Visions of Discovery: New Light on Physics, Cosmology, and Consciousness

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Raymond Y. Chiao, Marvin L. Cohen, Anthony J. Leggett, William D. Phillips, Charles L. Harper, Jr.
Cambridge University Press, 2011 - Religion - 794 pages
World-leading researchers, including Nobel Laureates and rising young stars, examine some of the most important and fundamental questions at the forefronts of modern science, philosophy, and theology, taking into account recent discoveries from a range of fields. This fascinating book is ideal for anyone seeking answers to deep questions about the universe and human life. The remarkable career of Charles H. Townes, inventor of the maser and laser for which he shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics, has spanned seven decades. His interests have ranged from the origin of the Universe to the structure of molecules, always focusing on the nature of human life. Honoring his work, this book explores the most basic questions of science, philosophy, and the nature of existence: How did the Universe begin? Why do the fundamental constants of nature have the values they do? What is human consciousness, and do we have free will?

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User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

Many contributors; 800 pages; 38 chapters, 11 of which I read, some of the others being too technical and a few being too religiony (a typical effect of Templeton-Foundation involvement). Chapters ... Read full review


II Fundamental Physics and Quantum Mechanics
III Astrophysics and Astronomy
IV New Approaches in Technology and Science
V Consciousness and Free Will
Mind Matter Mathematics and Ultimate Reality

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About the author (2011)

Raymond Y. Chiao is Professor of Physics in the Schools of Natural Sciences and Engineering at the University of California, Merced, where he is pursuing a new line of groundbreaking research on gravitational radiation.

Marvin L. Cohen is University Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Senior Faculty Scientist in the Materials Sciences Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His principal research interests lie in theoretical condensed matter physics. Among his numerous awards and honors, Professor Cohen received the 2001 National Medal of Science.

Anthony J. Leggett is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Physics and the Center for Advanced Study Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His principal research interests lie in condensed matter physics and the foundations of quantum mechanics. Among his numerous awards and honors, Professor Leggett shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics.

William D. Phillips is a physicist at the Joint Quantum Institute, a cooperative venture of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland. He is the Leader of NIST's Laser Cooling and Trapping Group in the Atomic Physics Division. Among his numerous awards and honors, Professor Phillips shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Charles L. Harper, Jr. is the former Senior Vice President of the John Templeton Foundation in Philadelphia. He is currently President of Vision-Five, a philanthropic consulting firm, also in Philadelphia.

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