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Knocking on heaven's door : how physics and scientific thinking illuminate the u
Lisa Randall and Jonathan Case
Adult Nonfiction Q175.5 .R365 2011

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Dispelling the idea that science is based on unchanging rules, Harvard physicist Randall (Warped Passages) offers an insider's view of modern physics, a vital, continually "evolving body of knowledge" in which previous ideas are always open to change-or even disposal, when researchers discover a theory which better fits observational evidence. While acknowledging art and religion as different ways to search for truth, Randall celebrates how science "seeks objective and verifiable truth" through careful observation and measurement. As our technology allows our view of the world to expand, the range of things we can observe also expands, from what we can see with our naked eye to the world of subatomic particles and forces studied by particle physicists. The Large Hadron Collider is the biggest, most complex tool yet built to parse this tiny world to answer some of physics' biggest questions: the source of mass and gravity, the secrets behind dark matter and dark energy, and the underlying structure of the universe. Randall's witty, accessible discussion reveals the effort and wonder at hand as scientists strive to learn who we are and where we came from. 75 b&w illus. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

In Randall's (physics, Harvard Univ.) second book written for a general audience (after Warped Passages), several major themes are woven together to depict the state of physics in the 21st century. Among other subjects, Randall covers the significance of scale in physics, describes the Large Hadron Collider (LHC, a gigantic particle accelerator that sprawls across the Swiss-French border), and discusses how experimental results from the LHC may guide the future development of physics and cosmology. In particular, there is hope the LHC will improve our knowledge of the entities known as "dark matter" and "dark energy," which together are believed to make up 96 percent of the universe. VERDICT Although these topics may seem abstruse, Randall has an accessible style and does not demand that her readers come armed with an advanced knowledge of mathematics or modern physics. This volume should appeal to experts and nonexperts alike intrigued by the latest scientific advances in our understanding of the cosmos. [See Prepub Alert, 3/14/11.]-Jack W. Weigel, Ann Arbor, MI (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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