Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe [EPUB]
21 October 2017, 01:30
2016 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780691119793 | 17.07MB
What can fashionable ideas, blind faith, or pure fantasy possibly have to do with the scientific quest to understand the universe? Surely, theoretical physicists are immune to mere trends, dogmatic beliefs, or flights of fancy? In fact, acclaimed physicist and bestselling author Roger Penrose argues that researchers working at the extreme frontiers of physics are just as susceptible to these forces as anyone else. In this provocative book, he argues that fashion, faith, and fantasy, while sometimes productive and even essential in physics, may be leading today's researchers astray in three of the field's most important areas―string theory, quantum mechanics, and cosmology.
Arguing that string theory has veered away from physical reality by positing six extra hidden dimensions, Penrose cautions that the fashionable nature of a theory can cloud our judgment of its plausibility. In the case of quantum mechanics, its stunning success in explaining the atomic universe has led to an uncritical faith that it must also apply to reasonably massive objects, and Penrose responds by suggesting possible changes in quantum theory. Turning to cosmology, he argues that most of the current fantastical ideas about the origins of the universe cannot be true, but that an even wilder reality may lie behind them. Finally, Penrose describes how fashion, faith, and fantasy have ironically also shaped his own work, from twistor theory, a possible alternative to string theory that is beginning to acquire a fashionable status, to "conformal cyclic cosmology," an idea so fantastic that it could be called "conformal crazy cosmology."
The result is an important critique of some of the most significant developments in physics today from one of its most eminent figures.
The Zoomable Universe: An Epic Tour Through Cosmic Scale, from Almost Everything to Nearly Nothing [EPUB]
18 October 2017, 11:17
2017 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780374715717 | 9.88MB
An epic, full-color visual journey through all scales of the universe
In The Zoomable Universe, the award-winning astrobiologist Caleb Scharf and the acclaimed artist Ron Miller take us on an epic tour through all known scales of reality, from the largest possible magnitude to the smallest. Drawing on cutting-edge science, they begin at the limits of the observable universe, a scale spanning 10^27 meters―about 93 billion light-years. And they end in the subatomic realm, at 10^-35 meters, where the fabric of space-time itself confounds all known rules of physics. In between are galaxies, stars and planets, oceans and continents, plants and animals, microorganisms, atoms, and much, much more. Stops along the way―all enlivened by Scharf’s sparkling prose and his original insights into the nature of our universe―include the brilliant core of the Milky Way, the surface of a rogue planet, the back of an elephant, and a sea of jostling quarks.
The Zoomable Universe is packed with more than 100 original illustrations and infographics that will captivate readers of every age. It is a whimsical celebration of discovery, a testament to our astounding ability to see beyond our own vantage point and chart a course from the farthest reaches of the cosmos to its subatomic depths―in short, a must-have for the shelves of all explorers.
Astronomy For Dummies, 4th Edition [EPUB]
14 October 2017, 03:24
2017 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781119374244 | 17.47MB
Your updated guide to exploring the night sky
Do you know the difference between a red giant and a white dwarf? From asteroids to black holes, this easy-to-understand guide takes you on a grand tour of the universe. Featuring updated star maps, charts, and an insert with gorgeous full-color photographs, Astronomy For Dummies provides an easy-to-follow introduction to exploring the night sky. Plus, this new edition also comes with chapter quizzes online to help your understanding.
For as long as people have been walking the earth, those people have looked up into the night sky and wondered about the nature of the cosmos. Without the benefit of science to provide answers, they relied on myth and superstition to help them make sense of what they saw. Lucky for us, we live at a time when regular folks, equipped with nothing more than their naked eyes, can look up into the night sky and gain admittance to infinite wonders. If you know what to look for, you can make out planets, stars, galaxies, and even galactic clusters comprising hundreds of millions of stars and spanning millions of light-years.
Whether you're an amateur astronomer, space enthusiast, or enrolled in a first year astronomy course, Astronomy For Dummies gives you a reason to look into the heavens.
- Includes updated schedules of coming eclipses of the Sun and Moon and a revised planetary appendix
- Covers recent discoveries in space, such as water on the Moon and Pluto's demotion from "planet" status
- Collects new websites, lists of telescope motels, sky-watching guides, and suggestions for beginner's telescopes and suppliers
- Provides free online access to chapter quizzes to help you understand the content
Ever wonder what's out there in the big ol' universe? This is the book for you!