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The Lightness of Being: Big Questions, Real Answers

Popular ScienceOut of Print

By: Frank Wilczek

272 pages, Col plates

Allen Lane

Hardback | Jun 2009 | #179752 | ISBN-13: 9781846142451
Out of Print Details

About this book

What's the meaning of it all? Or rather: what exactly is 'it?'. Here Frank Wilczek, Nobel Prize-winning physicist and legend, examines the very nature of reality itself, showing how almost everything we think we know about 'it' is wrong. "The Lightness of Being" is an engaging tour de force, revealing a universe where matter is the hum of strange music, mass doesn't weigh, and empty space is a multilayered, multicoloured superconductor. Physicists' understanding of the essential nature of reality changed radically over the past quarter century. And Frank Wilczek has played a lead role in establishing the new paradigms.
Transcending the clash and mismatch of older ideas about what matter and space is, Wilczek presents some brilliant and clear syntheses. Extraordinarily readable and authoritative, "The Lightness of Being" is the first book to unwrap these exciting new ideas for the general public. It explores their implications for basic questions about space, mass, energy, and the longed-for possibility of a fully unified theory of Nature. Pointing to new directions where great discoveries in fundamental physics are likely, and providing a visionary context for the experiments in CERN, he envisions a new Golden Age in physics.

'A thrilling read ... a glimpse of physics at its quirkiest and most illuminating' The Economist 'The Lightness of Being is an apt description of Wilczek's writing style ... at once profound and light, filled with humour, wordplay and original explanations' New Scientist 'Read Wilczek's book ! to share some of the excitement and enlightenment ... as the Large Hadron Collider goes into operation in Switzerland' Natural History 'Wilczek possesses a compelling writing style ... The beauty of the intellectual leaps, the grandness of the discovery, are palpable' St Petersburg Times

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Born in New York, Frank Wilczek studied at the University of Chicago and gained his Ph.D. in physics at Princeton University. Frank won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004 for work he did as a twenty-one-year-old graduate student. His writing has featured twice in Best American Science Writing and his exposition of modern physics, Longing for the Harmonies was named New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Frank is currently Herman Feshbach Professorship of Physics at MIT. He lives in Massachusetts, with his wife, Betsy Devine.

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