems biology to show that the internal chemistry of living cells is a form of computation. Cells are built out of molecular circuits that perform logical operations, as electronic devices do, but with unique properties. Bray argues that the computational juice of cells provides the basis for all distinctive properties of living systems: it allows organisms to embody in their internal structure an image of the world, and this accounts for their adaptability, responsiveness, and intelligence. In Wetware, Bray offers imaginative, wide-ranging, and perceptive critiques of robotics and complexity theory, as well as many entertaining and telling anecdotes. For the general reader, the practicing scientist, and all others with an interest in the nature of life, this book is an exciting portal to some of biology’s latest discoveries and ideas. “Drawing on the similarities between Pac-Man and an amoeba and efforts to model the human brain, this absorbing read shows that biologists and engineers have a lot to learn from working together.” —Discover magazine “Wetware will get the reader thinking.” —Science magazine

Quantum Philosophy

Author : Roland Omnès
Publisher : Princeton University Press
Release : 2002-02-25
Category : Science
ISBN : 9781400822867

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Book Quantum Philosophy Description/Summary:

In this magisterial work, Roland Omnès takes us from the academies of ancient Greece to the laboratories of modern science as he seeks to do no less than rebuild the foundations of the philosophy of knowledge. One of the world's leading quantum physicists, Omnès reviews the history and recent development of mathematics, logic, and the physical sciences to show that current work in quantum theory offers new answers to questions that have puzzled philosophers for centuries: Is the world ultimately intelligible? Are all events caused? Do objects have definitive locations? Omnès addresses these profound questions with vigorous arguments and clear, colorful writing, aiming not just to advance scholarship but to enlighten readers with no background in science or philosophy. The book opens with an insightful and sweeping account of the main developments in science and the philosophy of knowledge from the pre-Socratic era to the nineteenth century. Omnès then traces the emergence in modern thought of a fracture between our intuitive, commonsense views of the world and the abstract and--for most people--incomprehensible world portrayed by advanced physics, math, and logic. He argues that the fracture appeared because the insights of Einstein and Bohr, the logical advances of Frege, Russell, and Gödel, and the necessary mathematics of infinity of Cantor and Hilbert cannot be fully expressed by words or images only. Quantum mechanics played an important role in this development, as it seemed to undermine intuitive notions of intelligibility, locality, and causality. However, Omnès argues that common sense and quantum mechanics are not as incompatible as many have thought. In fact, he makes the provocative argument that the "consistent-histories" approach to quantum mechanics, developed over the past fifteen years, places common sense (slightly reappraised and circumscribed) on a firm scientific and philosophical footing for the first time. In doing so, it provides what philosophers have sought through the ages: a sure foundation for human knowledge. Quantum Philosophy is a profound work of contemporary science and philosophy and an eloquent history of the long struggle to understand the nature of the world and of knowledge itself.

Genesis

Author : Guido Tonelli
Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release : 2021-04-13
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780374600495

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Book Genesis Description/Summary:

A breakout bestseller in Italy, now available for American readers for the first time, Genesis: The Story of How Everything Began is a short, humanistic tour of the origins of the universe, earth, and life—drawing on the latest discoveries in physics to explain the seven most significant moments in the creation of the cosmos. Curiosity and wonderment about the origins of the universe are at the heart of our experience of the world. From Hesiod’s Chaos, described in his poem about the origins of the Greek gods, Theogony, to today’s mind-bending theories of the multiverse, humans have been consumed by the relentless pursuit of an answer to one awe inspiring question: What exactly happened during those first moments? Guido Tonelli, the acclaimed, award-winning particle physicist and a central figure in the discovery of the Higgs boson (the “God particle”), reveals the extraordinary story of our genesis—from the origins of the universe, to the emergence of life on Earth, to the birth of human language with its power to describe the world. Evoking the seven days of biblical creation, Tonelli takes us on a brisk, lively tour through the evolution of our cosmos and considers the incredible challenges scientists face in exploring its mysteries. Genesis both explains the fundamental physics of our universe and marvels at the profound wonder of our existence.

First Light

Author : Emma Chapman
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
Release : 2020-11-26
Category : Science
ISBN : 9781472962904

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Book First Light Description/Summary:

Astronomers have successfully observed a great deal of the Universe's history, from recording the afterglow of the Big Bang to imaging thousands of galaxies, and even to visualising an actual black hole. There's a lot for astronomers to be smug about. But when it comes to understanding how the Universe began and grew up we are literally in the dark ages. In effect, we are missing the first one billion years from the timeline of the Universe. This brief but far-reaching period in the Universe's history, known to astrophysicists as the 'Epoch of Reionisation', represents the start of the cosmos as we experience it today. The time when the very first stars burst into life, when darkness gave way to light. After hundreds of millions of years of dark, uneventful expansion, one by the one these stars suddenly came into being. This was the point at which the chaos of the Big Bang first began to yield to the order of galaxies, black holes and stars, kick-starting the pathway to planets, to comets, to moons, and to life itself. Incorporating the very latest research into this branch of astrophysics, this book sheds light on this time of darkness, telling the story of these first stars, hundreds of times the size of the Sun and a million times brighter, lonely giants that lived fast and died young in powerful explosions that seeded the Universe with the heavy elements that we are made of. Emma Chapman tells us how these stars formed, why they were so unusual, and what they can teach us about the Universe today. She also offers a first-hand look at the immense telescopes about to come on line to peer into the past, searching for the echoes and footprints of these stars, to take this period in the Universe's history from the realm of theoretical physics towards the wonder of observational astronomy.