Learning through original texts can be a powerful heuristic tool. This book collects a dozen classic readings that are generally accepted as the most significant contributions to the philosophy of space. The readings have been selected both on the basis of their relevance to recent debates on the nature of space and on the extent to which they carry premonitions of contemporary physics. In his detailed commentaries, Nick Huggett weaves together the readings and links them to our modern understanding of the subject. Together the readings indicate the general historical development of the concept of space, and in his commentaries Huggett explains their logical relations. He also uses our contemporary understanding of space to help clarify the key ideas of the texts. One goal is to prepare the reader (both scientist and nonscientist) to learn and understand relativity theory, the basis of our current understanding of space. The readings are by Zeno, Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Clarke, Berkeley, Kant, Mach, Poincaré, and Einstein.
Classic Readings with a Contemporary Commentary
Author: Nick Huggett
Publisher: MIT Press
Traces the epic history of ancient Greek philosopher Zeno's yet-unsolved paradox of motion, citing the contributions of such top minds as Aristotle, Newton, and Hawking to furthering the scientific community's understanding of the elusive basic structure of time and space. Originally published as The Motion Paradox. Reprint.
Unraveling the Ancient Mystery Behind the Science of Space and Time
Author: Joseph Mazur
Clear, concise exposition of both the special and general theories of relativity, intended for nonscientific readers with a knowledge of high school math. Topics include simultaneity, time dilation, length contraction, the possibility of travel to a distant star, non-Euclidean geometries, black holes, and the structure of the universe. 158 illustrations.
Man's New Perspective on the Cosmos
Author: Stan Gibilisco
Publisher: Courier Corporation
This ebook is a selective guide designed to help scholars and students of social work find reliable sources of information by directing them to the best available scholarly materials in whatever form or format they appear from books, chapters, and journal articles to online archives, electronic data sets, and blogs. Written by a leading international authority on the subject, the ebook provides bibliographic information supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult and editorial commentary to make it clear how the cited sources are interrelated related. This ebook is a static version of an article from Oxford Bibliographies Online: Philosophy, a dynamic, continuously updated, online resource designed to provide authoritative guidance through scholarship and other materials relevant to the study Philosophy. Oxford Bibliographies Online covers most subject disciplines within the social science and humanities, for more information visit www.oxfordbibligraphies.com.
Author: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
This book, written for the general reader, explores the fundamental issues concerning the nature of time and space, and quantum mechanics. It shows how physics and philosophy work together to answer some of the deepest questions ever asked about the world.
Adventures in Physics and Philosophy
Author: Nick Huggett
Publisher: Oxford University Press
What happens when the country's greatest logician meets the century's greatest physicist? In the case of Kurt Godel and Albert Einstein the result in Godel's revolutioinary new model of the cosmos. In the 'Godel Universe' the philosophical fantasy of time travel becomes a scientific reality. For Godel, however, the reality of time travel signals the unreality of time. If Godel is right, the real meaning of the Einstein revolution had remained, for half a century, a secret. Now, half-century after Godel met Einstein, the real meaning of time travel in the Godel universe can be revealed
Time Travel in the Gödel Universe
Author: Palle Yourgrau
Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company
In this book, Lawrence Sklar demonstrates the interdependence of science and philosophy by examining a number of crucial problems on the nature of space and time--problems that require for their resolution the resources of philosophy and of physics. The overall issues explored are our knowledge of the geometry of the world, the existence of spacetime as an entity over and above the material objects of the world, the relation between temporal order and causal order, and the problem of the direction of time. Without neglecting the most subtle philosophical points or the most advanced contributions of contemporary physics, the author has taken pains to make his explorations intelligible to the reader with no advanced training in physics, mathematics, or philosophy. The arguments are set forth step-by-step, beginning from first principles; and the philosophical discussions are supplemented in detail by nontechnical expositions of crucial features of physical theories.
