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The Nature of Space and Time (Princeton Science Library)

The Nature of Space and Time (Princeton Science Library) Lowest new price: $7.00
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Author: Stephen Hawking
Brand: Hawking Stephen

Einstein said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. But was he right? Can the quantum theory of fields and Einstein's general theory of relativity, the two most accurate and successful theories in all of physics, be united into a single quantum theory of gravity? Can quantum and cosmos ever be combined? In The Nature of Space and Time, two of the world’s most famous physicists―Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time) and Roger Penrose (The Road to Reality)―debate these questions.

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.

Who doesn't love a good argument? When physics heavyweights Stephen W. Hawking and Roger Penrose delivered three sets of back-and-forth lectures capped by a final debate at Cambridge's Isaac Newton Institute, the course of modern cosmological thinking was at stake. As it happens, The Nature of Space and Time, which collects these remarks, suggests that little has changed from the days when Einstein challenged Bohr by refusing to believe that God plays dice. The math is more abstruse, the arguments more refined, but the argument still hinges on whether our physical theories should be expected to model reality or merely predict measurements.

Hawking, clever and playful as usual, sides with Bohr and the Copenhagen interpretation and builds a strong case for quantum gravity. Penrose, inevitably a bit dry in comparison, shares Einstein's horror at such intuition-blasting thought experiments as Schrödinger's long-suffering cat--and scores just as many points for general relativity. The math is tough going for lay readers, but a few leaps of faith will carry them through to some deeply thought-provoking rhetoric. Though no questions find final answers in The Nature of Space and Time, the quality of discourse should be enough to satisfy the scientifically curious. --Rob Lightner


  • The Nature of Space and Time Princeton Science Library

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Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy (Commonwealth Fund Book Program)

Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy (Commonwealth Fund Book Program) Lowest new price: $7.66
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Author: Kip S. Thorne
Brand: Kip S Thorne

Winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics

Ever since Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity burst upon the world in 1915 some of the most brilliant minds of our century have sought to decipher the mysteries bequeathed by that theory, a legacy so unthinkable in some respects that even Einstein himself rejected them.

Which of these bizarre phenomena, if any, can really exist in our universe? Black holes, down which anything can fall but from which nothing can return; wormholes, short spacewarps connecting regions of the cosmos; singularities, where space and time are so violently warped that time ceases to exist and space becomes a kind of foam; gravitational waves, which carry symphonic accounts of collisions of black holes billions of years ago; and time machines, for traveling backward and forward in time.

Kip Thorne, along with fellow theorists Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, a cadre of Russians, and earlier scientists such as Oppenheimer, Wheeler and Chandrasekhar, has been in the thick of the quest to secure answers. In this masterfully written and brilliantly informed work of scientific history and explanation, Dr. Thorne, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at Caltech, leads his readers through an elegant, always human, tapestry of interlocking themes, coming finally to a uniquely informed answer to the great question: what principles control our universe and why do physicists think they know the things they think they know? Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time has been one of the greatest best-sellers in publishing history. Anyone who struggled with that book will find here a more slowly paced but equally mind-stretching experience, with the added fascination of a rich historical and human component.

Winner of the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science.


  • Black Holes and Time Warps Einstein s Outrageous Legacy

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Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics

Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics Lowest new price: $5.89
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Author: Gary Zukav
Brand: HarperOne

“The most exciting intellectual adventure I've been on since reading Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

Gary Zukav’s timeless, humorous, New York Times bestselling masterpiece, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, is arguably the most widely acclaimed introduction to quantum physics ever written. Scientific American raves: “Zukav is such a skilled expositor, with such an amiable style, that it is hard to imagine a layman who would not find his book enjoyable and informative.” Accessible, edifying, and endlessly entertaining, The Dancing Wu Li Masters is back in a beautiful new edition—and the doors to the fascinating, dazzling, remarkable world of quantum physics are opened to all once again, no previous mathematical or technical expertise required.

