When Einstein Walked with Gödel:
Excursions to the Edge of Thought
This event includes a book signing
May 17, 2018
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes JIM HOLT—bestselling author of Why Does the World Exist?—for a discussion of his latest book, When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought.
About When Einstein Walked with Gödel
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.
"[A] fantastic essay collection [filled] with stories about eccentric geniuses and groundbreaking ideas at the intersection of science and philosophy . . . Holt delivers this feast of wild genius, oddball thinkers, and sheer creativity in his signature accessible style of writing and playful tone." ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"In these pieces, plucked from the last 20 years, Holt takes on infinity and the infinitesimal, the illusion of time, the birth of eugenics, the so-called new atheism, smartphones and distraction. It is an elegant history of recent ideas . . . Part of what makes Holt so exciting is his ability to gather these disciplines under his shingle, to make their knottiest questions not only intelligible but enticing, without sacrificing rigor." —Parul Sehgal, The New York Times
"A collection of incisive essays that make learning about science fun. Prepare to be wined, dined, and entertained by quantum mechanics, group theory, topology, the infinitesimal, the infinitely small, and the string theory generation, among other topics." —Kirkus Reviews
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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