New Theories of Everything

( 4 )

Overview


Will we ever discover a single scientific theory that tells us everything that has happened, and everything that will happen, on every level in the Universe? The quest for the theory of everything - a single key that unlocks all the secrets of the Universe - is no longer a pipe-dream, but the focus of some of our most exciting research about the structure of the cosmos. But what might such a theory look like? What would it mean? And how close are we to getting there?
In New ...
See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$19.95
BN.com price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $8.45   
  • Used (10) from $1.99   
New Theories of Everything

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$18.99 List Price

Overview


Will we ever discover a single scientific theory that tells us everything that has happened, and everything that will happen, on every level in the Universe? The quest for the theory of everything - a single key that unlocks all the secrets of the Universe - is no longer a pipe-dream, but the focus of some of our most exciting research about the structure of the cosmos. But what might such a theory look like? What would it mean? And how close are we to getting there?
In New Theories of Everything, John D. Barrow describes the ideas and controversies surrounding the ultimate explanation. Updating his earlier work Theories of Everything with the very latest theories and predictions, he tells of the M-theory of superstrings and multiverses, of speculations about the world as a computer program, and of new ideas of computation and complexity. But this is not solely a book about modern ideas in physics - Barrow also considers and reflects on the philosophical and cultural consequences of those ideas, and their implications for our own existence in the world.
Far from there being a single theory uniquely specifying the constants and forces of nature, the picture today is of a vast landscape of different logically possible laws and constants in many dimensions, of which our own world is but a shadow: a tiny facet of a higher dimensional reality. But this is not to say we should give up in bewilderment: Barrow shows how many rich and illuminating theories and questions arise, and what this may mean for our understanding of our own place in the cosmos.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Can any one theory account for everything in the universe? Barrow (Mathematics/Cambridge; The Infinite Book, 2005, etc.) gets right down to fundamental issues in addressing this central question in modern science. He breaks his subject into eight key areas: laws of Nature, initial conditions, forces and particles, constants, broken symmetries, organizing principles, selection biases and categories of thought. Each of these is given a rigorous examination. For example, in discussing laws of nature, Barrow attempts to look at all possible ways the universe, scientific laws and God might interact, including the possibility that any or all of the three don't exist at all. One key question is whether our math is adequate to describe the deepest level of reality, especially in view of Kurt Godel's incompleteness theorem, which holds that every mathematical system entails theorems that cannot be proved. The author suggests that Godel's insight, while true of abstract math, doesn't hold for applied math of the sort used in the sciences. The question of whether or not time and space themselves predate the universe gets a careful look, though not a definitive answer. That, of course, is the problem: There are no definitive answers as yet, only more or less promising approaches to the questions. Among the difficulties is the fact that the universe we can observe is only a fraction of what is believed to exist, and we can't be certain that the observable portion is typical. (Of course, to play the game at all, we need to assume so.) At the end, Barrow concedes that no theory can really account for everything; opinions, emotions and so forth are undeniably realm yet beyond all computation. Yet thisphilosophic recognition is not a denial of the scientific enterprise, but a recognition that the universe, at bottom, is subtler than our tools for analyzing it. A fascinating journey.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199548170
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/12/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 485,994
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

John D. Barrow is Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at Cambridge University, Gresham Professor of Astronomy and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is the author of many highly acclaimed books about modern developments in physics, astronomy, and mathematics, including The Left Hand of Creation, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Theories of Everything: The Quest for Ultimate Explanation, Pi in the Sky: Counting, Thinking, and Being, Impossibility: the limits of science and the science of limits, Between Inner Space and Outer Space, The Origin of the Universe, The Universe that Discovered Itself, The Book of Nothing, The Constants of Nature: from alpha to omega and, most recently, The Artful Universe Expanded and The Infinite Book: a short guide to the boundless, timeless and endless. He is also the author of the award-winning play Infinities.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Ultimate explanation     1
An eightfold way     1
Myths     4
Creation myths     8
Algorithmic compressibility     10
Laws     14
The legacy of law     14
The quest for unity     17
Roger Boscovich     19
Symmetries     22
Infinities-to be or not to be?     26
From strings to 'M'     32
A flight of rationalistic fancy     36
Goodbye to all that     43
Initial conditions     44
At the edge of things     44
Axioms     45
Mathematical Jujitsu     51
Initial conditions and time symmetry     61
Time without time     62
Cosmological time     66
The problem of time     76
Absolute space and time     78
How far is far enough?     83
The quantum mystery of time     85
Quantum initial conditions     88
The great divide     90
Forces and particles     93
The stuff of the Universe     93
The copy-cat principle     95
Elementarity     100
The atomand the vortex     102
A world beside itself     104
Constants of Nature     110
The importance of being constant     110
Fundamentalism     112
What do constants tell us?     117
Varying constants     124
The cosmological constant     128
Broken symmetries     136
The never-ending story     136
Broken symmetry     138
Natural theology: A tale of two tales     140
The flaws of nature     143
Chaos     145
Chance     148
The unpredictability of sex     152
Symmetry-breaking in the Universe     154
Organizing principles     160
Where the wild things are     160
Big AL     169
Time     173
Being and becoming organized     176
The arrow of time     180
Far from equilibrium     182
The sands of time     185
The way of the world     188
Selection effects     192
Ubiquitous bias     192
Is 'pi' really in the sky?     202
In the centre of immensities     202
The number of the rose     204
Philosophies of mathematics     206
What is mathematics?     212
Mathematics and physics: An eternal golden braid     219
The intelligibility of the world     224
Algorithmic compressibility rides again     231
Continuity-a bridge too far?     233
The secret of the Universe     236
Is the Universe a computer?     238
The unknowable     242
Select Bibliography     247
Index     256
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)