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Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern Worldby Lisa Randall
Synopses & Reviews
andquot;If you are looking for a bracing alternative vision of physics built from the ground up, Smolin's Time Reborn will take you to the mountaintop.andquot; andmdash; NPR
What is time?
Itandrsquo;s the sort of question we rarely ask because it seems so obvious. And yet, to a physicist, time is simply a human construct and an illusion. If you could somehow get outside the universe and observe it from there, you would see that every moment has always existed and always will. Lee Smolin disagrees, and in Time Reborn he lays out the case why.
Recent developments in physics and cosmology point toward the reality of time and the openness of the future. Smolinandrsquo;s groundbreaking theory postulates that physical laws can evolve over time and the future is not yet determined. Newtonandrsquo;s fundamental laws may not remain so fundamental. Time Reborn serves as a popular primer and investigation of time, both what it is and how the true nature of it impacts our world.
andquot;He challenges not only Einsteinandrsquo;s relativity, but also the very notion of natural laws as immutable truths.andquot; andmdash; Economist
andldquo;One of the essential books of the twenty-first century . . . Smolin provides a much-needed dose of clarity about time, with implications that go far beyond physics to economics, politics, and personal philosophy.andrdquo; andmdash; Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget
One of our foremost thinkers and public intellectuals offers a radical new view of the nature of time, and explores its implications for everything from physics and cosmology to economics and climate change.
One of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world and the bestselling author of Warped Passages, Lisa Randall is an expert in both particle physics (the study of the smallest objects we know of) and cosmology (the study of the largest). In this, her most recent book, Randall takes us on an amazing tour through the latest developments in physics—including a new preface explaining the thrilling discovery of the Higgs boson—and the theoretical concepts underlying this work.
Knocking on Heaven's Door also explores the role of risk, creativity, uncertainty, beauty, and truth in scientific thinking. Through provocative conversations with leading figures in other fields, including chef David Chang, forecaster Nate Silver, and screenwriter Scott Derrickson, and through reflections on her own work, Randall makes an impassioned argument in defense of science.
“Science has a battle for hearts and minds on its hands….How good it feels to have Lisa Randalls unusual blend of top flight science, clarity, and charm on our side.”
“Dazzling ideas….Read this book today to understand the science of tomorrow.”
The bestselling author of Warped Passages, one of Time magazines “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and one of Esquires “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” Lisa Randall gives us an exhilarating overview of the latest ideas in physics and offers a rousing defense of the role of science in our lives. Featuring fascinating insights into our scientific future born from the authors provocative conversations with Nate Silver, David Chang, and Scott Derrickson, Knocking on Heavens Door is eminently readable, one of the most important popular science books of this or any year. It is a necessary volume for all who admire the work of Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Brian Greene, Simon Singh, and Carl Sagan; for anyone curious about the workings and aims of the Large Hadron Collider, the biggest and most expensive machine ever built by mankind; for those who firmly believe in the importance of science and rational thought; and for anyone interested in how the Universe began…and how it might ultimately end.
About the Author
Lisa Randall studies theoretical particle physics and cosmology at Harvard University, where she is the Frank J. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science and the author of the New York Times Notable Books Knocking on Heaven's Door and Warped Passages. Her work has set her among the most cited and influential theoretical physicists today, and she is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. When not solving the problems of the universe, Randall can be found rock climbing, skiing, or contributing to art-science connections. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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