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Conjuring the Universe: The Origins of the Laws of Nature

Conjuring the Universe: The Origins of the Laws of Nature

Publisher Oxford University Press
Year 26/03/2020
Pages 208
Version paperback
Readership level General/trade
ISBN 9780198813385
Categories Popular science, Cosmology & the universe, Classical mechanics, Thermodynamics & heat, Quantum physics (quantum mechanics & quantum field theory), Mathematical physics
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Book description

The marvellous complexity of the Universe emerges from several deep laws and a handful of fundamental constants that fix its shape, scale, and destiny. There is a deep structure to the world which at the same time is simple, elegant, and beautiful. Where did these laws and these constants come from? And why are the laws so fruitful when written in the language of mathematics? Peter Atkins considers the minimum effort needed to equip the Universe with its laws and its constants. He explores the origin of the conservation of energy, of electromagnetism, of classical and quantum mechanics, and of thermodynamics, showing how all these laws spring from deep symmetries. The revolutionary result is a short but immensely rich weaving together of the fundamental ideas of physics. With his characteristic wit, erudition, and economy, Atkins sketches out how the laws of Nature can spring from very little. Or arguably from nothing at all.

Conjuring the Universe: The Origins of the Laws of Nature

Table of contents

1: Back to eternity
2: Much ado about nothing
3: Anarchy rules
4: The heat of the moment
5: Beyond anarchy
6: The creative power of ignorance
7: The charge of the light brigade
8: Measure for measure
9: The cry from the depths

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