Physics on the Fringe: Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything

Physics on the Fringe: Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything

by Margaret Wertheim

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802778734
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 11/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 1,153,596
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Margaret Wertheim is a science writer with degrees in physics and matchematics. She has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Guardian, and is the author of Pythagoras' Trousers and The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace. In her pioneering work in new methods of science communication, she founded the nonprofit Institute For Figuring, through which she organized the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef project, a touring exhibition at the intersection of science and art.
Margaret Wertheim is a science writer and commentator, who is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times and New York Times. She's the author of Pythagoras' Trousers and The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace. Wertheim also has written TV documentaries, including the Catalyst series and PBS's Faith and Reason. She is the founder and director of the Institute For Figuring, an organization devoted to expanding the public understanding of science in innovative and creative ways.

Table of Contents

Chapter 0 A Trailer Park Owner Imagines the World 1

Part 1 Outsider Science

Chapter 1 Under the Hood of the Universe 15

Chapter 2 Counterpart Universes "Excisting" 39

Chapter 3 A Budget of Paradoxes 74

Part 2 Jim's World

Chapter 4 There's Diggers, and There's Everyone Else 103

Chapter 5 The Four Sexes 127

Chapter 6 Circlon Science 137

Chapter 7 Smoke Rings 164

Chapter 8 Creating the World 187

Chapter 9 Gravity and Levity 214

Part 3 Sciences of Imaginary Solutions

Chapter 10 A Reformation of Science? 233

Chapter 11 Swimming Physicists 257

Afterword: Tree Rings 281

Postscript 285

Appendix 294

Acknowledgments 305

Notes 307

Bibliography 315

Index 321

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Physics on the Fringe 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Benish More than 1 year ago
Being someone who has more than dabbled in many of the obscure subjects covered, I found this book a fascinating consolidation. But I have reservations. The main human subject, James Carter, is certainly an industrious and imaginative fellow, but I think the appellation, "Leonardo of outsiders" exaggerates the value of his work. Carter's "theory" of microcosmic matter, which proposes, in essence, to replace Schroedinger's wave equation with a predictively barren scheme of "Circlons," will arouse little interest outside the art gallery. The book's most valuable insight is the striking parallel drawn between the collective works of outsiders and what passes for serious physics by academic insiders. Wertheim characterizes the activities of the avant garde string and multiverse cosmology theorists as the more bizarre of the two--a correct assessment, in my view. Finally, Physics on the Fringe--as with the latest edition of Carter's book, The Other Theory of Physics (OTP)--suffers from a serious omission. In earlier editions of Carter's work, he points out that his model of gravity can be tested with a simple experiment. Being familiar with the development of Carter's work, Wertheim mentions the experiment. But she does not describe it, either graphically or verbally. In the 2011 edition of OTP, Carter does not even mention the experiment. Why not? Regardless of the predictive uselessness of Carter's Circlon theory, his gravity model makes a robust prediction by which it can be definitively put on the chopping block. The blade breaks or the theory breaks. This is what science is supposed to be about: making predictions based on hypotheses and TESTING them. Both outsiders and the latest generation of insiders sadly neglect this fact. Wertheim could have done a better job of pointing this out. I give the book a high grade because it is very well written and because it is exceptional for exposing a side to the study of physical reality that is otherwise obscenely overshadowed by the entertainment industry that has become of modern fundamental physics.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this might be intersting, but I couldn't even finish it. There more description about where a guy lives than there is about his hypotheses.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago