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The Accidental Universe
Author: Alan Lightman
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307908593
Pages: 176
Year: 2014-01-14
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“Alan Lightman brings a light touch to heavy questions. Here is a book about nesting ospreys, multiple universes, atheism, spiritualism, and the arrow of time. Throughout, Lightman takes us back and forth between ordinary occurrences—old shoes and entropy, sailing far out at sea and the infinite expanse of space. “In this slight volume, Lightman looks toward the universe and captures aspects of it in a series of beautifully written essays, each offering a glimpse at the whole from a different perspective: here time, there symmetry, not least God. It is a meditation by a remarkable humanist-physicist, a book worth reading by anyone entranced by big ideas grounded in the physical world.” —Peter L. Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University
The Accidental Universe
Author: Alan Lightman
Publisher: Corsair
ISBN: 1472109201
Pages: 176
Year: 2014-01-14
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In The Accidental Universe, physicist and novelist Alan Lightman explores the emotional and philosophical questions raised by discoveries in science, focusing most intently on the human condition and the needs of humankind. Here, in a collection of exhilarating essays, Lightman shows us our own universe from a series of fascinating and diverse perspectives. He takes on the difficult dialogue between science and religion; the conflict between our human desire for permanence and the impermanence of nature; the possibility that our universe is simply an accident; the manner in which modern technology has divorced us from enjoying a direct experience of the world; and our resistance to the view that our bodies and minds can be explained by scientific logic and laws alone. With his customary passion, precision, lyricism and imagination, in The Accidental Universe Alan Lightman leaves us with the suggestion - heady and humbling - that what we see and understand of the world and ourselves is only a tiny piece of the extraordinary, perhaps unfathomable whole. Praise for Alan Lightman: '...a gem of a novel that is strange witty erudite and alive with Lightman's playful genius.' Junot Diaz. 'It would not seem possible for Alan Lightman to match his earlier tour de force, Einstein's Dreams, but in Mr g he has done so - with wit, imagination, and transcendent beauty.' Anita Desai.
The Accidental Universe
Author: Alan Lightman
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 1472109201
Pages: 176
Year: 2014-01-14
View: 780
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In The Accidental Universe, physicist and novelist Alan Lightman explores the emotional and philosophical questions raised by discoveries in science, focusing most intently on the human condition and the needs of humankind. Here, in a collection of exhilarating essays, Lightman shows us our own universe from a series of fascinating and diverse perspectives. He takes on the difficult dialogue between science and religion; the conflict between our human desire for permanence and the impermanence of nature; the possibility that our universe is simply an accident; the manner in which modern technology has divorced us from enjoying a direct experience of the world; and our resistance to the view that our bodies and minds can be explained by scientific logic and laws alone. With his customary passion, precision, lyricism and imagination, in The Accidental Universe Alan Lightman leaves us with the suggestion - heady and humbling - that what we see and understand of the world and ourselves is only a tiny piece of the extraordinary, perhaps unfathomable whole. Praise for Alan Lightman: '...a gem of a novel that is strange witty erudite and alive with Lightman's playful genius.' Junot Diaz. 'It would not seem possible for Alan Lightman to match his earlier tour de force, Einstein's Dreams, but in Mr g he has done so - with wit, imagination, and transcendent beauty.' Anita Desai.
Song of Two Worlds
Author: Alan Lightman
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1439865477
Pages: 112
Year: 2010-06-15
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In Alan Lightman's new book, a verse narrative, we meet a man who has lost his faith in all things following a mysterious personal tragedy. After decades of living "hung like a dried fly," emptied and haunted by his past, the narrator awakens one morning revitalized and begins a Dante-like journey to find something to believe in, first turning to the world of science and then to the world of philosophy, religion, and human life. As his personal story is slowly revealed, little by little, we confront the great questions of the cosmos and of the human heart, some questions with answers and others without.
Mr G
Author: Alan P. Lightman
Publisher: Pantheon
ISBN: 030737999X
Pages: 214
Year: 2012-01
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Bored with his existence in the shimmering Void with his bickering Uncle Deva and Aunt Penelope, Mr g wakes up from a nap one day and decides to create the universe only to be challenged by intellectual rival Belhor, who demands that Mr g's intelligent creations be subjected to irrational laws. By the National Book Award finalist author of Einstein's Dreams.
