A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature's Deep Design
Is the world a work of art? Artists and scientists throughout human history have pondered this age-old 'beautiful question', and in this scientific tour de force, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek argues that beauty is the fundamental organizing principle of the entire universe. As he reveals in A Beautiful Question, the universe embodies beautiful forms - forms whose hallmarks are symmetry, harmony, balance and proportion - and the quest for beauty has always been at the heart of scientific pursuit. In a book that stretches from the ancient Greeks to the deep waters of twentieth-century physics to the present day and beyond, Wilczek explores just how intertwined our ideas about beauty and art are with our scientific understanding of the cosmos, from the infinitesimal to the infinite. In the process, he traces the bright lines of thought connecting Pythagoras's triangles to Plato's solids and Newton's classical equations to Einstein's spooky ones. As he shows us, the equations for atoms and light are almost literally the same equations that govern musical instruments and sound; the subatomic particles that are responsible for most of our mass are determined by simple geometric symmetries. Gorgeously illustrated, A Beautiful Questionis a mind-shifting book that braids the age-old quest for beauty and the age-old quest for truth into a thrilling synthesis - the universe wantsto be beautiful. 'A beautiful treatise on a beautiful universe, this delightful series of meditations on the nature of beauty and the physical universe roams from music, to colour vision, to fundamental ideas at the very forefront of physics today. Frank Wilczek is one of the deepest, most creative, and most knowledgeable theoretical physicists alive today. Read him and you will never think about the universe the same way again.' Lawrence Krauss, author of A Universe from Nothingand The Physics of Star-Trek'Before there was Science, there was Natural Philosophy. In this authoritative, ever-surprising, and lavishly illustrated account, Frank Wilczek brings the grand quest that so captivated Pythagoras, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Noether, and a host of others both up to date and back to life.' George Dyson, author of Turing's Cathedral'A masterful, intellectual journey, surveying a breathtaking tapestry of physics, art, and philosophy.' Mario Livio, Astrophysicist, author of Brilliant Blunders'A truly beautiful book, in design, in content, in the insights that Frank Wilczek shares . . . Immerse yourself in this book, wallow in it, sit back and relax as you wander through it, and you'll soon understand.' Richard Muller, author of Physics for Future Presidents'For a century, science has invalidated 'soft' questions about truth, beauty, and transcendence. It took considerable courage therefore for Frank Wilczek to declare that such questions are within the framework of 'hard' science . . . Wilczek has caught the winds of change, and his thinking breaks through some sacred boundaries with curiosity, insight, and intellectual power.' Deepak Chopra, M.D.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - antao - www.librarything.com
(Original Review, 2015) Just this morning my Chi Kung teacher at the Sheraton Hotel (I’m doing classes over there at lunch time), a Daoist (Taoist) monk, said virtually the same thing whilst quoting ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - fpagan - LibraryThing
Nobel physicist Wilczek's long "meditation" on the theme that the world embodies beautiful ideas. Nontechnically, but in Wilczek's usual idiosyncratic way, discusses Pythagoras, Plato, Newton, Maxwell ... Read full review