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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Paradox - Nine greatest enigmas in Science - Jim Al-Khalili - Review


After a long time I was able to complete this book at one go as it addressed the paradoxes that science cannot answer, but yet the questions raised were from the Physics and pertained to 'reality'. Prof Al-Khalili, perhaps the first Arabian writer on 'Science writing' I have come across, has addressed the following:

Achilles and the Tortoise paradox
Olbers' Paradox
Maxwells' Demon
The Pole in the Barn paradox
The Paradox of the Twins
The grandfather paradox
The paradox of Laplace's Demon
The paradox of Schrodingers' Cat
Fermis' Paradox

The Quantum Chemist is sure of the last but one here. The style is lucid and pleasant and even a lay man can get through provided he evokes at least '3D' thinking. Many 'assumptions' are purely theoretical, but could be real.

Most people are nostalgic about their 'past' and this book gives you the reason to be nostalgic about the 'future'. Great efforts Prof. Khalili.

Quite a different book as the author tries to explore what lies outside the universe - Nothingness? Void? Vacuum? How were they created. There is more cosmological exploration than any thought experiment or Quantum reality. Vacuum has been related to Higgs field a new challenge at the LHC. Good book for beginners!

The non-existent was not; the existent was not
Darkness was hidden by darkness
That which became was enveloped by The Void.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The brain boggles the mind!

Werner Lowenstein has dared Quantum mechanics into the brain and has succeeded in breaking down the nervous system into its component parts and relate them to physical interaction with mind, body and the environment.

A few interesting things out there:

# While there are electrons everywhere, why is it that the body has inorganic ions floating in electrolytes?!!
# The body can exist in two different states at discrete times (read calm state and anger state for reference, invent QUBITS!)
# Meticulousness is mind matter: Rutherford is regarded as inventor of electron while Walter Kauffmann discovered electrons simultaneously
# Ordinary people can attend science seminars to extend the stock of Metaphors (Thanks to Samuel Coleridge)
# Einstein's courage to praise Werner Heisenberg as 'lifting the corner of a veil'.
# Thermodynamic and cosmological arrow of Time!!
# And of ALL: Quantum collapse of waves related to memory loss (Refer to Roger Penrose's work on the protein Tubulin that can collapse after reaching a threshold limit within the nerves in less than half a second time!)

Good read!