The Accidental Universe
Author: P. C. W. Davies
Publisher: CUP Archive
ISBN: 0521286921
Pages: 139
Year: 1982-09-09
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In The Accidental Universe renowned expositor Paul Davies grapples with the most fundamental questions of all. What is our purpose and the purpose of the universe? Are both an accident of nature? Paul Davies guides us through the mysterious coincidences underlying the structure and properties of the universe we inhabit. He sets out the intriguing hypothesis that the appearance of the universe and its properties are highly contrived. Paul Davies gives a survey of the range of apparently miraculous accidents of nature that have enabled the universe to evolve its familiar structure of atoms, stars, galaxies and life itself. This remarkable book concludes with an investigation of the anthropic principle, which postulates that much of what we observe around us is a consequence of the presence of observers in the universe. This thesis of a cosmic biological selection effect is fiercely debated among scientists and is here set out clearly for a general readership.
Einstein's Dreams
Author: Alan Lightman
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307789748
Pages: 144
Year: 2011-03-02
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A modern classic, Einstein’s Dreams is a fictional collage of stories dreamed by Albert Einstein in 1905, about time, relativity and physics. As the defiant but sensitive young genius is creating his theory of relativity, a new conception of time, he imagines many possible worlds. In one, time is circular, so that people are fated to repeat triumphs and failures over and over. In another, there is a place where time stands still, visited by lovers and parents clinging to their children. In another, time is a nightingale, sometimes trapped by a bell jar. Now translated into thirty languages, Einstein’s Dreams has inspired playwrights, dancers, musicians, and painters all over the world. In poetic vignettes, it explores the connections between science and art, the process of creativity, and ultimately the fragility of human existence.
The Diagnosis
Author: Alan Lightman
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 037542119X
Pages: 384
Year: 2001-03-13
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From the bestselling author of Einstein’s Dreams comes this harrowing tale of one man's struggle to cope in a wired world, even as his own biological wiring short-circuits. As Boston’s Red Line shuttles Bill Chalmers to work one summer morning, something extraordinary happens. Suddenly, he can't remember which stop is his, where he works, or even who he is. The only thing he can remember is his corporate motto: the maximum information in the minimum time. Bill’s memory returns, but a strange numbness afflicts him. As he attempts to find a diagnosis for his deteriorating illness, he descends into a nightmarish tangle of inconclusive results, his company’s manic frenzy, and his family’s disbelief. Ultimately, Bill discovers that he is fighting not just for his body but also for his soul. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Screening Room
Author: Alan Lightman
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307739848
Pages: 270
Year: 2016-02-16
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A WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR Alan Lightman's grandfather M.A. was the family's undisputed patriarch. It was his movie theater empire that catapulted the Lightmans, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant family, to prominence in the South; his triumphs that would both galvanize and paralyze his descendants. In this evocative personal history, the author chronicles his return to Memphis and the stifling home he had been so eager to flee forty years earlier. As aging uncles and aunts retell old stories, Alan finds himself reconsidering long-held beliefs about his larger-than-life grandfather and his quiet, inscrutable father. The result is an unforgettable family saga set against the pulsing backdrop of Memphis--its country clubs and juke joints, its rhythm and blues, its segregated movie theaters, its barbecue and pecan pie--including encounters with Elvis, Martin Luther King Jr., and E. H. "Boss" Crump. Both intensely personal and quintessentially American, Screening Room finely explores the tricks of light that can make--and unmake--a man and his myth. (With black-and-white illustrations throughout.)
The Book of Immortality
Author: Adam Leith Gollner
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439127883
Pages: 416
Year: 2013-08-20
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A “wonderful” (Harper’s), “engrossing” (Parade) exploration of the most universal of human obsessions: immortality—from an author who is “part Mary Roach, part Joe Strummer of The Clash” (The Wall Street Journal). What have we not done to live forever? Adam Leith Gollner, the critically acclaimed author of The Fruit Hunters, weaves together religion, science, and mythology in a gripping exploration of the most universal of human obsessions: immortality. Raised without religion, Adam Leith Gollner was struck by mankind’s tireless efforts to cheat aging and death. In a narrative that pivots between profundity and hilarity, he brings us into the world of those whose lives are shaped by a belief in immortality. From a Jesuit priest on his deathbed to antiaging researchers at Harvard, Gollner— sorting truth from absurdity—canvasses religion and science for insight, along with an array of cults, myths, and fringe figures. He journeys to David Copperfield’s archipelago in the Bahamas, where the magician claims to have found “a liquid that reverses genes.” He explores a cryonics facility, attends a costume party set in the year 2068 with a group of radical life-extensionists, and soaks in the transformative mineral waters at the Esalen Institute. Looking to history, Gollner visits St. Augustine, Florida, where Ponce de León is thought to have sought the Fountain of Youth. Combining immersive reporting, rigorous research, and lyrical prose, Gollner charts the rise of longevity science from its alchemical beginnings to modern-day genetic interventions. He delves into the symbolic representation of eternal life and its connection to water. Interlaced throughout is a compelling meditation on the nature of belief, showing how every story we tell about immortality is a story about the meaning of death. “Part journalist, part detective, part scientist.” (New York Post). Adam Leith Gollner has written a rollicking and revelatory examination of our age-old notion of living forever.
