No subject is bigger than reality itself, and nothing is more challenging to understand, since what counts as reality is undergoing continual revision and has been for centuries. The quest to pin down what's real and what's illusory is both philosophical and scientific, a metaphysical search for ultimate reality that goes back to the ancient Greeks. For the last 400 years, this search has been increasingly guided by scientists, who create theories and test them in order to define and redefine reality.
"Wonderful, thought provoking, well organised book."
"It doesn't take an Einstein to understand modern physics," says Professor Wolfson at the outset of these 24 lectures on what may be the most important subjects in the universe: relativity and quantum physics. Both have reputations for complexity. But the basic ideas behind them are, in fact, simple and comprehensible by anyone. These dynamic and illuminating lectures begin with a brief overview of theories of physical reality starting with Aristotle and culminating in Newtonian or "classical" physics. After that, you'll follow along as Professor Wolfson outlines the logic that led to Einstein's profound theory of special relativity and the simple yet far-reaching insight on which it rests. With that insight in mind, you'll move on to consider Einstein's theory of general relativity and its interpretation of gravitation in terms of the curvature of space and time.From there, you'll embark on a dazzling exploration of how inquiry into matter at the atomic and subatomic scales led to quandaries that are resolved-or at least clarified-by quantum mechanics, a vision of physical reality so profound and so at odds with our experience that it nearly defies language.By bringing relativity and quantum mechanics into the same picture, you'll chart the development of fascinating hypotheses about the origin, development, and possible futures of the entire universe, as well as the possibility that physics can produce a "theory of everything" to account for all aspects of the physical world. But the goal throughout these lectures remains the same: to present the key ideas of modern physics in a way that makes them clear to the interested layperson.
"Pitched at just the right level, very engaging."
From the creator of the wildly popular xkcd, What If? gives hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. Millions visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions. How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British Empire? When will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than living?
"Amazing book for Geeks"
In one of the most exciting and accessible explanations of The Theory of Relativity in recent years, Professors Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw go on a journey to the frontier of 21st century science to consider the real meaning behind the iconic sequence of symbols that make up Einstein's most famous equation, exploring the principles of physics through everyday life.
"Relatively easy relativity."
Each year,John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, challenges some of the world's greatest scientists, artists, and philosophers to answer a provocative question crucial to our time. In 2014 he asked 175 brilliant minds to ponder: What scientific idea needs to be put aside in order to make room for new ideas to advance? The answers are as surprising as they are illuminating.
"Very informative but a tough listen"
A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's quest to find out everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. His challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. It's not so much about what we know, as about how we know what we know.
"I love it"
Time rules our lives, woven into the very fabric of the universe-from the rising and setting of the sun to the cycles of nature, the thought processes in our brains, and the biorhythms in our day. Nothing so pervades our existence and yet is so difficult to explain. But now, in a series of 24 riveting lectures, you can grasp exactly why - as you take a mind-expanding journey through the past, present, and future, guided by a noted author and scientist.
"Everything you ever wanted to know about time..."
In this 12-lecture masterpiece of scientific reporting, you'll learn everything you need to know to fully grasp the significance of this discovery, including the basics of quantum mechanics; the four forces that comprise the Standard Model of particle physics; how these forces are transmitted by fields and particles; and the importance of symmetry in physics.
"Answers the "so what" about the Higgs Boson"
Would you like to know how the universe works? Scientists have been asking that question for a long time and have found that many of the answers can be found in the study of particle physics, the field that focuses on those impossibly tiny particles with unbelievably strange names - the hadrons and leptons, baryons and mesons, muons and gluons - so mystifying to the rest of us.
Did you know that there's so much empty space inside matter that the entire human race could be squeezed into the volume of a sugar cube? Or that you grow old more quickly on the top floor of a building than on the ground floor? The two towering achievements of modern physics are quantum theory and Einstein's general theory of relativity. But, almost a century after their advent, most people haven't the slightest clue what either is about. Get set for the most entertaining science book of the year.
"A fun, fascinating listen"
Hawking takes us on a fascinating journey through the telescopic lens of modern physics to gain a new glimpse of the universe--the nature of black holes, the space-time continuum, and new information about the origin of the universe. He uses this scientific basis to come up with a "unified theory of everything" that the author claims will be "the ultimate triumph of human reason."
In this thrilling journey into the mysteries of our cosmos, best-selling author Michio Kaku takes us on a dizzying ride to explore black holes and time machines, multidimensional space and, most tantalizing of all, the possibility that parallel universes may lay alongside our own.
Fear of Physics is a lively, irreverent, and informative look at everything from the physics of boiling water to cutting-edge research at the observable limits of the universe. Rich with anecdotes and accessible examples, it nimbly ranges over the tools and thought behind the world of modern physics, taking the mystery out of what is essentially a very human intellectual endeavor.
