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The Constants of Nature

The Numbers That Encode the Deepest Secrets of the Universe

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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
Reality as we know it is bound by a set of constants—numbers and values that dictate the strengths of forces like gravity, the speed of light, and the masses of elementary particles. In The Constants of Nature, Cambridge Professor and bestselling author John D.Barrow takes us on an exploration of these governing principles. Drawing on physicists such as Einstein and Planck, Barrow illustrates with stunning clarity our dependence on the steadfastness of these principles. But he also suggests that the basic forces may have been radically different during the universe’s infancy, and suggests that they may continue a deeply hidden evolution. Perhaps most tantalizingly, Barrow theorizes about the realities that might one day be found in a universe with different parameters than our own.
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Reality as we know it is bound by a set of constants—numbers and values that dictate the strengths of forces like gravity, the speed of light, and the masses of elementary particles. In The Constants of Nature, Cambridge Professor and bestselling author John D.Barrow takes us on an exploration of these governing principles. Drawing on physicists such as Einstein and Planck, Barrow illustrates with stunning clarity our dependence on the steadfastness of these principles. But he also suggests that the basic forces may have been radically different during the universe’s infancy, and suggests that they may continue a deeply hidden evolution. Perhaps most tantalizingly, Barrow theorizes about the realities that might one day be found in a universe with different parameters than our own.
Product Details
Paperback (368 pages)
Published: March 9, 2004
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9781400032259
Other books byJohn Barrow
  • The Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H. M. S. Bounty

    The Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H. M. S. Bounty
    First published in 1831, this account of a notorious event in the history of the navy makes extensive use of letters, papers and the testimony of those involved. Sir John Barrow (1764-1848) was Second Secretary to the Admiralty, and so had unrivalled access to official documents. He begins with a chapter detailing the first visit to Tahiti by Captain Cook. The mutiny, Bligh's 4,000-mile voyage in an open boat, the capture and court martial of some of the mutineers and the fate of the remainder who settled on Pitcairn Island are described with clarity and even-handedness. Whilst acknowledging that Bligh was 'a man of coarse habits' with 'mistaken notions with regard to discipline', Barrow is unequivocal that the episode 'ought to operate as a warning ... to our brave seamen, not to be led astray ... either by order or persuasion of some hot-brained, thoughtless, or designing person'.

    The Artful Universe Expanded

    The Artful Universe Expanded
    Our love of art, writes John Barrow, is the end product of millions of years of evolution. How we react to a beautiful painting or symphony draws upon instincts laid down long before humans existed. Now, in this enhanced edition of the highly popularThe Artful Universe, Barrow further explores the close ties between our aesthetic appreciation and the basic nature of the Universe. Barrow argues that the laws of the Universe have imprinted themselves upon our thoughts and actions in subtle and unexpected ways. Why do we like certain types of art or music? What games and puzzles do we find challenging? Why do so many myths and legends have common elements? In this eclectic and entertaining survey, Barrow answers these questions and more as he explains how the landscape of the Universe has influenced the development of philosophy and mythology, and how millions of years of evolutionary history have fashioned our attraction to certain patterns of sound and color. This second edition features eight fascinating new sections covering such topics as the recent discoveries of extrasolar planets, the fashionable postmodernist rejection of science, and the discovery of the underlying mathematical structure of Jackson Pollock's work. Drawing on a wide variety of examples, from the theological questions raised by St. Augustine and C.S. Lewis to the relationship between the pure math of Pythagoras and the music of the Beatles,The Artful Universe Expandedcovers new ground and enters a wide-ranging debate about the meaning and significance of the links between art and science. "Traverses an enormous range of material, treating the reader to extended riffs on everything from non-Euclidean geometry to Stravinsky's theories on music." --The New York Times

    The Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H M S Bounty

    The Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H M S Bounty
    Sir John Barrow 1764 1848. An early account of the mutiny in the south seas.

    The Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H. M. S. Bounty

    The Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H. M. S. Bounty
    Its Cause and Consequences
    A must-read for true-crime buffs and fans of maritime history, The Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H.M.S. Bounty: Its Cause and Consequences is widely recognized as the most detailed historical account of the mutiny on the Bounty that has spawned dozens of novels, movies, and other pop-culture retellings.

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