New Arrivals · Mathematics & Physics

July 19, 2017
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Errors, blunders, and lies : how to tell the difference

July 18, 2017
Salsburg, David, 1931- author.
Boca Raton, FL : CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, [2017]
xiii, 154 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
The transit of Venus -- Probability versus likelihood -- The central limit conjecture -- Measuring disease -- Other uses of multilinear models -- When multilinear regression is not adequate -- Correlation versus causation -- Regression and big data -- Contaminated distributions -- The Princeton robustness study -- When the blunder is what you want -- Parsing "blunders" -- The reigns of kings -- Searching for the "real" Davy Crockett -- Detecting falsified counts -- Uncovering secrets -- Errors, blunders, or curbstoning?
We live in a world that is not quite 'right'. The central tenet of statistical inquiry is that Observation = Truth + Error because even the most careful of scientific investigations have always been bedevilled by uncertainty. Our attempts to measure things are plagued with small errors. Our attempts to understand our world are blocked by blunders. And, unfortunately, in some cases, people have been known to lie. In this follow-up to his acclaimed best-seller, The Lady Tasting Tea, David Salsburg opens a door to the widespread use of statistical methods by looking at historical examples of errors, blunders and lies from areas as diverse as archaeology, law, economics, medicine, psychology, sociology, Biblical studies, history, and war-time espionage. In doing so, he shows how, upon closer statistical investigation, errors and blunders often lead to useful information. And how statistical methods have been used to uncover falsified data. Beginning with Edmund Halley's examination of the Transit of Venus and ending with discussions of how many tanks Rommel had during the Second World War and whether modern African censuses contain falsified data, the author invites the reader to come along on this easily-accessible and fascinating journey of how to identify the nature of errors, minimize the effects of blunders, and figure out who the liars are.

Bad choices : how algorithms can help you think smarter and live happier

June 22, 2017
Almossawi, Ali, author.
New York, New York : Viking, [2017]
xi, 145 pages ; 24 cm
Includes index.
Algorithmic thinking in everyday life -- Match those socks -- Find your size -- Pop to the shops -- Bring him home -- Sort that post -- Be more hip -- Update that status -- Get the jobs done -- Fix that necklace -- Locate that box -- Fill those shelves -- Navigate those aisles -- Final thoughts.
An introduction to algorithms and their problem-solving potential in the everyday world outlines alternative methods for managing twelve different scenarios using the same systems that underline a word processor, a Google search engine, or a Facebook ad.

Learning to love math : teaching strategies that change student attitudes and get results

June 16, 2017
Willis, Judy.
Alexandria, Va. : ASCD, ©2010.
x, 195 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Reversing math negativity with an attitude makeover -- Understanding and planning achievable challenge -- Examples of differentiated planning for achievable challenge -- Reducing mistake anxiety -- Change your intelligence? Yes, you can! -- Motivating all of your students -- Bringing the real world to the math classroom -- Creating student goals for motivation.
Dr. Judy Willis presents this informative guide to getting better results in math class. Willis presents a practical approach for how we can improve academic results by demonstrating certain behaviors and teaching students in a way that minimizes negativity.

The mathematics lover's companion : masterpieces for everyone

June 12, 2017
Scheinerman, Edward R., author.
©2017
xx, 274 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Part I. Number : 1. Prime numbers ; 2. Binary ; 3. 0.999999999999... ; 4. [Square root of]2 ; 5. i ; 6. [Pi] ; 7. e ; 8. [Infinity] ; 9. Fibonacci numbers ; 10. Factorial! ; 11. Benford's law ; 12. Algorithm ; -- Part II. Shape: 13. Triangles ; 14. Pythagoras and Fermat ; 15. Circles ; 16. The platonic solids ; 17. Fractals ; 18. Hyperbolic geometry -- Part III. Uncertainty: 19. Nontransitive dice ; 20. Medical probability ; 21. Chaos ; 22. Social choice and Arrow's theorem ; 23. Newcomb's paradox.
In bite-sized chapters that require only high school algebra, [Edward Scheinerman] invites recreational mathematicians and neophytes alike to try their hands at solving mathematical puzzles and provides an engaging and friendly tour of numbers, shapes, and uncertainty. The result is an unforgettable introduction to the fundamentals and pleasures of thinking mathematically. -- From book jacket.

