The Infinity Puzzle [Audiobook]
24 September 2013, 05:20
2012 | MP3 VBR + EPUB + MOBI | 12 hrs 15 mins | 320.38MB
The second half of the twentieth century witnessed a scientific gold rush as physicists raced to chart the inner workings of the atom. The stakes were high: the questions were big, and there were Nobel Prizes and everlasting glory to be won. Many mysteries of the atom came unraveled, but one remained intractable-what Frank Close calls the "Infinity Puzzle."
The problem was simple to describe. Although clearly very powerful, quantum field theory-the great achievement of the 1930s-was making one utterly ridiculous prediction: that certain events had an infinite probability of occurring. The solution is known as renormalization, which enables theory to match what we see in the real world. It has been a powerful approach, conquering three of the four fundamental forces of nature, and giving rise to the concept of the Higgs boson, the now much-sought particle that may be what gives structure to the universe. The Infinity Puzzle charts the birth and life of the idea, and the scientists, both household names and unsung heroes, who realized it.
Based on numerous firsthand interviews and extensive research, The Infinity Puzzle captures an era of great mystery and greater discovery. Even if the Higgs boson is never found, renormalization-the pursuit of an orderly universe-has led to one of the richest and most productive intellectual periods in human history. With a physicist's expertise and a historian's care, Close describes the personalities and the competition, the dead ends and the sudden insights, in a story that will reverberate through the ages.
Germs, Genes, & Civilization [Audiobook]
19 September 2013, 19:57
2011 | MP3 VBR | 8 hrs 11 mins | 212.53MB
The stunning, hidden interconnections between microbes and humanity.
AD 452: Attila the Hun stands ready to sack Rome. No one can stop him - but he walks away. A miracle? No... dysentery. Microbes saved the Roman Empire. Nearly a millennium later, the microbes of the Black Death ended the Middle Ages, making possible the Renaissance, Western democracy, and the scientific revolution. Soon after, microbes ravaged the Americas, paving the way for their European conquest.
Again and again, microbes have shaped our health, our genetics, our history, our culture, our politics, even our religion and ethics. This book reveals much that scientists and cultural historians have learned about the pervasive interconnections between infectious microbes and humans. It also considers what our ongoing fundamental relationship with infectious microbes might mean for the future of the human species.
Permanent Present Tense [Audiobook]
18 September 2013, 17:45
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 13 hrs 15 mins | 364.57MB
Permanent Present Tense tells the incredible story of Henry Gustav Molaison, known only as H. M. until his death in 2008. In 1953, at the age of 27, Molaison underwent a dangerous "psychosurgical" procedure intended to alleviate his debilitating epilepsy. The surgery went horribly wrong, and when Molaison awoke he was unable to store new experiences. For the rest of his life, he would be trapped in the moment. But Molaison's tragedy would prove a gift to humanity.
The amazing specificity of his impairment shed new light on the functions and structures of the human brain, revolutionizing neuroscience. Today, the case of H. M. stands as one of the most consequential and widely referenced in this fast-expanding field.
Renowned neuroscientist Suzanne Corkin worked with Molaison for nearly five decades. In Permanent Present Tense, she tells the full story of his life and legacy, leading her listener to the cutting edge of neuroscience with great clarity, sensitivity, and grace.