Science and Ultimate Reality: Quantum Theory, Cosmology, and Complexity

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $35.14
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 68%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (11) from $35.14   
  • New (5) from $92.12   
  • Used (6) from $35.14   


This preview of the future of physics comprises contributions from recognized authorities inspired by the pioneering work of John Wheeler. Quantum theory represents a unifying theme within the book, as it relates to the topics of the nature of physical reality, cosmic inflation, the arrow of time, models of the universe, superstrings, quantum gravity and cosmology. Attempts to formulate a final unification theory of physics are also considered, along with the existence of hidden dimensions of space, hidden cosmic matter, and the strange world of quantum technology. John Archibald Wheeler is one of the most influential scientists of the twentieth century. His extraordinary career has spanned momentous advances in physics, from the birth of the nuclear age to the conception of the quantum computer. Famous for coining the term "black hole," Professor Wheeler helped lay the foundations for the rebirth of gravitation as a mainstream branch of science, triggering the explosive growth in astrophysics and cosmology that followed. His early contributions to physics include the S matrix, the theory of nuclear rotation (with Edward Teller), the theory of nuclear fission (with Niels Bohr), action-at-a-distance electrodynamics (with Richard Feynman), positrons as backward-in-time electrons, the universal Fermi interaction (with Jayme Tiomno), muonic atoms, and the collective model of the nucleus. His inimitable style of thinking, quirky wit, and love of the bizarre have inspired generations of physicists.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This preview of the future of physics comprises contributions from recognized authorities inspired by the pioneering work of John Wheeler. His inimitable style of thinking, quirky wit, and love of the bizarre have inspired generations of physicists." Astronomical Society of the Pacific

"This is theoretical physics at its best."
Daniele Oriti, Mathematical Reviews

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521831130
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 742
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword John A. Wheeler; Editor's preface John D. Barrow, Paul Davies and Charles Harper, Jr.; Preface Freeman J. Dyson; Part I. An Overview of the Contributions of John Archibald Wheeler: 1. John Archibald Wheeler and the clash of ideas Paul C. W. Davies; Part II. An Historian's Tribute to John Archibald Wheeler and Scientific Speculation Through the Ages: 2. The heritage of Heraclitus: John Archibald Wheeler and the itch to speculate Jaroslav Pelikan; Part III. Quantum Reality - Theory: 3. Why is nature described by quantum theory? Lucien Hardy; 4. Thought experiments in honor of John Wheeler Freeman J. Dyson; 5. It from qubit David Deutsch; 6. The wave function: it or bit? H. Dieter Zeh; 7. Quantum Darwinism and envariance Wojciech H. Zurek; 8. Using qubits to learn about it Juan Pablo Paz; 9. Quantum gravity as an ordinary gauge theory Juan M. Maldacena; 10. The Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics Bryce S. DeWitt; Part IV. Quantum Reality - Experiment: 11. Why the quantum? It from bit? A participatory universe? Three far-reaching, visionary questions from John Archibald Wheeler and how they inspired a quantum experimentalist Anton Zeilinger; 12. Speakable and unspeakable, past and future Aephraim M. Steinberg; 13. Conceptual tensions between quantum mechanics and general relativity: are there experimental consequences? Raymond Y. Chiao; 14. Breeding non-local Schrödinger cats: a thought experiment to explore the quantum classical boundary Serge Haroche; 15. Quantum erasing the nature of reality - or, perhaps, the reality of nature? Paul G. Kwiat and Berthold-Georg Englert; 16. Quantum feedback and the quantum-classical transition Hideo Mabuchi; 17. What quantum computers may tell us about quantum mechanics Christopher R. Monroe; Part V. Big Questions in Cosmology: 18. Cosmic inflation and the arrow of time Andreas Albrecht; 19. Cosmology and immutability John D. Barrow; 20. Quantum cosmology, inflation, and the anthropic principle Andrei Linde; 21. Parallel universes Max Tegmark; 22. Quantum theories of gravity: results and prospects Lee Smolin; 23. A genuinely evolving universe Joao Magueijo; 24. Planck-scale models of the universe Fotini G. Markopoulou; 25. Implications of additional spatial dimensions to questions in cosmology Lisa Randall; Part VI. Emergence, Life, and Related Topics: 26. Emergence: us from it Philip D. Clayton; 27. True complexity and its associated ontology George F. R. Ellis; 28. The three origins: cosmos, life and mind Marcelo Gleiser; 29. Autonomous agents Stuart A. Kauffman; 30. To see a world in a grain of sand Shou-Cheng Zhang; Appendix A. Science and ultimate reality program committees; Appendix B. Young researchers competition in honor of John Archibald Wheeler for physics graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and young faculty.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & 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 & 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 & 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 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


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & 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 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

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