True genius : the life and work of Richard Garwin, the most influential scientist you've never heard of

May 26, 2017
Shurkin, Joel N., 1938- author.
Amherst, New York : Prometheus Books, 2017.
308 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
The tinkerers -- Fermi -- The super -- Garwin's design -- Garwin, Lederman, and the Marx Brothers -- IBM & LampLight -- Advising presidents-or not -- JASONS -- Vietnam and McNamara's Wall -- Super sonic transport -- Offense -- The great gap -- Treaty -- Star wars -- Gravity -- Health, pandemics -- Far out -- Rumpled -- Decline of influence.
"The first biography of Richard Garwin, a physicist whose work has had wide-ranging impacts on modern life from well-known technical innovations to progress in nuclear disarmament"-- Provided by publisher.

Finding Fibonacci : the quest to rediscover the forgotten mathematical genius who changed the world

May 26, 2017
Devlin, Keith J., author.
©2017
vi, 241 pages : illustrations, facsimiles, portraits ; 23 cm
Sputnik and calculus -- The flood plain -- The manuscript -- First steps -- The statue -- A walk along the Pisan riverbank -- A very boring book? -- Franci -- Publishing Fibonacci: from the cloister to Amazon.com -- Translation -- Reading Fibonacci -- Manuscript hunting, part I (failures) -- Manuscript hunting, part II (success at last) -- The missing link -- This will change the world -- Leonardo and the birth of modern finance -- Reflections in a medieval mirror -- Guide to the chapters of Liber abbaci.
In 2000, Keith Devlin set out to research the life and legacy of the medieval mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, popularly known as Fibonacci, whose book Liber abbaci has quite literally affected the lives of everyone alive today. Although he is most famous for the Fibonacci numbers--which, it so happens, he didn't invent--Fibonacci's greatest contribution was as an expositor of mathematical ideas at a level ordinary people could understand. In 1202, Liber abbaci--the "Book of Calculation"--introduced modern arithmetic to the Western world. Yet Fibonacci was long forgotten after his death, and it was not until the 1960s that his true achievements were finally recognized. Finding Fibonacci is Devlin's compelling firsthand account of his ten-year quest to tell Fibonacci's story. Devlin, a math expositor himself, kept a diary of the undertaking, which he draws on here to describe the project's highs and lows, its false starts and disappointments, the tragedies and unexpected turns, some hilarious episodes, and the occasional lucky breaks. You will also meet the unique individuals Devlin encountered along the way, people who, each for their own reasons, became fascinated by Fibonacci, from the Yale professor who traced modern finance back to Fibonacci to the Italian historian who made the crucial archival discovery that brought together all the threads of Fibonacci's astonishing story. Fibonacci helped to revive the West as the cradle of science, technology, and commerce, yet he vanished from the pages of history. This is Devlin's search to find him. -- Back cover.

Numbers and the making of us : counting and the course of human cultures

May 26, 2017
Everett, Caleb, author.
Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2017.
viii, 297 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Prologue: On the success of our species -- Part One. Numbers pervade the human experience: Numbers woven into our present -- Numbers carved into our past -- A numerical journey around the world today -- Beyond number words: other kinds of numeric language -- Part Two. Worlds without numbers: Anumeric people today -- Quantities in the minds of young children -- Quantities in the minds of animals -- Part Three. Numbers and the shaping of our lives: Inventing numbers and arithmetic -- Numbers and culture: subsistence and symbolism -- Transformative tools.
Numbers and the Making of Us examines the origins and effects of numbers--words and other symbols for quantities. It focuses on the influence that numbers have had on human thought. As a result of this influence, the book claims, numbers transformed the human narrative. This transformation is supported by data from many disciplines: archaeology, linguistics, psychology, and primatology. The book surveys the types of number systems that have been innovated independently in languages around the world, most of which (like our own decimal system) owe themselves in one way or another to the shape of our hands. Furthermore, the book examines evidence from anumeric humans, such as those the author has conducted research with in Amazonia, as it advances the following claim: Numbers served as a pivotal cognitive invention, an underappreciated tool whose usage ultimately resulted in the societies most of us now live in. In short, the book suggests that verbal and written numbers served as a cognitive foundation of sorts, helping to establish the ground floor of all sorts of distinctly human behaviors. These include elaborate agriculture, writing, the telling of time, and many other aspects of the human experience that are all ultimately dependent on the simple invention of numbers.-- Provided by publisher

