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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A Science News favorite science book of 2019 As you read these words, copies of you are being created. Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist and one of this world’s most celebrated writers on science, rewrites the history of 20th century physics. Already hailed as a masterpiece, Something Deeply Hidden shows for the first time that facing up to the essential puzzle of quantum mechanics utterly transforms how we think about space and time. His reconciling of quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of relativity changes, well, everything. Most physicists haven’t even recognized the uncomfortable truth: physics has been in crisis since 1927. Quantum mechanics has always had obvious gaps—which have come to be simply ignored. Science popularizers keep telling us how weird it is, how impossible it is to understand. Academics discourage students from working on the "dead end" of quantum foundations. Putting his professional reputation on the line with this audacious yet entirely reasonable book, Carroll says that the crisis can now come to an end. We just have to accept that there is more than one of us in the universe. There are many, many Sean Carrolls. Many of every one of us. Copies of you are generated thousands of times per second. The Many Worlds Theory of quantum behavior says that every time there is a quantum event, a world splits off with everything in it the same, except in that other world the quantum event didn't happen. Step-by-step in Carroll's uniquely lucid way, he tackles the major objections to this otherworldly revelation until his case is inescapably established. Rarely does a book so fully reorganize how we think about our place in the universe. We are on the threshold of a new understanding—of where we are in the cosmos, and what we are made of.
The holy grail of modern physics is reconciling quantum mechanics with Einstein's general relativity--his theory of curved spacetime. Carroll argues that the refusal to face up to the mysteries of quantum mechanics has blinded people, and that spacetime and gravity naturally emerge from a deeper reality called the wave function.tion.
Quantum physics is not mystifying. The implications are mind-bending, and not yet fully understood, but this revolutionary theory is truly illuminating. It stands as the best explanation of the fundamental nature of our world. Spanning the history of quantum discoveries, from Einstein and Bohr to the present day, Something Deeply Hidden is the essential guide to the most intriguing subject in science. Acclaimed physicist and writer Sean Carroll debunks the myths, resurrects and reinstates the Many-Worlds interpretation, and presents a new path towards solving the apparent conflict between quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of general relativity. In doing so, he fills a gap in the science that has existed for almost a century. A magisterial tour, Something Deeply Hidden encompasses the cosmological and everyday implications of quantum reality and multiple universes. And – finally – it all makes sense.
Quantum physics is not mystifying. Its implications may be mind-bending, and not yet fully understood, but the theory is illuminating. It is the best explanation of reality we have. And no, God does not play dice with the universe. Spanning the history of quantum discoveries, from Einstein and Bohr to the present day, this is the essential guide to the most intriguing subject in science. Carroll debunks the myths that have grown up around quantum physics, resurrects and reinstates the Many-Worlds Interpretation, and presents a new path to solving the apparent conflict between quantum mechanics and gravity. A magisterial tour, Something Deeply Hidden encompasses the cosmological and everyday implications of quantum reality. And, finally, it all makes sense.
The instant New York Times bestseller about humanity's place in the universe—and how we understand it. “Vivid...impressive....Splendidly informative.”—The New York Times “Succeeds spectacularly.”—Science “A tour de force.”—Salon Already internationally acclaimed for his elegant, lucid writing on the most challenging notions in modern physics, Sean Carroll is emerging as one of the greatest humanist thinkers of his generation as he brings his extraordinary intellect to bear not only on Higgs bosons and extra dimensions but now also on our deepest personal questions: Where are we? Who are we? Are our emotions, our beliefs, and our hopes and dreams ultimately meaningless out there in the void? Do human purpose and meaning fit into a scientific worldview? In short chapters filled with intriguing historical anecdotes, personal asides, and rigorous exposition, readers learn the difference between how the world works at the quantum level, the cosmic level, and the human level—and then how each connects to the other. Carroll's presentation of the principles that have guided the scientific revolution from Darwin and Einstein to the origins of life, consciousness, and the universe is dazzlingly unique. Carroll shows how an avalanche of discoveries in the past few hundred years has changed our world and what really matters to us. Our lives are dwarfed like never before by the immensity of space and time, but they are redeemed by our capacity to comprehend it and give it meaning. The Big Picture is an unprecedented scientific worldview, a tour de force that will sit on shelves alongside the works of Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Daniel Dennett, and E. O. Wilson for years to come.
Examines the effort to discover the Higgs boson particle by tracing the development and use of the Large Hadron Collider and how its findings are dramatically shaping scientific understandings while enabling world-changing innovations.
One of the most controversial, cutting-edge ideas in cosmology—the possibility that there exist multiple parallel universes—in fact has a long history. Tom Siegfried reminds us that the size and number of the heavens have been contested since ancient times. His story offers deep lessons about the nature of science and the quest for understanding.
Winner of the 2019 Phi Beta Kappa Award for Science "A valuable perspective on the most important problem of our time." —Adam Becker, NPR Light of the Stars tells the story of humanity’s coming of age as we realize we might not be alone in this universe. Astrophysicist Adam Frank traces the question of alien life from the ancient Greeks to modern thinkers, and he demonstrates that recognizing the possibility of its existence might be the key to save us from climate change. With clarity and conviction, Light of the Stars asks the consequential question: What can the likely presence of life on other planets tell us about our own fate?
The Emergent Multiverse presents a striking new account of the 'many worlds' approach to quantum theory. The point of science, it is generally accepted, is to tell us how the world works and what it is like. But quantum theory seems to fail to do this: taken literally as a theory of the world, it seems to make crazy claims: particles are in two places at once; cats are alive and dead at the same time. So physicists and philosophers have often been led either to give up on the idea that quantum theory describes reality, or to modify or augment the theory. The Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics takes the apparent craziness seriously, and asks, 'what would it be like if particles really were in two places at once, if cats really were alive and dead at the same time'? The answer, it turns out, is that if the world were like that—if it were as quantum theory claims—it would be a world that, at the macroscopic level, was constantly branching into copies—hence the more sensationalist name for the Everett interpretation, the 'many worlds theory'. But really, the interpretation is not sensationalist at all: it simply takes quantum theory seriously, literally, as a description of the world. Once dismissed as absurd, it is now accepted by many physicists as the best way to make coherent sense of quantum theory. David Wallace offers a clear and up-to-date survey of work on the Everett interpretation in physics and in philosophy of science, and at the same time provides a self-contained and thoroughly modern account of it—an account which is accessible to readers who have previously studied quantum theory at undergraduate level, and which will shape the future direction of research by leading experts in the field.
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. A compelling blend of physics, biography, and the history of science, Einstein and the Quantum shares the untold story of how Einstein--not Max Planck or Niels Bohr--was the driving force behind early quantum theory. It paints a vivid portrait of the iconic physicist as he grappled with the apparently contradictory nature of the atomic world, in which its invisible constituents defy the categories of classical physics, behaving simultaneously as both particle and wave. And it demonstrates how Einstein's later work on the emission and absorption of light, and on atomic gases, led directly to Erwin Schrödinger's breakthrough to the modern form of quantum mechanics. The book sheds light on why Einstein ultimately renounced his own brilliant work on quantum theory, due to his deep belief in science as something objective and eternal.