At an Esalen Institute meeting in 1976, tai chi master Al Huang said that the Chinese word for physics is Wu Li, "patterns of organic energy." Journalist Gary Zukav and the others present developed the idea of physics as the dance of the Wu Li Masters--the teachers of physical essence. Zukav explains the concept further:

The Wu Li Master dances with his student. The Wu Li Master does not teach, but the student learns. The Wu Li Master always begins at the center, the heart of the matter.... This book deals not with knowledge, which is always past tense anyway, but with imagination, which is physics come alive, which is Wu Li.... Most people believe that physicists are explaining the world. Some physicists even believe that, but the Wu Li Masters know that they are only dancing with it.

The "new physics" of Zukav's 1979 book comprises quantum theory, particle physics, and relativity. Even as these theories age they haven't percolated all that far into the collective consciousness; they're too far removed from mundane human experience not to need introduction. The Dancing Wu Li Masters remains an engaging, accessible way to meet the most profound and mind-altering insights of 20th-century science. --Mary Ellen Curtin


  • HarperOne

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The Greatest Story Ever Told--So Far: Why Are We Here?

The Greatest Story Ever Told--So Far: Why Are We Here? Lowest new price: $9.99
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Author: Lawrence M. Krauss

From award-winning physicist, public intellectual, and the bestselling author of A Universe from Nothing Lawrence Krauss, comes “a masterful blend of history, modern physics, and cosmic perspective that empowers the reader to not only embrace our understanding of the universe, but also revel in what remains to be discovered” (Neil deGrasse Tyson, American Museum of Natural History).

In this grand poetic vision of the universe, Lawrence Krauss tells the dramatic story of the discovery of the hidden world that underlies reality—and our place within it.

Reality is not what you think or sense—it’s weird, wild, and counterintuitive, and its inner workings seem at least as implausible as the idea that something can come from nothing.

With his trademark wit and accessible style, Krauss leads us to realms so small that they are invisible to microscopes, to the birth and rebirth of light, and into the natural forces that govern our existence. His unique blend of rigorous research and engaging storytelling invites us into the lives and minds of remarkable scientists who have helped unravel the unexpected fabric of reality with reasoning rather than superstition and dogma, and to explain how everything we see—and can’t see—came about. A passionate advocate for reason, Krauss gives the rationale for the seemingly irrational—and the mysteries and apparent contradictions of quantum physics, and explores what that means for our lives here on Earth—and beyond.

At its core, The Greatest Story Ever Told—So Far is about the best of what it means to be human—an epic history of our ultimately purposeless universe that addresses the question, “Why are we here?”

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Classical Mechanics And Relativity

Classical Mechanics And Relativity Lowest new price: $110.00
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Author: Harald J W Muller-Kirsten
Brand: Brand: World Scientific Publishing Company

This text provides a pedagogical tour through mechanics from Newton to Einstein with detailed explanations and a large number of worked examples. From the very beginning relativity is kept in mind, along with its relation to concepts of basic mechanics, such as inertia, escape velocity, Newton's potential, Kepler motion and curvature. The Lagrange and Hamilton formalisms are treated in detail, and extensive applications to central forces and rigid bodies are presented. After consideration of the motivation of relativity, the essential tensor calculus is developed, and thereafter Einstein's equation is solved for special cases with explicit presentation of calculational steps.The combined treatment of classical mechanics and relativity thus enables the reader to see the connection between Newton's gravitational potential, Kepler motion and Einstein's corrections, as well as diverse aspects of mechanics. The text addresses students and others pursuing a course in classical mechanics, as well as those interested in a detailed course on relativity.


  • Used Book in Good Condition

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The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe

The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe Lowest new price: $11.61
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Author: Stephon Alexander

"Music lovers are at high risk of being inspired by this exploration of the connections between music and physics." --Wall Street Journal

More than fifty years ago, John Coltrane drew the twelve musical notes in a circle and connected them by straight lines, forming a five-pointed star. Inspired by Einstein, Coltrane put physics and geometry at the core of his music.