Turing's Cathedral
Author: George Dyson
Publisher: Pantheon
ISBN: 0375422773
Pages: 401
Year: 2012
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Documents the innovations of a group of eccentric geniuses who developed computer code in the mid-20th century as part of mathematician Alan Turin's theoretical universal machine idea, exploring how their ideas led to such developments as digital television, modern genetics and the hydrogen bomb.
The Neutrino Hunters
Author: Ray Jayawardhana
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1780743270
Pages: 256
Year: 2014-02-01
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Before the Higgs boson, there was a maddening search for another particle – the ghostly neutrino. First detected in 1956, its fleeting appearances have teased answers to many mysteries: How did the Big Bang happen? Why is antimatter so rare? What might dark matter be made of? And could faster-than-light travel be possible, overturning Einstein’s theory of special relativity? But the quest for the neutrino also encompasses adventure, from Cold War defections and extra dimensions to mile-deep holes in the Antarctic ice and a troubled genius who disappeared without a trace. With The Neutrino Hunters, renowned astrophysicist Ray Jayawardhana delivers a thrilling detective story of revolutionary science.
Biocentrism
Author: Robert Lanza, Bob Berman
Publisher: BenBella Books
ISBN: 1935251740
Pages: 213
Year: 2010
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Building on quantum physics, Biocentrism turns the planet upside down with the revolutionary view that life creates the universe rather than the other way around. The central claim of Biocentrism is that what is referred to as space and time are forms of animal perception rather than external physical objects. Lanza and Berman take readers on a fascinating journey through a foreign universe - our own - that will alter their perception of reality for ever.
AsapSCIENCE
Author: Mitchell Moffit, Greg Brown
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476756244
Pages: 256
Year: 2015-03-17
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The instant New York Times bestselling book of entertaining, irreverent, and totally accessible illustrated answers to the scientific “questions you had no idea were bugging you all your life” (Fast Company), from the creators of the wildly popular YouTube channel AsapSCIENCE. Why do we get hung over? What would happen if you stopped sleeping? Is binge-watching TV actually bad for you? Why should I take a power nap? In their first-ever book, Mitchell Moffit and Greg Brown, the geniuses behind the YouTube channel AsapSCIENCE, explain the true science of how things work in their trademark hilarious and fascinating fashion. Applying the fun, illustrated format of their addictive videos to topics ranging from brain freeze to hiccups to the science of the snooze button, AsapSCIENCE takes the underpinnings of biology, chemistry, physics, and other hard sciences and applies them to everyday life through quirky and relatable examples that will appeal to both science nerds and those who didn’t exactly ace chemistry. This is the science that people actually want to learn, shared in a friendly, engaging style. “Science is big fun. The ASAP guys get that, and they’ll show you—they’ll even draw you a diagram” (Bill Nye, “The Science Guy”). And amid the humor is great information and cocktail conversation fodder, all thoughtfully presented. Whether you’re a total newbie or the next Albert Einstein, this guide is sure to educate and entertain...ASAP.
The Accidental Tourist
Author: Anne Tyler
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0143196332
Pages: 355
Year: 2015-05-05
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Macon Leary is a travel writer who hates both travel and anything out of the ordinary. He is grounded by loneliness and an unwillingness to compromise his creature comforts when he meets Muriel, a deliciously peculiar dog-obedience trainer who up-ends Macon’s insular world–and thrusts him headlong into a remarkable engagement with life. Praise for The Accidental Tourist “Poignant . . . funny . . . The Accidental Tourist is one of her best. . . . [Tyler] has never been stronger.”—The New York Times “Bittersweet . . . evocative . . . It’s easy to forget this is the warm lull of fiction; you half-expect to run into her characters at the dry cleaners. . . . Tyler [is] a writer of great compassion.”—The Boston Globe “Tyler has given us an endlessly diverting book whose strength gathers gradually to become a genuinely thrilling one.”—Los Angeles Times “A delight . . . a graceful comic novel about getting through life.”—The Wall Street Journal “A rarely equaled richness and depth . . . Delicious humor . . . Without Anne Tyler, American fiction would be an immeasurably bleaker place.”—Newday “Incandescent, heartbreaking, exhilarating . . . One cannot reasonably expect fiction to be much better than this."—The Washington Post From the Trade Paperback edition.