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The Resource The perfect theory : a century of geniuses and the battle over general relativity, Pedro G. Ferreira

The perfect theory : a century of geniuses and the battle over general relativity, Pedro G. Ferreira

Label
The perfect theory : a century of geniuses and the battle over general relativity
Title
The perfect theory
Title remainder
a century of geniuses and the battle over general relativity
Statement of responsibility
Pedro G. Ferreira
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"At the core of Einstein's general theory of relativity are a set of equations that explain the relationship among gravity, space, and time--possibly the most perfect intellectual achievement of modern physics. For over a century, physicists have been exploring, debating, and at times neglecting Einstein's theory in their quest to uncover the history of the universe, the origin of time, and the evolution of solar systems, stars, and galaxies. In this sweeping narrative of science and culture, Pedro Ferreira explains the theory through the human drama surrounding it: the personal feuds and intellectual battles of the biggest names in twentieth-century physics, from Einstein and Eddington to Hawking and Penrose. We are in the midst of a momentous transformation in modern physics. As scientists look farther and more clearly into space than ever before, The Perfect Theory engagingly reveals the greater relevance of general relativity, showing us where it started, where it has led, and where it can still take us"--
Member of
Writing style
Review
  • First formulated by Einstein in 1907, two years after publishing his special theory of relativity, the general theory of relativity has endured some hard times, having been challenged by quantum mechanics in the 1930s and by dialectical materialism in the Soviet Union during Stalin’s reign. Even Einstein doubted some of his early conclusions. But Ferreira, a professor of astrophysics at Oxford, shares the story of general relativity’s revival and application to previously unobservable objects like quasars and black holes. Ferreira’s book is also about the people who find joy and excitement in discovering the secrets of the universe. With palpable delight, Ferreira details false starts, chance discoveries, and the vindication of long-ridiculed ideas that emerged from the work that predicted singularities, M-theory, and dark energy. He also shows that Einstein didn’t work in a vacuum; international collaboration made confirmation of his theory possible, while overturning some initial conclusions. Perhaps most importantly, Ferreira’s clear explanations offer a wonderful look into a world of those who tackle the hard math that is “the key to understanding the history of the universe, the origin of time, and the evolution of... the cosmos.” Agent: Patrick Walsh, Conville & Walsh (U.K.). (Feb.) --Staff (Reviewed December 16, 2013) (Publishers Weekly, vol 260, issue 50, p)
  • Oxford astrophysicist Ferreira frequently appears on the BBC, so we can trust him to write limpidly about a theory that still sticks like glue in the brains of the scientifically challenged. His main aim is to assess consequences, general relativity having given rise not only to modern cosmology but to resistance and downright neglect. First of the anniversary studies; Einstein published his theory in 1915. --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed September 15, 2013) (Library Journal, vol 138, issue 15, p47)
  • /* Starred Review */ Ferreira (Astrophysics/Univ. of Oxford; The State of the Universe: A Primer in Modern Cosmology, 2006, etc.) writes an enthusiastic and comprehensible popular account of how Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity continues to generate new knowledge as well as hints of more secrets to be revealed. Einstein's Theory of General Relativity may be the greatest discovery in science. It's the key to understanding the history of the universe, the nature of time, stars, galaxies and matter itself. With the dramatic 1919 announcement confirming the theory's prediction that gravity bends light rays, Einstein became a media superstar, and physicists began a search for other predictions that continues to this day. Everyone during that time, Einstein included, assumed that stars and galaxies drifted at random. Several physicists pointed out that his equations indicated an expanding universe. Reluctantly, Einstein finally agreed. Others calculated that when a large, aging star collapses, gravity shrinks it into an infinitely dense point outside of time and space: a black hole. However, Einstein never accepted that. During the 1920s, many physicists turned their attention to quantum mechanics and nuclear physics, which, unlike relativity, had vivid consequences. Only with the 1950s did a new generation return to the research. Simultaneously, astronomers began discovering phenomena that required relativity, including quasars, neutron stars, gravitational lenses, dark matter, energy and black holes. The perfection of Einstein's theory remains; none of its predictions have been proven wrong, but the stubborn refusal of gravity to unite with all other natural forces remains a frustrating problem. Ferreira does not downplay relativity's complexity and avoids the easy route of oversimplifying it into a cosmic magic show. The result is one of the best popular accounts of how Einstein and his followers have been trying to explain the universe for decades.(Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2013)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
Biography type
contains biographical information
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10273464
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Ferreira, Pedro G
Dewey number
530.11
Index
index present
LC call number
QC173.6
LC item number
.F47 2014
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • General relativity (Physics)
  • Physicists
  • Physics
  • Science
  • Science and civilization
Target audience
adult
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a century of geniuses and the battle over general relativity
Label
The perfect theory : a century of geniuses and the battle over general relativity, Pedro G. Ferreira
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 258-269) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Prologue -- If a Person Falls Freely -- The Most Valuable Discovery -- Correct Mathematics, Abominable Physics -- Collapsing Stars -- Completely Cuckoo -- Radio Days -- Wheelerisms -- Singularities -- Unification Woes -- Seeing Gravity -- The Dark Universe -- The End of Spacetime -- A Spectacular Extrapolation -- Something Is Going to Happen
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
xv, 288 pages
Isbn
9780547554891
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2013021741
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
  • 823010640
  • (OCoLC)823010640
Label
The perfect theory : a century of geniuses and the battle over general relativity, Pedro G. Ferreira
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 258-269) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Prologue -- If a Person Falls Freely -- The Most Valuable Discovery -- Correct Mathematics, Abominable Physics -- Collapsing Stars -- Completely Cuckoo -- Radio Days -- Wheelerisms -- Singularities -- Unification Woes -- Seeing Gravity -- The Dark Universe -- The End of Spacetime -- A Spectacular Extrapolation -- Something Is Going to Happen
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
xv, 288 pages
Isbn
9780547554891
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2013021741
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
  • 823010640
  • (OCoLC)823010640

Library Locations

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