Catalogue


The Accidental Universe : The World You Thought You Knew /
Alan Lightman.
imprint
New York, NY : Pantheon Books, [2013], c2013.
description
xi, 157 p. ; 19 cm.
ISBN
0307908585, 9780307908582
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York, NY : Pantheon Books, [2013], c2013.
isbn
0307908585
9780307908582
catalogue key
9220390
 
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Is our universe merely a statistical fluke, a rare accident that we happen to be able to observe? In The Accidental Universe , Alan Lightman introduces readers to physicists' latest grapplings with the vastness of space, the ineluctable march of time, and the origin of mass. Vivid, personal, and often moving, Lightman's reflections illuminate scientists' zeal for lawfulness, symmetry, and order, as well as their arresting sense of wonder." David Kaiser, author of How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival "Alan Lightman is not only a graceful writer, he is a juggler of scales and perspectives, an informed questioner who works his way in deeper with each exertion. The Accidental Universe disassembles our theoretical surround, cleans and tests all arguments and assumptions, and then, dexterously, puts it all back together. Voila! A book born of stimulating discussions, it will now provoke them." Sven Birkerts, author of The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Elrectronic Age "This essay collection could have only been penned by Lightman, that rare hybrid of physicist and storyteller. By shining the beam of his intellect on the cosmos, he illuminates our personal lives in the reflections." David Eagleman, Neuroscientist, author of Sum and Incognito "A sublime reminder of the mysteries behind and beyond the familiar-a call to wonder." Brian Christian, author of The Most Human Human "Alan Lightman deftly weaves the contradictions and mystery of our experience with the awe of exploring the vast physical universe. His graceful book inspires conversation about the wonder of our existence. It invites us to look up at the sky and see a grander, more comprehensible universe." Margaret Geller, Professor of Astronomy, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship
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Summaries
Description for Library
Lightman is that rare and wonderful creature: a theoretical physicist who has taught at Harvard and MIT and also written six novels, including the international best seller Einstein's Dreams. Here he considers the very human questions raised by recent scientific discoveries. Chapters of this book have appeared in venues like Harper's ("The Gargantuan Universe" as a cover story), and "The Accidental Universe" was chosen for Best American Essays 2012. So demand among smart readers should be high.
Main Description
From the acclaimed author of "Einsteins Dreams" and "Mr g, " a meditation on the unexpected ways in which recent scientific findings have shaped our understanding of ourselves and our place in the cosmos. With all the passion, curiosity, and precise yet lyrical prose that have marked his previous books, Alan Lightman here explores the emotional and philosophical questions raised by discoveries in science, focusing most intently on the human condition and the needs of humankind. He looks at the difficult dialogue between science and religion; the conflict between our human desire for permanence and the impermanence of nature; the possibility that our universe is simply an accident; the manner in which modern technology has separated us from direct experience of the world; and our resistance to the view that our bodies and minds can be explained by scientific logic and laws. And behind all of these considerations is the suggestion--at once haunting and exhilarating--that what we see and understand of the world is only a tiny piece of the extraordinary, perhaps unfathomable whole.
Main Description
From the acclaimed author of Einstein's Dreams and Mr g, a meditation on the unexpected ways in which recent scientific findings have shaped our understanding of ourselves and our place in the cosmos. With all the passion, curiosity, and precise yet lyrical prose that have marked his previous books, Alan Lightman here explores the emotional and philosophical questions raised by discoveries in science, focusing most intently on the human condition and the needs of humankind. He looks at the difficult dialogue between science and religion; the conflict between our human desire for permanence and the impermanence of nature; the possibility that our universe is simply an accident; the manner in which modern technology has separated us from direct experience of the world; and our resistance to the view that our bodies and minds can be explained by scientific logic and laws. And behind all of these considerations is the suggestion-at once haunting and exhilarating-that what we see and understand of the world is only a tiny piece of the extraordinary, perhaps unfathomable whole.

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