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Synopsis: From one of our foremost mathematicians and cosmologists comes this fascinating exploration of the surprisingly substantial and varied nature of nothing.
With unassailable expertise and a proven ability to make complex theories and ideas clearly accessible, John Barrow examines and explains every aspect of nothingness. From the zeros of mathematicians to the void of philosophers, from Shakespeare to the null set, from the ether to the quantum vacuum, this book illustrates the fact that nothing is real.
Barrow begins with the origins of zero in ancient India, its rocky reception in Europe, and the early abhorrence and eventual acceptance of the concept of the void by Christianity. He traces the notion through the work of writers and thinkers from the ancient Greeks to our own time. He looks at mathematics, cosmology, theology, and physics to uncover the nothing that is at the heart of most things. Finally, he discusses recent concepts of nothing, which are having profound effects on our search for the origins and overall structure of the universe.
lluminating the many ways in which humankind has come to understand “nothing,” The Book of Nothing brilliantly belies its title.
Review: From our modern perspective, it is easy to deride the wranglings of medieval scholars over the number of angels that could dance of the head of a pin and whether Nature abhors a vacuum. But as John Barrow reveals in this timely and important book, new discoveries in science have shown that these scholars were right to suspect that Nothing has hidden depths.
It is a concept shot through with paradoxes: even innocent-looking phrases like "Nothing is real" flip their meanings as we ponder them, like those illusions that look like a vase one moment, and opposing faces the next. Nothing is fertile, too, as Barrow shows via a stunning trick that allows every number one can think of to be built out of nothing at all.
But his book is about far more than mind games. Arguably, the most important discovery of 20th-century physics is that there is no such thing as nothing: even the tightest vacuum is teeming with subatomic particles popping in and out of existence, according to the dictates of quantum theory. Now, many astronomers suspect that such "vacuum effects" may have triggered the Big Bang itself, filling our universe with matter. Indeed, the very latest observations suggest that vacuum effects will dictate the ultimate fate of the universe.
As an internationally respected cosmologist, Barrow does a fine job of explaining these new discoveries. The result is a book that is required reading for anyone who wants to understand why there will be much ado about Nothing among scientists in the years ahead. --Robert Matthews, Amazon.co.uk
Title: The Book of Nothing: Vacuums, Voids, and the...
Publication Date: 2001
Book Condition: Good
Book Description Pantheon, 2000. Book Condition: Good. 1 Amer ed. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP85802313
Book Description Pantheon, 2000. Book Condition: Very Good. 1 Amer ed. Ships from Reno, NV. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP96383044
Book Description Pantheon, 2000. Book Condition: Very Good. 1 Amer ed. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP3079024
Book Description Pantheon. Hardcover. Book Condition: GOOD. Good clean copy with no missing pages might be an ex library copy; Possibly may have minor marginal notes and or highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 2782176073
Book Description Pantheon. Hardcover. Book Condition: GOOD. book was well loved but cared for. Possible ex-library copy with all the usual markings and stickers. Some light textual notes, highlighting and underling. Bookseller Inventory # 2792934829
Book Description Pantheon. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Cover Missing. Book shows minor use. Cover and Binding have minimal wear, and the pages have only minimal creases. Bookseller Inventory # G0375420991I3N01
Book Description Pantheon. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Cover Missing. Book has some visible wear on the binding, cover, pages. Bookseller Inventory # G0375420991I3N01
Book Description Pantheon. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Book has some visible wear on the binding, cover, pages. Bookseller Inventory # G0375420991I3N00
Book Description Pantheon. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Book shows a small amount of wear to cover and binding. Some pages show signs of use. Bookseller Inventory # G0375420991I3N10
Book Description Pantheon. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Very good condition - book only shows a small amount of wear. Bookseller Inventory # G0375420991I4N00