The Complete Idiot's Guide to Theories of the Universe [NOOK Book]


You're no idiot, of course. You know Heisenburg's uncertainty principle has nothing to do with where you put your car keys. But modern cosmology is relatively complicated. The mystery of the universe definitely isn't one we can flip to the end to see whodunit. That hasn't stopped physicists, astronomers, and philosophers from searching for clues! The topic is infinite (literally), but once you've read this book you'll have a solid idea of our place in the universe and even where the cosmos itself might be headed....

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Theories of the Universe

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You're no idiot, of course. You know Heisenburg's uncertainty principle has nothing to do with where you put your car keys. But modern cosmology is relatively complicated. The mystery of the universe definitely isn't one we can flip to the end to see whodunit. That hasn't stopped physicists, astronomers, and philosophers from searching for clues! The topic is infinite (literally), but once you've read this book you'll have a solid idea of our place in the universe and even where the cosmos itself might be headed. In this 'Complete Idiot's Guide', you'll explore:

-Major religions, philosophical and scientific theories concerning the nature and origin of the universe.

-The theory of everything; one coherent model that would explain how all the forces and particles of nature work.

-The fascinating and even sometimes bizarre implications of the latest theories.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440695728
  • Publisher: DK Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/1/2001
  • Sold by: DK
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,107,780
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Gary Moring is the author of 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Einstein' and 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Theories of the Universe'. He teaches physics and the history and philosophy of science at the University of Pheonix in Northern Carolina. He has received numerous awards for teaching excellence. He has also been a curriculum consultant for the University.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 In the Beginning 1
1 Once Upon a Time 3
Cosmology, Cosmogony, and the Cosmos 4
Mesopotamia, or Where It All Began 5
So You Want to Be a Hero! 5
Family Feud 6
The Magnificent Seven 7
Genesis 7
Ancient Hebrew Cosmology 8
The Chicken or the Egg 9
Compass Headings and Complementary Opposites 10
The Four Directions 11
Heaven and Earth 12
2 The Music of the Spheres 15
The Essence of All Things 16
Numbers with Feelings 17
Harmonies of Heaven and Earth 18
Back to Babylon 20
The Seven Sacred Planets 20
Music Therapy 21
The Rhythm of the Universe 22
The World Soul 24
The First Cause 24
You Gotta Have Soul 25
3 A Brief History of Esoteric Philosophy 27
What Is Esoteric Philosophy? 27
Hermes and the Hermits 29
The Emerald Tablet 30
The Perennial Philosophy 32
Fruits of Knowledge 33
Rosicrucianism 33
Freemasonry 34
The Cabalah 36
Why All of This Is So Important 37
4 Transitions in Thinking 39
Simple Minds, Simple Pleasures 40
Life in the Fast Lane 42
The Birth of the Renaissance Ideal 43
The Good Life 44
Perfection Is the Key 44
The Hermetic Revival 45
Marsilio Ficino 46
Pico della Mirandola 46
Giordano Bruno 47
Part 2 Science Comes of Age, but Isn't 21 Yet 49
5 You Mean We're Not at the Center of the Universe? 51
What You See Is What You Get 52
Walk Like an Egyptian 53
The Copernican Revolution 55
The Problem with Easter 56
Displaced Humanity 58
Galileo Scopes It Out 58
Kepler's Contributions 60
6 The Scientific Revolution 63
What You See Isn't Necessarily What You Get 64
Systems of Science 65
Three Different Styles 66
It's All in the Mind 67
Pass the Bacon, Francis 69
Descartes's Dualism 69
"I Think, Therefore I Am" 70
The Mind/Body Problem 71
Lost Along the Way 73
7 Cosmology in the Age of Enlightenment 75
What Is Enlightenment? 75
Whose Science Is Whose? 77
Science Is King 79
The Word of God 80
Half and Half 81
The Science of Alchemy 83
Lead into Gold 83
It All Boils Down to Boyle 84
Newton's Alchemical Apple 85
8 Physics 101 89
Honey, I Shrunk the Universe! 90
Can't Forget About Math 92
You're Getting Warmer 94
The Dynamics of Electromagnetism 96
Light, Lenses, and Optics 98
Just a Little Bit of Chemistry 99
The Attraction of Gravity 100
Part 3 And in This Corner... 103
9 Evolution vs. Creationism 105
Is Truth in the Eye of the Beholder? 106
It's a Matter of Opinion 107
Degrees of Truth 108
How Did We Get Here? 109
You Have Been Selected 110
The Ladder of Creation 111
And God Said 113
To Believe or Not To Believe, That Is the Question 114
10 The Dual Nature of Light 117
Waves of Light 118
You Can't See It, but It Has to Be There 119
Faraday's Fields 120
Maxwell's Mathematics 121
The Experiment That Failed 122
Waves Come in All Shapes and Sizes 124
A Little Bit of Quanta Goes a Long Way 125
Our Journey So Far 127
11 Cracks in a Newtonian World 129
The Clock Breaks! 130
Hot Things Glow 131
Faster Than a Speeding Light Wave 132
Unchanging Time and Space 133
Passing Your Exams! 134
