The Accidental Universe

The Accidental Universe

The World You Thought You Knew

Book - 2013
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"Alan Lightman brings a light touch to heavy questions. Here is a book about nesting ospreys, multiple universes, atheism, spiritualism, and the arrow of time. Throughout, Lightman takes us back and forth between ordinary occurrences--old shoes and entropy, sailing far out at sea and the infinite expanse of space.
"In this slight volume, Lightman looks toward the universe and captures aspects of it in a series of beautifully written essays, each offering a glimpse at the whole from a different perspective: here time, there symmetry, not least God. It is a meditation by a remarkable humanist-physicist, a book worth reading by anyone entranced by big ideas grounded in the physical world."
--Peter L. Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University

Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, [2013]
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9780307908582
Call Number: 523.1 L6269a 2013
Characteristics: xi, 157 pages ; 20 cm


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Nov 04, 2019

I really enjoyed his scientific and philosophical perspective. It was well balanced and full of thought-provoking concepts that make for an engaging read. Very worthwhile!

Jul 26, 2018

I liked Lightman’s philosophical take on these 7 essays that try to enlighten science-phobics (like me) about the nature of multi universes, our place in it, and how we see/understand it. Thought-provoking and eye-opening. I did not know that three quarters of the energy propelling the universe’s expansion is unknown. (p.15) So much still to be discovered.
Gotta love the particle/wave duality of all matter …that all beings and objects do not exist at one place at one time but are spread out in a haze of existences at many places at once. (p.134-5)

Feb 11, 2018

These are interesting and thoughtful essays that are kindly and humane. Different aspects of cosmology and physics are discussed and human attitudes to the universe explored.

ohfernlish Dec 07, 2014

Recommended by Maria Popova on Brainpickings


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