Welcome to Physics World

Physics World is a blog dedicated to learners with an urge to discover nature

Flow of Time

Time is still a mystery to physicists all around the world. Such a common phenomena with exciting intricacies!

Space-Time

Why Space-Time? One surprising fact about time is that it is connected to space. We can say that they are two faces of the same coin.

Is Time Constant?

Now, we know that space-time are connected which lead us to interesting conclusions. For example, time slows down as we move faster in space. In fact, time is different for every person and every object in the universe and it is definitely not constant!

Albert Einstein

The German physicist born on March 14, 1879 needs no introduction. The one whose theories led to such exciting discoveries about the nature of time discussed in the slides and many many more. He left us on April 18, 1955. In 1999, Einstein was selected as the person of the millenium at a poll conducted by Reuters.

Chapter 6 - M for Mechanics

 Chapter 6 : M for Mechanics


Captain yawned and in an uninterested tone spoke out, “I'm so bored out right now.”


“Me too, I'm literally struggling to keep all of this in my head.” I answered.


“I'm a pretty lazy person, it seems.”


“And I'm a pretty layperson.”


“That you are, kid.”


“Newton must have been some sort of genius.”


“Well, the thing which you can't keep in your head. Newton’s head discovered them. These things came out of his head on their own through years of hard work and curiosity. So, that indeed makes him some sort of genius.”


“Scientists…, they are so damn epic!”


“Yes they are! Scientists are freakin’ amazing, kid.”


“I wonder how they can figure these out just by observing!?”


“Well, it takes time. Patience is important and that's why I always tell you to be lazy.”


“Surely scientists aren't lazy?”


“They are working all the time. But, it still takes years to get something done. A theory is built upon years of hard work and it is more important for you to take things at your own natural pace.”


“Taking things at your own pace ?”


“Let me explain.” he answered briefly.


I was hoping that these discussions help me to keep the facts inside my head.


He continued, “You might say that a person is intelligent but he might not be intelligent with respect to another person. Am I right?”


I frowned in concentration and answered, “Yes, you are.”


“Good. Now, have you thought about this anytime? Why does it happen? I mean, everyone will probably say that Einstein was intelligent but there are some exceptions too. People have different favourites. Einstein, Newton, Maxwell, Feynman, Tesla and so many many more. But in general, why can't the intelligence of a person cannot be measured as temperature ?”


I thought for some time and I said, “I don't know, but maybe people have different likings or so ?”


“Well, that's some point you got. But let me explain in detail.”


“There are some things which are subjective, which are not defined and vary from person to person. Intelligence is one such thing which varies from person to person but that doesn't exactly define someone as a genius while another as dumb. However, anyone who doesn't think is a machine. I have seen many people who can solve rigorous mathematical problems but I don't really think of them as intelligent people.”


“Why is that?” I asked.


“They simply don't understand why they are doing it and what is the real meaning behind all these things! It's as if they are solving problems like machines!”


“I don't really get it.”


“Mathematics is the language of the world. It is simply not a mere tool to solve equations without any meaning.”


“OK?” I answered with a confused look.


“You won't get it now. What I mean to say is intelligence has many parameters. One might excel at one field while fail miserably at the other. Albert Einstein was a genius but his personal life was a mess because he could understand what most people didn't and at the same time, he didn't understand what most people did and that is no problem except when people try to stick their noses into it.”


“I might be getting some of it.”


“You will understand but since we have discussed mathematics, let us continue our mechanics!”


“Yes! Here I come to master you!”


“Do you remember where we left before?”


“I wanted to know about displacement and acceleration and all those stuffs in between.”


“Ah yes, you know about distance right?”


“Yes, it's about how much two objects are apart from each other.”


“Right. Now, displacement is distance but it is the shortest distance.”


“What?”


“In distance, the path you travelled is measured but in displacement, the distance between the initial point and the final point is measured. For example, In a circular path, when you make two rounds, the displacement is zero.”


“Why?”


“Because you have returned to the place you started.”


“Oh, I get it. The distance will not be zero, right?”


“Absolutely right.”


“Yes! Here I come with my physicist way!”


“Now speed and velocity. Speed is the rate of change of distance and velocity is the rate of change of displacement.”


