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Posts tagged with "Physics"

  • The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution
    Charles S. Cockell

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    An astrobiologist argues that alien life will likely look a lot like life on Earth

    Picture a ladybug in motion. The image that came into your head is probably one of a small, round red-and-black insect crawling up a leaf. After reading Charles Cockell’s The Equations of Life, however, you may be more likely to think of this innocuous organism as a complex biomechanical engine, every detail honed and operating… Read More
  • Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray
    Sabine Hossenfelder

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    Lost in Math

    Lost in Math is the debut book by Sabine Hossenfelder, a theoretical physicist known to many from her blog, “Backreaction,” which is one of the most well-read of its kind by practitioners of theoretical high-energy physics. Hossenfelder has gained some notoriety for her strong opposition to common arguments that physicists make when formulating new theories. Read More
  • The Order of Time
    Carlo Rovelli

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    A quantum physicist reveals why time is not as simple as it seems

    Carlo Rovelli, best-selling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, is back with a new book, The Order of Time. This latest venture offers insight into the notion of time, including narratives on how our understanding of the concept has changed from antiquity to the present, as well as a concise update on how time… Read More
  • Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor
    Brian Keating

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    After dust stymies a quest to confirm cosmic inflation, a physicist questions science’s most prestigious award

    In March 2014, the BICEP2 (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) collaboration, a team of astrophysicists mapping the cosmic background radiation left over from the Big Bang, excitedly announced an unexpectedly strong signal in their data. The researchers reported apparent evidence that primordial gravitational waves from a hypothesized rapid stretching of space, called the infl… Read More
  • What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics
    Adam Becker

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    In a critique of the Copenhagen dogma, a physicist gives voice to “quantum dissidents”

    A century after its inception, quantum mechanics continues to puzzle us with dead-and-alive cats, waves “collapsing” into particles, and “spooky action at a distance.” In his first book, What Is Real?, science writer and astrophysicist Adam Becker sets out to explore why the physics community is still arguing today about quantum mechanics’s true meaning. For… Read More
  • Magnets Push, Magnets Pull
    David A. Adler, Illustrated by Anna Raff

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    Magnets Push, Magnets Pull

    Magnets may seem like little miracles, but as Magnets Push, Magnets Pull shows, there are scientific explanations for all of magnetism’s extraordinary attributes. David Adler walks readers through the basics of magnetism with a set of hands-on experiments easy to do at home with simple magnets and a few household items. The demonstrations are easy… Read More
  • The Formative Years of Relativity: The History and Meaning of Einstein's Princeton Lectures
    Hanoch Gutfreund and Jürgen Renn

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    An insightful tome recounts the heady early days of general relativity

    On the centenary of general relativity, physicist Hanoch Gutfreund and historian Jürgen Renn published The Road to Relativity, a facsimile of Albert Einstein’s 1915–1916 German manuscript with an English translation and page-by-page commentary placing this seminal work in its historical and scientific context. Their new book, The Formative Years of Relativity, discusses in detail—yet delibe… Read More
  • Gravity's Kiss: The Detection of Gravitational Waves
    Harry Collins

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    Harry Collins, a sociologist embedded in the LIGO project, recounts the discovery of a lifetime

    A year ago, the discovery of ripples in space itself—gravitational waves—rocked physics. Apart from the researchers involved, nobody has paid closer attention to the decades-long quest to detect those ripples than Harry Collins, a sociologist at Cardiff University, who has followed the field since 1972. In the early 1990s, he embedded himself in the collaboration… Read More
  • The Greatest Story Ever Told—So Far
    Lawrence M. Krauss

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    A wide-ranging history offers a sumptuous panorama of modern physics

    Humans are innately curious. How else would you explain the fact that from the earliest days of civilization, we have been driven to contemplate and probe questions that are not essential for survival? The awe that our ancient ancestors felt when confronted with what appeared to be an incomprehensibly complex universe initially inspired various spiritual… Read More
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