Trick or Truth?

The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics

Author: Anthony Aguirre,Brendan Foster,Zeeya Merali

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319274953

Category: Science

Page: 250

View: 921

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The prize-winning essays in this book address the fascinating but sometimes uncomfortable relationship between physics and mathematics. Is mathematics merely another natural science? Or is it the result of human creativity? Does physics simply wear mathematics like a costume, or is math the lifeblood of physical reality? The nineteen wide-ranging, highly imaginative and often entertaining essays are enhanced versions of the prize-winning entries to the FQXi essay competition “Trick or Truth”, which attracted over 200 submissions. The Foundational Questions Institute, FQXi, catalyzes, supports, and disseminates research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality, but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.

It From Bit or Bit From It?

On Physics and Information

Author: Anthony Aguirre,Brendan Foster,Zeeya Merali

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319129465

Category: Science

Page: 240

View: 4170

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The essays in this book look at the question of whether physics can be based on information, or – as John Wheeler phrased it – whether we can get “It from Bit”. They are based on the prize-winning essays submitted to the FQXi essay competition of the same name, which drew over 180 entries. The eighteen contributions address topics as diverse as quantum foundations, entropy conservation, nonlinear logic and countable spacetime. Together they provide stimulating reading for all physics aficionados interested in the possible role(s) of information in the laws of nature. The Foundational Questions Institute, FQXi, catalyzes, supports, and disseminates research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality, but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.

Questioning the Foundations of Physics

Which of Our Fundamental Assumptions Are Wrong?

Author: Anthony Aguirre,Brendan Foster,Zeeya Merali

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319130455

Category: Science

Page: 274

View: 1790

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The essays in this book look at way in which the fundaments of physics might need to be changed in order to make progress towards a unified theory. They are based on the prize-winning essays submitted to the FQXi essay competition “Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?”, which drew over 270 entries. As Nobel Laureate physicist Philip W. Anderson realized, the key to understanding nature’s reality is not anything “magical”, but the right attitude, “the focus on asking the right questions, the willingness to try (and to discard) unconventional answers, the sensitive ear for phoniness, self-deception, bombast, and conventional but unproven assumptions.” The authors of the eighteen prize-winning essays have, where necessary, adapted their essays for the present volume so as to (a) incorporate the community feedback generated in the online discussion of the essays, (b) add new material that has come to light since their completion and (c) to ensure accessibility to a broad audience of readers with a basic grounding in physics. The Foundational Questions Institute, FQXi, catalyzes, supports, and disseminates research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality, but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.

Principles of Magnetostatics

Author: Richard C. Fernow

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 131671523X

Category: Science

Page: N.A

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The subject of magnetostatics - the mathematical theory that describes the forces and fields resulting from the steady flow of electrical currents - has a long history. By capturing the basic concepts, and building towards the computation of magnetic fields, this book is a self-contained discussion of the major subjects in magnetostatics. Overviews of Maxwell's equations, the Poisson equation, and boundary value problems pave the way for dealing with fields from transverse, axial and periodic magnetic arrangements and assemblies of permanent magnets. Examples from accelerator and beam physics give up-to-date context to the theory. Furthermore, both complex contour integration and numerical techniques (including finite difference, finite element, and integral equation methods) for calculating magnetic fields are discussed in detail with plentiful examples. Both theoretical and practical information on carefully selected topics make this a one-stop reference for magnet designers, as well as for physics and electrical engineering undergraduate students.

The Seneca Effect

Why Growth is Slow but Collapse is Rapid

Author: Ugo Bardi

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319572075

Category: Science

Page: 209

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The essence of this book can be found in a line written by the ancient Roman Stoic Philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca: "Fortune is of sluggish growth, but ruin is rapid". This sentence summarizes the features of the phenomenon that we call "collapse," which is typically sudden and often unexpected, like the proverbial "house of cards." But why are such collapses so common, and what generates them? Several books have been published on the subject, including the well known "Collapse" by Jared Diamond (2005), "The collapse of complex societies" by Joseph Tainter (1998) and "The Tipping Point," by Malcom Gladwell (2000). Why The Seneca Effect? This book is an ambitious attempt to pull these various strands together by describing collapse from a multi-disciplinary viewpoint. The reader will discover how collapse is a collective phenomenon that occurs in what we call today "complex systems," with a special emphasis on system dynamics and the concept of "feedback." From this foundation, Bardi applies the theory to real-world systems, from the mechanics of fracture and the collapse of large structures to financial collapses, famines and population collapses, the fall of entire civilzations, and the most dreadful collapse we can imagine: that of the planetary ecosystem generated by overexploitation and climate change. The final objective of the book is to describe a conclusion that the ancient stoic philosophers had already discovered long ago, but that modern system science has rediscovered today. If you want to avoid collapse you need to embrace change, not fight it. Neither a book about doom and gloom nor a cornucopianist's dream, The Seneca Effect goes to the heart of the challenges that we are facing today, helping us to manage our future rather than be managed by it.