“I don't understand.”


“Speed is distance divided by time while velocity is displacement divided by time. Can you tell me the difference?”


“I think velocity is related to that initial position and final position sort of thing.”


“You're right. These quantities have a direction and are called vectors while quantities like distance and speed have no defined direction and are called scalars.”


“I'll keep it in mind.”


“You better do as it will be helpful afterwards.”


Chapter 6 - M for Mechanics


Captain continued in his usual tone, “A horse running at 4 km/h is speed while a horse running at 4km/h towards east is velocity. Note the units. Km is kilometer, unit of distance and h is hour, unit of time and the formula is distance/time.”


“I get it now!”


“Now, acceleration is-”


I interrupted midway, “Rate of change of speed?”


“Close. Rate of change of velocity.”


“There is no scalar?”


“Acceleration is a vector quantity and I don't know any scalar brother of it.”


“So that's it?”


“More or less. Cars usually accelerate as velocity isn't constant that time.”


“And if acceleration isn't constant?”


“It's called jerk. When you start a car, acceleration is increasing and it is the rate of change of acceleration.”


“OooooooK.”


“I forgot to mention, vector quantities can be negative depending upon their value or direction.”


“That's interesting!”


“That's basically it. You are familiar with basic mechanics”


“Now, I have made my path and no one can stop from me travelling through it!”


“Yes, I know many people who were like that before getting to the real deal.”


“Real deal?”


“Captain's gonna tell you later. Now, we will be moving onto something else.”


“More physics?”


“Much more physics!”




The Search For Asteroids

The Search for Asteroids!


The Search For Asteroids!

Here I am, after quite a long time. This is my 2nd personal blog post and hence, it is to be set in a conversational tone. A short blog to make everyone remember that I am here and I haven't forgotten about writing the blog. As per the title of the blog, you can somewhat guess what I am gonna write. It is related to the reason for my absence. So without much haste, let's start!


Have you ever thought of the vastness of the cosmos? The Universe is basically expanding so big is getting bigger and if you have ever wondered what's beyond the horizon of the sky we look at every night, a sky full of stars. Have you ever wanted to know what's out there into the vastness of the Universe? Do you like watching the stars and just fly up there through your imagination and explore everything? If the answer’s yes, then you are just as curious as me and as curious as thousands out there and it might also be comparable to some extraterrestrial life if we ever found them out or vice versa and we found that their level of intelligence is enough to understand these curious emotions which humans such as us are born with.


Now I have given the premise, let me give you a short answer as to why am I writing this blog after such a long time. The simple answer is the passion for discovery. Now, coming to your questions. Just bear with me to the end.


Some of you might have already successfully guessed with all the information I have given and even if you haven't, believe me even I couldn't have done that. Coming to the point of my absence, it is extremely important for me to make an appeal to you considering the absolute vastness of the Universe. There are many many interesting objects in the Universe like the stars, planets, planetoids, comets and asteroids. Just wonder if you can discover one of them and get the chance to name them. Some object flying in the interstellar space which has your name on it.


This particular feeling was the reason I had to limit myself for now. I will definitely make a comeback but I cannot promise consistent blogs for a few weeks. Although I will try my best. Coming to the point, I have been selected in AIASC. Now, if you don't know about it then let me tell you. AIASC stands for All India Asteroid Search Campaign. I submitted an application to them along with a friend of mine and our team got selected in the Campaign. The Campaign will be there for around a month and they will send us data from a telescope situated in Hawaii, USA. We have to find asteroids from the images given to us and send them a report. If we successfully find an asteroid, we get a preliminary discovery. There are some criterions of being an asteroid. If they are successfully fulfilled, we can send them a report about a new asteroid. Even if there aren't any new asteroids, the reports are important as they are used by NASA. Once, we get a preliminary discovery, they tend to look for that asteroid for 7 days and verify the discovery and then we get a provisional discovery. The orbit of that asteroid is measured for a minimum of six years and then we get a numbered asteroid.


So, that was it for this post. I know it was short but I'll try my best to write these days. It's been pretty rough lately and I hope that you will understand why I couldn't write for some time. Anyways, talk to you in the next post.

