An opening discussion of introductory concepts leads to explorations of the classical groups, continuous groups and Lie groups, and Lie groups and Lie algebras. Some simple but illuminating examples are followed by examinations of classical algebras, Lie algebras and root spaces, root spaces and Dynkin diagrams, real forms, and contractions and expansions. Reinforced by numerous exercises, solved problems, and figures, the text concludes with a bibliography and indexes.
In its first edition, the Topology of Chaos has been a valuable resource for physicist and mathematicians interested in the topological analysis of dynamical systems. Since its publication in 2002, important theoretical and experimental advances have put the topological analysis program on a firmer basis. This second edition includes relevant results and connects the material to other recent developments. Following significant improvements will be included:
* A gentler introduction to the topological analysis of chaotic systems for the non expert which introduces the problems and questions that one commonly encounters when observing a chaotic dynamics and which are well addressed by a topological approach: existence of unstable periodic orbits, bifurcation sequences, multistability etc.
* A new chapter is devoted to bounding tori which are essential for achieving generality as well as for understanding the influence of boundary conditions.
* The new edition also reflects the progress which had been made towards extending topological analysis to higher-dimensional systems by proposing a new formalism where evolving triangulations replace braids.
* There has also been much progress in the understanding of what is a good representation of a chaotic system, and therefore a new chapter is devoted to embeddings.
* The chapter on topological analysis program will be expanded to cover traditional measures of chaos. This will help to connect those readers who are familiar with those measures and tests to the more sophisticated methodologies discussed in detail in this book.
* The addition of the Appendix with both frequently asked and open questions with answers gathers the most essential points readers should keep in mind and guides to corresponding sections in the book. This will be of great help to those who want to selectively dive into the book and its treatments rather than reading it cover to cover.
What makes this book special is its attempt to classify real physical systems (e.g. lasers) using topological techniques applied to real date (e.g. time series). Hence it has become the experimenter?s guidebook to reliable and sophisticated studies of experimental data for comparison with candidate relevant theoretical models, inevitable to physicists, mathematicians, and engineers studying low-dimensional chaotic systems.
First Snow White encounters one of the Little People, then one of the Even Smaller People, and finally one of the Truly Infinitesimal People. And no matter how diligently she searches, the only dwarves she can find are collapsed stars! Clearly, she’s not at home in her well-known Brothers Grimm fairy tale, but instead in a strange new landscape that features quantum behavior, the wavelike properties of particles, and the Uncertainty Principle. She (and we) must have entered, in short, one of the worlds created by Robert Gilmore, the physicist and fabulist who brought us the classic "Alice in Quantumland."
Whether he’s recasting such classic tales as "Jack and the Quarkstalk," "Waking Beauty," or "Cinderenda and the Death of Stars," Gilmore shows us that there’s more than one way to shed light on the strange profundities of modern physics and cosmology, and what they have to tell us about the nature of time and space and motion. Black holes, dying stars, traveling backward through time to the Big Bang - they’re all here in accessible, instructive, and charmingly illustrated retellings.
Robert Gilmore has published three previous books with Copernicus, "Alice in Quantumland," "Scrooge’s Cryptic Carol," and "The Wizard of Quarks." He is a Visiting Research Fellow, with a special focus on the public understanding of science, at Bristol University in England. He has also worked in particle physics at Brookhaven, Stanford, and CERN in Geneva.
The behavior of a physical system may appear irregular or chaotic even when it is completely deterministic and predictable for short periods of time into the future. How does one model the dynamics of a system operating in a chaotic regime? Older tools such as estimates of the spectrum of Lyapunov exponents and estimates of the spectrum of fractal dimensions do not sufficiently answer this question. In a significant evolution of the field of Nonlinear Dynamics, The Topology of Chaos responds to the fundamental challenge of chaotic systems by introducing a new analysis method-Topological Analysis-which can be used to extract, from chaotic data, the topological signatures that determine the stretching and squeezing mechanisms which act on flows in phase space and are responsible for generating chaotic data. Beginning with an example of a laser that has been operated under conditions in which it behaved chaotically, the authors convey the methodology of Topological Analysis through detailed chapters on:
* Discrete Dynamical Systems: Maps
* Continuous Dynamical Systems: Flows
* Topological Invariants
* Branched Manifolds
* The Topological Analysis Program
* Fold Mechanisms
* Tearing Mechanisms
* Flows in Higher Dimensions
* A Program for Dynamical Systems Theory
Suitable at the present time for analyzing "strange attractors" that can be embedded in three-dimensional spaces, this groundbreaking approach offers researchers and practitioners in the discipline a complete and satisfying resolution to the fundamental questions of chaotic systems.