Physicist and jazz musician Stephon Alexander follows suit, using jazz to answer physics' most vexing questions about the past and future of the universe. Following the great minds that first drew the links between music and physics-a list including Pythagoras, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, and Rakim-The Jazz of Physics reveals that the ancient poetic idea of the Music of the Spheres," taken seriously, clarifies confounding issues in physics.

The Jazz of Physics
will fascinate and inspire anyone interested in the mysteries of our universe, music, and life itself.

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Six Not-So-Easy Pieces: Einstein’s Relativity, Symmetry, and Space-Time

Six Not-So-Easy Pieces: Einstein’s Relativity, Symmetry, and Space-Time Lowest new price: $8.27
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Author: Richard P. Feynman
Brand: Feynman Richard P Leighton Robert B Sands Matthew

It was Feynman's outrageous and scintillating method of teaching that earned him legendary status among students and professors of physics. From 1961 to 1963, Feynman delivered a series of lectures at the California Institute of Technology that revolutionized the teaching of physics. In Six Not-So-Easy Pieces, taken from these famous lectures, Feynman delves into one of the most revolutionary discoveries in twentieth-century physics: Einstein's theory of relativity. The idea that the flow of time is not constant, that the mass of an object depends on its velocity, and that the speed of light is a constant no matter what the motion of the observer, at first seemed shocking to scientists and laymen alike. But as Feynman shows, these tricky ideas are not merely dry principles of physics, but things of beauty and elegance.

No one—not even Einstein himself—explained these difficult, anti-intuitive concepts more clearly, or with more verve and gusto, than Richard Feynman. Filled with wonderful examples and clever illustrations, Six Not-So-Easy Pieces is the ideal introduction to fundamentals of physics by one of the most admired and accessible physicists of all times.

“There is no better explanation for the scientifically literate layman.”—The Washington Post Book World


  • Six Not So Easy Pieces Einstein s Relativity Symmetry and Space Time

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Relativity Simply Explained (Dover Classics of Science & Mathematics)

Relativity Simply Explained (Dover Classics of Science & Mathematics) Lowest new price: $7.50
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Author: Martin Gardner
Brand: Martin Gardner

Since the publication of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity in 1905, the discovery of such astronomical phenomena as quasars, pulsars, and black holes — all intimately connected to relativity — has provoked a tremendous upsurge of interest in the subject.
This volume, a revised version of Martin Gardner's earlier Relativity for the Million, brings this fascinating topic up to date. Witty, perceptive, and easily accessible to the general reader, it is one of the clearest and most entertaining introductions to relativity ever written.
Mr. Gardner offers lucid explanations of not only the special and general theories of relativity, but of the Michelson-Morley experiment, gravity and spacetime, Mach's principle, the twin paradox, models of the universe, and other topics. A new Postscript, examining the latest developments in the field, and specially written for this edition, is also included.
The clarity of the text is especially enhanced by the brilliant graphics of Anthony Ravielli, making this "by far the best layman's account of this difficult subject." — Christian Science Monitor.


  • Relativity Simply Explained

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Now: The Physics of Time

Now: The Physics of Time Lowest new price: $9.83
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Author: Richard A. Muller

From the celebrated author of the best-selling Physics for Future Presidents comes “a provocative, strongly argued book on the fundamental nature of time” (Lee Smolin).

You are reading the word “now” right now. But what does that mean? What makes the ephemeral moment “now” so special? Its enigmatic character has bedeviled philosophers, priests, and modern-day physicists from Augustine to Einstein and beyond. Einstein showed that the flow of time is affected by both velocity and gravity, yet he despaired at his failure to explain the meaning of “now.” Equally puzzling: why does time flow? Some physicists have given up trying to understand, and call the flow of time an illusion, but the eminent experimentalist physicist Richard A. Muller protests. He says physics should explain reality, not deny it.