Check the official website of AIASC here!

Constructor Theory : A new way to define physics

Constructor Theory : A new way to define physics


Constructor Theory : A new way to define physics



Have you ever considered how to approach physics? What is the actual nature of the subject? Is it only about what will happen and what will not?


It is true that everything in this world depends on science. The laws of physics govern nature which take care of all the processes in the world. If something happens which violates the laws of physics, it doesn't mean that science is wrong, rather it only emphasizes the bold efforts of small creatures called humans residing in a small part of the Universe. Humans may not always be correct but we always have the courage to accept our mistake and try to find out the reality. We have been fairly successful till date but much of the work is still remaining and lots of discoveries to make.


It is true that laws of physics are absolute. If something is found to be wrong, then we don't know what the real law is. Humans make mistakes, science doesn't. Similarly, we can apply it to the approach of defining physics. Physics describes the world in terms of initial conditions, trajectories and dynamical laws. In short, it says what will happen and what will not. But, the approach is made by humans who are prone to making mistakes. However, it doesn't mean humans are still making a mistake. It is really important to make mistakes and always have a doubt. Without making mistakes, we cannot find anything new and without having a doubt, there is no room for uncertainty and hence, no room for new discoveries.


Let us try to take up a new approach. What if we try to move back a little and try to look at the world in a new way? What I am going to introduce to you is a new approach developed by Professor David Deutsch of the University of Oxford. He is currently working with Professor Chiara Marletto and collaborators in Oxford Physics, Wolfson College, ISI Turin and CQT Singapore with support from Templeton World Charity Foundation.


INTRODUCTION TO CONSTRUCTOR THEORY



The name of the new approach to formulating laws in physics is called Constructor Theory.


We have talked about how physics tells us what will happen and what will not. Constructor Theory defines everything in terms of tasks and asks which transformations are possible and which are impossible and why. In short, it says what can happen and what cannot.




As I have said earlier, science doesn't change but it is essential to understand that it is the humans who determine what is fundamental and what isn't. If this theory is found to be true(the theory is working quite well till now), it will have serious implications as to what is fundamental and what isn't. But before we dive deep into that, let us try to understand the world in Constructor-theoretic terms.


UNDERSTANDING CONSTRUCTOR THEORY



In Constructor theory, all processes are defined in terms of tasks which are possible and impossible.


There is an initial condition and then a task is performed to get to the final product just like in a chemical reaction. So, a task is a physical transformation on a physical system. For example :- A task is performed when a die rolls. A physical transformation takes place when the initial number changes into the final number.

Constructor Theory : A new way to define physics



The task is performed by a constructor. In the above case, our hands are the constructor which performs the specific task of rolling down the die. Hence, we now know where the name of the theory comes from. Another example can be taken from green plants. We know that plants make their own food. They need sunlight for that which they take during the day but they also need chlorophyll. The chlorophyll is basically a catalyst without which green plants cannot make their own food. We can safely say that chlorophyll acts as a constructor in the task of making food for green plants. And here, we have another beautiful insight about the theory, the constructor remains unchanged in the task. So, a constructor acts as a catalyst in a task.


The object that is changed is called a substrate. In the task of rolling a die, the die is a substrate because it is the object which undergoes the change in the particular task.


It is also essential to keep in mind that each object has some properties like shape, size, colour etc. and every substrate is an object. The properties of a substrate are known as its attributes. Continuing with the example of a die, the shape, size and colour remain the same so we are concerned here with the attribute of numbers, the number which the upturned face shows to be more specific.

Constructor Theory : A new way to define physics



Being more specific, there are also possible states to an attribute. Like the upturned face of a die has six states. We can also take an example of temperature, an object has an attribute temperature and the object can have a range of temperature, which are the possible states of temperature. An attribute can also have more than one state as if the upturned face of the die shows an even no. or an odd no.


WHY NEED CONSTRUCTOR THEORY?



Constructor theory gives a radically new approach to formulating laws of physics. The need of this theory comes into play when the traditional approach cannot take into account some entities of physical reality. We may want to know more about concepts like information, thermodynamics, probability but physics mainly deals with initial conditions and laws of motion. Constructor theory can also take computation into account and we can include so much in physics due to this theory like the idea of a universal computer which is a constructor to the whole Universe. 




