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Einstein's dream : the search for a unified theory of the universe

Author: Barry R Parker
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Perseus Pub., ©1986.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Thirty years ago Albert Einstein died, his dream of a theory that would unify the universe unfulfilled. He spent the last decades of his life searching for such a theory-a theory that would explain everything from elementary particles and their interac tions to the overall structure of the universe. But he failed, not because he didn't try hard enough, but because the attempt was ahead of its time. When Einstein  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Parker, Barry R.
Einstein's dream.
Cambridge, Mass. : Perseus Pub., ©1986
(OCoLC)49714097
Named Person: Albert Einstein; Albert Einstein
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Barry R Parker
ISBN: 9781429494274 1429494271 9781489927644 1489927646
OCLC Number: 173146799
Description: 1 online resource (ix, 287 pages) : illustrations
Contents: 1: The goal --
The search for meaning --
Einstein's dream --
2: Warped space-time --
Curved space --
Einstein and warped space-time --
Extreme warping --
3: Early unified field theories --
Farada, Maxwell, and the electromagnetic field --
Early attempts at unification --
Einstein's unified field theory --
4: Star death --
Eddington --
The life cycle of a star --
Chandrasekhar and the white dwarfs --
Beyond the white dwarf --
Reflection --
5: The ultimate abyss: the black hole --
Oppenheimer and continuing collapse --
Collapse of a star to a black hole --
Inside a black hole --
Other types of black holes --
Searching for black holes --
Other black hole candidates --
A realistic look at the exotic possibilities --
Where the theory breaks down --
The discovery of evaporating black holes --
The link between general relativity and quantum mechanics --
6: The early universe --
Discovery of the expanding universe --
Back to the big bang --
The ultimate singularity --
Inflation --
The Hadron Era --
The Lepton Era --
The Radiation Era --
The cosmic background radiation --
The Galaxy Era --
Reflection --
7: Cosmological controversy --
The age of the universe --
The redshift controversy --
Rival cosmologies --
Varying G cosmologies and cosmic numbers --
Antimatter and other cosmologies --
Other universes --
8: The final fate of the universe --
The missing mass --
Other methods of determining if the universe is open or closed --
Fate of the closed universe --
Bounce --
Fate of the open universe --
9: The world of particles and fields --
Dirac's equation --
The infinities --
Renormalization --
Yukawa --
Gauge theory --
The weak interactions --
Quantum chromodynamics --
10: Unified theory of the universe --
Supergravity and superstrings --
Twistors and heaven (H space) --
11: Epilogue --
The future --
The new Einstein.
Other Titles: Search for a unified theory of the universe
Responsibility: Barry Parker.

Abstract:

Thirty years ago Albert Einstein died, his dream of a theory that would unify the universe unfulfilled. He spent the last decades of his life searching for such a theory-a theory that would explain everything from elementary particles and their interac tions to the overall structure of the universe. But he failed, not because he didn't try hard enough, but because the attempt was ahead of its time. When Einstein worked on the problem liter ally nothing was known about black holes, white holes, sin gularities, the Big Bang explosion and the early universe, quarks, gauge invariance, and weak and strong nuclear forces. Today we know that all these things are important in relation to a unified theory, and that they must be incorporated in and explained by such a theory. Thus, in a sense, our problem is much more complex today than it was in Einstein's day. But scientists have persevered and as a result we are now tan talizingly close to achieving this long-sought goal. Important breakthroughs have been made. In this book we will look at these breakthroughs and at recent unified theories-theories that go by the names supergravity, superstrings, GUTs, and twistor theory. In order to understand the problem, however, we must begin at the beginning.

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