The Big Questions: Physics

The Big Questions: Physics

by Michael Brooks

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The Big Questions series is designed to let renowned experts address the 20 most fundamental and frequently asked questions of a major branch of science or philosophy. Each 3000-word essay simply and concisely examines a question that has eternally perplexed enquiring minds, and provides answers from history''s great thinkers. This ambitious project is a unique distillation of humanity''s best ideas.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781849166089
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Publication date: 01/05/2012
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Michael Brooks, author of the acclaimed 13 Things That Don''t Make Sense, holds a PhD in quantum physics. He is a journalist and broadcaster, and acts a physics and cosmology consultant to New Scientist magazine. He has lectured at Cambridge University, the American Museum of Natural History and New York University, and his writing has appeared in many national newspapers, including the Guardian, the Independent, the Observer and the Times Higher.

Table of Contents

Introduction. What is the Point of Physics? - impossible questions, unexpected rewards, and the never-ending quest for understanding. What is Time? - progress, disorder and Einstein's elastic clocks. What Happened to Schrödinger's Cat? - quantum physics and the nature of reality. Why Does an Apple Fall? - gravity, mass and the enigma of relativity. Are Solids Really Solid? - atoms, quarks and solids that slip through your fingers. Why is There No Such Thing as a Free Lunch? - energy, entropy and the search for perpetual motion. Is Everything Ultimately Random? - uncertainty, quantum reality and the probable role of statistics. What is the God Particle? - the Higgs boson, the LHC and the search for the meaning of mass. Am I Unique? - the limits of our universe and the search for parallel worlds. Can We Travel Through Time? - where relativity meets science fiction. Is Earth's Magnetic Shield Failing? - drifting poles, the planet's churning core and the threat to life on Earth. Why Does E=MC2? - the equation that underpins the universe. Can I Change the Universe with a Single Glance? - spooky quantum links and the chance to rewrite history. Does Chaos Theory Spell Disaster? - the butterfly effect's influence on weather, climate and the motions of the planets. What is Light? - a strange kind of wave, and an even stranger kind of particle. Is String Theory Really About Strings? - the vibrations that create our universe. Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing? - the Big Bang, antimatter and the mystery of our existence. Do We Live in a Simulation? - human nature, the laws of physics, and the march of technological progress. Which is Nature's Strongest Force? -the ties that bind the universe, and their origin in the superforce. What is the True Nature of Reality? -beyond the quantum world lies the realm of information. Glossary. Index.

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