In Now, Muller does more than poke holes in past ideas; he crafts his own revolutionary theory, one that makes testable predictions. He begins by laying out―with the refreshing clarity that made Physics for Future Presidents so successful―a firm and remarkably clear explanation of the physics building blocks of his theory: relativity, entropy, entanglement, antimatter, and the Big Bang. With the stage then set, he reveals a startling way forward.

Muller’s monumental work will spark major debate about the most fundamental assumptions of our universe, and may crack one of physics’s longest-standing enigmas.

42 illustrations

An Amazon Best Book of September 2016: Are you ready to have your mind blown? The topic of time and the theory of relativity sounds, well, merely theoretical until you realize upon reading Now that our GPS satellites have to compensate for time dilation constantly—otherwise they’d send us a location that’s inaccurate by almost a mile and a half. Muller’s enthusiasm for physics propels the reader through complex ideas such as space-time, entropy, the flexibility of space, lightspeed loopholes, and his dislike of string theory. Calvin and Hobbes cartoons and Terminator references sit side by side with equations such as Entropy = k log W—but don’t let that alarm you. The best nonfiction books expand your knowledge, and Now takes that effort one step further by expanding how you actually think about so-called reality. Muller’s love of physics will charm even those who want nothing to do with the subject, and even more engaging is his humility about the extent of our current understanding of how the universe works: “I think we can take joy in the speculation that we are not running out of important things to discover.” With Now, readers will find plenty that will expand their brains and prepare them for that next amazing discovery. --Adrian Liang, The Amazon Book Review

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A Most Incomprehensible Thing: Notes Towards a Very Gentle Introduction to the Mathematics of Relativity

A Most Incomprehensible Thing: Notes Towards a Very Gentle Introduction to the Mathematics of Relativity Lowest new price: $14.99
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Author: Peter Collier

A straightforward, enjoyable guide to the mathematics of Einstein's relativity – THE AMAZON BESTSELLER
To really understand Einstein's theory of relativity – one of the cornerstones of modern physics – you have to get to grips with the underlying mathematics. This self-study guide is aimed at the general reader who is motivated to tackle that not insignificant challenge. With a user-friendly style, clear step-by-step mathematical derivations, many fully solved problems and numerous diagrams, this book provides a comprehensive introduction to a fascinating but complex subject. For those with minimal mathematical background, the first chapter gives a crash course in foundation mathematics. The reader is then taken gently by the hand and guided through a wide range of fundamental topics, including Newtonian mechanics; the Lorentz transformations; tensor calculus; the Einstein field equations; the Schwarzschild solution (which gives a good approximation of the spacetime of our Solar System); simple black holes, relativistic cosmology and gravitational waves.

Special relativity helps explain a huge range of non-gravitational physical phenomena and has some strangely counter-intuitive consequences. These include time dilation, length contraction, the relativity of simultaneity, mass-energy equivalence and an absolute speed limit. General relativity, the leading theory of gravity, is at the heart of our understanding of cosmology and black holes.

"I must observe that the theory of relativity resembles a building consisting of two separate stories, the special theory and the general theory. The special theory, on which the general theory rests, applies to all physical phenomena with the exception of gravitation; the general theory provides the law of gravitation and its relations to the other forces of nature."Albert Einstein, 1919

Understand even the basics of Einstein's amazing theory and the world will never seem the same again.

1 Foundation mathematics
2 Newtonian mechanics
3 Special relativity
4 Introducing the manifold
5 Scalars, vectors, one-forms and tensors
6 More on curvature
7 General relativity
8 The Newtonian limit
9 The Schwarzschild metric
10 Schwarzschild black holes
11 Cosmology
12 Gravitational waves
Appendix: The Riemann curvature tensor

January 2018. This third edition has been revised to make the material even more accessible to the enthusiastic general reader who seeks to understand the mathematics of relativity.

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