Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Physics

Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Physics

by Jim Al-Khalili


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A fun and fascinating look at great scientific paradoxes.

   Throughout history, scientists have come up with theories and ideas that just don't seem to make sense.  These we call paradoxes.  The paradoxes Al-Khalili offers are drawn chiefly from physics and astronomy and represent those that have stumped some of the finest minds.  For example, how can a cat be both dead and alive at the same time?  Why will Achilles never beat a tortoise in a race, no matter how fast he runs?  And how can a person be ten years older than his twin?

   With elegant explanations that bring the reader inside the mind of those who've developed them, Al-Khalili helps us to see that, in fact, paradoxes can be solved if seen from the right angle.  Just as surely as Al-Khalili narrates the enduring fascination of these classic paradoxes, he reveals their underlying logic.  In doing so, he brings to life a select group of the most exciting concepts in human knowledge.  Paradox is mind-expanding fun.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307986795
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 10/23/2012
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 207,790
Product dimensions: 5.34(w) x 7.84(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE is a quantum physicist at the University of Surrey and a regular radio and television broadcaster for the BBC. He is winner of both the Royal Society Michael Faraday medal and the Institute of Physics Kelvin medal for his science communication work. Paradox is his fifth book.

Table of Contents

Preface ix
1 The Game Show Paradox
2 Achilles and the Tortoise
3 Olbers’ Paradox
4 Maxwell’s Demon
5 The Pole in the Barn Paradox
6 The Paradox of the Twins
7 The Grandfather Paradox
8 The Paradox of Laplace’s Demon
9 The Paradox of Schrödinger’s Cat
10 Fermi’s Paradox
11 Remaining Questions

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Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Physics 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great balance of hard science and simple explanations for a layperson to get through and even start to understand complex concepts.
mike27282 More than 1 year ago
Jim Al-Khalili did a great job of explaining physics in a fun and easy to understand way. I've seen a few of his TV documentaries, Unlocking the Universe. The documentaries were very informative and entertaining, and the book is a similar experience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If a being that knows all of time created something as a test, the being would know the outcome, so why would the test be run? The being senses this, and therefore doesn't create the thing to initiate the test. But then, the test doesn't happen, so therefore the outcome is not found. This means that for the outcome to be found, the test must be run. But then the outcome is already known, making the test useless, the test osn't run, outcome not found, etc.