The Complete Idiot's Guide to Theories of the Universe

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Theories of the Universe

by Gary Moring
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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Theories of the Universe by Gary Moring

You're no idiot, of course. You know Heisenburg's uncertainty principle has nothing to do with where you put your car keys. But modern cosmology is relatively complicated. The mystery of the universe definitely isn't one we can flip to the end to see whodunit. That hasn't stopped physicists, astronomers, and philosophers from searching for clues! The topic is infinite (literally), but once you've read this book you'll have a solid idea of our place in the universe and even where the cosmos itself might be headed. In this 'Complete Idiot's Guide', you'll explore:
-Major religions, philosophical and scientific theories concerning the nature and origin of the universe.
-The theory of everything; one coherent model that would explain how all the forces and particles of nature work.
-The fascinating and even sometimes bizarre implications of the latest theories.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440695728
Publisher: DK
Publication date: 12/01/2001
Sold by: DK
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 956,690
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Gary Moring is the author of 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Einstein' and 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Theories of the Universe'. He teaches physics and the history and philosophy of science at the University of Pheonix in Northern Carolina. He has received numerous awards for teaching excellence. He has also been a curriculum consultant for the University.

Table of Contents

Part 1In the Beginning1
1Once Upon a Time3
Cosmology, Cosmogony, and the Cosmos4
Mesopotamia, or Where It All Began5
So You Want to Be a Hero!5
Family Feud6
The Magnificent Seven7
Ancient Hebrew Cosmology8
The Chicken or the Egg9
Compass Headings and Complementary Opposites10
The Four Directions11
Heaven and Earth12
2The Music of the Spheres15
The Essence of All Things16
Numbers with Feelings17
Harmonies of Heaven and Earth18
Back to Babylon20
The Seven Sacred Planets20
Music Therapy21
The Rhythm of the Universe22
The World Soul24
The First Cause24
You Gotta Have Soul25
3A Brief History of Esoteric Philosophy27
What Is Esoteric Philosophy?27
Hermes and the Hermits29
The Emerald Tablet30
The Perennial Philosophy32
Fruits of Knowledge33
The Cabalah36
Why All of This Is So Important37
4Transitions in Thinking39
Simple Minds, Simple Pleasures40
Life in the Fast Lane42
The Birth of the Renaissance Ideal43
The Good Life44
Perfection Is the Key44
The Hermetic Revival45
Marsilio Ficino46
Pico della Mirandola46
Giordano Bruno47
Part 2Science Comes of Age, but Isn't 21 Yet49
5You Mean We're Not at the Center of the Universe?51
What You See Is What You Get52
Walk Like an Egyptian53
The Copernican Revolution55
The Problem with Easter56
Displaced Humanity58
Galileo Scopes It Out58
Kepler's Contributions60
6The Scientific Revolution63
What You See Isn't Necessarily What You Get64
Systems of Science65
Three Different Styles66
It's All in the Mind67
Pass the Bacon, Francis69
Descartes's Dualism69
"I Think, Therefore I Am"70
The Mind/Body Problem71
Lost Along the Way73
7Cosmology in the Age of Enlightenment75
What Is Enlightenment?75
Whose Science Is Whose?77
Science Is King79
The Word of God80
Half and Half81
The Science of Alchemy83
Lead into Gold83
It All Boils Down to Boyle84
Newton's Alchemical Apple85
8Physics 10189
Honey, I Shrunk the Universe!90
Can't Forget About Math92
You're Getting Warmer94
The Dynamics of Electromagnetism96
Light, Lenses, and Optics98
Just a Little Bit of Chemistry99
The Attraction of Gravity100
Part 3And in This Corner...103
9Evolution vs. Creationism105
Is Truth in the Eye of the Beholder?106
It's a Matter of Opinion107
Degrees of Truth108
How Did We Get Here?109
You Have Been Selected110
The Ladder of Creation111
And God Said113
To Believe or Not To Believe, That Is the Question114
10The Dual Nature of Light117
Waves of Light118
You Can't See It, but It Has to Be There119
Faraday's Fields120
