The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle over General Relativity

Einstein’s theory, space, and time, which explains the relationships among gravity, is possibly the most perfect intellectual achievement of modern physics—yet studying it has always been a controversial endeavor. Even today, phd students are warned that specializing in general relativity will make them unemployable.

Physicists have been exploring, debating, and questioning the general theory of relativity ever since Albert Einstein first presented it in 1915. In this sweeping narrative of science and culture, an astrophysicist brings general relativity to life through the story of the brilliant physicists, mathematicians, and astronomers who have taken up its challenge.

This has driven their work to unveil the universe’s surprising secrets even further, and many believe more wonders remain hidden within the theory’s tangle of equations, waiting to be exposed. Its adherents have revealed what lies at the farthest reaches of the universe, shed light on the smallest scales of existence, and explained how the fabric of reality emerges.

Dark matter, dark energy, black holes, and string theory are all progeny of Einstein’s theory. For these scientists, the theory has been both a treasure trove and an enigma.  . Still, general relativity has flourished, delivering key insights into our understanding of the origin of time and the evolution of all the stars and galaxies in the cosmos.

Relativists were the target of persecution in Hitler’s Germany, hounded in Stalin’s Russia, and disdained in 1950s America.

Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos

Snippets of rare beauty here and there almost took your breath away. Medium   “waldrop provides a good grounding of what may indeed be the first flowering of a new science. Publishers Weekly  . If you liked Chaos, you’ll love Complexity. This book is their story—the story of how they have tried to forge what they like to call the science of the twenty-first century.

They have formed an iconoclastic think-tank and their radical idea is to create a new science: complexity. Its activists are not anarchists, but rather Nobel Laureates in physics and economics and pony-tailed graduates, mathematicians, and computer scientists from all over the world. They want to know how a primordial soup of simple molecules managed to turn itself into the first living cell—and what the origin of life some four billion years ago can tell us about the process of technological innovation today.

. Waldrop has a special talent for relaying the exhilaration of moments of intellectual insight. The new york times book review    “where i enjoyed the book was when it dove into the actual question of complexity, computer modeling, biology, genetics, talking about complex systems in economics, and so on.

. In a rarified world of scientific research, a revolution has been brewing. Lucidly shows physicists, biologists, computer scientists and economists swapping metaphors and reveling in the sense that epochal discoveries are just around the corner.

The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution

Yet today, science and its practitioners have come under political attack. Ultimately, he makes clear the link between scientific discovery and the rise of industrialization—and the birth of the modern world we know. A companion to such acclaimed works as the age of wonder, a clockwork Universe, and Darwin’s Ghosts—a groundbreaking examination of the greatest event in history, the Scientific Revolution, and how it came to change the way we understand ourselves and our world.

We live in a world transformed by scientific discovery. Wootton argues that the scientific Revolution was actually five separate yet concurrent events that developed independently, but came to intersect and create a new worldview. In this fascinating history spanning continents and centuries, historian David Wootton offers a lively defense of science, revealing why the Scientific Revolution was truly the greatest event in our history.

The invention of science goes back five hundred years in time to chronicle this crucial transformation, exploring the factors that led to its birth and the people who made it happen. Here are the brilliant iconoclasts—galileo, Brahe, Copernicus, Newton, and many more curious minds from across Europe—whose studies of the natural world challenged centuries of religious orthodoxy and ingrained superstition.

From gunpowder technology, perspective painting, the discovery of the new world, and the telescope to the practice of conducting experiments, movable type printing, and the concept of the fact, the laws of nature, Wotton shows how these discoveries codified into a social construct and a system of knowledge.


Atom Land: A Guided Tour Through the Strange and Impossibly Small World of Particle Physics

An award-winning physicist “explains everything particle physics from antimatter to Z bosons in this charming trek through” the subatomic landscape Publisher Weekly. Award-winning physicist, professor, and author of Most Wanted Particle, Jon Butterworth is passionate about sharing the fascination of subatomic physics with the general public.

But, you may find that curiosity is the strongest force of all—one that pulls you across the subatomic seas, like Butterworth, toward the unknown realm of Antimatter, and to the very outer reaches of the cosmos. In atom land, he guides readers on a metaphorical journey through the quantum field and into an impossibly small world, setting sail from Port Electron in search of strange new terrain.

. Each discovery will expand the horizons of your trusty map—from the Hadron Island to the Isle of Quarks, and beyond. A masterful work of allegory, atom land also gives form to the forces that shape the universe: Electromagnetism is a highway system; the strong force, a railway; the weak force, an airline.


Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science

Delightful. And again. The miami herald“The brilliant astronomer. And again. A masterpiece. A message of tremendous hope for humanity. Is persuasive, provocative and readable. United press international“Closely reasoned, impeccably researched, gently humorous, utterly devastating. The washington Post. A fascinating book on the joys of discovering how the world works, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Cosmos and Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.

Magnificent. I can give a book no greater accolade than to say I’m planning on reading it again. While ever conscious that human folly can terminate man’s march into the future, Sagan nonetheless paints for us a mind-boggling future: intelligent robots, the discovery of extraterrestrial life and its consequences, and above all the challenge and pursuit of the mystery of the universe.

Chicago tribune“go out and buy this book, because Carl Sagan is not only one of the world’s most respected scientists, he’s a great writer.

Time Travel in Einstein's Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time

This look at the surprising facts behind the science fiction of time travel “deserves the attention of anyone wanting wider intellectual horizons” Booklist. Richard gott, time, a professor who has written on the subject for Scientific American, and other publications, describes how travel to the future is not only possible but has already happened—and contemplates whether travel to the past is also conceivable.

