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The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces

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The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces Cover

ISBN13: 9780465018956
ISBN10: 0465018955
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Our understanding of natures deepest reality has changed radically, but almost without our noticing, over the past twenty-five years. Transcending the clash of older ideas about matter and space, acclaimed physicist Frank Wilczek explains a remarkable new discovery: matter is built from almost weightless units, and pure energy is the ultimate source of mass. He calls it “The Lightness of Being.” Space is no mere container, empty and passive. It is a dynamic Grid—a modern ether— and its spontaneous activity creates and destroys particles. This new understanding of mass explains the puzzling feebleness of gravity, and a gorgeous unification of all the forces comes sharply into focus.

The Lightness of Being is the first book to explore the implications of these revolutionary ideas about mass, energy, and the nature of “empty space.” In it, Wilczek masterfully presents new perspectives on our incredible universe and envisions a new golden age of fundamental physics.

Synopsis:

The 2004 Nobel Prize winner in physics offers this readable and authoritative work for the general public. It explores basic questions about space, mass, energy, and the longed-for possibility of a fully unified theory of nature.

About the Author

Currently the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at MIT, Frank Wilczek won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004. His 1989 book, Longing for the Harmonies, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Wilczeks work has been anthologized in Best American Science Writing and The Norton Anthology of Light Verse. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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David Wilkins, April 27, 2010 (view all comments by David Wilkins)
Written by a Nobel-prize winning physicist who obviously loves his subject, this book aims, among other things, at explaining where mass comes from. If you enjoy perusing articles in Scientific American, you may well enjoy the author's exploration of the deep interior of the atom, its nucleus, and the interior of the particles in the nucleus -- all explained with grace and precision, but in English, not with forbidding equations. The right kind of reader will gain a new-found respect for the latest explanations of how to build up a proton or neutron, and where it gets its mass (hint: not from the "quarks" that combine to form the particle, since they weigh only about 3 percent of the particle's mass). I think he was at his best explaining how "gluons" inside a particle like a neutron manage to confine quarks so that you never observe an isolated quark. Highly recommended for the scientifically curious reader who wants a solid qualitative understanding of the best modern physics today.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780465018956
Author:
Wilczek, Frank
Publisher:
Basic Books (AZ)
Subject:
Physics
Subject:
Gravity
Subject:
Physics-General
Edition Description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Publication Date:
20100331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Illustrations:
line art throughout
Pages:
292
Dimensions:
9.00x6.00x.90 in. .80 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces Sale Trade Paper
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Product details 292 pages Basic Books - English 9780465018956 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The 2004 Nobel Prize winner in physics offers this readable and authoritative work for the general public. It explores basic questions about space, mass, energy, and the longed-for possibility of a fully unified theory of nature.
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