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What is everything really made of? If we split matter down into smaller and infinitesimally smaller pieces, where do we arrive? At the Particle Zoo - the extraordinary subatomic world of antimatter, ghostly neutrinos, strange-flavoured quarks and time-travelling electrons, gravitons and glueballs, mindboggling eleven-dimensional strings and the elusive Higgs boson itself. Be guided around this strangest of zoos by Gavin Hesketh, experimental particle physicist at humanity's greatest experiment, the Large Hadron Collider. Concisely and with a rare clarity, he demystifies how we are uncovering the inner workings of the universe and heading towards the next scientific revolution. Why are atoms so small? How did the Higgs boson save the universe? And is there a Theory of Everything? The Particle Zoo answers these and many other profound questions, and explains the big ideas of Quantum Physics, String Theory, The Big Bang and Dark Matter... and, ultimately, what we know about the true, fundamental nature of reality.
Physics in 50 Milestone Moments is a lively, accessible, and thought-provoking introduction to physics, its history, and its practitioners. Uniquely, it is structured around a timeline of landmark events that vividly brings to life the evolution of this most fundamental science; from the Stone Age, through the classical era and the Renaissance, to the present day. As well as offering a comprehensive guide to physics, this book helps make the big ideas intelligible to us by placing them in their real-world contexts.
The current ecological crisis is a matter of urgent global concern, with solutions being sought on many fronts. In this book, Seyyed Hossein Nasr argues that the devastation of our world has been exacerbated, if not actually caused, by the reductionist view of nature that has been advanced by modern secular science. What is needed, he believes, is the recovery of the truth to which the great, enduring religions all attest; namely that nature is sacred. Nasr traces the historical process through which Western civilization moved away from the idea of nature as sacred and embraced a world view which sees humans as alienated from nature and nature itself as a machine to be dominated and manipulated by humans. His goal is to negate the totalitarian claims of modern science and to re-open the way to the religious view of the order of nature, developed over centuries in the cosmologies and sacred sciences of the great traditions. Each tradition, Nasr shows, has a wealth of knowledge and experience concerning the order of nature. The resuscitation of this knowledge, he argues, would allow religions all over the globe to enrich each other and cooperate to heal the wounds inflicted upon the Earth.
This volume's title stems from an observable and seemingly amusing phenomenon--the placement of fish symbols on the rear of automobiles. There are two kinds: one a fish outline with a cross, exhibited by Christians; the other a fish outline filled with the word "evolution," with little legs attached underneath. These symbols manifest the cultural war between religion and science, a clash that draws from nineteenth-century conflicts over evolution roots in the Enlightenment. Today's cultural environment is a result of the internationalization of communication, labor, money, and commerce. This global culture emphasizes tolerance and acceptance of all peoples and traditions, but it also demands a moral and intellectual relativism that rejects "master narratives," including religious tradition as well as scientific theory. In some respects, the postmodern environment is caused by science itself, by the development of postmodern science, its nineteenth-century adversarial stance toward religion now somewhat softened. Among new developments are the historical understanding of science, renewed appreciation of the troubled careers of scientists, and "God" talk among physicists and psychologists. Both science and religion are being overwhelmed by new levels of technology, which is becoming the premier element of contemporary culture. The conflict between science and religion is being resolved in the form of a dynamic. Religion and science are both ways of giving moral and intellectual order to the universe, enabling mankind to cope with a chaotic universe and live well. Both religious critics and scientific researchers have attacked and analyzed pornography, which has become a prominent characteristic of our culture. Both share contemporary sensitivity to individual opinions and protection of the individual from social control. Both science and religion share a sense that postmodern culture lacks structure. Caiazza shows how renewed attention to religious and scientific insights can resolve longstanding conflicts, providing postmodern society with a vision of tolerable order.
Developing Representations of Concepts, Conceptual Structure and Conceptual Change to Inform Teaching and Research
Author: Keith S. Taber
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
This book sets out the necessary processes and challenges involved in modeling student thinking, understanding and learning. The chapters look at the centrality of models for knowledge claims in science education and explore the modeling of mental processes, knowledge, cognitive development and conceptual learning. The conclusion outlines significant implications for science teachers and those researching in this field. This highly useful work provides models of scientific thinking from different field and analyses the processes by which we can arrive at claims about the minds of others. The author highlights the logical impossibility of ever knowing for sure what someone else knows, understands or thinks, and makes the case that researchers in science education need to be much more explicit about the extent to which research onto learners’ ideas in science is necessarily a process of developing models. Through this book we learn that research reports should acknowledge the role of modeling and avoid making claims that are much less tentative than is justified as this can lead to misleading and sometimes contrary findings in the literature. In everyday life we commonly take it for granted that finding out what another knows or thinks is a relatively trivial or straightforward process. We come to take the ‘mental register’ (the way we talk about the ‘contents’ of minds) for granted and so teachers and researchers may readily underestimate the challenges involved in their work.
One thing this book is not is a tightly-reasoned argument that leads the reader inevitably to the books main thesis. It is rather, like its cover, a collage. It is a hundredmore or less observations into what is deep and meaningful in life, the reality around us, that gives the impression that reality is in fact a paradox, a friendly paradox. The book looks at theology, baseball, mathematics and the Bible. And it talks a lot about particle physics and quantum mechanics. Youll notice that it fails to mention rock stars and reality TV.
The book considers issues as diverse as: the lure of alternative religions and belief systems; the use of the rhetoric of economics to justify amoral decision making; Green politics and genetically-modified crops; New technology's power to preserve the status quo, and; the true impetus behind the Human Genome Project. Presenting an explanation of recent findings in science and their relationship with society and politics, the book seeks to give guidance towards responsible political action. Starting from themes developed in the companion volume The Search for Mind, the author attempts to provide intellectual roots for the 'anti-capitalist' or 'anti-globalization' movement and, in particular, treats social protest as a form of knowledge-seeking. The author brings to very topical and controversial concerns some much-needed clarity. Complete with reader-friendly summaries of current thought in the biological, physical, and social sciences, this book is designed primarily for the popular market but will also appeal to those working or studying in these fields.