The Future of the Mind brings a topic that once belonged solely to the province of science fiction into a startling new reality. This scientific tour de force unveils the astonishing research being done in top laboratories around the world—all based on the latest advancements in neuroscience and physics—including recent experiments in telepathy, mind control, avatars, telekinesis, and recording memories and dreams. The Future of the Mind is an extraordinary, mind-boggling exploration of the frontiers of neuroscience. Dr. Kaku looks toward the day when we may achieve the ability to upload the human brain to a computer, neuron for neuron; project thoughts and emotions around the world on a brain-net; take a “smart pill” to enhance cognition; send our consciousness across the universe; and push the very limits of immortality.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this work Einstein intended, as far as possible, to give an exact insight into the theory of relativity to those readers who, from a general and scientific philosophical point of view, are interested in the theory, but who are not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics. The theory of relativity enriched physics and astronomy during the 20th century.(Relativity: The Special and the General Theory by Albert Einstein, 9789380914220)
While there are many other works on introductory topology, this volume employs a methodology somewhat different from other texts. Metric space and point-set topology material is treated in the first two chapters; algebraic topological material in the remaining two. The authors lead readers through a number of nontrivial applications of metric space topology to analysis, clearly establishing the relevance of topology to analysis. Second, the treatment of topics from elementary algebraic topology concentrates on results with concrete geometric meaning and presents relatively little algebraic formalism; at the same time, this treatment provides proof of some highly nontrivial results. By presenting homotopy theory without considering homology theory, important applications become immediately evident without the necessity of a large formal program.
Prerequisites are familiarity with real numbers and some basic set theory. Carefully chosen exercises are integrated into the text (the authors have provided solutions to selected exercises for the Dover edition), while a list of notations and bibliographical references appear at the end of the book.
Kaku skillfully guides us through the latest innovations in string theory and its latest iteration, M-theory, which posits that our universe may be just one in an endless multiverse, a singular bubble floating in a sea of infinite bubble universes. If M-theory is proven correct, we may perhaps finally find answer to the question, “What happened before the big bang?” This is an exciting and unforgettable introduction into the new cutting-edge theories of physics and cosmology from one of the pre-eminent voices in the field.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Most of the material focuses on point-set topology with the exception of the last chapter. Topics include sets and functions, infinite sets and transfinite numbers, topological spaces and basic concepts, product spaces, connectivity, and compactness. Additional subjects include separation axioms, complete spaces, and homotopy and the fundamental group. Numerous hints and figures illuminate the text.
Richard Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, thrived on outrageous adventures. Here he recounts in his inimitable voice his experience trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek; cracking the uncrackable safes guarding the most deeply held nuclear secrets; accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums; painting a naked female toreador. In short, here is Feynman's life in all its eccentric—a combustible mixture of high intelligence, unlimited curiosity, and raging chutzpah.
From ancient Greek geometry to today's cutting-edge research, Euler's Gem celebrates the discovery of Euler's beloved polyhedron formula and its far-reaching impact on topology, the study of shapes. In 1750, Euler observed that any polyhedron composed of V vertices, E edges, and F faces satisfies the equation V-E+F=2. David Richeson tells how the Greeks missed the formula entirely; how Descartes almost discovered it but fell short; how nineteenth-century mathematicians widened the formula's scope in ways that Euler never envisioned by adapting it for use with doughnut shapes, smooth surfaces, and higher dimensional shapes; and how twentieth-century mathematicians discovered that every shape has its own Euler's formula. Using wonderful examples and numerous illustrations, Richeson presents the formula's many elegant and unexpected applications, such as showing why there is always some windless spot on earth, how to measure the acreage of a tree farm by counting trees, and how many crayons are needed to color any map.
Filled with a who's who of brilliant mathematicians who questioned, refined, and contributed to a remarkable theorem's development, Euler's Gem will fascinate every mathematics enthusiast.