"A world of spherical cows"
Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy, and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mind-boggling theories, but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist.
"Test Your Little Grey Cells"
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is a magnificent treasury of the best short works of Richard P. Feynman, from interviews and speeches to lectures and printed articles. A sweeping, wide-ranging collection, it presents an intimate and fascinating view of a life in science - a life like no other. From his ruminations on science in our culture to his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, this book will delight anyone interested in the world of ideas.
"How children should be raised"
Science is such a vast arena of knowledge that people looking for a better grasp of its secrets often wonder where to begin. The answer: with the essentials. Now, finally satisfy your desire for scientific inquiry in a way that makes this enormous field accessible, understandable, and undeniably captivating.
"Necessarily a struggle"
Science starts to get interesting when things don''t make sense. Even today, there are experimental results that the most brilliant scientists can neither explain nor dismiss. In the past, similar anomalies have revolutionised our world: in the 16th century, a set of celestial irregularities led Copernicus to realise that the Earth goes around the sun and not the reverse. In 13 Things That Don''t Make Sense, Michael Brooks meets thirteen modern-day anomalies that may become tomorrow''s breakthroughs.
"Really interesting listen!"
A highly entertaining and accessible introduction to our planet from the best-selling author of Schrödinger's Cat, The Scientists, and In Search of the Multiverse. In this incredible expedition into the origins, workings, and evolution of our home planet, John Gribbin does what he does best: takes four and a half billion years of mind-boggling science and digs out the best bits. From the physics of Newton and the geology of Wegener, to the environmentalism of Lovelock, this is a must-listen for Earth's scientists and residents alike.
"Great overview of Earth"
A bold and all-embracing exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge from one of today's great thinkers. Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life's mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation, argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe.
"Interesting, complex and sometimes flawed!"
For more than 30 years, Richard P. Feynman's three-volume Lectures on Physics has been known worldwide as the classic resource for students and professionals alike. Ranging from the most basic principles of Newtonian physics through such formidable theories as Einstein's general relativity, superconductivity, and quantum mechanics, Feynman's lectures stand as a monument of clear exposition and deep insight.
In 2013 scientists made a remarkable discovery that was hailed worldwide as a triumph of human ingenuity. Using a massive machine called a particle accelerator, which is buried beneath the ground in Switzerland, scientists harnessed a mighty power and then smashed particles into each other. CERN, the scientific research establishment that conducted the experiment, has spent billions of dollars and decades trying to unlock the secret of the Higgs Boson, otherwise known as the God particle.
The Quantum Rules applies the laws of physics to explain everything from relationships and human nature to the effects of globalization. It achieves the impossible task of making quantum physics deeply relevant to all listeners - even those with no interest in science. With a lively and engaging tone, author Kunal Das ponders the underlying truths and patterns in our shared and common life experiences, using insights derived from the fundamental laws of physics.
Edwin Hubble was a man ahead of his time. For him only astronomy really mattered. He took advantage of the opportunity given to him to use the most advanced telescope of his time to determine the truth behind the most distant clouds of light visible to Earth-based observers. His major discoveries changed our knowledge of our place in the universe forever. His determination that the universe is expanding served as the foundation for the big bang theory.
In Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction , best-selling author Frank Close provides a compelling and lively introduction to the fundamental particles that make up the universe. The book begins with a guide to what matter is made up of and how it evolved, and goes on to describe the fascinating and cutting-edge techniques used to study it.
What is science? Is there a real difference between science and myth? Is science objective? Can science explain everything? This Very Short Introduction provides a concise overview of the main themes of contemporary philosophy of science. Beginning with a short history of science to set the scene, Samir Okasha goes on to investigate the nature of scientific reasoning, scientific explanation, revolutions in science, and theories such as realism and anti-realism.
"A sleeper hit"
Quantum theory is the most revolutionary discovery in physics since Newton. This book gives a lucid, exciting, and accessible account of the surprising and counterintuitive ideas that shape our understanding of the sub-atomic world. It does not disguise the problems of interpretation that still remain unsettled 75 years after the initial discoveries. The main text makes no use of equations, but there is a Mathematical Appendix for those desiring stronger fare.
Einstein and the Quantum reveals for the first time the full significance of Albert Einstein's contributions to quantum theory. Einstein famously rejected quantum mechanics, observing that God does not play dice. But, in fact, he thought more about the nature of atoms, molecules, and the emission and absorption of light - the core of what we now know as quantum theory - than he did about relativity.
