The Beautiful Invisible: Creativity, Imagination, and Theoretical Physics

The Beautiful Invisible: Creativity, Imagination, and Theoretical Physics

by Giovanni Vignale
     
 

Challenging the image of physics as dry and dusty, The Beautiful Invisible shows that this highly abstract science is in fact teeming with beautiful concepts, and the task of imagining them demands profound creativity, just as creative as the work of poets or magical realist novelists such as Borges and Musil. "A good scientific theory is like a

See more details below

Overview

Challenging the image of physics as dry and dusty, The Beautiful Invisible shows that this highly abstract science is in fact teeming with beautiful concepts, and the task of imagining them demands profound creativity, just as creative as the work of poets or magical realist novelists such as Borges and Musil. "A good scientific theory is like a symbolic tale, an allegory of reality," writes Giovanni Vignale, as he uncovers the unexpected links between theoretical physics and artistic creativity. In engaging and at times poetic prose, and with ample quotations from many of the writers he admires, Vignale presents his own unorthodox accounts of fundamental theoretical concepts such as Newtonian mechanics, superconductivity, and Einstein's theory of relativity, illuminating their profound implications. Throughout, the author treats readers to glimpses of physics as "exercised in the still night, when only the moon rages." Indeed, as we delve behind now-familiar concepts such as "electron spin" and "black hole," the world that we take for granted melts away, leaving a glimpse of something much stranger.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199574841
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/15/2011
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue
1. The way of the abstract
2. Limits
3. Laws are made to be broken
4. Of first and last things
5. Representations
6. The invisible light
7. The double helix
8. Quantum mechanics: the triumph of the abstract
9. Tales of quantum reality
10. The spinning electron and other metaphors
11. Margarita

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >