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  • Published: 29 September 2020
  • ISBN: 9780141991764
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $22.99

Cosmological Koans

A Journey to the Heart of Physics




A delightful intellectual adventure that brings together physics and ancient philosophy

Could there be a civilization on a mote of dust? How much of your fate have you made? Who cleans the universe?

Through more than fifty Koans - pleasingly paradoxical vignettes following the ancient Zen tradition - leading physicist Anthony Aguirre takes the reader across the world from Japan to Italy, and through ideas spanning the age, breadth and depth of the Universe. Using these beguiling Koans and a flair for explaining complex science, Aguirre covers cosmic questions that scientific giants from Aristotle to Galileo and Heisenberg have grappled with, from the meaning of quantum theory and the nature of time to the origin of multiple universes.

Playful and enlightening, Cosmological Koans explores the strange hinterland between the deep structure of the physical world and our personal experience of it, giving us what Einstein himself called 'the most beautiful and deepest experience' anyone can have: a sense of the mysterious.

  • Published: 29 September 2020
  • ISBN: 9780141991764
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $22.99

Praise for Cosmological Koans

This unique and beautifully written masterpiece transforms the deepest mysteries of our universe into a captivating and accessible quest for personal enlightenment

Max Tegmark, author of Life 3.0

A gem of a book

Carlo Rovelli, author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

A delight for readers raised on Gödel, Escher, Bach and The Dancing Wu Li Masters

Kirkus

This is calisthenics for the mind - it will stretch your imagination almost to the breaking point, and your understanding of reality will come away more healthy and flexible than before

Sean Carroll, author of The Big Picture

A truly creative exploration of physics and its profound insights into the Universe

Adam Frank, author of Light of the Stars

The paradoxes of Zen Buddhism could help us grasp fundamental physics. . . What Aguirre does remarkably well is to find a way of threading many of the most interesting questions in theoretical physics onto a single narrative chain. . . At its heart the book offers a compelling answer to the question of how to talk about the un-talk-about-able

Gilead Amit, The New Scientist

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