Like we have discussed earlier, the theory changes the notion of fundamental as it says what can happen and why cannot which perfectly suits the likes of information theory, probability, thermodynamics and the philosophy of constructor theory has given birth of constructor theory of thermodynamics, information, probability and even life.


CONCLUSION



It is very difficult for me to say what is right and what is wrong and no one can be very sure of anything but it can be surely said that constructor theory is an incredibly exciting theory in development. To include the topics mentioned above into physics is truly an achievement as physicists are very curious about the world of nature, even the something which is defined by laws of motion. Professor David Deutsch is famous for his research on quantum computation and is often called, 'father of quantum computation’. He has always tried to connect physics and computation and is still looking to do that. Computation is a field of mathematics and mathematics is an extremely essential tool for physics as physics is the study of nature and mathematics is the language of nature. It will be therefore, very exciting to see where the constructor theory leads us in the path of discovering the wonders of nature.

Top 15 popular science books for layman

Top 15 popular science books for layman

Science books


INTRODUCTION
Hello, everyone. Captain Quanta’s here and he is going to show some really amazing science books which can be read by anyone. During these tough times, it is important to stay at home as much as possible. So, why not upgrade ourselves with the latest happenings and the unknown mysteries of science? If you are a layman and you are interested in science, make sure to give a read and get your mind blown away by these shocking facts about reality and the ease with which these complex theories were written to be made available to the wider audience.

Before reading, let me make this clear. There are many many great books out there and it is not possible to include them all in this article. Also, these popular books are arranged in no order. Lets get reading!

1. A Brief History Of Time: From Big Bang To Black Holes(Stephen Hawking)
Was there a beginning of time? Could time run backwards? Is the universe infinite or does it have boundaries?

These are just some of the questions considered in the internationally acclaimed masterpiece by the world renowned physicist - generally considered to have been one of the world's greatest thinkers. It begins by reviewing the great theories of the cosmos from Newton to Einstein, before delving into the secrets which still lie at the heart of space and time, from the Big Bang to black holes, via spiral galaxies and strong theory. To this day. A Brief History of Time remains a staple of the scientific canon, and its succinct and clear language continues to introduce millions to the universe and its wonders.

This new edition includes recent updates from Stephen Hawking with his latest thoughts about the No Boundary Proposal and offers new information about dark energy, the information paradox, eternal inflation, the microwave background radiation observations, and the discovery of gravitational waves.

About the Author
Stephen Hawking held the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663, for thirty years. Professor Hawking is now Director of Research for the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. He has over a dozen honorary degrees, and was awarded the Companion of Honour in 1989. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Science. His books include the bestselling Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays, The Universe in a Nutshell, and A Briefer History of Time. His most recent book, The Grand Design, was a Sunday Times bestseller. Stephen Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein. He lives in Cambridge.


2. The Elegant Universe – Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory(Brian Greene)
In this international bestseller, Columbia University professor Brian Greene provides, in layman’s terms, a comprehensive demystification of string theory. Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away layers of the unknown, through introducing concepts from quantum mechanics to general relativity, to reveal a universe that consists of eleven dimensions. Accessible and enlightening, Greene's inimitable blend of expert scientific insight and literary ingenuity makes The Elegant Universe an exhilarating read that brings us closer to understanding how our magnificent universe works.

About the Author
Brian Greene received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes scholar. He is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University and lives in New York City.


3. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics(Carlo Rovelli)
In this mind-bending introduction to modern physics, Carlo Rovelli explains Einstein's theory of general relativity, quantum mechanics, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, elementary particles, gravity and the nature of the mind. Not since Richard Feynman's celebrated best-seller Six Easy Pieces has physics been so vividly, intelligently and delightfully revealed.

About the Author
Carlo Rovelli is a theoretical physicist who has made significant contributions to the physics of space and time. He has worked in Italy and the US and is currently directing the quantum gravity research group of the Centre de Physique Théorique in Marseille, France.