The physics of everyday things : the extraordinary science behind an ordinary day

May 22, 2017
Kakalios, James, 1958- author.
New York : Crown, 2017.
245 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
You begin your day -- You drive into the city -- You go to the doctor -- You go to the airport -- You take a flight -- You give a business presentation -- You go to a hotel.
"Easy-to-follow and imaginative explanations about the extraordinary physics that invisibly guides our daily lives"--Provided by publisher.

The greatest story ever told--so far : why are we here?

March 29, 2017
Krauss, Lawrence M., 1954- author.
New York : Atria Books, 2017.
xii, 322 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Includes index.
Part 1: Genesis. From the armoire to the cave ; Seeing in the dark ; Through a glass, lightly ; There, and back again ; A stitch in time ; The shadows of reality ; A universe stranger than fiction ; A wrinkle in time ; Decay and rubble ; From here to eternity : shedding light on the sun -- Part 2: Exodus. Desperate times and desperate measure ; March of the titans ; Endless forms most beautiful : symmetry strikes back ; Cold, stark reality : breaking bad or beautiful? ; Living inside a superconductor ; The bearable heaviness of being : symmetry broken, physics fixed -- Part 3: Revelation. The wrong place at the right time ; The fog lifts ; Free at last ; Spanking the vacuum ; Gothic cathedrals of the twenty-first century ; More questions than answers ; From a beer party to the end of time ; Cosmic humility.
An award-winning theoretical physicist traces the dramatic discovery of the counterintuitive world of reality, explaining how readers can shift their perspectives to gain greater understandings of our individual roles in the universe. --Publisher.

Visible learning for mathematics, grades K-12 : what works best to optimize student learning

