Reading the Mind of God

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
By analyzing the light emanating from distant stars, scientists can tell what elements burn in their fiery cores. This method is possible, notes Trefil, because the laws of nature seem to be true everywhere in the universe at all times. Yet, the ``principle of universality'' was not always readily accepted--George Gamow and P.A.M. Dirac unsuccessfully challenged it in recent times, and so have hunters of hypothetical particles called quarks. In an enjoyable, crystal-clear exposition, Trefil ( The Dark Side of the Universe ) explores universality as he hops from Newton's observation of a falling apple and Charles Lyell's estimate of the age of the earth to MIT physicist Alan Guth's bizarre speculations about constructing a universe in the lab out of a ``false vacuum.'' This is popular science writing at its best. Illustrated. (July)
Library Journal
Universality--the idea that physical laws operate in the same way in every region of the universe and at every point in time--is an article of faith among scientists, absorbed so early in their training that few recall how they learned it. On the other hand, Trefil has remarked that nonscientists in his lecture audiences find this a strange concept. This book traces scientific discovery about the origin of the universe from the days of Isaac Newton to current research by Alan Guth in an attempt to illustrate how scientists have come to accept universality. With its single central theme, Trefil's new book has more in common with his earlier The Unexpected Vista ( LJ 6/25/83) than with his collections of essays such as Meditations at 10,000 Feet ( LJ 6/15/87) and can be recommended for public and high school libraries.-- Laurie Tynan, Montgomery Cty.-Norristown P.L., Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684187969
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 7/15/1989
  • Pages: 224

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