Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality

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Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mind-boggling theories, but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist. Fascinating from first to last—this is a book that has already prompted the attention and admiration of some of the most prominent scientists and mathematicians.
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About the author

Max Tegmark is author or coauthor of more than two hundred technical papers, twelve of which have been cited more than five hundred times. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a physics professor at MIT.
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Published on
Jan 7, 2014
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Mathematics / History & Philosophy
Science / Cosmology
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
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A new edition of the New York Times bestseller—now a three-part Nova special: a fascinating and thought-provoking journey through the mysteries of space, time, and matter. Now with a new preface (not in any other edition) that will review the enormous public reception of the relatively obscure string theory—made possible by this book and an increased number of adherents amongst physicists—The Elegant Universe "sets a standard that will be hard to beat" (New York Times Book Review). Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away the layers of mystery surrounding string theory to reveal a universe that consists of eleven dimensions, where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter—from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas—is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy.

Today physicists and mathematicians throughout the world are feverishly working on one of the most ambitious theories ever proposed: superstring theory. String theory, as it is often called, is the key to the Unified Field Theory that eluded Einstein for more than thirty years. Finally, the century-old antagonism between the large and the small-General Relativity and Quantum Theory-is resolved. String theory proclaims that all of the wondrous happenings in the universe, from the frantic dancing of subatomic quarks to the majestic swirling of heavenly galaxies, are reflections of one grand physical principle and manifestations of one single entity: microscopically tiny vibrating loops of energy, a billionth of a billionth the size of an atom. In this brilliantly articulated and refreshingly clear book, Greene relates the scientific story and the human struggle behind twentieth-century physics' search for a theory of everything.

Through the masterful use of metaphor and analogy, The Elegant Universe makes some of the most sophisticated concepts ever contemplated viscerally accessible and thoroughly entertaining, bringing us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works.
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. 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.
¿Cómo afectará la inteligencia artificial al crimen, a la guerra, a la justicia, al trabajo, a la sociedad y al sentido de nuestras vidas?

Bienvenidos a la conversación más importante de nuestro tiempo.

¿Cómo afectará la inteligencia artificial al crimen, a la guerra, a la justicia, al trabajo, a la sociedad y al sentido de nuestras vidas? ¿Es posible que las máquinas nos dejen fuera de juego, remplazando a los humanos en el mercado laboral e incluso en otros ámbitos? ¿La inteligencia artificial proveerá mejoras sin precedente a nuestras vidas o nos dará más poder del que podemos manejar?

Muchas de las cuestiones más fundamentales de la actualidad están íntimamente relacionadas con el aumento de la inteligencia artificial.

Max Tegmark no se asusta ante la gama completa de puntos de vista o ante los temas más controvertidos, desde la superinteligencia hasta el significado, la conciencia y los límites físicos últimos de la vida en el cosmos. En Vida 3.0, clarifica los conceptos clave necesarios para hablar de inteligencia artificial al tiempo que ayuda a entender la importancia de las cuestiones clave, aquellas que la humanidad tendrá que abordar en las próximas décadas.

«Todos nosotros, no solo científicos, industriales y generales, deberíamos preguntarnos qué puede hacerse ahora para aumentar las posibilidades de cosechar los beneficios de la IA futura y evitar sus riesgos. Esta es la conversación más importante de nuestro tiempo, y con este estimulante libro Tegmark te ayudará a participar en ella.»
Stephen Hawking

«Enriquecedor y visionario. Todo el mundo debería leerlo.»
The Times

«Tegmark explica con brillantez numerosos conceptos del terreno de la informática al de la cosmología, escribe con modestia y sutileza intelectual, le ofrece al lector el importante servicio de definir sus términos con claridad, y con razón rinde homenaje a las mentes creativas de los escritores de ciencia ficción que, por supuesto, abordaron este tipo de preguntas hace más de medio siglo.»
Steven Poole, The Telegraph

«Original, accesible y provocador. Tegmark ilumina las numerosas facetas de la inteligencia artificial. Disfruten del viaje y saldrán del otro extremo con una mejor apreciación de adónde podría llevarnos la tecnología en los próximos años.»

«Una guía convincente por los retos y dilemas en nuestra búsqueda de un gran futuro de la vida, la inteligencia y la consciencia, en la Tierra y más allá de esta.»
Elon Musk

Estimulante. La discusión inteligente y desenfrenada de Tegmark conduce a fascinantes especulaciones sobre civilizaciones basadas en la inteligencia artificial que abarcan galaxias y eones. Absorbente.»
Publishers Weekly

»Fysiken är det yttersta intellektuella äventyret, ett försök att förstå universums djupaste mysterier. Fysik handlar inte om att ta något spännande och göra det tråkigt. Tvärtom hjälper fysiken oss att se klarare och får världen omkring oss att framstå i hela sin förunderliga skönhet.«

Max Tegmark tar i Vårt matematiska universum med oss på en svindlande resa i fysikens, astronomins och matematikens fascinerande värld. En av hypoteserna vi möter är att vår verklighet är en matematisk struktur, en annan att det existerar oändligt många parallella universum och därmed oändligt många du.

Genom att kombinera populärvetenskap och banbrytande forskning förklarar Tegmark på ett tillgängligt sätt sina teorier. Han redogör också för överraskande framgångar och motgångar som format hans liv som forskare, från uppväxten i en stockholmsförort till livet som kontroversiell professor i USA.

Den här oavbrutet fängslande boken har mottagits med stort intresse och hyllats av några av världens mest framstående forskare och matematiker. Det Max Tegmark skriver om påminner om science fiction när den är som bäst men verkligheten överträffar dikten. Välkommen till Max Tegmarks universum!

Max Tegmark föddes 1967 och växte upp i Stockholm. Han har kallats världens smartaste svensk och är idag professor i fysik vid MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, i USA.

»Hisnande och provokativt om de yttersta frågorna. En nödvändig bok för dig som någon gång funderat på varifrån allt kommer.« Professor Ulf Danielsson, fysiker och författare till Den bästa av världar

»Det här är populärvetenskap när den är som bäst dynamisk, dramatisk och lättillgänglig ... Briljant argumentation, ett vackert språk och tankeväckande om vår existens allra största mysterier.« The New York Times
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