"A tour of modern physics that provocatively examines growing understandings about the near-fantastical impact of particles to affect each other across the vastness of space,"--Amazon.com. Full description
"A tour of modern physics that provocatively examines growing understandings about the near-fantastical impact of particles to affect each other across the vastness of space,"--Amazon.com.
What is space? It isn't a question that most of us normally ask. Space is the venue of physics; it's where things exist, where they move and take shape. Yet over the past few decades, physicists have discovered a phenomenon that operates outside the confines of space and time: nonlocality--the ability of two particles to act in harmony no matter how far apart they may be. It appears to be almost magical. Einstein grappled with this oddity and couldn't come to terms with it, describing it as "spooky action at a distance." More recently, the mystery has deepened as other forms of nonlocality have been uncovered. This strange occurrence, which has direct connections to black holes, particle collisions, and even the workings of gravity, holds the potential to undermine our most basic understandings of physical reality. If space isn't what we thought it was, then what is it? Here, science journalist George Musser sets out to answer that question, offering a provocative exploration of nonlocality and a celebration of the scientists who are trying to explain it. Musser guides us on a journey into the lives of experimental physicists observing particles acting in tandem, astronomers finding galaxies that look statistically identical, and cosmologists hoping to unravel the paradoxes surrounding the Big Bang. He traces the often contentious debates over nonlocality through major discoveries and disruptions of the twentieth century and shows how scientists faced with the same undisputed experimental evidence develop wildly different explanations for that evidence. Their conclusions challenge our understanding of not only space and time but also the origins of the universe--and they suggest a new grand unified theory of physics.--Adapted from book jacket.
286 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 247-273) and index.
George Musser is an award-winning journalist, a contributing editor for Scientific American, and the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to String Theory. He is the recipient of an American Astronomical Society's Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award and the 2011 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award. He has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, NPR, the BBC, and more. He lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, with his wife and daughter. Follow him on Twitter at @gmusser.