4. Fabric of Reality(David Deutsch)
An extraordinary and challenging synthesis of ideas uniting Quantum Theory, and the theories of Computation, Knowledge and Evolution, Deutsch's extraordinary book explores the deep connections between these strands which reveal the fabric of reality in which human actions and ideas play essential roles.

About the Author
DAVID DEUTSCH's research in quantum physics has been influential and highly acclaimed. He is a member of the Quantum Computation and Cryptography Research Group at the Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford University, and now lives and works in Oxford.


5. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry(Neil deGrasse Tyson)
What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.

But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.

While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

About the Author
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History, host of the hit radio and Emmy-nominated TV show StarTalk, and the New York Times best-selling author of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military. He lives in New York City.


6. For the Love of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time - A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics (Walter Lewin)
An engaging book for the Physics aficionado
'For the Love of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time - A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics’ by Walter Lewin is an engaging book which tries to explain the concepts of the subject in a unique and interactive manner. We all go through physics exams and study its concepts, but have you ever wondered what these concepts actually mean to our race, to our planet and their importance for our existence? This takes you on a journey and explains you the physics behind every natural concept from Rainbows to the concept of time. This book is an engaging and entertaining attempt at explaining the different and difficult concepts of physics to a layman.

Understand Physics in detail.
Physics is indeed a beautiful subject with a great amount of concepts involved and complex theories that never cease to amaze us. Through this book, author tries to portray the simplicity and the beauty of the subject in a lucid manner. Not only does it include simple to understand terms, it also manages to incorporate fun and ease of learning in an otherwise tricky subject .For example, the book starts with thoughts about the colour of the sky and clouds and then digs deep into the concepts that are involved behind the vivid colours of skies and clouds.

This book helps you understand the concepts of physics used around you
This book explains many different concepts like nucleus, measurements, starts, bodies in motion, rainbow, strings, electricity, magnetic force, X-rays, winds and space etc. It gives answer to many questions that usually have complex answers and it also solves many queries such as 'Why are we short when we stand but taller when we lie down?’ among others. This book is an ideal companion for Physics lovers.

The book is available online for convenient shopping. You can bag this book from Amazon.in today by following a few easy steps.

About the Author
Walter Lewin is a renowned Physicist of Dutch origin and taught Physics at MIT where he spent 45 years. He completed his doctorate in nuclear physics from Delft University of Technology in 1965. He is famous for his online lectures published on edX and MIT Open Courseware, with some of them being watched over 2 million times.


7. The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)  
The million copy international bestseller, critically acclaimed and translated into over 25 languages.

As influential today as when it was first published, The Selfish Gene has become a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. Professor Dawkins articulates a gene's eye view of evolution - a view giving centre stage to these persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for their replication. This imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant work not only brought the insights of Neo-Darwinism to a wide audience, but galvanized the biology
community, generating much debate and stimulating whole new areas of research. Forty years later, its insights remain as relevant today as on the day it was published.

This 40th anniversary edition includes a new epilogue from the author discussing the continuing relevance of these ideas in evolutionary biology today, as well as the original prefaces and foreword, and extracts from early reviews.

Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

About the Author
Richard Dawkins is Emeritus Fellow of New College, Oxford.


8. Cosmos (Carl Sagan)
Cosmos is one of the bestselling science books of all time. In clear-eyed prose, Sagan reveals a jewel-like blue world inhabited by a life form that is just beginning to discover its own identity and to venture into the vast ocean of space. Featuring a new Introduction by Sagan's collaborator, Ann Druyan, and a new Foreword by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos retraces the fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution that have transformed matter into consciousness, exploring such topics as the origin of life, the human brain, Egyptian hieroglyphics, spacecraft missions, the death of the Sun, the evolution of galaxies, and the forces and individuals who helped to shape modern science.

About the Author
Sagan was Dir. of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies & David Duncan Prof. of Astronomy & Space Sciences at Cornell University.He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking & Voyage expeditions to the planets & was a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for literature. He died in 1996.


9. The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life? (Paul Davies)
Paul Davies' The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life? gets to the heart of what makes the universe tick ­- and what makes our place in it so special.

It's not too hot, it's not too cold, and its forces act together in a way that's just right: why does the universe seem so perfectly tailor-made for life to exist?