March 20, 2017
Hattie, John, author.
Thousand Oaks, California : Corwin Mathematics, [2017]
xxvii, 269 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Make learning visible in mathematics. Forgetting the past -- What makes for good instruction? -- The evidence base -- Noticing what does and does not work -- Direct and dialogic approaches to teaching and learning -- The balance of surface, deep, and transfer learning -- Surface, deep, and transfer learning working in concert -- Making learning visible starts with teacher clarity. Learning intentions for mathematics -- Success criteria for mathematics -- Preassessments -- Mathematical tasks and talk that guide learning. Making learning visible through appropriate mathematical tasks -- Making learning visible through mathematical talk -- Surface mathematics learning made visible. The nature of surface learning -- Selecting mathematical tasks that promote surface learning -- Mathematical talk that guides surface learning -- Mathematical talk and metacognition -- Strategic use of vocabulary instruction -- Strategic use of manipulatives for surface learning -- Strategic use of spaced practice with feedback -- Strategic use of mnemonics -- Deep mathematics learning made visible. The nature of deep learning -- Selecting mathematical tasks that promote deep learning -- Mathematical talk that guides deep learning -- Mathematical thinking in whole class and small group discourse -- Small group collaboration and discussion strategies -- Whole class collaboration and discourse strategies -- Using multiple representations to promote deep learning -- Strategic use of manipulatives for deep learning -- Making mathematics learning visible through transfer learning. The nature of transfer learning -- The paths for transfer: low-road hugging and high-road bridging -- Selecting mathematical tasks that promote transfer learning -- Conditions necessary for transfer learning -- Metacognition promotes transfer learning -- Mathematical talk that promotes transfer learning -- Helping students connect mathematical understandings -- Helping students transform mathematical understandings -- Assessment, feedback, and meeting the needs of all learners. Assessing learning and providing feedback -- Meeting individual needs through differentiation -- Learning from what doesn't work -- Visible mathematics teaching and visible mathematics learning -- Appendices. A. Effect sizes -- B. Standards for mathematical practice -- C. A selection of international mathematical practice or process standards -- D. Eight effective mathematics teaching practices -- E. Websites to help make mathematics learning visible.
Rich tasks, collaborative work, number talks, problem-based learning, direct instruction, with so many possible approaches, how do we know which ones work the best? In Visible Learning for Mathematics, six acclaimed educators assert it's not about which one, it's about when ; and show you how to design high-impact instruction so all students demonstrate more than a year's worth of mathematics learning for a year spent in school. That's a high bar, but with the amazing K-12 framework here, you choose the right approach at the right time, depending upon where learners are within three phases of learning: surface, deep, and transfer. This results in visible learning because the effect is tangible. The framework is forged out of current research in mathematics combined with John Hattie's synthesis of more than 15 years of education research involving 300 million students. Chapter by chapter, and equipped with video clips, planning tools, rubrics, and templates, you get the inside track on which instructional strategies to use at each phase of the learning cycle: Surface learning phase: When, through carefully constructed experiences, students explore new concepts and make connections to procedural skills and vocabulary that give shape to developing conceptual understandings. Deep learning phase: When, through the solving of rich high-cognitive tasks and rigorous discussion, students make connections among conceptual ideas, form mathematical generalizations, and apply and practice procedural skills with fluency. Transfer phase: When students can independently think through more complex mathematics, and can plan, investigate, and elaborate as they apply what they know to new mathematical situations. To equip students for higher-level mathematics learning, we have to be clear about where students are, where they need to go, and what it looks like when they get there. Visible Learning for Math brings about powerful, precision teaching for K-12 through intentionally designed guided, collaborative, and independent learning. -- Provided by publisher.

Reality is not what it seems : the journey to quantum gravity

January 31, 2017
Rovelli, Carlo, 1956- author.
©2016
280 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Originally published in Italian under the title: La Realtà non è come ci appare.
English translation published in Great Britain by Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Random House UK.
Walking along the shore -- Roots. Grains ; Is there a limit to divisibility? ; The nature of things ; The classics. Isaac and the little moon ; Michael : fields and light -- The beginning of the revolution. Albert ; The extended present ; The most beautiful of theories ; Mathematics or physics? ; The cosmos ; Quanta. Albert again ; Niels, Werner, and Paul ; Fields and particles are the same thing ; Quanta 1 : information is finite ; Quanta 2 : indeterminacy ; Quanta 3 : reality is relation ; But do we really understand? -- Quantum space and relational time. Spacetime is quantum. Matvei ; John ; The loop's first steps ; Quanta of space. Spectra of volume and area ; Atoms of space ; Spin networks ; Time does not exist. Time is not what we think it is ; The candle chandelier and the pulse ; Spacetime sushi ; Spinfoam ; What is the world made of? -- Beyond space and time. Beyond the Big Bang. The master ; Quantum cosmology ; Empirical confirmations? Signals from nature ; A window onto quantum gravity ; Quantum black holes ; The end of infinity ; Information. Thermal time ; Reality and information -- Mystery.
"A closer look at the mind-bending nature of the universe. What are the elementary ingredients of the world? Do time and space exist? And what exactly is reality? Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli has spent his life exploring these questions. He tells us how our understanding of reality has changed over the centuries and how physicists think about the structure of the universe today. In elegant and accessible prose, Rovelli takes us on a wondrous journey from Democritus to Albert Einstein, from Michael Faraday to gravitational waves, and from classical physics to his own work in quantum gravity. As he shows us how the idea of reality has evolved over time, Rovelli offers deeper explanations of the theories he introduced so concisely in Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. This book culminates in a lucid overview of quantum gravity, the field of research that explores the quantum nature of space and time, seeking to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity. Rovelli invites us to imagine a marvelous world where space breaks up into tiny grains, time disappears at the smallest scales, and black holes are waiting to explode--a vast universe still largely undiscovered."--Dust jacket.

Storm in a teacup : the physics of everyday life

January 25, 2017
Czerski, Helen, 1978- author.
©2016
275 pages ; 25 cm
Popcorn and rockets -- What goes up must come down -- Small is beautiful -- A moment in time -- Making waves -- Why don't ducks get cold feet? -- Spoons, spirals and Sputnik -- When opposites attract -- A sense of perspective.
"A physicist explains daily phenomena from the mundane to the magisterial. In Storm in a Teacup, Helen Czerski provides the tools to alter the way we see everything around us by linking ordinary objects and occurrences, like popcorn popping, coffee stains, and fridge magnets, to big ideas like climate change, the energy crisis, or innovative medical testing. She guides us through the principles of gases ("Explosions in the kitchen are generally considered a bad idea. But just occasionally a small one can produce something delicious"); gravity (drop some raisins in a bottle of carbonated lemonade and watch the whoosh of bubbles and the dancing raisins at the bottom bumping into each other); size (Czerski explains the action of the water molecules that cause the crime-scene stain left by a puddle of dried coffee); and time (why it takes so long for ketchup to come out of a bottle). Along the way, she provides answers to vexing questions: How does water travel from the roots of a redwood tree to its crown? How do ducks keep their feet warm when walking on ice? Why does milk, when added to tea, look like billowing storm clouds? In an engaging voice at once warm and witty, Czerski shares her stunning breadth of knowledge to lift the veil of familiarity from the ordinary."--Provided by publisher.

Void : the strange physics of nothing

January 11, 2017
Weatherall, James Owen, author.
©2016
196 pages ; 23 cm.
Prologue: Much ado about nothing -- The plenum and the void -- Waves of space itself -- The nothing nothings -- Epilogue: Why nothing really matters: quantum gravity and beyond.
James Owen Weatherall's previous book, The Physics of Wall Street, was a New York Times best-seller and named one of Physics Today's five most intriguing books of 2013. In his newest volume, he takes on a fundamental concept of modern physics: nothing. The physics of stuff--protons, neutrons, electrons, and even quarks and gluons--is at least somewhat familiar to most of us. But what about the physics of nothing? Isaac Newton thought of empty space as nothingness extended in all directions, a kind of theater in which physics could unfold. But both quantum theory and relativity tell us that Newton's picture can't be right. Nothing, it turns out, is an awful lot like something, with a structure and properties every bit as complex and mysterious as matter. In his signature lively prose, Weatherall explores the very nature of empty space--and solidifies his reputation as a science writer to watch.

Life of Fred. Logic

January 5, 2017
Schmidt, Stanley F. (Stanley Fredric), 1944- author.
©2016
176 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Includes index.
"Logic with all the standard topics: Propositional and Predicate Logic; 17 Logical Fallacies; Gödel's Theorems and Diagonalization Lemma Proved; Metamathematics; Life Insurance for Fred's Wife"--Back cover.

Calculus II

January 4, 2017
Monahan, Chris, author.
Indianapolis, Indiana : Alpha, 2016.
ix, 326 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Includes index.
part 1. Review of pre-calculus and calculus I: Pre-calculus topics used in calculus II ; Limits, derivatives, and basic integration ; Definite and indefinite integrals -- part 2. Length, area, and volumes: Areas and approximations ; Volumes and areas of solids of revolutions -- part 3. More definite and indefinite integrals: More integration techniques ; Integration with trigonometric functions ; Integration with fractions -- part 4. The infinite series and more: To infinity and beyond ; Parametric equations ; Polar coordinates ; Introduction to vectors ; Differential equations ; Infinite sequences ; Infinite series ; Power series ; Calculus II final exam.
"Idiot's Guides: Calculus II, like its counterpart Idiot's Guides: Calculus I, is a curriculum-based companion book that continues the tradition of taking the sting out of calculus by adding more explanatory graphs and illustrations in easy-to-understand language, practice problems, and even a test at the end. Idiot's Guides: Calculus II is geared for all students who need to succeed in calculus,"--Amazon.com.

Are numbers real? : the uncanny relationship of mathematics and the physical world

December 21, 2016
Clegg, Brian, author.
©2016
x, 288 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Counting sheep -- Counting goats -- All is number -- Elegant perfection -- Counting sand -- The emergence of nothing -- He who is ignorant -- All in the imagination -- The amazing mechanical mathematical universe -- The mystery of "maybe" -- Maxwell's mathematical hammer -- Infinity and beyond -- Twentieth-century mathematical mysteries -- Symmetry games -- Cargo cult science?
Presents an accessible, in-depth look at the history of numbers and their applications in life and science, from math's surreal presence in the virtual world to the debates about the role of math in science.

Einstein's greatest mistake : a biography

December 20, 2016
Bodanis, David, author.
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016.
xiv, 280 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Origins of genius. Victorian childhood ; Coming of age ; Annus mirabilis ; Only the beginning -- "The happiest thought of my life." Interlude one. The romance of many dimensions ; Glimpsing a solution ; Time to think ; Sharpening the tools ; The greatest idea -- Glory. True or false? ; Totality ; Interlude two. The future and the past ; Cracks in the foundation -- Reckoning. Rising tensions ; Interlude three. Candles in the sky ; The queen of hearts is black ; Finally at ease -- The greatest mistake. Crushing the upstart ; Uncertainty of the modern age ; Arguing with the Dane ; Interlude 4. Music and inevitability -- Final acts. Dispersions ; Isolation in Princeton ; The end.
Widely considered the greatest genius of all time, Albert Einstein revolutionized our understanding of the cosmos with his theory of relativity and helped to lead us into the atomic age. Yet, in the final decades of his life, he was ignored by most working scientists, his ideas opposed by even his closest friends. As writer David Bodanis explains here, this stunning downfall can be traced to Einstein's earliest successes and to personal qualities that were at first his best assets. Einstein's imagination and self-confidence served him well as he sought to reveal the universe's structure, but when it came to newer revelations in the field of quantum mechanics, these same traits undermined his quest for the ultimate truth. Bodanis traces the arc of Einstein's intellectual development across his professional and personal life, showing how his conviction in his own powers of intuition proved to be both his greatest strength and his ultimate undoing. This intimate and enlightening biography of the celebrated physicist reveals how much we owe Einstein today--and how much more he might have achieved if not for his all-too-human flaws.--Adapted from dust jacket.

The Pope of physics : Enrico Fermi and the birth of the Atomic Age

November 7, 2016
Segrè, Gino, author.
©2016
xi, 351 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm
Prologue: Trinity -- Italy, beginnings. Family roots -- The Little Match (Il Piccolo Fiammifero) ; Leaning in : physics and Pisa ; Student days ; The young protégé ; The summer of 1924 ; Florence ; Quantum leaps ; Enrico and Laura -- Passages. The boys of Via Panisperna ; The Royal Academy ; Crossing the Atlantic ; Bombarding the nucleus ; Decay ; The neutron comes to Rome ; The rise and fall of the boys ; Transitions ; Stockholm calls -- Hello, America. Fission ; News travels ; Chain reaction ; The race begins ; New Americans ; The sleeping giant ; Chicago bound ; Critical pile (CP-1) ; The day the Atomic Age was born -- The Atomic City. The Manhattan Project : a three-legged stool ; Signor Fermi becomes Mister Farmer ; Götterdämmerung ; The hill ; "No acceptable alternative" ; Aftershock ; Goodbye, Mr. Farmer -- Home. Physicist with a capital 'F' ; The Fermi Method ; The super ; Circling back ; Last gift to Italy (Ultimo regalo all'Italia) ; Farewell to the navigator.
"The first full-scale biography of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist and one of the fathers of the atomic age, Enrico Fermi."-- Provided by publisher.

High school physics unlocked

November 3, 2016
Laurence, Douglas H.
New York, NY : Penguin Random House, [2016]
xiii, 400 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
At head of title: The Princeton Review.
High School Physics Unlocked focuses on giving you a wide range of key lessons to help increase your understanding of physics. With this book, you'll move from foundational concepts to complicated real-world applications, building confidence as your skills improve. End-of-chapter drills wil help test your comprehension of each facet of physics, from mechanics to magnetic fields. Don't feel locked out!

