Books  Physical Sciences  Cosmology & Astronomy 

The Comprehensible Cosmos: Where Do the Laws of Physics Come From?

By: Victor J Stenger

Prometheus Books

Hardback | Dec 2006 | #169437 | ISBN: 1591024242
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NHBS Price: £24.95 $32/€30 approx

About this book

In a series of remarkable developments in the 20th century and continuing into the 21st, elementary particle physicists, astronomers, and cosmologists have removed much of the mystery that surrounds our understanding of the physical universe. We now have mathematical models that are consistent with all observational data, including measurements of incredible precision, and we have a good understanding of why those models take the form they do. Although current theories will probably be superseded by better, more detailed theories as science continues to advance, the great success of contemporary models makes it likely that scientists are on the right track. In short, the cosmos is undoubtedly comprehensible.

Stenger ... provides a scientific answer to the question, 'where do the laws of physics come from?' Remarkably, his elegant and mathematically detailed derivation of the laws is driven by the requirement that the models physicists develop to describe objective reality cannot depend on the standpoint of the observer. -- PhilSci Archive, article presented at Metaphysics of Science conference in Melbourne, Australia, July 2-5, 2009.


Contents

Preface; What Are the Laws of Physics?; The Stuff That Kicks Back; Point-of-View Invariance; Gauging the Laws of Physics; Forces and Broken Symmetries; Playing Dice; After the Bang; Out of the Void; The Comprehensible Cosmos; Models of Reality. Mathematical Supplements -- The Space-Time Model; Classical Mechanics and Relativity; Interaction Theory; Gauge Invariance; The Standard Model; Statistical Physics; Cosmology; Physics of the Vacuum; Bibliography; Index.

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