The One True Platonic Heaven: A Scientific Fiction of the by John Casti PDF


By John Casti

ISBN-10: 0309085470

ISBN-13: 9780309085472

By way of the writer of The Cambridge Quintet, John L. Casti's new ebook maintains the culture of mixing technology truth with simply the correct dose of fiction. half novel, half technological know-how -- fully informative and interesting. within the fall of 1933 the newly based Institute for complicated learn in Princeton, New Jersey, welcomed its first school member, Albert Einstein. With this famous person at the roster, the Institute was once in a position to allure many extra of the best students, scientists, and poets from worldwide. It used to be to be an highbrow haven, a spot the place the main superb minds on the earth, sheltered from the surface world's cares and calamities, may perhaps examine and collaborate and dedicate their time to the natural and particular pursuit of data. for plenty of of them, it was once the "one, real, platonic heaven." through the years, key figures on the Institute started to query the bounds to what technology may perhaps let us know concerning the international, considering the common secrets and techniques it will possibly free up. might technology be the last word resource of fact; or are there intrinsic limits, outfitted into the very cloth of the universe, to what we will study? within the overdue 1940's and early 1950's, this crucial query used to be being requested and contemplated upon via a number of the Institute's inner most thinkers. input the dramatis personae to light up the technological know-how and the philosophy of the time. Mathematical philosopher Kurt Godel used to be the unacknowledged provide Exalted Ruler of this platonic property -- yet he was once a ruler with out a scepter as he awaited the inexplicably indefinite postponement of his merchandising to complete, tenured professor. additionally in place of dwelling used to be his colleague, the Hungarian-American polymath, John van Neumann, developer of online game concept, the axiomatic foundations of quantum mechanics, and the electronic laptop -- stymied via the Institute's refusal to sanction his daring thought to really construct a working laptop or computer. considered one of Godel's closest pals figures huge during this tale: Albert Einstein, by means of universal consensus the best physicist the twentieth century had ever identified. And, after all, the director the Institute, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the daddy of the atomic bomb, needs to by way of necessity be key to any tale that focuses in in this time and position. writer Casti elegantly units the degree after which masterfully directs this remarkable solid of characters--with capable assists via many "minor-character" icons like T. S. Eliot, Wolfgang Pauli, Freeman Dyson, and David Bohm, to inform a narrative of technological know-how, historical past, and concepts. As we watch occasions spread (some of that are documented truth whereas others are creatively imagined fiction), we're witness to the discussions and deliberations of this august group...privy to wide-ranging conversations on pondering machines, quantum common sense, biology as physics, climate forecasting, the constitution of monetary platforms, the excellence among arithmetic and common technology, the constitution of the universe, and the powers of the human brain -- all situated round the query of the bounds to medical wisdom. Imaginatively conceived and artfully performed, the single actual Platonic Heaven is an obtainable and exciting presentation of a few of the inner most clinical and philosophical principles of the 20 th century.

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Additional resources for The One True Platonic Heaven: A Scientific Fiction of the Limits of Knowledge

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But what is strange to me is that in the case of truth, you conclude that the limitation lies within formalized mathematics. Yet in the situation of time, you do not say that the limitation is with relativity A Walk Down Mercer Street Copyright © 2003 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. edu) for research purposes are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Distribution, posting, or copying is strictly prohibited without written permission of the NAP. html theory, but that intuitive time itself is an illusion.

Weyl, with hair as gray as his bland, three-piece suit, gold-rimmed pedant’s glasses, and dark, tightly knotted tie spotted conservatively with white polka dots, reminded Eliot of a distant uncle or, perhaps, a type of banker Eliot had dealt with in his previous life as a banker himself, the type who can’t quite bring himself to ignore an overdraft. Pauli, outspoken and ebullient, was a short, stout, dark-haired, and often dark-tempered, antagonist. The long-term visitor from the Eidgen¨ossische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich was certainly the sharpest critic in the entire theoretical physics community.

The first challenges the idea that every mathematical proposition can be proved or disproved by logical deduction, while the second demolishes the notion of a “cosmic clock” beating out a sequence of time moments valid for all observers. Finally, Heisenberg’s result shows the logical, not just the practical, limits to the accuracy with which we can measure the physical properties of objects, properties such as their position 26 THE ONE TRUE PLATONIC HEAVEN Copyright © 2003 National Academy of Sciences.

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The One True Platonic Heaven: A Scientific Fiction of the Limits of Knowledge by John Casti

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