Einstein's Dream: The Search for a Unified Theory of the Universe

Overview

The author chronicles the search for . . . a theory to explain all natural fields and their interaction with particles. . . . Lives and contributions of physicists and cosmologists, starting with the pioneers of scientific cosmology in the 19th century, are described. Topics range from Maxwell's discovery of the laws of magnetic fields to Hawking's work on black hole physics. A concluding chapter looks at the current state of unified field theory. (Sci Books Films)

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Overview

The author chronicles the search for . . . a theory to explain all natural fields and their interaction with particles. . . . Lives and contributions of physicists and cosmologists, starting with the pioneers of scientific cosmology in the 19th century, are described. Topics range from Maxwell's discovery of the laws of magnetic fields to Hawking's work on black hole physics. A concluding chapter looks at the current state of unified field theory. (Sci Books Films)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306423437
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/1986
  • Pages: 287
  • Lexile: 1080L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.77 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Barry Parker, Ph.D, is an award-winning science writer and the author of eleven highly acclaimed books in popular science, including Alien Life, Cosmic Time Travel, Einstein's Dream, and Einstein's Brainchild.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Goal 1
The Search for Meaning 8
Einstein's Dream 17
Chapter 2 Warped Space-Time 21
Curved Space 26
Einstein and Warped Space-Time 29
Extreme Warping 46
Chapter 3 Early Unified Field Theories 41
Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field 50
Early Attempts at Unification 61
Einstein's Unified Field Theory 66
Chapter 4 Star Death 73
Eddington 74
The Life Cycle of a Star 79
Chandrasekhar and the White Dwarfs 84
Beyond the White Dwarf 89
Reflection 95
Chapter 5 The Ultimate Abyss: The Black Hole 97
Oppenheimer and Continuing Collapse 100
Collapse of a Star to a Black Hole 107
Inside a Black Hole 110
Other Types of Black Holes 112
Searching for Black Holes 114
Other Black Hole Candidates 118
A Realistic Look at the Exotic Possibilities 120
Where the Theory Breaks Down 124
The Discovery of Evaporating Black Holes 126
The Link between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics 131
Chapter 6 The Early Universe 133
Discovery of the Expanding Universe 134
Back to the Big Bang 154
The Ultimate Singularity 156
Inflation 159
The Hadron Era 159
The Lepton Era 161
The Radiation Era 161
The Cosmic Background Radiation 162
The Galaxy Era 166
Reflection 168
Chapter 7 Cosmological Controversy 171
The Age of the Universe 174
The Redshift Controversy 181
Rival Cosmologies 186
Varying G Cosmologies and Cosmic Numbers 191
Antimatter and Other Cosmologies 193
Other Universes 195
Chapter 8 The Final Fate of the Universe 199
The Missing Mass 201
Other Methods of Determining if the Universe Is Open or Closed 206
Fate of the Closed Universe 208
Bounce 209
Fate of the Open Universe 211
Chapter 9 The World of Particles and Fields 213
Dirac's Equation 217
The Infinities 220
Renormalization 222
Yukawa 230
Gauge Theory 233
The Weak Interactions 237
Quantum Chromodynamics 241
Summary and Further Subdivision 249
Chapter 10 A Unified Theory of the Universe 253
Supergravity and Superstrings 263
Twistors and Heaven (H Space) 268
Chapter 11 Epilogue 271
The Future 273
The New Einstein 274
Further Reading 277
Index 279
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    Posted October 4, 2000

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