Accidental Universe The World You Thought You Knew

ISBN-10: 0307908585

ISBN-13: 9780307908582

Edition: 2013

Authors: Alan Lightman

List price: $27.00
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Description:

From the acclaimed author of Einstein's Dreams and Mr g, a meditation on the unexpected ways in which recent scientific findings have shaped our understanding of ourselves and our place in the cosmos.With all the passion, curiosity, and precise yet lyrical prose that have marked his previous books, Alan Lightman here explores the emotional and philosophical questions raised by discoveries in science, focusing most intently on the human condition and the needs of humankind. He looks at the difficult dialogue between science and religion; the conflict between our human desire for permanence and the impermanence of nature; the possibility that our universe is simply an accident; the manner in which modern technology has separated us from direct experience of the world; and our resistance to the view that our bodies and minds can be explained by scientific logic and laws. And behind all of these considerations is the suggestion—at once haunting and exhilarating—that what we see and understand of the world is only a tiny piece of the extraordinary, perhaps unfathomable whole.
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Book details

List price: $27.00
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 1/14/2014
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 176
Size: 5.50" wide x 7.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

Alan Lightman was born in Memphis, Tenn. in 1948. As a boy, he had what seemed like incompatible interests--writing poetry and building rockets. He eventually put his literary interests aside to concentrate on science. After completing an A.B. at Princeton University in 1970, a Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology in 1974, and postdoctoral studies at Cornell University in 1976, Lightman moved directly into academia, teaching astronomy and physics at Harvard, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In the 1980s, however, Lightman found a way to combine his literary and scientific interests when he began to write essays about science. He explored astronomy, cosmology, particle physics, space exploration, and the life of a scientist, writing about these topics in a way that makes them understandable to the average reader. Many of his essays can be found in the collections Time Travel and Papa Joe's Pipe and A Modern-Day Yankee in a Connecticut Court and Other Essays on Science. Alan Lightman is also the author of "Ancient Light: Our Changing View of the Universe", which won the Boston Globe's 1991 Critics' Choice award for non-fiction; and co-author of "Origins: The Lives and Worlds of Modern Cosmologists", which received an award from the Association of American Publishers in 1990. In the 1990's, Lightman branched out into fiction, although still with a focus on science, with the novels "Einstein's Dreams" and "Good Benito."

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