"Vivid . . . impressive. . . . Splendidly informative."—The New York Times
"A tour de force."—Salon
Already internationally acclaimed for his elegant, lucid writing on the most challenging notions in modern physics, Sean Carroll is emerging as one of the greatest humanist thinkers of his generation as he brings his extraordinary intellect to bear not only on Higgs bosons and extra dimensions but now also on our deepest personal questions: Where are we? Who are we? Are our emotions, our beliefs, and our hopes and dreams ultimately meaningless out there in the void? Do human purpose and meaning fit into a scientific worldview?
In short chapters filled with intriguing historical anecdotes, personal asides, and rigorous exposition, readers learn the difference between how the world works at the quantum level, the cosmic level, and the human level—and then how each connects to the other. Carroll's presentation of the principles that have guided the scientific revolution from Darwin and Einstein to the origins of life, consciousness, and the universe is dazzlingly unique.
Carroll shows how an avalanche of discoveries in the past few hundred years has changed our world and what really matters to us. Our lives are dwarfed like never before by the immensity of space and time, but they are redeemed by our capacity to comprehend it and give it meaning.
The Big Picture is an unprecedented scientific worldview, a tour de force that will sit on shelves alongside the works of Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Daniel Dennett, and E. O. Wilson for years to come.
A few selected topics allow students to acquire a feeling for the types of results and the methods of proof in mathematics, including mathematical induction. Subsequent problems deal with networks and maps, provide practice in recognizing topological equivalence of figures, examine a proof of the Jordan curve theorem for the special case of a polygon, and introduce set theory. The concluding chapters examine transformations, connectedness, compactness, and completeness. The text is well illustrated with figures and diagrams.
For more than thirty years as a beloved professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lewin honed his singular craft of making physics not only accessible but truly fun, whether putting his head in the path of a wrecking ball, supercharging himself with three hundred thousand volts of electricity, or demonstrating why the sky is blue and why clouds are white. Now, as Carl Sagan did for astronomy and Brian Green did for cosmology, Lewin takes readers on a marvelous journey in For the Love of Physics, opening our eyes as never before to the amazing beauty and power with which physics can reveal the hidden workings of the world all around us. “I introduce people to their own world,” writes Lewin, “the world they live in and are familiar with but don’t approach like a physicist—yet.”
Could it be true that we are shorter standing up than lying down? Why can we snorkel no deeper than about one foot below the surface? Why are the colors of a rainbow always in the same order, and would it be possible to put our hand out and touch one? Whether introducing why the air smells so fresh after a lightning storm, why we briefly lose (and gain) weight when we ride in an elevator, or what the big bang would have sounded like had anyone existed to hear it, Lewin never ceases to surprise and delight with the extraordinary ability of physics to answer even the most elusive questions.
Recounting his own exciting discoveries as a pioneer in the field of X-ray astronomy—arriving at MIT right at the start of an astonishing revolution in astronomy—he also brings to life the power of physics to reach into the vastness of space and unveil exotic uncharted territories, from the marvels of a supernova explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud to the unseeable depths of black holes.
“For me,” Lewin writes, “physics is a way of seeing—the spectacular and the mundane, the immense and the minute—as a beautiful, thrillingly interwoven whole.” His wonderfully inventive and vivid ways of introducing us to the revelations of physics impart to us a new appreciation of the remarkable beauty and intricate harmonies of the forces that govern our lives.
The book's first five chapters give an exposition of the theory of infinity-categories that emphasizes their role as a generalization of ordinary categories. Many of the fundamental ideas from classical category theory are generalized to the infinity-categorical setting, such as limits and colimits, adjoint functors, ind-objects and pro-objects, locally accessible and presentable categories, Grothendieck fibrations, presheaves, and Yoneda's lemma. A sixth chapter presents an infinity-categorical version of the theory of Grothendieck topoi, introducing the notion of an infinity-topos, an infinity-category that resembles the infinity-category of topological spaces in the sense that it satisfies certain axioms that codify some of the basic principles of algebraic topology. A seventh and final chapter presents applications that illustrate connections between the theory of higher topoi and ideas from classical topology.
Ranging from the familiar to the obscure, the examples are preceded by a succinct exposition of general topology and basic terminology and theory. Each example is treated as a whole, with a highly geometric exposition that helps readers comprehend the material. Over 25 Venn diagrams and reference charts summarize the properties of the examples and allow students to scan quickly for examples with prescribed properties. In addition, discussions of general methods of constructing and changing examples acquaint readers with the art of constructing counterexamples. The authors have included an extensive collection of problems and exercises, all correlated with various examples, and a bibliography of 140 sources, tracing each uncommon example to its origin.
This revised and expanded second edition will be especially useful as a course supplement and reference work for students of general topology. Moreover, it gives the instructor the flexibility to design his own course while providing students with a wealth of historically and mathematically significant examples. 1978 edition.
"In the world of mathematics, the 1980's might well be described as the "decade of the fractal". Starting with Benoit Mandelbrot's remarkable text The Fractal Geometry of Nature, there has been a deluge of books, articles and television programmes about the beautiful mathematical objects, drawn by computers using recursive or iterative algorithms, which Mandelbrot christened fractals. Gerald Edgar's book is a significant addition to this deluge. Based on a course given to talented high- school students at Ohio University in 1988, it is, in fact, an advanced undergraduate textbook about the mathematics of fractal geometry, treating such topics as metric spaces, measure theory, dimension theory, and even some algebraic topology...the book also contains many good illustrations of fractals (including 16 color plates)."
"The book can be recommended to students who seriously want to know about the mathematical foundation of fractals, and to lecturers who want to illustrate a standard course in metric topology by interesting examples."
Christoph Bandt, Mathematical Reviews
"...not only intended to fit mathematics students who wish to learn fractal geometry from its beginning but also students in computer science who are interested in the subject. Especially, for the last students the author gives the required topics from metric topology and measure theory on an elementary level. The book is written in a very clear style and contains a lot of exercises which should be worked out."
About the second edition: Changes throughout the text, taking into account developments in the subject matter since 1990; Major changes in chapter 6. Since 1990 it has become clear that there are two notions of dimension that play complementary roles, so the emphasis on Hausdorff dimension will be replaced by the two: Hausdorff dimension and packing dimension. 6.1 will remain, but a new section on packing dimension will follow it, then the old sections 6.2--6.4 will be re-written to show both types of dimension; Substantial change in chapter 7: new examples along with recent developments; Sections rewritten to be made clearer and more focused.
In these classic lessons, Feynman introduces the general reader to the following topics: atoms, basic physics, energy, gravitation, quantum mechanics, and the relationship of physics to other topics. With his dazzling and inimitable wit, Feynman presents each discussion with a minimum of jargon. Filled with wonderful examples and clever illustrations, Six Easy Pieces is the ideal introduction to the fundamentals of physics by one of the most admired and accessible physicists of modern times.
No previous knowledge of topology is necessary for this text, which offers introductory material regarding open and closed sets and continuous maps in the first chapter. Succeeding chapters discuss the notions of differentiable manifolds and maps and explore one of the central topics of differential topology, the theory of critical points of functions on a differentiable manifold. Additional topics include an investigation of level manifolds corresponding to a given function and the concept of spherical modifications. The text concludes with applications of previously discussed material to the classification problem of surfaces and guidance, along with suggestions for further reading and study.
The contributors are Marco Abate, Marco Arizzi, Alexander Blokh, Thierry Bousch, Xavier Buff, Serge Cantat, Tao Chen, Robert Devaney, Alexandre Dezotti, Tien-Cuong Dinh, Romain Dujardin, Hugo García-Compeán, William Goldman, Rotislav Grigorchuk, John Hubbard, Yunping Jiang, Linda Keen, Jan Kiwi, Genadi Levin, Daniel Meyer, John Milnor, Carlos Moreira, Vincente Muñoz, Viet-Anh Nguyên, Lex Oversteegen, Ricardo Pérez-Marco, Ross Ptacek, Jasmin Raissy, Pascale Roesch, Roberto Santos-Silva, Dierk Schleicher, Nessim Sibony, Daniel Smania, Tan Lei, William Thurston, Vladlen Timorin, Sebastian van Strien, and Alberto Verjovsky.
While containing all the key results of basic topology, Essential Topology never allows itself to get mired in details. Instead, the focus throughout is on providing interesting examples that clarify the ideas and motivate the student, reflecting the fact that these are often the key examples behind current research.
With chapters on:continuity and topological spaces deconstructionist topology the Euler number homotopy groups including the fundamental group simplicial and singular homology, and fibre bundles
Essential Topology contains enough material for two semester-long courses, and offers a one-stop-shop for undergraduate-level topology, leaving students motivated for postgraduate study in the field, and well-prepared for it.