"WOW what a riveting listen! A must for everyone"
Written in simple and accessible language, this non-technical introduction to cosmology, or the creation and development of the universe, explains the discipline, covers its history, details the latest developments, and explains what is known, what is believed, and what is purely speculative. In addition, the author discusses the development of the Big Bang theory and more speculative modern issues, like quantum cosmology, superstrings and dark matter.
The periodic table is one of the most potent icons in science. It lies at the core of chemistry and embodies the most fundamental principles of the field. The one definitive text on the development of the periodic table by van Spronsen (1969), has been out of print for a considerable time. The present book provides a successor to van Spronsen, but goes further in giving an evaluation of the extent to which modern physics has, or has not, explained the periodic system. The book is written in a lively style to appeal to experts and interested lay-persons alike.
"Interesting but not good as audiobook"
The fascinating science behind the eventual end to everything - from the individual to all existence. Although we may try to keep it tucked at the back of our minds, most of us are aware of our own mortality. But few among us know what science, with the help of insights yielded from groundbreaking new research, has to say about death on a larger scale. Enter astronomer Chris Impey, who chronicles the death of the whole shebang.
At once elegant and riveting, Sync tells the story of the dawn of a new science. Steven Strogatz, a leading mathematician in the fields of chaos and complexity theory, explains how enormous systems can synchronize themselves, from the electrons in a superconductor to the pacemaker cells in our hearts. He shows that although these phenomena might seem unrelated on the surface, at a deeper level there is a connection, forged by the unifying power of mathematics.
The laws of thermodynamics drive everything that happens in the universe. From the sudden expansion of a cloud of gas to the cooling of hot metal - everything is moved or restrained by four simple laws. Written by Peter Atkins, one of the world's leading authorities on thermodynamics, this powerful and compact introduction explains what these four laws are and how they work, using accessible language and virtually no mathematics.
Named one of "The Hundred Most Influential Books Since the Second World War" by the Times Literary Supplement, and one of the "100 Best Nonfiction" books by the Modern Library, Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a landmark of scientific thought. Written in 1962, Kuhn's book took an entirely different view of how scientists perceived and achieved changes in basic theoretical assumptions - what he termed "paradigm shifts".
"Essential reading for thoughtful people"
Some see dust as dull stuff, useless at best, and sneeze-inducing at worst. But in the hands of writer Hannah Holmes, dust becomes a dazzling and mysterious force. As Holmes says, dust is a messenger, and air is its medium. And by the end of this fascinating journey through The Secret Life of Dust, we cannot help but agree.
"Disappointing list of lung diseases"
How much can we know about the world? In this audiobook physicist Marcelo Gleiser traces our search for answers to the most fundamental questions of existence, the origin of the universe, the nature of reality, and the limits of knowledge. In so doing he reaches a provocative conclusion: Science, like religion, is fundamentally limited as a tool for understanding the world. As science and its philosophical interpretations advance, we face the unsettling recognition of how much we don't know.
In this stunning new volume, Jim Baggott argues that there is no observational or experimental evidence for many of the ideas of modern theoretical physics: Super-symmetric particles, super strings, the multiverse, the holographic principle, or the anthropic cosmological principle. These theories are not only untrue; they are not even science. They are fairy-tale physics: Fantastical, bizarre and often outrageous, perhaps even confidence-trickery. This book provides a much-needed antidote.
The ordinary atoms that make up the known universe - from our bodies and the air we breathe to the planets and stars - constitute only 5 percent of all matter and energy in the cosmos. The rest is known as dark matter and dark energy, because their precise identities are unknown. The Cosmic Cocktail is the inside story of the epic quest to solve one of the most compelling enigmas of modern science - what is the universe made of? - told by one of today's foremost pioneers in the study of dark matter.
Werner Heisenberg's "uncertainty principle" challenged centuries of scientific understanding, placed him in direct opposition to Albert Einstein, and put Niels Bohr in the middle of one of the most heated debates in scientific history. Heisenberg's theorem stated that there were physical limits to what we could know about sub-atomic particles; this "uncertainty" would have shocking implications.
In the aftermath of the First World War, Einstein writes about his hopes for the League of Nations, his feelings as a German citizen about the growing anti-Semitism and nationalism of his country, and his myriad opinions about the current affairs of his day. In addition to these political perspectives, The World as I See It reveals the idealistic, spiritual, and witty side of this great intellectual as he approaches topics including "Good and Evil", "Religion and Science", "Active Pacifism", "Christianity and Judaism", and "Minorities".
Beginning with a detailed discussion of the role of mathematics and experimentation in validating generalizations in physics-looking closely at the reasoning of scientists such as Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Lavoisier, and Maxwell-Harriman skillfully argues that the inductive method used in philosophy is in principle indistinguishable from the method used in physics.
"This book is life changing."