Paul Davies, one of the world's most acclaimed science writers, shows how everything from the humble carbon atom to the speed of light and the laws of physics themselves interact. He asks: is there a theory of everything within our grasp? If there was a big bang, what happened before it? Is there one universe or many? Could we exist within an endless time loop?

About the Author
Paul Davies has achieved an international reputation for his ability to explain the significance of advanced scientific ideas in simple language. He is the author of some twenty books, including Superforce, God and the New Physics, The Mind of God, The Last Three Minutes, Are We Alone? and How to Build a Time Machine. Paul Davies has also written and presented a number of TV and radio programmes and has won the prestigious Templeton Prize, the world's largest award for intellectual endeavour, and a Glaxo Science Writers' Fellowship.


10. In Search of the Multiverse (John Gribbin)
John Gribbin's In Search of the Multiverse takes us on an extraordinary journey through the most fundamental questions in science, exploring the frontiers of reality itself. What are the boundaries of our universe? Could there be other worlds - do we actually live in a multiverse? Will we meet another 'us' in a different reality? Or are alternative worlds parallel but separate? John Gribbin guides us through the different theories about multiverses, along the way explaining the every latest thinking about gravity, about time and multiple dimensions, about quantum theory, about matter itself - and even the mind-bending possibility that one day we may be creating universes ourselves. John Gribbin is the best guide to the big questions of science. And there is no bigger question than our search for the multiverse. 'The master of popular science writing'
 Sunday Times 'In this universe at least, it's brilliant'
 BBC Focus 'Numerous books on the subject have appeared in the past few years, but Gribbin's stands out for succinctness and readability. Long renowned as one of Britain's finest popular science writers, Gribbin combines expert knowledge with straightforward, no-frills exposition'
 Scotland on Sunday John Gribbin is one of today's greatest writers of popular science and the author of bestselling books, including In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, Stardust, Science: A History and Deep Simplicity. Gribbin trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University and is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

About the Author
John Gribbin is one of today's greatest writers of popular science. He trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University and is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.
John Gribbin is one of today's greatest writers of popular science and the author of bestselling books including In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, Science: A History, and Deep Simplicity. He trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University and is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.


11. One, Two, Three...Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science (George Gammow)
One of the world's foremost nuclear physicists (celebrated for his theory of radioactive decay, among other accomplishments), George Gamow possessed the unique ability of making the world of science accessible to the general reader.
He brings that ability to bear in this delightful expedition through the problems, pleasures, and puzzles of modern science. Among the topics scrutinized with the author's celebrated good humor and pedagogical prowess are the macrocosm and the microcosm, theory of numbers, relativity of space and time, entropy, genes, atomic structure, nuclear fission, and the origin of the solar system.
In the pages of this book readers grapple with such crucial matters as whether it is possible to bend space, why a rocket shrinks, the "end of the world problem," excursions into the fourth dimension, and a host of other tantalizing topics for the scientifically curious. Brimming with amusing anecdotes and provocative problems, One Two Three . . . Infinity also includes over 120 delightful pen-and-ink illustrations by the author, adding another dimension of good-natured charm to these wide-ranging explorations.
Whatever your level of scientific expertise, chances are you'll derive a great deal of pleasure, stimulation, and information from this unusual and imaginative book. It belongs in the library of anyone curious about the wonders of the scientific universe.

About the Author
By one of the leading physicists of the twentieth century, George Gamow's One, Two, Three…Infinity is one of the most memorable popular books on physics, mathematics, and science generally ever written, famous for having, directly or indirectly, launched the academic and/or scientific careers of many young people whose first real encounter with the wonders and mysteries of mathematics and science was through reading this book as a teenager. Untypically for popular science books, this one is enhanced by the author's own delightful sketches. Reviewers were enthusiastic when One, Two, Three…Infinity was published in 1947.


12. The Book of Universes – Exploring the Limits of the Cosmos
This is a book about universes. It tells a story that revolves around a single extraordinary fact: that Albert Einstein's famous theory of relativity describes a series of entire universes. Not many solutions to Einstein's tantalising universe equations have ever been found, but those that have are all remarkable. Some describe universes that expand in size, while others contract. Some rotate like a top, while others are chaotically unpredictable. Some are perfectly smooth, while others are lumpy. Some permit time travel into the past. Only a few allow life to evolve within them; the rest, if they exist, remain unknown and unknowable to conscious minds.
Here, in The Book of Universes, we are confronted with the most fantastic and far-reaching speculations within the entire realm of science.

