Can there be freedom and free will in a deterministic world? Renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett emphatically answers "yes " Using an array of provocative formulations, Dennett sets out to show how we alone among the animals have evolved minds that give us free will and morality. Weaving a richly detailed narrative, Dennett explains in a series of strikingly original
arguments--drawing upon evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, economics, and philosophy--that far from being an enemy of traditional explorations of freedom, morality, and meaning, the evolutionary perspective can be an indispensable ally. In Freedom Evolves, Dennett seeks to place ethics on the foundation it deserves: a realistic, naturalistic, potentially unified vision of our place in nature.
To his colleagues, Richard Feynman was not so much a genius as he was a full-blown magician: someone who "does things that nobody else could do and that seem completely unexpected." The path he cleared for twentieth-century physics led from the making of the atomic bomb to a Nobel Prize-winning theory of quantam electrodynamics to his devastating expos of the Challenger space shuttle disaster. At the same time, the ebullient Feynman established a reputation as an eccentric showman, a master safe cracker and bongo player, and a wizard of seduction.Now James Gleick, author of the bestselling Chaos, unravels teh dense skein of Feynman's thought as well as the paradoxes of his character in a biography--which was nominated for a National Book Award--of outstanding lucidity and compassion.
If you want to know what's happening in the world, follow the heat.Why can't your coffee "steal" heat from the air to stay piping hot? Why can't Detroit make a car that's 100 percent efficient? Why can't some genius make a perpetual motion machine? The answers lie in the field of thermodynamics, the study of heat, which turns out to be the key to an astonishing number of scientific puzzles, including why time inexorably runs in only one direction. In Warmth Disperses and Time Passes: The History of Heat, physics professor Hans Christian von Baeyer tells the story of heat through the lives of the scientists who discovered it. With his trademark elegant prose, eye for lively detail, and gift for lucid explanation, Professor von Baeyer turns the contemplation of a cooling coffee cup into a beguiling portrait of the birth of a science with relevance to almost every aspect of our lives.
"A fascinating account of the theoretical ideas behind supersymmetry...told by someone who has contributed deeply to the development of the field." -NatureFor most of human history, man has been trying to discover just how the universe works. In this groundbreaking work, renowned physicist Gordon Kane first gives us the basics of the Standard Model, which describes the fundamental constituents and forces of nature. He then explains the next great leap in understanding: the theory of supersymmetry, which implies that each of the fundamental particles has a "superpartner" that can be detected at energies and intensities only now being achieved in the giant accelerators. If Kane and his colleagues are correct, these superpartners will also help solve many of the puzzles of modern physics-such as the existence of the Higgs boson-as well as one of the biggest mysteries is cosmology: the notorious "dark matter" of the universe.
Blending scientific fact and sports trivia, Robert Adair examines what a baseball or player in motion does-and why. How fast can a batted ball go? What effect do stitch patterns have on wind resistance? How far does a curve ball break? Who reaches first base faster after a bunt, a right- or left-handed batter? The answers are often surprising -- and always illuminating.This newly revised third edition considers recent developments in the science of sport such as the neurophysiology of batting, bat vibration, and the character of the "sweet spot." Faster pitchers, longer hitters, and enclosed stadiums also get a good, hard scientific look to determine their effects on the game. Filled with anecdotes about famous players and incidents, The Physics of Baseball provides fans with fascinating insights into America's favorite pastime.
Interviews with Hawking, his family, colleagues, and friends provide a close-up look at one of the world's greatest physicists, as well as a lucid explanation of his major theories
-- Also appeared on the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Publishers Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Independent, Wordstock, NCIBA, and Booksense bestseller lists
-- Winner of the Christopher Award and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award
-- Named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, and the American Library Association
-- Longitude sold more than 300,000 copies in paperback and spent 25 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list
-- The Penguin edition features a stunning package with a beautiful step-back cover
This book presents the physics of incompressible flow for the benefit of students and others who need to understand fluid motion. In this new edition, much of the material is new or rewritten, but the purpose and style of the first edition are retained. Particular emphasis is given to information obtained by experiment and observation in addition to analysis of the equations of motion. The book's primary concern is to convey a fundamental understanding of the behavior of fluids in motion. Special features include an introductory non-mathematical treatment of three particular flow configurations; extensive consideration of geophysical topics; and detailed coverage of topics that are known primarily through experimental data. Numerous photographs illustrate the phenomena discussed, and a concluding chapter demonstrates the wide applicability of fluid mechanics. New topics in the second edition include double diffusive convection and modern ideas about dynamical chaos. The discussion of instabilities has been restructured and the treatments of separation and of convection in horizontal layers considerably expanded.
Quantum theory is so shocking that Einstein could not bring himself to accept it. It is so important that it provides the fundamental underpinning of all modern sciences. Without it, we'd have no nuclear power or nuclear weapons, no TV, no computers, no science of molecular biology, no understanding of DNA, no genetic engineering. In Search of Schrodinger's Cat tells the complete story of quantum mechanics, a truth stranger than any fiction. John Gribbin takes us step by step into an ever more bizarre and fascinating place, requiring only that we approach it with an open mind. He introduces the scientists who developed quantum theory. He investigates the atom, radiation, time travel, the birth of the universe, superconductors and life itself. And in a world full of its own delights, mysteries and surprises, he searches for Schrodinger's Cat - a search for quantum reality - as he brings every reader to a clear understanding of the most important area of scientific study today - quantum physics. In Search of Schrodinger's Cat is a fascinating and delightful introduction to the strange world of the quantum - an essential element in understanding today's world.