Theoretical Physics
Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center
Robert Oppenheimer
A Life Inside the Center
Paperback      ISBN: 0385722044

An unforgettable story of discovery and unimaginable destruction and a major biography of one of America's most brilliant--and most divisive--scientists, Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center vividly illuminates the man who would go down in history as "the father of the atomic bomb." Oppenheimer's talent and drive secured him a place in the pantheon of great physicists and carried him to the laboratories where the secrets of the universe revealed themselves. But they also led him to contribute to the development of the deadliest weapon on earth, a discovery he soon came to fear. His attempts to resist the escalation of the Cold War arms race--coupled with political leanings at odds with post-war America--led many to question his loyalties, and brought down upon him the full force of McCarthyite anti-communism. Digging deeply into Oppenheimer's past to solve the enigma of his motivations and his complex personality, Ray Monk uncovers the extraordinary, charming, tortured man--and the remarkable mind--who fundamentally reshaped the world.

A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature's Deep Design
A Beautiful Question
Finding Nature's Deep Design
Paperback      ISBN: 0143109367
Does the universe embody beautiful ideas?

Artists as well as scientists throughout human history have pondered this "beautiful question." With Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek as your guide, embark on a voyage of related discoveries, from Plato and Pythagoras up to the present. Wilczek's groundbreaking work in quantum physics was inspired by his intuition to look for a deeper order of beauty in nature. This is the deep logic of the universe--and it is no accident that it is also at the heart of what we find aesthetically pleasing and inspiring.

Wilczek is hardly alone among great scientists in charting his course using beauty as his compass. As he reveals in A Beautiful Question, this has been the heart of scientific pursuit from Pythagoras and the ancient belief in the music of the spheres to Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, and into the deep waters of twentieth-century physics. Wilczek brings us right to the edge of knowledge today, where the core insights of even the craziest quantum ideas apply principles we all understand. The equations for atoms and light are almost the same ones that govern musical instruments and sound; the subatomic particles that are responsible for most of our mass are determined by simple geometric symmetries.

Gorgeously illustrated, A Beautiful Question is a mind-shifting book that braids the age-old quest for beauty and the age-old quest for truth into a thrilling synthesis. It is a dazzling and important work from one of our best thinkers, whose humor and infectious sense of wonder animate every page. Yes: The world is a work of art, and its deepest truths are ones we already feel, as if they were somehow written in our souls.

Praise for A Beautiful Question

"An expertly curated tour across 2,500 years of philosophy and physics . . . Frank Wilczek] has accomplished a rare feat: Writing a book of profound humanity based on questions aimed directly at the eternal." --The Wall Street Journal

"Both a brilliant exploration of largely uncharted territories and a refreshingly idiosyncratic guide to developments in particle physics." --Nature

"Inspiring and remarkably accessible . . . Wilczek's language is lyrical and almost mystical. . . . Whatever the answer Nature will ultimately give us, we have the pleasure of engaging with an enlightened and humble mind." --The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Greatest Story Ever Told--So Far: Why Are We Here?
The Greatest Story Ever Told--So Far
Why Are We Here?
Hardcover      ISBN: 1476777616
Internationally renowned, award-winning theoretical physicist, New York Times bestselling author of A Universe from Nothing, and passionate advocate for reason, Lawrence Krauss tells the dramatic story of the discovery of the hidden world of reality--a grand poetic vision of nature--and how we find our place within it.

In the beginning there was light.
But more than this, there was gravity.
After that, all hell broke loose...

In A Universe from Nothing, Krauss revealed how our entire universe could arise from nothing. Now, he reveals what that something--reality--is. And, reality is not what we think or sense--it's weird, wild, and counterintuitive; it's hidden beneath everyday experience; and its inner workings seem even stranger than the idea that something can come from nothing.

In a landmark, unprecedented work of scientific history, Krauss leads us to the furthest reaches of space and time, to scales so small they are invisible to microscopes, to the birth and rebirth of light, and into the natural forces that govern our existence. His unique blend of rigorous research and engaging storytelling invites us into the lives and minds of the remarkable, creative scientists who have helped to unravel the unexpected fabric of reality--with reason rather than superstition and dogma. Krauss has himself been an active participant in this effort, and he knows many of them well. The Greatest Story challenges us to re-envision ourselves and our place within the universe, as it appears that "God" does play dice with the universe. In the incisive style of his scintillating essays for The New Yorker, Krauss celebrates the greatest intellectual adventure ever undertaken--to understand why we are here in a universe where fact is stranger than fiction.
Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point: New Directions for the Physics of Time
Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point
New Directions for the Physics of Time
Paperback      ISBN: 0195117980

