In this rich, irreverent, and compelling history, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg takes us across centuries from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad and Oxford, from Plato’s Academy and the Museum of Alexandria to the cathedral school of Chartres and the Royal Society of London. He shows that the scientists of ancient and medieval times not only did not understand what we understand about the world—they did not understand what there is to understand, or how to understand it. Yet over the centuries, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the curious backward movement of the planets and the rise and fall of the tides, the modern discipline of science eventually emerged. Along the way, Weinberg examines historic clashes and collaborations between science and the competing spheres of religion, technology, poetry, mathematics, and philosophy.
An illuminating exploration of the way we consider and analyze the world around us, To Explain the World is a sweeping, ambitious account of how difficult it was to discover the goals and methods of modern science, and the impact of this discovery on human knowledge and development.
But Weinberg asks as many questions as he answers, among them: Why does each explanation of the way nature works point to other, deeper explanations? Why are the best theories not only logical but beautiful? And what implications will a final theory have for our philosophy and religious faith?
Intellectually daring, rich in anecdote and aphorism, Dreams of a Final Theory launches us into a new cosmos and helps us make sense of what we find there.
Best friends Frank and Harold do everything as a pair. And at the fair, they want to ride the roller coaster together, too! But one of them isn’t tall enough.
Can this energetic duo think outside the box and figure out a way to overcome the height restriction and ride the roller coaster? Find out in this adorable picture book that celebrates the value of friendship and encourages problem solving from Steven Weinberg.
A wise, personal, and wide-ranging meditation on science and society by the Nobel Prize-winning author of To Explain the World.
For more than four decades, one of the most captivating and celebrated science communicators of our time has challenged the public to think carefully about the foundations of nature and the inseparable entanglement of science and society. In Third Thoughts, Steven Weinberg casts a wide net: from the cosmological to the personal, from astronomy, quantum mechanics, and the history of science to the limitations of current knowledge, the art of discovery, and the rewards of getting things wrong.
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics and author of the classic The First Three Minutes, Weinberg shares his views on some of the most fundamental and fascinating aspects of physics and the universe. But he does not seclude science behind disciplinary walls, or shy away from politics, taking on what he sees as the folly of manned spaceflight, the harms of inequality, and the importance of public goods. His point of view is rationalist, realist, reductionist, and devoutly secularist.
Weinberg is that great rarity, a prize-winning physicist who is entertaining and accessible. The essays in Third Thoughts, some of which appear here for the first time, will engage, provoke, and inform-and never lose sight of the human dimension of scientific discovery and its consequences for our endless drive to probe the workings of the cosmos.