Maxwell's Mathematics121
The Experiment That Failed122
Waves Come in All Shapes and Sizes124
A Little Bit of Quanta Goes a Long Way125
Our Journey So Far127
11Cracks in a Newtonian World129
The Clock Breaks!130
Hot Things Glow131
Faster Than a Speeding Light Wave132
Unchanging Time and Space133
Passing Your Exams!134
It All Depends on Your Position135
Sometimes Relativity Is Absolute137
12The Relative Nature of Space and Time141
It's About Time142
Atomic Time143
Geological Time144
Biological Time145
Astronomical Time146
How Can You Be in Two Places at Once?147
Keeping Track of Time149
The Faster You Go, the Shorter You Get150
Part 4From Here to Infinity153
13Famous Equations and Pools of Jell-O155
The Conversion of Energy155
E = mc[superscript 2]156
Infinite Mass156
Recapping Relativity159
Thank God, the Ground Broke My Fall!161
Einstein's Happiest Thought162
Gravity Is Relative, Too163
Curved Space165
14That Old Quantum Theory169
Founding Fathers170
Quantum Leaps171
Planck's Constant172
Photoelectric Effect Explained, the Quantum Strikes Again174
Bohr's Atomic Theory177
15Chunks of Uncertainty181
Waves of Matter181
A French Prince Discovers Matter Waves182
Just a Little Math Won't Hurt184
More Wave Mechanics186
Born of Probability187
Probability Leads to Uncertainty189
They're Complementary After All190
Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen191
16Forces, Particles, and Some Cosmological Glue195
An Atomic Review196
The Nucleus and the Proton197
Size in the Microcosm197
The Fundamental Forces of Nature198
The Neutron Decay199
Neutrinos and the Weak Force200
The Forces You Already Know202
Cosmic Rays, Greek Particles, and Accelerators203
Mu and Pi205
From Natural to Man-Made206
The Particle Zoo206
The Last Train to Quarkville208
17Scientific Origins of the Universe211
The Cosmological Pendulum212
Bang That Drum215
Einstein's Closed Universe216
The Primeval Atom217
Another Bang218
A Big Bang Alternative219
Microwaves to the Rescue220
Part 5Supersymmetry, Superstrings, and Holograms223
18The Accelerating Universe225
It's Bigger Than We Thought226
Plasma Cosmology227
The Standard Model230
The Alpha and the Omega231
The Need for Dark Matter233
Living in the Flatlands234
It's Out of Control235
19Supersymmetry, Superpartners, and Superman237
The First Three Minutes238
Attempts at Unification239
Quantum Mechanics vs. General Relativity241
The Gravity of the Situation242
The Planck Scale243
Symmetry Breaking245
The Spin Doctors246
Introducing SUSY246
Interdimensional Travel247
No, I'm Sparticles!248
20It's All Held Together with Strings251
A Brief History of String Theory252
The Cosmic Onion254
Musical Strings254
The Important Part255
The Second Requirement, Extra Dimensions257
The Kaluza-Klein Dimension258
Unification in Higher Dimensions260
How Many Dimensions Are There?261
The Short Version of the Second Superstring Revolution262
21The Universe As a Hologram265
What's a Hologram?266
Action at a Distance267
A Remarkable Event269
Quantum Potential271
The Importance of Wholeness272
Ordered Reality274
The Holographic Universe275
Part 6Old Endings and New Beginnings279
22Psychology, Cosmology, and Consciousness281
The Study of the Soul281
"With Our Thoughts We Make the World"285
Holographic Brains285
These Are Holograms, Too?286
Space and Time, in the Mind287
Categories of Space and Time288
The Implicate Mind289
Past, Present, and Future291
23Eastern Cosmology and the Cyclic Universe293
What Goes Around, Comes Around294
Linear vs. Cyclic295
Right Brain or Left Brain?296
Unity in Diversity298
The Eternal Return299
A Day and Night of Brahma300
The Dance of Shiva302
It's All Energy303
24Symbolic Systems and the Self-Aware Universe305
Multidimensional Symbols305
Change Is the Only Constant306
Energy Comes in Many Forms307
The Sages of China309
Cosmological Principles310
The Tree of Life313
Be Your Own Psychic and Save Some Money314
The Cabalah and Superstrings316
25The Future of Humanity319
What Was It All For?320
It's All About Us320
Ethical Eschatology321
The Underworld322
Mummies, Mummies, and More Mummies322
Thus Spoke Zarathushtra324
The Sage and the Prophet324
A Prophecy Primer326
The Christian Outlook328
ACosmological Kernels331
BSuggested Reading List339

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