It All Depends on Your Position 135
Sometimes Relativity Is Absolute 137
12 The Relative Nature of Space and Time 141
It's About Time 142
Atomic Time 143
Geological Time 144
Biological Time 145
Astronomical Time 146
How Can You Be in Two Places at Once? 147
Keeping Track of Time 149
The Faster You Go, the Shorter You Get 150
Part 4 From Here to Infinity 153
13 Famous Equations and Pools of Jell-O 155
The Conversion of Energy 155
E = mc[superscript 2] 156
Infinite Mass 156
Recapping Relativity 159
Thank God, the Ground Broke My Fall! 161
Einstein's Happiest Thought 162
Gravity Is Relative, Too 163
Curved Space 165
14 That Old Quantum Theory 169
Founding Fathers 170
Quantum Leaps 171
Planck's Constant 172
Photoelectric Effect Explained, the Quantum Strikes Again 174
Bohr's Atomic Theory 177
15 Chunks of Uncertainty 181
Waves of Matter 181
A French Prince Discovers Matter Waves 182
Just a Little Math Won't Hurt 184
More Wave Mechanics 186
Born of Probability 187
Probability Leads to Uncertainty 189
They're Complementary After All 190
Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen 191
16 Forces, Particles, and Some Cosmological Glue 195
An Atomic Review 196
The Nucleus and the Proton 197
Size in the Microcosm 197
The Fundamental Forces of Nature 198
The Neutron Decay 199
Neutrinos and the Weak Force 200
The Forces You Already Know 202
Cosmic Rays, Greek Particles, and Accelerators 203
Mu and Pi 205
From Natural to Man-Made 206
The Particle Zoo 206
The Last Train to Quarkville 208
17 Scientific Origins of the Universe 211
The Cosmological Pendulum 212
Bang That Drum 215
Einstein's Closed Universe 216
The Primeval Atom 217
Another Bang 218
A Big Bang Alternative 219
Microwaves to the Rescue 220
Part 5 Supersymmetry, Superstrings, and Holograms 223
18 The Accelerating Universe 225
It's Bigger Than We Thought 226
Plasma Cosmology 227
The Standard Model 230
The Alpha and the Omega 231
The Need for Dark Matter 233
Living in the Flatlands 234
It's Out of Control 235
19 Supersymmetry, Superpartners, and Superman 237
The First Three Minutes 238
Attempts at Unification 239
Quantum Mechanics vs. General Relativity 241
The Gravity of the Situation 242
The Planck Scale 243
Symmetry Breaking 245
The Spin Doctors 246
Introducing SUSY 246
Interdimensional Travel 247
No, I'm Sparticles! 248
20 It's All Held Together with Strings 251
A Brief History of String Theory 252
The Cosmic Onion 254
Musical Strings 254
The Important Part 255
The Second Requirement, Extra Dimensions 257
The Kaluza-Klein Dimension 258
Unification in Higher Dimensions 260
How Many Dimensions Are There? 261
The Short Version of the Second Superstring Revolution 262
21 The Universe As a Hologram 265
What's a Hologram? 266
Action at a Distance 267
A Remarkable Event 269
Nonlocality 270
Quantum Potential 271
The Importance of Wholeness 272
Ordered Reality 274
The Holographic Universe 275
Part 6 Old Endings and New Beginnings 279
22 Psychology, Cosmology, and Consciousness 281
The Study of the Soul 281
"With Our Thoughts We Make the World" 285
Holographic Brains 285
These Are Holograms, Too? 286
Space and Time, in the Mind 287
Categories of Space and Time 288
The Implicate Mind 289
Past, Present, and Future 291
23 Eastern Cosmology and the Cyclic Universe 293
What Goes Around, Comes Around 294
Linear vs. Cyclic 295
Right Brain or Left Brain? 296
Unity in Diversity 298
The Eternal Return 299
A Day and Night of Brahma 300
The Dance of Shiva 302
It's All Energy 303
24 Symbolic Systems and the Self-Aware Universe 305
Multidimensional Symbols 305
Change Is the Only Constant 306
Energy Comes in Many Forms 307
The Sages of China 309
Cosmological Principles 310
The Tree of Life 313
Be Your Own Psychic and Save Some Money 314
The Cabalah and Superstrings 316
25 The Future of Humanity 319
What Was It All For? 320
It's All About Us 320
Ethical Eschatology 321
The Underworld 322
Mummies, Mummies, and More Mummies 322
Thus Spoke Zarathushtra 324
The Sage and the Prophet 324
A Prophecy Primer 326
The Christian Outlook 328
A Cosmological Kernels 331
B Suggested Reading List 339
Index 343
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2002

    An excellent review of a myriad of information!

    The contents of this book span centuries of thought. Topics from ancient numerology and alchemy to modern astrophysics are all touched on and clearly explained. A great source of information for anyone interested in how people have looked at the universe.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2003

    Extremly preachy anti-christian views

    Other than the annoyingly frequent and often inaccurate references to Christianity and the Bible, it is a decent book. While simultaniously preaching about openmindedness, the author refuses to pass up an opportunity to misrepresent mainstream Christianity in such a way (by leaving out important information or simply mistating) as to make it look idiotic to even consider. It is simple to read and understand and fairly entertaining (when the author isn't boring the reader with his views on religion).

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2011

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    Posted November 23, 2009

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