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A Universe From Nothing


giofranchi
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[amazonsearch]A Universe From Nothing[/amazonsearch]

 

txitxo,

I have started reading A UNIVERSE FROM NOTHING, because Mr. Munger suggested it as a wonderful read. From the Preface I was immediately hooked and I find it pretty amazing! Do you think it is because of my devastating ignorance of the subject treated in the book, or you judge Mr. Krauss to actually be a serious and highly competent theoretical physicist?

Thank you! :)

 

giofranchi

 

“As time goes on I get more and more convinced that the right method in investment is to put fairly large sums into enterprises which one thinks one knows something about and in the management of which one thoroughly believes. It is a mistake to think that one limits one’s risk by spreading too much between enterprises about which one knows little and has no reason for special confidence. One’s knowledge and experience is definitely limited and there are seldom more than two or three enterprises at any given time which I personally feel myself entitled to put full confidence.” - John Maynard Keynes

 

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I've not read this book but I've watched some of his talks/debates on youtube. I'll probably check out the book one of these days.  I think he might be trying to take the late Hitchens' place in the "Four Horsemen of New Atheism". :P

 

Ohh, just found this. Gonna check this out when I get home.

 

http://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/past-debates/item/728-science-refutes-god

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I think he might be trying to take the late Hitchens' place in the "Four Horsemen of New Atheism". :P

 

Well, I am still reading it, but I have yet to find a theological debate. So far it is just very complicated physics explained in plain English with extreme clarity!

 

I have understood that a “flat” universe, which is expanding at an ever increasing speed, instead of slowing down, like it was previously thought, requires energy far superior to the one that can be contained in its observable mass, and therefore circa 70% of that energy should be contained in empty space - the so-called “dark energy” our friend txitxo is a renowned expert about - yet I still have a lot of trouble trying to grasp what “dark energy” exactly is supposed to be…

Maybe, as I go on reading, it will become clearer!  :)

 

giofranchi

 

“As time goes on I get more and more convinced that the right method in investment is to put fairly large sums into enterprises which one thinks one knows something about and in the management of which one thoroughly believes. It is a mistake to think that one limits one’s risk by spreading too much between enterprises about which one knows little and has no reason for special confidence. One’s knowledge and experience is definitely limited and there are seldom more than two or three enterprises at any given time which I personally feel myself entitled to put full confidence.” - John Maynard Keynes

 

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If I like this book you probably also like "The Elegant Universe".

 

In a rare blend of scientific insight and writing as elegant as the theories it explains, Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away the layers of mystery surrounding string theory to reveal a universe that consists of 11 dimensions where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter-from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas-is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy.
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If I like this book you probably also like "The Elegant Universe".

 

In a rare blend of scientific insight and writing as elegant as the theories it explains, Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away the layers of mystery surrounding string theory to reveal a universe that consists of 11 dimensions where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter-from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas-is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy.

I second "The Elegant Universe"! An excellent read regarding modern physics!

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I think he might be trying to take the late Hitchens' place in the "Four Horsemen of New Atheism". :P

 

Well, I am still reading it, but I have yet to find a theological debate. So far it is just very complicated physics explained in plain English with extreme clarity!

 

I have understood that a “flat” universe, which is expanding at an ever increasing speed, instead of slowing down, like it was previously thought, requires energy far superior to the one that can be contained in its observable mass, and therefore circa 70% of that energy should be contained in empty space - the so-called “dark energy” our friend txitxo is a renowned expert about - yet I still have a lot of trouble trying to grasp what “dark energy” exactly is supposed to be…

Maybe, as I go on reading, it will become clearer!  :)

 

giofranchi

 

“As time goes on I get more and more convinced that the right method in investment is to put fairly large sums into enterprises which one thinks one knows something about and in the management of which one thoroughly believes. It is a mistake to think that one limits one’s risk by spreading too much between enterprises about which one knows little and has no reason for special confidence. One’s knowledge and experience is definitely limited and there are seldom more than two or three enterprises at any given time which I personally feel myself entitled to put full confidence.” - John Maynard Keynes

 

  Hi Gio. Lawrence Krauss is a very competent scientist and a world class science communicator. This hypothesis about the Universe being created out of nothing (where you have to qualify what nothing is) sounds pretty interesting, although of course it will be difficult to verify.

 

I had a quick look at the book and the first part seems like a very interesting introduction into  modern Cosmology. Between you and me, when our physical theories do not agree with observations, we invent a "dark"-something to fill the gap and keep asking for money to do more research about it... ;) But do not tell the science funding agencies.