An exciting new direction for combinatorics, this book will interest graduate students and researchers working in mathematical subdisciplines requiring the mastery and practice of high-dimensional Ramsey theory.
The authors outline how their positions have further diverged on a number of key issues, including the spatial geometry of the universe, inflationary versus cyclic theories of the cosmos, and the black-hole information-loss paradox. Though much progress has been made, Hawking and Penrose stress that physicists still have further to go in their quest for a quantum theory of gravity.
The Essentials For Dummies Series
Dummies is proud to present our new series, The Essentials ForDummies. Now students who are prepping for exams, preparing tostudy new material, or who just need a refresher can have aconcise, easy-to-understand review guide that covers an entirecourse by concentrating solely on the most important concepts. Fromalgebra and chemistry to grammar and Spanish, our expert authorsfocus on the skills students most need to succeed in a subject.
The book contains close to150 figures produced with lattice. Many of the examples emphasize principles of good graphical design; almost all use real data sets that are publicly available in various R packages. All code and figures in the book are also available online, along with supplementary material covering more advanced topics.
“One of the year’s most entrancing books about science.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Clear, elegant...a whirlwind tour of some of the biggest ideas in physics.”—The New York Times Book Review
This playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics briskly explains Einstein's general relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, and the role humans play in this weird and wonderful world. Carlo Rovelli, a renowned theoretical physicist, is a delightfully poetic and philosophical scientific guide. He takes us to the frontiers of our knowledge: to the most minute reaches of the fabric of space, back to the origins of the cosmos, and into the workings of our minds. The book celebrates the joy of discovery. “Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world,” Rovelli writes. “And it’s breathtaking.”
Designed as a text for a one-year first course in topology, this authoritative volume offers an excellent general treatment of the main ideas of topology. It includes a large number and variety of topics from classical topology as well as newer areas of research activity.
There are four set-theoretic chapters, followed by four primarily algebraic chapters. Chapter I covers the fundamentals of topological and metrical spaces, mappings, compactness, product spaces, the Tychonoff theorem, function spaces, uniform continuity and uniform spaces. The next two chapters are devoted to topics in point-set topology: various separation axioms, continua in Hausdorff spaces, real-valued functions, and more Chapter IV is on homotopy theory. Chapter V covers basic material on geometric and abstract simplicial complexes and their subdivisions. Chapter VI is devoted to simplicial homology theory, Chapter VII covers various topics in algebraic topology, including relative homology, exact sequences, the Mayer-Vietoris sequence, and more. Finally, Chapter VIII discusses Cech homology.
There are a large number of illuminating examples, counter-examples and problems, both those which test the understanding and those which deepen it. The authors have also made a special effort to make this an "open-ended" book, i.e while many topics are covered, there is much beyond the confines of this book. In many instances they have attempted to show the direction in which further material may be found.
Topology is so fundamental, its influence is apparent in almost every other branch of mathematics, as well as such fields as symbolic logic, mechanics, geography, network theory, and even psychology. This well-written text offers a clear and careful exposition of this increasingly important discipline.
“Dazzling ideas….Read this book today to understand the science of tomorrow.”
The bestselling author of Warped Passages, one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” Lisa Randall gives us an exhilarating overview of the latest ideas in physics and offers a rousing defense of the role of science in our lives. Featuring fascinating insights into our scientific future born from the author’s provocative conversations with Nate Silver, David Chang, and Scott Derrickson, Knocking on Heaven’s Door is eminently readable, one of the most important popular science books of this or any year. It is a necessary volume for all who admire the work of Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Brian Greene, Simon Singh, and Carl Sagan; for anyone curious about the workings and aims of the Large Hadron Collider, the biggest and most expensive machine ever built by mankind; for those who firmly believe in the importance of science and rational thought; and for anyone interested in how the Universe began…and how it might ultimately end.
In The Universe, today's most influential science writers explain the science behind our evolving understanding of the universe and everything in it, including the cutting edge research and discoveries that are shaping our knowledge.
Lee Smolin reveals how math and cosmology are helping us create a theory of the whole universe. Benoit Mandelbrot looks back on a career devoted to fractal geometry. Neil Turok analyzes the fundamental laws of nature, what came before the big bang, and the possibility of a unified theory.