Author: Lawrence Sklar
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Newton's Principia introduced conceptions of space and time that launched one of themost famous and sustained debates in the history of physics, a controversy that involves fundamentalconcerns in the foundations of physics, metaphysics, and scientific epistemology.This bookintroduces and clarifies the historical and philosophical development of the clash between Newton'sabsolute conception of space and Leibniz's relational one. It separates the issues and provides newperspectives on absolute relational accounts of motion and relational-substantival accounts of theontology of space time.Earman's sustained treatment and imaginative insights raise to a new levelthe debate on these important issues at the boundary of philosophy and physics. He surveys thehistory of the controversy from Newton to Einstein develops the mathematics and physics needed topose the issues in sharp form and provides a persuasive assessment of the philosophical problemsinvolved.Most importantly, Earman revitalizes the connection of the debate to contemporary science.He shows, for example, how concerns raised by Leibniz form the core of ongoing debate on thefoundations of general theory of relativity, moving the discussion into a new and vital arena andintroducing arguments that will be discussed for years to come.John Earman is Professor of Historyand Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. A Bradford Book
Absolute Vs. Relational Theories of Space and Time
Author: John Earman
Publisher: Bradford Books
Math--the application of reasonable logic to reasonable assumptions--usually produces reasonable results. But sometimes math generates astonishing paradoxes--conclusions that seem completely unreasonable or just plain impossible but that are nevertheless demonstrably true. Did you know that a losing sports team can become a winning one by adding worse players than its opponents? Or that the thirteenth of the month is more likely to be a Friday than any other day? Or that cones can roll unaided uphill? In Nonplussed!--a delightfully eclectic collection of paradoxes from many different areas of math--popular-math writer Julian Havil reveals the math that shows the truth of these and many other unbelievable ideas. Nonplussed! pays special attention to problems from probability and statistics, areas where intuition can easily be wrong. These problems include the vagaries of tennis scoring, what can be deduced from tossing a needle, and disadvantageous games that form winning combinations. Other chapters address everything from the historically important Torricelli's Trumpet to the mind-warping implications of objects that live on high dimensions. Readers learn about the colorful history and people associated with many of these problems in addition to their mathematical proofs. Nonplussed! will appeal to anyone with a calculus background who enjoys popular math books or puzzles.
Mathematical Proof of Implausible Ideas
Author: Julian Havil
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Newton's Laws held for 300 years until Einstein developed the 'special theory of relativity' in 1905. Experiments done since then show anomalies in that theory. This book starts with a description of the special theory of relativity. It is shown that Einstein was not the first to derive the famous equation E = mc2, which has become synonymous with his name. Next, experimental evidence that cannot be explained by special relativity is given. In the light of this evidence, the two basic postulates of the special theory of relativity on the behaviour of light are shown to be untenable. A new theory (universal relativity) is developed, which conforms to the experimental evidence. The movement of a conductor near a pole of a magnet and the movement of that pole near the conductor does not always give the same result. It has been claimed that this contradicts relativity theory. Experiments described in this book show that it is not special relativity but another basic law of physics that is contradicted - Faraday's Law. The Big Bang theory of the beginning of the universe is questioned and an alternative proposed. The source of much of the mysterious missing 'dark matter' that has been sought for decades by astronomers is located. An explanation of the shapes of some galaxies is proffered. This book presents an alternative to Einstein's special theory of relativity, solves many problems left unanswered by special relativity, gives a better fit to many phenomena and experimental data and is more philosophically appealing. It is recommended to all people interested in fundamental issues of physics and cosmology. Professor Andre Assis, Brazil The book treats its subject properly, not just as an impersonal set of equations, but rather as a developing saga full of human triumph and failure. One learns from both experimental results and simple logical argument that all is not well with modern physics. Dr. Neal Graneau, Oxford University, U.K. Irish engineer solves the dark secrets of space. Sunday Times, U.K. Einstein got relativity theory wrong. Bangkok Post, Thailand
Questioning Einstein's Relativity Theories
Author: Al Kelly
Historical surveys consider Judeo-Christian notions of space, Newtonian absolute space, perceptions from 18th century to the present, more. Numerous quotations and references. "Admirably compact and swiftly paced style." — Philosophy of Science.
The History of Theories of Space in Physics: Third, Enlarged Edition
Author: Max Jammer
Publisher: Courier Corporation
Author: Immanuel Velikovsky
Publisher: Paradigma Ltd
The Idea of Spatial Form contains the classic essay that introduced the concept of "spatial form" into literary discussion in 1945, and has since been accepted as one of the foundations for a theory of modern literature. It is here reprinted along with two later reconsiderations, one of which answers its major critics, while the second places the theory in relation to Russian Formalism and French Structuralism. Originally conceived to clarify the formal experiments of avant-garde literature, the idea of spatial form, when placed in this wider context, also contributes importantly to the foundations of a general poetics of the literary text. Also included are related discussions of André Malraux, Heinrich Wölfflin, Herbert Read, and E. H. Gombrich. New material has been added to the essays in the form of footnotes and postscripts to two of them. These either illustrate the continuing relevance of the questions raised, or offer Frank's more recent opinions on the topic.