 

  More seriously, I think that we are on the verge of a revolution in our understanding of the Universe. General Relativity is a very well verified and reliable theory, which explains almost everything we see at small scales/large accelerations, from the behaviour of satellites and planets in our Solar System to a pair of neutron stars rotating around each other at devilish speeds. However, when we test GR at large scales (around galaxies and galaxy clusters) we have to introduce some putative particles which we call dark matter to fit the observations. And when we test it at still larger scales (the Universe), we see an excess of acceleration which we explain through "Dark Energy" (which is a catch-all name to cover several types of physical explanations).

 

My personal (and rather contrarian) guess is that in the next 10 or 20 years we are going to see General Relativity substituted by a new physical theory which explains what we call now DM and DE. But to get there, we need to obtain very high quality data, we need to describe accurately how the expansion of the Universe changed with time (which is what I am currently trying to do) so that we are able to differentiate between various Dark Energy hypothesis. Or perhaps I am wrong, because the current market consensus is that the current paradigm is right, most of the problems in Cosmology are already solved, and it is just a question of adding more decimal places to the measurements...

 

 

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  Hi Gio. Lawrence Krauss is a very competent scientist and a world class science communicator. This hypothesis about the Universe being created out of nothing (where you have to qualify what nothing is) sounds pretty interesting, although of course it will be difficult to verify.

 

I had a quick look at the book and the first part seems like a very interesting introduction into  modern Cosmology. Between you and me, when our physical theories do not agree with observations, we invent a "dark"-something to fill the gap and keep asking for money to do more research about it... ;) But do not tell the science funding agencies.

 

  More seriously, I think that we are on the verge of a revolution in our understanding of the Universe. General Relativity is a very well verified and reliable theory, which explains almost everything we see at small scales/large accelerations, from the behaviour of satellites and planets in our Solar System to a pair of neutron stars rotating around each other at devilish speeds. However, when we test GR at large scales (around galaxies and galaxy clusters) we have to introduce some putative particles which we call dark matter to fit the observations. And when we test it at still larger scales (the Universe), we see an excess of acceleration which we explain through "Dark Energy" (which is a catch-all name to cover several types of physical explanations).

 

My personal (and rather contrarian) guess is that in the next 10 or 20 years we are going to see General Relativity substituted by a new physical theory which explains what we call now DM and DE. But to get there, we need to obtain very high quality data, we need to describe accurately how the expansion of the Universe changed with time (which is what I am currently trying to do) so that we are able to differentiate between various Dark Energy hypothesis. Or perhaps I am wrong, because the current market consensus is that the current paradigm is right, most of the problems in Cosmology are already solved, and it is just a question of adding more decimal places to the measurements...

 

Great! Really fascinating stuff!!

I am deeply humbled by my ignorance… You do a wonderful job and I am positive there is a lot more to be known and discovered out there! :)

 

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.

--Albert Einstein

 

giofranchi

 

“As time goes on I get more and more convinced that the right method in investment is to put fairly large sums into enterprises which one thinks one knows something about and in the management of which one thoroughly believes. It is a mistake to think that one limits one’s risk by spreading too much between enterprises about which one knows little and has no reason for special confidence. One’s knowledge and experience is definitely limited and there are seldom more than two or three enterprises at any given time which I personally feel myself entitled to put full confidence.” - John Maynard Keynes

 

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What I'm seeing in this thread is admirable. Individuals are pursuing wisdom, discussing it intelligently, and appreciating the learning process. And of course, if this were done more often we'd be living in a very advanced civilization.

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Guest longinvestor

Interesting thread. I plan on reading the book.

 

Some food for thought on this subject(at least related to it). Fritjof Capra, eminent particle physicist wrote the classic, "The Tao of Physics" in 1975, on the science of the "small". One of the fundamental themes Capra argues in this book is how we, the human observer, is integrated into the rest of the Universe; when we make all those quarky observations while studying small particles, are we or are we not influencing the happenings? We have a very difficult time breaking ourselves free from the notion that we are somehow independent "observers", (not part of what's going on). The "something" versus "nothing" source of the Universe is again from the human perspective, no? As humans, we have arrogated to ourselves the vantage(reference) point around which everything was created and existed! Is it all for the pleasure of our understanding ???

 

I also highly recommend Capra's later works on the "new" ecology, where humans are not at the center of it all. Capra to me is a great author since he has me thinking forever since reading his books! There is likely a different answer for each of us and one we can think about for a lifetime.

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