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  • Published: 1 December 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407072715
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

The Constants Of Nature




'Fascinating - The major strength of the book lies in the diversity of topics discussed' Nature

The constants of nature are the numbers that define the essence of the Universe. They tell us how strong its forces are, and what its fundamental laws can do: the strength of gravity, of magnetism, the speed of light, and the masses of the smallest particles of matter. They encode the deepest secrets of the Universe and express at once our greatest knowledge and our greatest ignorance about the cosmos. Their existence has taught us the profound truth that Nature abounds with unseen regularities. Yet, while we have become skilled at measuring the values of these constants, our frustrating inability to explain or predict their values shows how much we still have to learn about the inner workings of the Universe.

What is the ultimate status of these constants of Nature? Are they truly constant? Could life have evolved and persisted if they were even slightly different? And are there other Universes where they are different?

These are some of the issues that this book grapples with. It looks back to the discoveries of the first constants of Nature and the impact they had on scientists like Einstein. This book also tells the story of a tantalising new development in astronomy. For the first time astronomical observations are suggesting that some of the constants of Nature were different when the Universe was younger. So are our laws of Nature slowly changing? Is anything about our Universe immune from the ravages of time? Are there any constants of Nature at all?

  • Published: 1 December 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407072715
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

About the author

John D. Barrow

John D. Barrow is Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at Cambridge University, Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and formerly Professor of both Geometry and Astronomy at Gresham College, London. His previous books include The Book of Nothing, The Constants of Nature, The Infinite Book, Cosmic Imagery, the bestselling 100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know, The Book of Universes, and, most recently, 100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know About Sport.

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