Fashion, faith, and fantasy in the new physics of the universe

November 3, 2016
Penrose, Roger, author.
©2016.
xvi, 501 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Fashion. Mathematical elegance as a driving force ; Some fashionable physics of the past ; Particle-physics background to string theory ; The superposition principle in QFT ; The power of Feynman diagrams ; The original key ideas of string theory ; Time in Einstein's general relativity ; Weyl's gauge theory of electromagnetism ; Functional freedom in Kaluza-Klein and string models ; Quantum obstructions to functional freedom? ; Classical instability of higher-dimensional string theory ; The fashionable status of string theory ; M-theory ; Supersymmetry ; AdS/CFT ; Brane-worlds and the landscape -- Faith. The quantum revelation ; Max Planck's E = hv ; The wave-particle paradox ; Quantum and classical levels : C, U, and R ; Wave function of a point-like particle ; Wave function of a photon ; Quantum linearity ; Quantum measurement ; The geometry of quantum spin ; Quantum entanglement and EPR effects ; Quantum functional freedom ; Quantum reality ; Objective quantum state reduction : a limit to the quantum faith? -- Fantasy. The Big Bang and FLRW cosmologies ; Black holes and local irregularities ; The second law of thermodynamics ; The Big Bang paradox ; Horizons, comoving volumes, and conformal diagrams ; The phenomenal precision in the Big Bang ; Cosmological entropy? ; Vacuum energy ; Inflationary cosmology ; The anthropic principle ; Some more fantastical cosmologies -- A new physics for the universe? Twistor theory : an alternative to strings? ; Whither quantum foundations? ; Conformal crazy cosmology? ; A personal coda -- Appendix A. Mathematical appendix. Iterated exponents ; Functional freedom of fields ; Vector spaces ; Vector bases, coordinates, and duals ; Mathematics of manifolds ; Manifolds in physics ; Bundles ; Functional freedom via bundles ; Complex numbers ; Complex geometry ; Harmonic analysis.
"What can fashionable ideas, blind faith, or pure fantasy possibly have to do with the scientific quest to understand the universe? Surely, theoretical physicists are immune to mere trends, dogmatic beliefs, or flights of fancy? In fact, acclaimed physicist and best-selling author Roger Penrose argues that researchers working at the extreme frontiers of physics are just as susceptible to these forces as anyone else. In this provocative book, he argues that fashion, faith, and fantasy, while sometimes productive and even essential in physics, may be leading today's researchers astray in three of the field's most important areas--string theory, quantum mechanics, and cosmology.... The result is an important critique of some of the most significant developments in physics today from one of its most eminent figures."--Dust jacket.

What the luck? : the surprising role of chance in our everyday lives

October 19, 2016
Smith, Gary, 1945- author.
New York, NY : The Overlook Press, 2016.
289 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
I: Overreaction. The law of small numbers -- II: Inherited traits. The father of regression ; Choose your parents carefully -- III: Education. Testing 1,2,3 ; The beatings will continue until morale improves ; Money for nothing ; Learning and unlearning -- IV: Games of chance. Hopes and excuses -- V: Sports. Champions choke ; Jinxes, slumps, and superstitions ; Being smart about it -- VI: Health: Take two aspirin ; The tin standard -- VII: Business. The triumph of mediocrity ; From bad to better and great to good ; Draft picks, CEOs, and soul mates -- VIII: Forecasting. A better crystal ball -- IX: Investing. $100 bills on the sidewalk -- X: Conclusion. Living with regression.
Explores the role of luck, specifically the concept of "regression to the mean," in everyday life, exploring how failures to understand chance and random variations influence choices and perceptions of truth.

