Dreams of a Final Theory

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Pantheon Books, 1992 - Science - 334 pages
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Weinberg, the 1979 Nobel Prize-winner in physics, imagines the shape of a final theory and the effect its discovery would have on the human spirit. He gives a defense of reductionism--the impulse to trace explanations of natural phenomena to deeper and deeper levels--and examines the curious relevance of beauty and symmetry in scientific theories. Weinberg gives a personal account of the search for the laws of nature, and shares glimpses scientists have had from time to time that there is a deeper truth foreshadowing a final theory. For another side of the discussion, see David Lindley's The End of Physics. Annotation copyright by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

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User Review  - br77rino - LibraryThing

Though there are no equations, I don’t think this should be seen as a layman’s book on modern physics. I have a Bachelor’s in Physics and a Master’s in Radiological Physics and I’m learning a lot ... Read full review

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User Review  - antao - LibraryThing

(Original Review, 1992) I wear a giant panda suit outside a Panda Burger giving out promotional leaflets. As this job is a bit easy and I can do it without too much conscious effort .....the only ... Read full review

Contents

PROLOGUE
3
ON A PIECE OF CHALK
19
TWO CHEERS FOR REDUCTIONISM
51
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

Born in New York City, Steven Weinberg was a high school and college classmate of Sheldon Glashow; both attended the Bronx High School of Science and Cornell University. Although Weinberg has made contributions as a theoretical physicist in cosmology, quantum scattering, and the quantum theory of gravitation, he is most widely known for his work with Sheldon Glashow and Abdus Salam, with whom he shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in physics. Weinberg received a share of this honor for his formulation of the theory that unifies the relationship between the weak force and the electromagnetic force, including the capability to predict the weak neutral current. After receiving a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1957, Weinberg held postdoctoral positions at Columbia University from 1957 to 1959, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory from 1959 to 1960, the University of California at Berkeley from 1960 to 1966, Harvard University from 1966 to 1967, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1967 to 1969. He is married to a law professor, and they have one daughter.

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