The Motion Paradox: The 2,500-Year Old Puzzle Behind All the Mysteries of Time and Space [NOOK Book]

Overview

The epic tale of an ancient, unsolved puzzle and how it relates to all scientific attempts to explain the basic structure of the universe

At the dawn of science the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno formulated his paradox of motion, and amazingly, it is still on the cutting edge of all investigations into the fabric of reality.

Zeno used logic to argue that motion is impossible, and at the heart of his maddening puzzle is the nature of space and ...

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The Motion Paradox: The 2,500-Year Old Puzzle Behind All the Mysteries of Time and Space

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Overview

The epic tale of an ancient, unsolved puzzle and how it relates to all scientific attempts to explain the basic structure of the universe

At the dawn of science the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno formulated his paradox of motion, and amazingly, it is still on the cutting edge of all investigations into the fabric of reality.

Zeno used logic to argue that motion is impossible, and at the heart of his maddening puzzle is the nature of space and time. Is space-time continuous or broken up like a string of beads? Over the past two millennia, many of our greatest minds—including Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and other current theoreticians—have been gripped by the mystery this puzzle represents.

Joseph Mazur, acclaimed author of Euclid in the Rainforest, shows how historic breakthroughs in our understanding of motion shed light on Zeno’s paradox. The orbits of the planets were explained, the laws of motion were revealed, the theory of relativity was discovered—but the basic structure of time and space remained elusive.

In the tradition of Fermat’s Enigma and Zero, The Motion Paradox is a lively history of this apparently simple puzzle whose solution—if indeed it can be solved—will reveal nothing less than the fundamental nature of reality.







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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Mazur's account achieves an entrancing verbal clarity... a fine example of popularizing a famous philosophical mind-bender.
New Scientist
This is one of the most fascinating science books I have ever read. It tells the story of the 2500-year quest to gain an understanding of the slippery concept of motion. Beginning with the Greek paradoxes that showed that motion is utterly impossible, the book progresses through Galilean relativity, Einsteinian relativity and superstring theory, finally coming up to date with the still unresolved question of whether space and time are continuous or grainy. Joseph Mazur has succeeded in telling a fresh and untold story with clarity and style.
Publishers Weekly
The Greek philosopher Zeno sought to reveal that motion and speed were logical impossibilities; one of his famous four paradoxes argued that a moving object can never reach its destination, because it must first travel half the distance, then half the remaining distance, and so on. In this entertaining, informative diversion, Mazur (Euclid in the Rainforest) spins out the discoveries of the mathematicians and scientists who have grappled with the riddles of time and space over the last two millennia, from Aristotle up to Heisenberg and contemporary string theorists. Yet for all their answers, the fundamental premise that motion is an illusion created by consciousness still remains. Many elements of the story, such as the astronomical breakthroughs of Galileo and Tycho, or the simultaneous development of calculus by Leibniz and Newton, have been discussed in greater detail in other recent books. But Mazur spins a good yarn, and his conversational tone holds readers' attention even as the mathematical formulae pile up in later chapters. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440649653
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/19/2007
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • File size: 656 KB

Meet the Author

Joseph Mazur is Professor of Mathematics at Marlboro College, where he has taught a wide range of classes in all areas of mathematics, its history, and philosophy.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Alyss

    Let's get this party STARTED! *shows up in a blue t-shirt and a ruffled white skirt. her golden blond hair is in waves, and neon green hoops hang from her ears. her blue eyes sparkle*

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Andrew

    Walks in

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2012

    Ummm, hi

    Hey guys. Who can i be?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2012

    Stan

    Walks in, makes weird and movments, then leaves.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2012

    Diana

    * lays not breathing*

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2012

    Aang

    Ya im with ya how bout we start an rp that goes stricktly by the shows ps legend of kora included

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Miso

    Brings up a huge dome of rock along with tables abd chairs with rock lanterans then shoots fire in them while making a fire in the middle and brings in food and punch.Music plays in the backround

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2012

    Korra

    Well sory that all the other avatars where taken. *she says angrey* katara r u ok?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2012

    Katara

    It ok...aang go to avatar res three

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews

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