Seth Lloyd investigates the impact of computational revolutions and the informational revolution. Lawrence Krauss provides fresh insight into gravity, dark matter, and the energy of empty space. Brian Greene and Walter Isaacson illuminate the genius who revolutionized modern science: Albert Einstein. And much more.
Explore the universe with some of today's greatest minds: what it is, how it came into being, and what may happen next.
Science Matters is a rare exception-a science book for the general reader that is informative enough to be a popular textbook for introductory courses in high school and college, and yet well-written enough to appeal to general readers uncomfortable with scientific jargon and complicated mathematics. And now, revised and expanded for the first time in nearly two decades, it is up-to-date, so that readers can enjoy Hazen and Trefil's refreshingly accessible explanations of the most recent developments in science, from particle physics to biotechnology.
We live in complicated, dangerous times. Present and future presidents need to know if North Korea's nascent nuclear capability is a genuine threat to the West, if biochemical weapons are likely to be developed by terrorists, if there are viable alternatives to fossil fuels that should be nurtured and supported by the government, if private companies should be allowed to lead the way on space exploration, and what the actual facts are about the worsening threats from climate change. This is "must-have" information for all presidents—and citizens—of the twenty-first century.
Winner of the 2009 Northern California Book Award for General Nonfiction.
A New York Times Notable Book.
The Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshiped it, and the Church used it to fend off heretics. Now it threatens the foundations of modern physics. For centuries the power of zero savored of the demonic; once harnessed, it became the most important tool in mathematics. For zero, infinity's twin, is not like other numbers. It is both nothing and everything.
In Zero, Science Journalist Charles Seife follows this innocent-looking number from its birth as an Eastern philosophical concept to its struggle for acceptance in Europe, its rise and transcendence in the West, and its ever-present threat to modern physics. Here are the legendary thinkers—from Pythagoras to Newton to Heisenberg, from the Kabalists to today's astrophysicists—who have tried to understand it and whose clashes shook the foundations of philosophy, science, mathematics, and religion. Zero has pitted East against West and faith against reason, and its intransigence persists in the dark core of a black hole and the brilliant flash of the Big Bang. Today, zero lies at the heart of one of the biggest scientific controversies of all time: the quest for a theory of everything.
Stumped trying to make sense of physics? Here's your solution. Physics Demystified, Second Edition helps you grasp the essential concepts with ease.
Written in a step-by-step format, this practical guide begins by covering classical physics, including mass, force, motion, momentum, work, energy, and power, as well as the temperature and states of matter. Electricity, magnetism, and electronics are discussed as are waves, particles, space, and time. Detailed examples, concise explanations, and worked problems make it easy to understand the material, and end-of-chapter quizzes and a final exam help reinforce learning.
It's a no-brainer! You'll learn about:Scientific notation, units, and constants Newton's laws of motion Kirchhoff's laws Alternating current and semiconductors Optics Relativity theory
Simple enough for a beginner, but detailed enough for an advanced student, Physics Demystified, Second Edition helps you master this challenging and diverse subject. It's also the perfect resource to prepare you for higher-level physics classes and college placement tests.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the New York Times–bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and 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? Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli has spent his life exploring these questions. He tells us how our understanding of reality has changed over the centuries and how physicists think about the structure of the universe today.
In elegant and accessible prose, Rovelli takes us on a wondrous journey from Democritus to Albert 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.
This book culminates in a lucid overview of quantum gravity, the field of research that explores the quantum nature of space and time, seeking to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity. 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.
Timeless and collectible, the lectures are essential reading, not just for students of physics but for anyone seeking an introduction to the field from the inimitable Feynman.
The book is divided between introductory and advanced lectures. The introductory lectures address Kähler manifolds, variations of Hodge structure, mixed Hodge structures, the Hodge theory of maps, period domains and period mappings, algebraic cycles (up to and including the Bloch-Beilinson conjecture) and Chow groups, sheaf cohomology, and a new treatment of Grothendieck’s algebraic de Rham theorem. The advanced lectures address a Hodge-theoretic perspective on Shimura varieties, the spread philosophy in the study of algebraic cycles, absolute Hodge classes (including a new, self-contained proof of Deligne’s theorem on absolute Hodge cycles), and variation of mixed Hodge structures.