Author: Joseph Frank
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Veteran plasma physicist John Brandenburg reveals the new theory that finally accomplishes what Einstein failed to do: the GEM Unification Theory proves the mathematical and physical interrelation of the forces of gravity and electromagnetism! This theory vindicates Einstein's dedication to unifying the fields in the final labor of his life. His quest became legendary, then mythic, until the whole idea was dismissed as myth by other physicists; the gravity-electromagnetism problem pursued by Einstein until his death became regarded like the ancient Greek problem of squaring the circle-an epic puzzle with no solution. But the other physicists were wrong, as Brandenburg shows. It turns out the fields can be unified-the circle can be squared-and this has vast implications for the future of humankind. Brandenburg starts out by tracing the evolution of thought on the two long-term forces of nature, gravity and electromagnetism, from ancient times to the modern day. He shows the intricate interweaving of Einstein's work with that of other physicists, including Sarkharov and his "zero point" theory of gravity and the hidden fifth dimension of Kaluza and Klein. He also traces the surprising, hidden influence of Nikola Tesla on Einstein's life. This book shows how, despite Einstein's errors in the details, the successful GEM Unification Theory is built on his basic hypothesis that gravity and electromagnetic forces could be unified, and that both controlled gravity and a new view of the cosmos follow: hydrogen, the basic building block of the universe, can be unified with the vacuum itself! The universe is self-renewing, a sort of "evergreen cosmos." Brandenburg describes control of space-time geometry through electromagnetism, and states that faster-than-light travel will be possible in the future. Anti-gravity through electromagnetism is possible, which upholds the basic "flying saucer" design utilizing "The Tesla Vortex." A must read for any person interested in UFOs and leading-edge physics. See the physics used at Area 51 explained!
Gravity and Electro-Magnetism Redefined
Author: John Brandenburg
Publisher: SCB Distributors
Category: Electromagnetic interactions
From Jim Holt, the New York Times bestselling author of Why Does the World Exist?, comes an entertaining and accessible guide to the most profound scientific and mathematical ideas of recent centuries in When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought. Does time exist? What is infinity? Why do mirrors reverse left and right but not up and down? In this scintillating collection, Holt explores the human mind, the cosmos, and the thinkers who’ve tried to encompass the latter with the former. With his trademark clarity and humor, Holt probes the mysteries of quantum mechanics, the quest for the foundations of mathematics, and the nature of logic and truth. Along the way, he offers intimate biographical sketches of celebrated and neglected thinkers, from the physicist Emmy Noether to the computing pioneer Alan Turing and the discoverer of fractals, Benoit Mandelbrot. Holt offers a painless and playful introduction to many of our most beautiful but least understood ideas, from Einsteinian relativity to string theory, and also invites us to consider why the greatest logician of the twentieth century believed the U.S. Constitution contained a terrible contradiction—and whether the universe truly has a future.
Excursions to the Edge of Thought
Author: Jim Holt
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS In a memoir of family bonding and cutting-edge physics for readers of Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality and Jim Holt’s Why Does the World Exist?, Amanda Gefter tells the story of how she conned her way into a career as a science journalist—and wound up hanging out, talking shop, and butting heads with the world’s most brilliant minds. At a Chinese restaurant outside of Philadelphia, a father asks his fifteen-year-old daughter a deceptively simple question: “How would you define nothing?” With that, the girl who once tried to fail geometry as a conscientious objector starts reading up on general relativity and quantum mechanics, as she and her dad embark on a life-altering quest for the answers to the universe’s greatest mysteries. Before Amanda Gefter became an accomplished science writer, she was a twenty-one-year-old magazine assistant willing to sneak her and her father, Warren, into a conference devoted to their physics hero, John Wheeler. Posing as journalists, Amanda and Warren met Wheeler, who offered them cryptic clues to the nature of reality: The universe is a self-excited circuit, he said. And, The boundary of a boundary is zero. Baffled, Amanda and Warren vowed to decode the phrases—and with them, the enigmas of existence. When we solve all that, they agreed, we’ll write a book. Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn is that book, a memoir of the impassioned hunt that takes Amanda and her father from New York to London to Los Alamos. Along the way, they bump up against quirky science and even quirkier personalities, including Leonard Susskind, the former Bronx plumber who invented string theory; Ed Witten, the soft-spoken genius who coined the enigmatic M-theory; even Stephen Hawking. What they discover is extraordinary: the beginnings of a monumental paradigm shift in cosmology, from a single universe we all share to a splintered reality in which each observer has her own. Reality, the Gefters learn, is radically observer-dependent, far beyond anything of which Einstein or the founders of quantum mechanics ever dreamed—with shattering consequences for our understanding of the universe’s origin. And somehow it all ties back to that conversation, to that Chinese restaurant, and to the true meaning of nothing. Throughout their journey, Amanda struggles to make sense of her own life—as her journalism career transforms from illusion to reality, as she searches for her voice as a writer, as she steps from a universe shared with her father to at last carve out one of her own. It’s a paradigm shift you might call growing up. By turns hilarious, moving, irreverent, and profound, Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn weaves together story and science in remarkable ways. By the end, you will never look at the universe the same way again. Praise for Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn “Nothing quite prepared me for this book. Wow. Reading it, I alternated between depression—how could the rest of us science writers ever match this?—and exhilaration.”—Scientific American “To Do: Read Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn. Reality doesn’t have to bite.”—New York “A zany superposition of genres . . . It’s at once a coming-of-age chronicle and a father-daughter road trip to the far reaches of this universe and 10,500 others.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer From the Hardcover edition.
A Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing, and the Beginning of Everything
Author: Amanda Gefter