Essays on the Frontiers of Modern Astrophysics and Cosmology

Author: Santhosh Mathew

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 3319018876

Category: Science

Page: 206

View: 9267

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This book is a collection of fourteen essays that describe an inspiring journey through the universe and discusses popular science topics that modern physics and cosmology are struggling to deal with. What is our place in the universe and what happens in the magnificent cosmos where we exist for a brief amount of time. In an unique way that incorporates mythological and philosophical perspectives, the essays in this work address the big questions of what the universe is, how it came into being, and where it may be heading. This exciting adventure is a rich scientific history of elegant physics, mathematics, and cosmology as well as a philosophical and spiritual pursuit fueled by the human imagination.

Kurt Gödel and the Foundations of Mathematics

Horizons of Truth

Author: Matthias Baaz,Christos H. Papadimitriou,Hilary W. Putnam,Dana S. Scott,Charles L. Harper, Jr

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139498436

Category: Mathematics

Page: N.A

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This volume commemorates the life, work and foundational views of Kurt Gödel (1906–78), most famous for his hallmark works on the completeness of first-order logic, the incompleteness of number theory, and the consistency - with the other widely accepted axioms of set theory - of the axiom of choice and of the generalized continuum hypothesis. It explores current research, advances and ideas for future directions not only in the foundations of mathematics and logic, but also in the fields of computer science, artificial intelligence, physics, cosmology, philosophy, theology and the history of science. The discussion is supplemented by personal reflections from several scholars who knew Gödel personally, providing some interesting insights into his life. By putting his ideas and life's work into the context of current thinking and perceptions, this book will extend the impact of Gödel's fundamental work in mathematics, logic, philosophy and other disciplines for future generations of researchers.

Proofs Without Words

Exercises in Visual Thinking

Author: Malcolm Scott MacKenzie,Roger B. Nelsen

Publisher: MAA

ISBN: 9780883857007

Category: Mathematics

Page: 140

View: 4511

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Proofs without words are generally pictures or diagrams that help the reader see why a particular mathematical statement may be true, and how one could begin to go about proving it. While in some proofs without words an equation or two may appear to help guide that process, the emphasis is clearly on providing visual clues to stimulate mathematical thought. The proofs in this collection are arranged by topic into five chapters: Geometry and algebra; Trigonometry, calculus and analytic geometry; Inequalities; Integer sums; and Sequences and series. Teachers will find that many of the proofs in this collection are well suited for classroom discussion and for helping students to think visually in mathematics.

A Beautiful Question

Finding Nature's Deep Design

Author: Frank Wilczek

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143109367

Category: Science

Page: 448

View: 4570

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A respected physicist presents a survey of related discoveries, from Plato and Pythagoras up to the present, that explore how intertwined ideas about beauty and art are with scientific understandings of the cosmos.

The Glass Castle

A Memoir

Author: Jeannette Walls

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439156964

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 6568

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The child of an alcoholic father and an eccentric artist mother discusses her family's nomadic upbringing, during which she and her siblings fended for themselves while their parents outmaneuvered bill collectors and the authorities.

Frontiers of Fundamental Physics and Physics Education Research

Author: Burra G. Sidharth,Marisa Michelini,Lorenzo Santi

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 331900297X

Category: Science

Page: 615

View: 9659

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In a knowledge-based society, research into fundamental physics plays a vital role not only in the enhancement of human knowledge but also in the development of new technology that affects everyday life.The international symposium series Frontiers of Fundamental Physics (FFP) regularly brings together eminent scholars and researchers working in various areas in physics to exchange expertise, ideas, results, and new research perspectives. The twelfth such symposium, FFP12, took place at the University of Udine, Italy, and covered diverse fields of research: astrophysics, high energy physics and particle physics, theoretical physics, gravitation and cosmology, condensed matter physics, statistical physics, computational physics, and mathematical physics. Importantly, it also devoted a great deal of attention to physics education research, teacher training in modern physics, and popularization of physics. The high scientific level of FFP12 was guaranteed by the careful selection made by scientific coordinators from among 250 submissions from 28 countries across the world. During the three days of the conference, nine general talks were delivered in plenary sessions, 29 invited talks were given in specific topic areas, and 59 oral presentations were made. This book presents a selection of the best contributions at FFP12 with the aim of acquainting readers with the most important recent advances in fundamental physics and in physics education and teacher development.

The Interpretation of Cultures

Author: Clifford Geertz

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465093566

Category: Social Science

Page: 576

View: 7690

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In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.

