It From Bit or Bit From It

Author: Anthony Aguirre
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319129465
Format: PDF, Docs
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The essays in this book look at the question of whether physics can be based on information, or – as John Wheeler phrased it – whether we can get “It from Bit”. They are based on the prize-winning essays submitted to the FQXi essay competition of the same name, which drew over 180 entries. The eighteen contributions address topics as diverse as quantum foundations, entropy conservation, nonlinear logic and countable spacetime. Together they provide stimulating reading for all physics aficionados interested in the possible role(s) of information in the laws of nature. The Foundational Questions Institute, FQXi, catalyzes, supports, and disseminates research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality, but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.

Questioning the Foundations of Physics

Author: Anthony Aguirre
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319130455
Format: PDF, ePub
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The essays in this book look at way in which the fundaments of physics might need to be changed in order to make progress towards a unified theory. They are based on the prize-winning essays submitted to the FQXi essay competition “Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?”, which drew over 270 entries. As Nobel Laureate physicist Philip W. Anderson realized, the key to understanding nature’s reality is not anything “magical”, but the right attitude, “the focus on asking the right questions, the willingness to try (and to discard) unconventional answers, the sensitive ear for phoniness, self-deception, bombast, and conventional but unproven assumptions.” The authors of the eighteen prize-winning essays have, where necessary, adapted their essays for the present volume so as to (a) incorporate the community feedback generated in the online discussion of the essays, (b) add new material that has come to light since their completion and (c) to ensure accessibility to a broad audience of readers with a basic grounding in physics. The Foundational Questions Institute, FQXi, catalyzes, supports, and disseminates research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality, but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.

Trick or Truth

Author: Anthony Aguirre
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319274953
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The prize-winning essays in this book address the fascinating but sometimes uncomfortable relationship between physics and mathematics. Is mathematics merely another natural science? Or is it the result of human creativity? Does physics simply wear mathematics like a costume, or is math the lifeblood of physical reality? The nineteen wide-ranging, highly imaginative and often entertaining essays are enhanced versions of the prize-winning entries to the FQXi essay competition “Trick or Truth”, which attracted over 200 submissions. The Foundational Questions Institute, FQXi, catalyzes, supports, and disseminates research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality, but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.

The Bit and the Pendulum

Author: Tom Siegfried
Publisher: Wiley
ISBN: 9780471399742
Format: PDF, ePub
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"Funny, clear, deep, and right on target. [Siegfried] lets us get a handle on ideas that are essential for understanding the evolving world." -K. C. Cole, author of The Universe and the Teacup "An eager, ambitious book. A stimulating, accessible introduction to scientific theory." -Dallas Morning News An award-winning journalist surveys the horizon of a new revolution in science Everything in the universe, from the molecules in our bodies to the heart of a black hole, is made up of bits of information. This is the radical idea at the center of the new physics of information, and it is leading to exciting breakthroughs in a vast range of science, including the invention of a new kind of quantum computer, millions of times faster than any computer today. Acclaimed science writer Tom Siegfried offers a lively introduction to the leading scientists and ideas responsible for this exciting new scientific paradigm.

Lie Algebras In Particle Physics

Author: Howard Georgi
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 0429967764
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Howard Georgi is the co-inventor (with Sheldon Glashow) of the SU(5) theory. This extensively revised and updated edition of his classic text makes the theory of Lie groups accessible to graduate students, while offering a perspective on the way in which knowledge of such groups can provide an insight into the development of unified theories of strong, weak, and electromagnetic interactions.

Programming the Universe

Author: Seth Lloyd
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307264718
Format: PDF, ePub
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Is the universe actually a giant quantum computer? According to Seth Lloyd, the answer is yes. All interactions between particles in the universe, Lloyd explains, convey not only energy but also information–in other words, particles not only collide, they compute. What is the entire universe computing, ultimately? “Its own dynamical evolution,” he says. “As the computation proceeds, reality unfolds.” Programming the Universe, a wonderfully accessible book, presents an original and compelling vision of reality, revealing our world in an entirely new light. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Mindful Universe

Author: Henry P. Stapp
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9783642180767
Format: PDF
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The classical mechanistic idea of nature that prevailed in science during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was an essentially mindless conception: the physically described aspects of nature were asserted to be completely determined by prior physically described aspects alone, with our conscious experiences entering only passively. During the twentieth century the classical concepts were found to be inadequate. In the new theory, quantum mechanics, our conscious experiences enter into the dynamics in specified ways not fixed by the physically described aspects alone. Consequences of this radical change in our understanding of the connection between mind and brain are described. This second edition contains two new chapters investigating the role of quantum phenomena in the problem of free will and in the placebo effect.

What Are Gamma Ray Bursts

Author: Joshua S. Bloom
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400837007
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Gamma-ray bursts are the brightest--and, until recently, among the least understood--cosmic events in the universe. Discovered by chance during the cold war, these evanescent high-energy explosions confounded astronomers for decades. But a rapid series of startling breakthroughs beginning in 1997 revealed that the majority of gamma-ray bursts are caused by the explosions of young and massive stars in the vast star-forming cauldrons of distant galaxies. New findings also point to very different origins for some events, serving to complicate but enrich our understanding of the exotic and violent universe. What Are Gamma-Ray Bursts? is a succinct introduction to this fast-growing subject, written by an astrophysicist who is at the forefront of today's research into these incredible cosmic phenomena. Joshua Bloom gives readers a concise and accessible overview of gamma-ray bursts and the theoretical framework that physicists have developed to make sense of complex observations across the electromagnetic spectrum. He traces the history of remarkable discoveries that led to our current understanding of gamma-ray bursts, and reveals the decisive role these phenomena could play in the grand pursuits of twenty-first century astrophysics, from studying gravity waves and unveiling the growth of stars and galaxies after the big bang to surmising the ultimate fate of the universe itself. What Are Gamma-Ray Bursts? is an essential primer to this exciting frontier of scientific inquiry, and a must-read for anyone seeking to keep pace with cutting-edge developments in physics today.

Quantum Mechanics and Gravity

Author: Mendel Sachs
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3662096404
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book describes a paradigm change in modern physics from the philosophy and mathematical expression of the quantum theory to those of general relativity. The approach applies to all domains - from elementary particles to cosmology. The change is from the positivistic views in which atomism, nondeterminism and measurement are fundamental, to a holistic view in realism, wherein matter - electrons, galaxies, - are correlated modes of a single continuum, the universe. A field that unifies electromagnetism, gravity and inertia is demonstrated explicitly, with new predictions, in terms of quaternion and spinor field equations in a curved spacetime. Quantum mechanics emerges as a linear, flatspace approximation for the equations of inertia in general relativity.