The Universe Speaks in Numbers
You must be able to test any physical theory in the real world. To most physicists, this is obvious. But since the 1980s, experimental physics has yielded vanishingly little insight into the fundamental physics of the universe. Meanwhile, some physicists have begun to probe the universe not with proton beams, but with pure math. They're less concerned with testable theories than with the drive to explain nature with mathematical beauty. This approach is often pilloried by traditional scientists, who point out that such approaches have yet to make a correct prediction about the real world. But in The Universe Speaks in Numbers, Graham Farmelo offers a gripping tour of the history of math-based physics and explores why it may be the key to the next big breakthrough in our understanding of the nature of reality.
"This fascinating, splendidly readable, extensively researched, and remarkably up-to-date book takes readers from the days of Newton to the forefront of modern theoretical physics and shows how current research has reshaped the fields of physics and mathematics to the enrichment of both." ―Jeremy Gray, emeritus professor, Open University
"A riveting account of one of the greatest stories of our time. Graham Farmelo has delved deep into this fascinating subject, combining original scholarship and lively interviews with leading contemporary theorists at the forefront of the field. The result is a masterful book, which gives us, for the first time, a behind-the-scenes look at how physicists and mathematicians, driven by their pursuit of ultimate Truth, have been drawn into common territory by mysterious intellectual forces seemingly beyond their control." ―Nima Arkani-Hamed, professor, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton
"A superbly written, riveting book. In elegant prose, and using virtually no equations, Farmelo describes the ongoing quest of great thinkers to understand the bedrock nature of reality, from the microworld to the cosmos." ―Martin Rees, astronomer royal, emeritus professor of cosmology and astrophysics, University of Cambridge
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