The contributors include Patrick Brosnan, James Carlson, Eduardo Cattani, François Charles, Mark Andrea de Cataldo, Fouad El Zein, Mark L. Green, Phillip A. Griffiths, Matt Kerr, Lê Dũng Tráng, Luca Migliorini, Jacob P. Murre, Christian Schnell, and Loring W. Tu.
In Physics of the Future, Michio Kaku—the New York Times bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible—gives us a stunning, provocative, and exhilarating vision of the coming century based on interviews with over three hundred of the world’s top scientists who are already inventing the future in their labs. The result is the most authoritative and scientifically accurate description of the revolutionary developments taking place in medicine, computers, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, energy production, and astronautics.
In all likelihood, by 2100 we will control computers via tiny brain sensors and, like magicians, move objects around with the power of our minds. Artificial intelligence will be dispersed throughout the environment, and Internet-enabled contact lenses will allow us to access the world's information base or conjure up any image we desire in the blink of an eye.
Meanwhile, cars will drive themselves using GPS, and if room-temperature superconductors are discovered, vehicles will effortlessly fly on a cushion of air, coasting on powerful magnetic fields and ushering in the age of magnetism.
Using molecular medicine, scientists will be able to grow almost every organ of the body and cure genetic diseases. Millions of tiny DNA sensors and nanoparticles patrolling our blood cells will silently scan our bodies for the first sign of illness, while rapid advances in genetic research will enable us to slow down or maybe even reverse the aging process, allowing human life spans to increase dramatically.
In space, radically new ships—needle-sized vessels using laser propulsion—could replace the expensive chemical rockets of today and perhaps visit nearby stars. Advances in nanotechnology may lead to the fabled space elevator, which would propel humans hundreds of miles above the earth’s atmosphere at the push of a button.
But these astonishing revelations are only the tip of the iceberg. Kaku also discusses emotional robots, antimatter rockets, X-ray vision, and the ability to create new life-forms, and he considers the development of the world economy. He addresses the key questions: Who are the winner and losers of the future? Who will have jobs, and which nations will prosper?
All the while, Kaku illuminates the rigorous scientific principles, examining the rate at which certain technologies are likely to mature, how far they can advance, and what their ultimate limitations and hazards are. Synthesizing a vast amount of information to construct an exciting look at the years leading up to 2100, Physics of the Future is a thrilling, wondrous ride through the next 100 years of breathtaking scientific revolution.
From the Hardcover edition.
In The Science of God, distinguished physicist and Biblical scholar Gerald L. Schroeder demonstrates the surprising parallels between a variety of Biblical teachings and the findings of biochemists, paleontologists, astrophysicists, and quantum physicists. In a brilliant and wide-ranging discussion of key topics that have divided science and religion—free will, the development of the universe, the origin of life, and the origin of man—Schroeder argues that the latest science and a close reading of the Bible are not just compatible but interdependent.
This timely reissue of The Science of God features a brand-new preface by Schroeder and a compelling appendix that addresses the highly publicized experiment in 2008 in which scientists attempted to re-create the chemical composition of the cosmos immediately after the Big Bang. It also details Schroeder’s lucid explanations of complex scientific and religious concepts, such as the theory of relativity, the passage of time, and the definitions of crucial Hebrew words in the Bible. Religious skeptics, Biblical literalists, scientists, students, and physicists alike will be riveted by Schroeder’s remarkable contribution to the raging debate between science and religion.
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. In fact, every major advance in his career came from this intuition: to assume that the universe embodies beautiful forms, forms whose hallmarks are symmetry—harmony, balance, proportion—and economy. There are other meanings of “beauty,” but 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, the ancient Greek who was the first to argue that “all things are number,” to Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, and into the deep waters of twentiethcentury physics. Though the ancients weren’t right about everything, their ardent belief in the music of the spheres has proved true down to the quantum level. Indeed, Wilczek explores just how intertwined our ideas about beauty and art are with our scientific understanding of the cosmos.
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 literally the same equations that govern musical instruments and sound; the subatomic particles that are responsible for most of our mass are determined by simple geometric symmetries. The universe itself, suggests Wilczek, seems to want to embody beautiful and elegant forms. Perhaps this force is the pure elegance of numbers, perhaps the work of a higher being, or somewhere between. Either way, we don’t depart from the infinite and infinitesimal after all; we’re profoundly connected to them, and we connect them. When we find that our sense of beauty is realized in the physical world, we are discovering something about the world, but also something about ourselves.
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.