Why is the future so different from the past? Why does the past affect the future and not the other way around? What does quantum mechanics really tell us about the world? In this important and accessible book, Huw Price throws fascinating new light on some of the great mysteries of modern physics, and connects them in a wholly original way.
Price begins with the mystery of the arrow of time. Why, for example, does disorder always increase, as required by the second law of thermodynamics? Price shows that, for over a century, most physicists have thought about these problems the wrong way. Misled by the human perspective from within time, which distorts and exaggerates the differences between past and future, they have fallen victim to what Price calls the "double standard fallacy": proposed explanations of the difference between the past and the future turn out to rely on a difference which has been slipped in at the beginning, when the physicists themselves treat the past and future in different ways. To avoid this fallacy, Price argues, we need to overcome our natural tendency to think about the past and the future differently. We need to imagine a point outside time -- an Archimedean "view from nowhen" -- from which to observe time in an unbiased way.
Offering a lively criticism of many major modern physicists, including Richard Feynman and Stephen Hawking, Price shows that this fallacy remains common in physics today -- for example, when contemporary cosmologists theorize about the eventual fate of the universe. The "big bang" theory normally assumes that the beginning and end of the universe will be very different. But if we are to avoid the double standard fallacy, we need to consider time symmetrically, and take seriously the possibility that the arrow of time may reverse when the universe recollapses into a "big crunch."
Price then turns to the greatest mystery of modern physics, the meaning of quantum theory. He argues that in missing the Archimedean viewpoint, modern physics has missed a radical and attractive solution to many of the apparent paradoxes of quantum physics. Many consequences of quantum theory appear counterintuitive, such as Schrodinger's Cat, whose condition seems undetermined until observed, and Bell's Theorem, which suggests a spooky "nonlocality," where events happening simultaneously in different places seem to affect each other directly. Price shows that these paradoxes can be avoided by allowing that at the quantum level the future does, indeed, affect the past. This demystifies nonlocality, and supports Einstein's unpopular intuition that quantum theory describes an objective world, existing independently of human observers: the Cat is alive or dead, even when nobody looks. So interpreted, Price argues, quantum mechanics is simply the kind of theory we ought to have expected in microphysics -- from the symmetric standpoint.
Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point presents an innovative and controversial view of time and contemporary physics. In this exciting book, Price urges physicists, philosophers, and anyone who has ever pondered the mysteries of time to look at the world from the fresh perspective of Archimedes' Point and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, the universe around us, and our own place in time.

New Theories of Everything: The Quest for Ultimate Explanation
New Theories of Everything
The Quest for Ultimate Explanation
Hardcover      ISBN: 0192807218

The author presents and explains the latest theories, predictions and controversies surrounding the ultimate explanation, from superstrings and multiverses to speculations about the world as a computer, and the implications of these theories for own existence.

The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory
The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory
Paperback      ISBN: 069102524x

This classic work in the philosophy of physical science is an incisive and readable account of the scientific method. Pierre Duhem was one of the great figures in French science, a devoted teacher, and a distinguished scholar of the history and philosophy of science. This book represents his most mature thought on a wide range of topics.

Alternate Realities
Alternate Realities
Hardcover      ISBN: 030645629x
Science is a shatterer of worlds, exploding our worldview and then creating it anew. This poetic work traces how our ever-increasing knowledge of science shapes the way we see the world and the universe, and colors our basic sense of reality. Science writer Joel Davis depicts how the interplay of man's fertile imagination coupled with startling scientific discoveries has not only contributed to greater advances, but to new concepts of reality itself. Davis takes us on a voyage through time as he vividly paints a sweeping picture of reality at critical points in history through today. He recounts in detail the revolutionary contributions made by courageous and brilliant thinkers from Galileo and Newton to Hubble and Wheeler - people who, through their flair for insight and invention, dared to rearrange our place in the solar system and stretch our concept of a universe to an immense, awesome chasm. From the macrocosm of the universe to the microcosm of the quantum world, Davis shows how our vision of reality evolves and adapts. Just as he vividly evokes a graphic picture of the big bang theory, he dives into the quantum world and infuses it with life. Through his talent to explain the unexplainable, he challenges us to imagine one of the most riveting revelations of the New Physics: that numerous realities are possible at any given moment.
Hardcover      ISBN: 0521652529

This book introduces the world of antimatter without using technical language or equations. The author shows how the quest for symmetry in physics slowly revealed the properties of antimatter. When large particle accelerators came on line, the antimatter debris of collisions provided new clues on its properties. This is a fast-paced and lucid account of how science fiction became fact.

Antimatter: The Ultimate Mirror
The Ultimate Mirror
Paperback      ISBN: 0521893097

This book introduces the world of antimatter without using technical language or equations. The author shows how the quest for symmetry in physics slowly revealed the properties of antimatter. When large particle accelerators came on line, the antimatter debris of collisions provided new clues on its properties. This is a fast-paced and lucid account of how science fiction became fact.

Approaches to Fundamental Physics: An Assessment of Current Theoretical Ideas
Approaches to Fundamental Physics
An Assessment of Current Theoretical Ideas
Hardcover      ISBN: 3540711155

This book represents in the ?rst place the desire of the authors of the various contributions to enter a discussion about the research landscape of prese- day fundamental theoretical physics. It documents their attempt, out of their highly specialized scienti?c positions, to ?nd a way of communicating about methods, achievements, and promises of the di?erent approacheswhich shape the development of this ?eld. It is therefore also an attempt to bring out the connections between these approaches, and present them not as disjoint ventures but rather as facets of a common quest for understanding. Whether in competition to each other or in collaboration, the 'many-fold ways' of contemporary physics are characterized by a number of exciting ?ndings (and questions) which appear more and more interrelated. Moreover, in the historical development of science, the steadily arriving new empi- cal information partly supports, partly contradicts the existing theories, and partly brings forth unexpected results forcing a total reorientationupon us. If we are lucky, the beginning of this century may prove to be as grand as that of the last one. Itisnotaneasytaskinasituationsomuchinmovementandinwhich variousapproachesstriveforcompletion, topromoteaconstructiveinteraction between these and to achieve a level of mutual understanding on which such an interaction can be fruitful. Nearly all of the authors contributing to this book have been participating in a working group dedicated exactly to this task; this group met in many sessions over several years. This book is to a large extent the result of these discussions.