Practical tips for chrononauts on their options for travel and the contingencies to prepare for make everything sound bizarrely plausible. Gott clearly enjoys his subject and his excitement and humor are contagious; this book is a delight to read. Publishers Weekly. It has mostly been dismissed as an impossibility in the world of physics; yet theories posited by Einstein, and advanced by scientists including Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne, suggest that the phenomenon could actually occur.

Wells who coined the term “time machine”—but the concept of time travel, both forward and backward, has always provoked fascination and yearning. A princeton astrophysicist explores whether journeying to the past or future is scientifically possible in this “intriguing” volume Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Impressively clear language. Building on these ideas, J. It was H. G.

Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity

He tells us how our understanding of reality has changed over the centuries and how physicists think about the structure of the universe today. As he shows us how the idea of reality has evolved over time, Rovelli offers deeper explanations of the theories he introduced so concisely in Seven Brief Lessons on Physics.

In elegant and accessible prose, from michael Faraday to gravitational waves, Rovelli takes us on a wondrous journey from Democritus to Albert Einstein, and from classical physics to his own work in quantum gravity. This book culminates in a lucid overview of quantum gravity, the field of research that explores the quantum nature of space and time, seeking to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity.

The man who makes physics sexy. The scientist they’re calling the next Stephen Hawking. The times magazinefrom the new york times–bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and The Order of Time, a closer look at the mind-bending nature of the universe. What are the elementary ingredients of the world? Do time and space exist? And what exactly is reality? Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli has spent his life exploring these questions.

Rovelli invites us to imagine a marvelous world where space breaks up into tiny grains, time disappears at the smallest scales, and black holes are waiting to explode—a vast universe still largely undiscovered.

The Quantum Rules: How the Laws of Physics Explain Love, Success, and Everyday Life

A new york times best seller!here is a book to lead you through the fascinating intersections of life and physics with humor and intelligence. Find out how the laws of physics define every aspect of our lives and society, from human nature and relationships to geopolitical issues like financial markets, globalization and immigration.

It is not meant to dazzle you with unproven speculations that have no bearing on your life. Its new and original take on established natural laws injects plenty of dry humor into this serious subject, by using life to explain physics and in turn using physics to understand life. The quantum rules is a different kind of physics book, as easy to read as a novel and directly relevant for everyday life issues that affect us all.

Best of all, you will discover how to have meaningful conversations about physics in a way that won’t make eyes glaze over, and in which all can gladly participate. The quantum rules also does something you would never expect from a book on physics – it makes you laugh, often. A scientist or a science junkie? You will find a different perspective on things you may already know.

Rather, the quantum rules will familiarize you with the important and established laws at the heart of physics, in a way never done before – by showing how the defining patterns of our lives, our behavior and our society already follow similar rules. Never took an interest in science before? No problem! you will still understand everything and find plenty to relate to.


The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next

With clarity, smolin offers an unblinking assessment of the troubles that face modern physics, and authority, passion, and an encouraging view of where the search for the next big idea may lead. A splendid, edifying report from the front lines of theorectical physics” San Francisco Chronicle. The best book about contemporary science written for the layman that I have ever read.

The times London  . But these ideas have not been tested experimentally, and some, like string theory, seem to offer no possibility of being tested. The situation threatens to impede the very progress of science. Even still, these speculations dominate the field, attracting the best talent and much of the funding, while creating a climate in which emerging physicists are often penalized for pursuing other avenues.

Ambitious ideas about extra dimensions, multiple universes, exotic particles, and strings have captured the public’s imagination—and the imagination of experts. In this illuminating book, renowned physicist Lee Smolin argues that fundamental physics—the search for the laws of nature—is losing its way.


The Quantum Moment: How Planck, Bohr, Einstein, and Heisenberg Taught Us to Love Uncertainty

In the quantum Moment, philosopher Robert P. Entertainers and writers from Lady Gaga to David Foster Wallace take advantage of its associations and nuances. Crease and physicist alfred scharff goldhaber recount the fascinating story of how the quantum jumped from physics into popular culture, Schrödinger, with brief explorations of the underlying math and physics concepts and descriptions of the fiery disputes among figures including Einstein, and Niels Bohr.

. Understanding and appreciating quantum imagery, its uses and abuses, is part of what it means to be an educated person in the twenty-first century. A very fun way to learn about where quantum physics comes from and the strange, even astonishing places it has gone. Peter galison, poincaré’s mapsfrom multiverses and quantum leaps to Schrödinger’s cat and time travel, Harvard University, author of Einstein’s Clocks, quantum mechanics has irreversibly shaped the popular imagination.

The quantum Moment serves as an indispensable guide.

Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe

With rare conceptual daring, Smolin beckons toward a new perspective for doing cosmological theory .  .  . But most physicists, from Newton to Einstein to today’s quantum theorists, have seen things differently. What is time?   this deceptively simple question is the single most important problem facing science as we probe deeper into the fundamentals of the universe.

The fact that time is real may seem obvious. What if the laws of physics themselves were not ageless? What if they could evolve? Time Reborn offers a radical approach to cosmology that embraces the concept of time and opens up a whole new universe of possibilities. Here, the author of the trouble with Physics argues that a limited notion of time is holding physics back—and what we need now is a major shift in scientific thought.

You experience it passing every day when you watch clocks tick, bread toast, and children grow. A thrilling intellectual ride. Booklist, starred review. All of the mysteries physicists and cosmologists face—from the Big Bang to the future of the universe, from the puzzles of quantum physics to the unification of forces and particles—come down to the nature of time.

The scientific case for time being an illusion is formidable. The true reality of this manmade construct could be the key to the next big breakthrough in theoretical physics—and could hold implications relevant to issues from climate change to the economy. That is why the consequences of adopting the view that time is real are revolutionary.