Tony DiMauro


Sneaking a Look at God's Card
Giancarlos Ghirardi

    Since the number of the electrons is very large but still finite, what we see on the film will be a series of N black dots that correspond to the positions in which they are, so to speak, "
revealed" by the object, which can be thought of as a measuring device. In making this assertion, we have made a logical jump from the language of wave functions, and of the potentialities of a microsystem, to the language of the reality of the dots.. . We have dislodged the boundary from the microcosm of the electron beam to the macrocosm of the film, as shown in the second stage. But we cannot stop here. . .J.S. Bell

The boundary between the quantum world and the real world evaporates in the measurer's mind.


The Cosmic Landscape
Leonard Susskind

    Physicists are not like ordinary people, and string theorists are not like ordinary physicists. Even compared with their peers, crafters of the arcane model of reality that is string theory think in terms of sweeping explanations of nature's design. Leonard Susskind, a founder of the theory and one of its leading practitioners, brazenly lays out this no-boundaries attitude on the first page of his new book. NYTimes


A Different Universe
Robert B. Laughlin

     Scientific contests, like footraces, are often won for the wrong reasons. The fight over the theory of superconductivity was one of the longest and bitterest in the history of science, primarily because the cental issue was conceptual. The theory was eventually accepted on the basis of the 'spectroscopic' detail it accounted for---the heat capacity, the heat transport coefficient, the energy gap, the relationship of this gap to the superconducting transition temperature. . .thus they say that superconductivity is an instability of the electron sea. They say that the attractive force between electrons causing this to happen is mediated by atomic motion.


The Physics of Quantum Information
Dirk Bouwmeester, Artur Ekert and Anton Zeilinger

Many milestones in the history of technology have involved the discovery of new ways of harnessing nature---exploiting the various resources such as materials, forces and sources of energy. In the twentieth century information was added to this list when the invention of computers allowed complex information processing to be be performed outside human beings. The history of computer technology has itself involved a sequence of changes from one type of physical realisation to another---from gears to relays to valves to transistors, integrated circuits and so on.


Evolution of the Planet Earth
Lynn Rothschild and Adrian Lister
    "Liquid water is the crucial difference between Earth and the other planets. Liquid water enables the plate system to operate. Liquid water is needed to make subduction zones operate, to creaet granitoid intrusions, and andesite volcanoes, and to maintain the continents.
     If liquid water were lost, carbon dioxide would degas, the plate system would probably be replaced by a plume-led system and the world would be a very different place, either Venus-like or, ultimately Mars-like."


Consciousness: a user's quide
Adam Zeman
    This engaging and readable book provides an introduction to consciousness that does justice both to the science and to the philosophy of consciousness, that is, the mechanics of the mind and the experience of awareness. He tracks the evolution of the brain, the human species, and human culture and surveys the main current scientific theories of awareness, pioneering attempts to explain how the brain gives rise to experience. Zeman concludes by examining philosophical arguments about the nature of consciousness. A practicing neurologist, he animates his text with examples from the behavioral and neurological disorders of his patients and from the expanding mental worlds of young children, including his own.


Alpha & Omega-The Search for the Beginning and End of the Universe
Charles Seife
    When Penzias and Wilson detected the cosmic background radiation, the mysterious "static" in every direction of the sky, they were really seeing a faint image of the last scattering surface, the cloud of plasma that scattered the light for the last time before setting it free. The static in the sky was really the radiation released during recombination, stretched and attenuated over fourteen billion years. The cosmic microwave background is the most ancient light astronomers will ever see. It surrounds us in all directions; we are trapped within walls of fire. The background radiation is the image of the fiery walls of the universe.


Gravity-An Introduction to General Relativity
James B. Hartle
    Gravitational physics is thus a two-frontier science.Its important applications lie at both the largest and smallest distances considered in contemporary physics. On the largest scales, gravitational physics is linked to astrophysics and cosmology. On the smallest scales it is tied to quantum and elementary particle physics. The two frontiers become one at the Big Bang, where the whole of the observable universe today is compressed into the smallest possible volume.


The Scientists
John Gribbon

    "Hooke, an older and well-established scientist, was decidedly miffed at receiving less credit from the young whipper-snapper than he thought he was due, and said as much to his friends. Hooke was always touchy about receiving proper recognition for his work, understandably so in view of his own humble origins annd his recent past as a servant to the learned gentleman who established the Royal Society. Newton, though, even at his early age, had the highest opinion of his own abilities (largely justified, but still not an appeaqling characteristic) and regared other scientisits, no matter how respectable and well established, as scarcely fit to lick his boots." . . .Newton was a nasty piece of work and always harboured grudges.


The Elegant Universe
Brian Greene
    A fanatastic read. Great introduction to Modern Physics. This book pushes the frontiers of cosmology and modern physics. Greene brings String theory into the popular lexicon with clarity and style. "An overarching lesson we have learned during the past hundred years is that the known laws of physics are associated with principles of symmetry. Special Relativity is based on the symmetry."

A. Zee

Quantum Field Theory---In a Nutshell
A. Zee
    But dear reader, surely you see what that wise guy Feynman was driving at. I especially enjoy his observation that if you put in a screen and drill an infinite number of holes in it, then that screen is not really there. Very Zen! What Feynman showed is that even if there were just empty space between the source and the detector, the amplitude for the particle to propagate from the source to the detector is the sum of the amplitudes for the particle to go through each one of the holes in each one of the nonexistent screens.


The Fabric of the Cosmos
Brian Greene

    Take a glass of water. Describing the water as a smooth, uniform liquid is both usseful and relevant on everyday scales, but it's an approximation that breaks down if we analyze the water with submicroscopic precision. On tiny scales, the smooth image gives way to a completely different framework of widely separated molecules and atoms. Similarily, Einstein's conception shows a smooth, gently curving, geometrical space and time, although powerful and accurate for describing the universe on large scales, breaks down if we analyze the universe at extremely short distance and time scales. What is thoroughly clear is that on tiny scales the smooth character of space and time envisioned by general relativity locks horns with the frantic, jittery character of quantum mechanics.


The Physics of Information Technology
Neil Gershenfeld
    This book grew out of lectures notes for a course that he dekeloped at MIT. His goal is to review basic physical governing equations in a number of areas relevant to information technology, and then work up through device mechanisms to a quantitative examination of pracitical implementations.The third chapter, Noise in Physical Systems, begins the march toward knowing these models.