Re-Thinking Time at the Interface of Physics and Philosophy

The Forgotten Present

Author: Albrecht von Müller,Thomas Filk

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319104462

Category: Science

Page: 274

View: 1595

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The current volume of the Parmenides Series “On Thinking” addresses our deepest and most personal experience of the world, the experience of “the present,” from a modern perspective combining physics and philosophy. Many prominent researchers have contributed articles to the volume, in which they present models and express their opinions on and, in some cases, also their skepticism about the subject and how it may be (or may not be) addressed, as well as which aspects they consider most relevant in this context. While Einstein might have once hoped that “the present” would find its place in the theory of general relativity, in a later discussion with Carnap he expressed his disappointment that he was never able to achieve this goal. This collection of articles provides a unique overview of different modern approaches, representing not only a valuable summary for experts, but also a nearly inexhaustible source of profound and novel ideas for those who are simply interested in this question.

Mind and Nature

Selected Writings on Philosophy, Mathematics, and Physics

Author: Hermann Weyl

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400833320

Category: Mathematics

Page: 272

View: 7492

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Hermann Weyl (1885-1955) was one of the twentieth century's most important mathematicians, as well as a seminal figure in the development of quantum physics and general relativity. He was also an eloquent writer with a lifelong interest in the philosophical implications of the startling new scientific developments with which he was so involved. Mind and Nature is a collection of Weyl's most important general writings on philosophy, mathematics, and physics, including pieces that have never before been published in any language or translated into English, or that have long been out of print. Complete with Peter Pesic's introduction, notes, and bibliography, these writings reveal an unjustly neglected dimension of a complex and fascinating thinker. In addition, the book includes more than twenty photographs of Weyl and his family and colleagues, many of which are previously unpublished. Included here are Weyl's exposition of his important synthesis of electromagnetism and gravitation, which Einstein at first hailed as "a first-class stroke of genius"; two little-known letters by Weyl and Einstein from 1922 that give their contrasting views on the philosophical implications of modern physics; and an essay on time that contains Weyl's argument that the past is never completed and the present is not a point. Also included are two book-length series of lectures, The Open World (1932) and Mind and Nature (1934), each a masterly exposition of Weyl's views on a range of topics from modern physics and mathematics. Finally, four retrospective essays from Weyl's last decade give his final thoughts on the interrelations among mathematics, philosophy, and physics, intertwined with reflections on the course of his rich life.

Our Mathematical Universe

My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality

Author: Max Tegmark

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 038535049X

Category: Science

Page: 432

View: 4018

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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. Fascinating from first to last—this is a book that has already prompted the attention and admiration of some of the most prominent scientists and mathematicians.

How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival

Author: David Kaiser

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 039308230X

Category: Science

Page: 416

View: 7968

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“Meticulously researched and unapologetically romantic, How the Hippies Saved Physics makes the history of science fun again.”—Science In the 1970s, an eccentric group of physicists in Berkeley, California, banded together to explore the wilder side of science. Dubbing themselves the “Fundamental Fysiks Group,” they pursued an audacious, speculative approach to physics, studying quantum entanglement in terms of Eastern mysticism and psychic mind reading. As David Kaiser reveals, these unlikely heroes spun modern physics in a new direction, forcing mainstream physicists to pay attention to the strange but exciting underpinnings of quantum theory.

Society Of Mind

Author: Marvin Minsky

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0671657135

Category: Psychology

Page: 339

View: 4031

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An authority on artificial intelligence introduces a theory that explores the workings of the human mind and the mysteries of thought

Quantum Questions

Mystical Writings of the World's Great Physicists

Author: Ken Wilber

Publisher: Shambhala Publications

ISBN: 0834822830

Category: Philosophy

Page: 224

View: 6332

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Here is a collection of writings that bridges the gap between science and religion. Quantum Questions collects the mystical writings of each of the major physicists involved in the discovery of quantum physics and relativity, including Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, and Max Planck. The selections are written in nontechnical language and will be of interest to scientists and nonscientists alike.

The Island of Knowledge

The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning

Author: Marcelo Gleiser

Publisher: Basic Civitas Books

ISBN: 0465031714

Category: Philosophy

Page: 335

View: 1848

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A natural philosophy expert who is also a physics and astronomy professor discusses the limits of scientific explanations and how our knowledge of the universe and its nature will always remain necessarily incomplete. 15,000 first printing.

The Mis-education of the Negro

Author: Carter Godwin Woodson

Publisher: ReadaClassic.com

ISBN: N.A

Category: African Americans

Page: 207

View: 3959

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Woodson's classic work of criticism explores how the education received by blacks has failed to give them an appreciation of themselves as a race and their contributions to history. Woodson puts forward a program that calls for the educated to learn about their past and serve the black community. (Education/Teaching)