About the Author
John D. Barrow is Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at Cambridge University, Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and the current Gresham Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, London. His principal area of scientific research is cosmology, and he is the author of many highly acclaimed books about the nature and significance of modern developments in physics, astronomy, and mathematics, including The Origin of the Universe; The Universe that Discovered Itself; The Book of Nothing; The Constants of Nature; The Infinite Book: a Short Guide to the Boundless; Timeless and Endless; The Artful Universe Expanded; New Theories of Everything; and Cosmic Imagery.


13. Particle at the End of the Universe: The Hunt for the Higgs and the Discovery (Sean Carroll)
Carroll is acclaimed for his popular science writing, from Wired to the Telegraph to New Scientist. A heady ride to the edge of physics today filled with vivid interviews and first-hand narrative of the search team. Award-winning physicist and science popularize Sean Carroll reveals the history-making forces of insight, rivalry and wonder that fuelled the Higgs search and how its discovery opens a door into the mind boggling domain of dark matter and other phenomena we never predicted, told with unrivalled ambition, authority and access to the teams, this is the greatest science story of our time riveting and irresistible.

About the Author
Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. In addition to the Royal Society Winton Prize, he has been awarded prizes and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, NASA, the American Physical Society and the American Institute of Physics. He lives in Los Angeles. Follow him @seanmcarroll and read his blog at preposterousuniverse.com.


14. Just Six Numbers (Martin Rees)
How did a single genesis event create billions of galaxies, black holes, stars and planets? How did atoms assemble - here on Earth, and perhaps on other worlds - into living beings intricate enough to ponder their origins? This book describes the recent avalanche of discoveries about the universe's fundamental laws, and the deep connections that exist between stars and atoms - the cosmos and the microscopic world. Just six numbers, imprinted in the big bang, determine the essence of our world, and this book devotes one chapter to explaining each.

About the Author
Sir Martin Rees is an international leader in cosmology. He is Royal Society Research Professor at Cambridge University, and holds the title of Astronomer Royal. Together with his numerous collaborators he has contributed many key ideas on black holes, galaxy formation and high energy astrophysics.
His most recent books are GRAVITY'S FATAL ATTRACTION: BLACK HOLES IN THE UNIVERSE (with Mitchell Begelman), BEFORE THE BEGINNING: OUR UNIVERSE AND OTHERS and JUST SIX NUMBERS: THE DEEP FORCES THAT SHAPE THE UNIVERSE.


15. A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing (Lawrence Krauss)
Bestselling author and acclaimed physicist Lawrence Krauss offers a paradigm-shifting view of how everything that exists came to be in the first place.

“Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And finally, why is there something rather than nothing?”

One of the few prominent scientists today to have crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss describes the staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories that demonstrate not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. With a new preface about the significance of the discovery of the Higgs particle, A Universe from Nothing uses Krauss’s characteristic wry humor and wonderfully clear explanations to take us back to the beginning of the beginning, presenting the most recent evidence for how our universe evolved—and the implications for how it’s going to end.

Provocative, challenging, and delightfully readable, this is a game-changing look at the most basic underpinning of existence and a powerful antidote to outmoded philosophical, religious, and scientific thinking.


About the Author
Lawrence Krauss, a renowned theoretical physicist, is director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University. He is the author of more than 300 scientific publications and nine books, including the international bestsellers, A Universe from Nothing and The Physics of Star Trek. The recipient of numerous awards, Krauss is a regular columnist for newspapers and magazines, including The New Yorker, and he appears frequently on radio, television, and in feature films. Krauss lives in Portland, Oregon, and Tempe, Arizona.

Richard Dawkins is a Fellow of the Royal Society and was the inaugural holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is the acclaimed author of many books including The Selfish Gene, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Ancestor’s Tale, The God Delusion, and The Greatest Show on Earth. Visit him at RichardDawkins.net.