Time travel : a history

October 7, 2016
Gleick, James, author.
©2016
336 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Machine -- Fin de siècle -- Philosophers and pulps -- Ancient lights -- By your bootstraps -- Arrow of time -- A river, a path, a maze -- Eternity -- Buried time -- Backward -- The paradoxes -- What is time? -- Our only boat -- Presently.
Gleick's story begins at the turn of the twentieth century with the young H. G. Wells writing and rewriting the fantastic tale that became his first book, an international sensation, The Time Machine. A host of forces were converging to transmute the human understanding of time, some philosophical and some technological--the electric telegraph, the steam railroad, the discovery of buried civilizations, and the perfection of clocks. Gleick tracks the evolution of time travel as an idea in the culture--from Marcel Proust to Doctor Who, from Woody Allen to Jorge Luis Borges. He explores the inevitable looping paradoxes and examines the porous boundary between pulp fiction and modern physics. Finally, he delves into a temporal shift that is unsettling our own moment: the instantaneous wired world, with its all-consuming present and vanishing future.

Now : the physics of time

October 6, 2016
Muller, R. (Richard), author.
©2016
364 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Includes index.
Part I: Amazing time. The entangled enigma ; Einstein's childhood regression ; The leaping now ; Contradictions and paradoxes ; Lightspeed limit, lightspeed loophole ; Imaginary time ; To infinity and beyond -- Part II: Broken arrow. An arrow of confusion ; Demystifying entropy ; Mystifying entropy ; Time explained ; Our unlikely universe ; The universe erupts ; The end of time ; Throwing entropy under the bus ; Alternative arrows -- Par III: Spooky physics. A cat both dead and alive ; Tickling the quantum ghost ; Einstein is spooked ; Backward time travel observed -- Part IV: Physics and reality. Beyond physics ; Cogito ergo sum ; Free will -- Part V: Now. The 4D Big Bang ; The meaning of now.
"You are reading the word 'now' right now. But what does that mean? What makes the ephemeral moment 'now' so special? Its enigmatic character has bedeviled philosophers, priests, and modern-day physicists from Augustine to Einstein and beyond. Einstein showed that the flow of time is affected by both velocity and gravity, yet he despaired at his failure to explain the meaning of 'now.' Equally puzzling: Why does time flow? Some physicists have given up trying to understand, and call the flow of time an illusion, but the eminent experimental physicist Richard A. Muller protests. He says physics should explain reality, not deny it. In Now, Muller does more than poke holes in past ideas; he crafts his own revolutionary theory, one that makes testable predictions. "--Dust jacket.

Hidden figures : the American dream and the untold story of the Black women mathematicians who helped win the space race

September 26, 2016
Lee Shetterly, Margot, author.
©2016
xviii, 346 pages ; 24 cm
A door opens -- Mobilization -- Past is prologue -- The double V -- Manifest destiny -- War birds -- The duration -- Those who moved forward -- Breaking the barriers -- Home by the sea -- The area rule -- Serendipity -- Turbulence -- Angle of attack -- Young, gifted, and black -- What a difference a day makes -- Outer space -- With all deliberate speed -- Model behavior -- Degrees of freedom -- Out of the past, the future -- America is for everybody -- To boldly go.
Before John Glenn orbited the earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South's segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America's aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam's call, moving to Hampton, Virginia, and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Even as Virginia's Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley's all-black "West Computing" group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.

Einstein's masterwork : 1915 and the general theory of relativity

September 26, 2016
Gribbin, John, 1946- author.
New York : Pegasus Books, 2016.
xiii, 226 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 22 cm
In the beginning. Early life ; Breaking free ; Einstein and the Ploy ; Rejection ; Rescue -- The annus mirabilis. The doctoral thesis ; Jiggling atoms ; Particles of light ; The special one -- The long and winding word. The geometry of relativity ; Moving on ; In the shadow of a giant ; On the move ; First steps ; What Einstein should have known ; The masterwork -- Legacy. Black holes and timewarps ; Beyond reasonable doubt ; Making waves ; The universe at large -- The icon of science. Personal problems ; Fame ; A last quantum hurrah ; Exile ; Spooky action at a distance ; The final years.
"One of the world's most celebrated science writers reveals the origins of Einstein's General Theory--and provides a greater understanding of who Einstein was at the time of this pivotal achievement,"--NoveList.

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