Dreams of a Final Theory: The Scientist's Search for the Ultimate Laws of Nature

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The Nobel Prize-winning physicist and bestselling author of The First Three Minutes describes the grand quest for a unifying theory of nature--one that can explain forces as different as the cohesion inside the atom and the gravitational tug between the sun and Earth. Wirting with dazzling elegance and clarity, he retraces the steps that have led modern scientists from relativity and quantum mechanics to the notion of super-strings and the idea that our universe may coexist with others.

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.
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About the author

Steven Weinberg received the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physics for his work in unifying two of the fundamental forces of nature, and in 1991 he was awarded the National Medal of Science at the White House. His earlier price-winning book The First Three Minutes is the classic account of the "Big Bang," the modern theory of the origins of the universe. Among his other books are The Theory of Subatomic Particles and Gravitation and Cosmology: Principles and Applications of the General Theory of Relativity. Steven Weingberg is a member of the Royal Society of London as well as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and has been awarded numerous honorary degrees, most recently from Columbia University and the Universities of Salamanca and Padua.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
Apr 20, 2011
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780307787866
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Cosmology
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
Science / Physics / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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A daring new vision of quantum theory from one of the leading minds of contemporary physics

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If we are to have any hope of completing the revolution that Einstein began nearly a century ago, we must go beyond quantum mechanics to find a theory that will give us a complete description of nature. In Einstein's Unfinished Revolution, Lee Smolin brings us a step closer to resolving one of the greatest scientific controversies of our age.
". . . full of intellectual treats and tricks, of whimsy and deep scientific philosophy. It is highbrow entertainment at its best, a teasing challenge to all who aspire to think about the universe." — New York Herald Tribune
One of the world's foremost nuclear physicists (celebrated for his theory of radioactive decay, among other accomplishments), George Gamow possessed the unique ability of making the world of science accessible to the general reader.
He brings that ability to bear in this delightful expedition through the problems, pleasures, and puzzles of modern science. Among the topics scrutinized with the author's celebrated good humor and pedagogical prowess are the macrocosm and the microcosm, theory of numbers, relativity of space and time, entropy, genes, atomic structure, nuclear fission, and the origin of the solar system.
In the pages of this book readers grapple with such crucial matters as whether it is possible to bend space, why a rocket shrinks, the "end of the world problem," excursions into the fourth dimension, and a host of other tantalizing topics for the scientifically curious. Brimming with amusing anecdotes and provocative problems, One Two Three . . . Infinity also includes over 120 delightful pen-and-ink illustrations by the author, adding another dimension of good-natured charm to these wide-ranging explorations.
Whatever your level of scientific expertise, chances are you'll derive a great deal of pleasure, stimulation, and information from this unusual and imaginative book. It belongs in the library of anyone curious about the wonders of the scientific universe. "In One Two Three . . . Infinity, as in his other books, George Gamow succeeds where others fail because of his remarkable ability to combine technical accuracy, choice of material, dignity of expression, and readability." — Saturday Review of Literature

Are there other dimensions beyond our own? Is time travel possible? Can we change the past? Are there gateways to parallel universes? All of us have pondered such questions, but there was a time when scientists dismissed these notions as outlandish speculations. Not any more. Today, they are the focus of the most intense scientific activity in recent memory. In Hyperspace, Michio Kaku, author of the widely acclaimed Beyond Einstein and a leading theoretical physicist, offers the first book-length tour of the most exciting (and perhaps most bizarre) work in modern physics, work which includes research on the tenth dimension, time warps, black holes, and multiple universes. The theory of hyperspace (or higher dimensional space)--and its newest wrinkle, superstring theory--stand at the center of this revolution, with adherents in every major research laboratory in the world, including several Nobel laureates. Beginning where Hawking's Brief History of Time left off, Kaku paints a vivid portrayal of the breakthroughs now rocking the physics establishment. Why all the excitement? As the author points out, for over half a century, scientists have puzzled over why the basic forces of the cosmos--gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces--require markedly different mathematical descriptions. But if we see these forces as vibrations in a higher dimensional space, their field equations suddenly fit together like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, perfectly snug, in an elegant, astonishingly simple form. This may thus be our leading candidate for the Theory of Everything. If so, it would be the crowning achievement of 2,000 years of scientific investigation into matter and its forces. Already, the theory has inspired several thousand research papers, and has been the focus of over 200 international conferences. Michio Kaku is one of the leading pioneers in superstring theory and has been at the forefront of this revolution in modern physics. With Hyperspace, he has produced a book for general readers which conveys the vitality of the field and the excitement as scientists grapple with the meaning of space and time. It is an exhilarating look at physics today and an eye-opening glimpse into the ultimate nature of the universe.
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