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Deciphering the Cosmic Number: The Strange Friendship of Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung
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Deciphering the Cosmic Number: The Strange Friendship of Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung [Format Kindle]

Arthur I. Miller
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

“The history is fascinating, as are the insights into the personalities of these great thinkers.”—New Scientist

Is there a number at the root of the universe? A primal number that everything in the world hinges on? This question exercised many great minds of the twentieth century, among them the groundbreaking physicist Wolfgang Pauli and the famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Their obsession with the power of certain numbers—including 137, which describes the atom’s fine-structure constant and has great Kabbalistic significance—led them to develop an unlikely friendship and to embark on a joint mystical quest reaching deep into medieval alchemy, dream interpretation, and the Chinese Book of Changes. 137 explores the profound intersection of modern science with the occult, but above all it is the tale of an extraordinary, fruitful friendship between two of the greatest thinkers of our times. Originally published in hardcover as Deciphering the Cosmic Number.

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  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2605 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 336 pages
  • Editeur : W. W. Norton & Company (17 mai 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B001UUJ60Y
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
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  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Une magnifique histoire entre deux hommes que tout séparait à priori.
Un début de compréhension de l'incroyable unité que représentent le cosmos, la nature, l'esprit et les mathématiques.
Tout cela raconté dans le contexte de l'époque.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.1 étoiles sur 5  18 commentaires
25 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A fascinating read - and enlightening too 7 juin 2009
Par Traveller and reader - Publié sur
I bought this book because I was intrigued by the title. As a non-scientist I love books which elucidate science for the ordinary reader - the lay person - and which inspire me to see the world in a different way and this is certainly one of those. It's a fascinating read about two seminal and intriguing personalities - Wolfgang Pauli, a major figure in the development of quantum physics, and Jung, one of the founders of psychoanalysis. Pauli was a very atypical scientist. While other scientists were very competitive and obsessed with their work, he was a more rounded personality. He spent time in the bar districts of Hamburg, had relationships with cabaret singers and eventually went too far and ended up on Jung's couch. This marked the beginning of a very fruitful relationship for both Jung and Pauli. As well as science and psychoanlysis, the book ranges across alchemy, the I Ching, mandalas and other areas which were of interest to Jung and also became of interest to Pauli, who realised that science alone was not enough to give a full description of the universe. Miller tells this fascinating story lucidly and brilliantly.
38 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Archetypal Quest 30 mai 2009
Par Michael Sherbon - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Arthur I. Miller addresses the foundational problem of the fine-structure constant (the "Cosmic Number") and the historical, biographical background entailed in the search for a solution to this mostly unsolved problem. The main title is only symbolic of the goal toward which Pauli and Jung were searching: the Philosopher's Stone, or Quintessence of alchemy, the attainment of an enlightened and individuated psyche. The "Cosmic Number" is symbolic of a vital archetypal process in nature, and the physical meaning as giving the strength of the electromagnetic interaction is only part of the problem that concerned Pauli in particular. What Pauli called his "background physics" was a catalyst for linking sense perceptions with creative concepts, and 137 was the "archetypal number" for this. So not only is the fine-structure constant a dimensionless number of fundamental importance in physics, it is of key symbolic significance to Jung's depth psychology and the history of alchemy.

In his study of the archetypal ideas of Johannes Kepler and Robert Fludd from the 17th century, Pauli traced the line of their research back to Pythagoras. While Plato is only briefly mentioned in this book, significant and remarkable parallels are to be found between the geometry of Plato's ideal City of Magnesia and Wolfgang Pauli's dream, "the great vision - of the World Clock". According to John Michell the ideal City of Magnesia is a form of the Cosmological Circle from ancient geometry. "By Plato's time, the very idea of a canon of music had been forgotten everywhere except in the academies of Egypt, but he himself had evidently studied and learned it, for the number code behind it is at the root of all his mathematical allegories and provided the scientific basis of his philosophy." (Dimensions of Paradise, p.9) and "The universe, human nature, and the mind of the Creator were made commensurable by number, which Plato called the 'bond' holding all things together." (p.230).

The fine-structure constant was introduced into physics by Arnold Sommerfeld, Pauli's professor and mentor, and being captivated by the mystery of spectral lines of the atom he said, "What we are nowadays hearing of the language of the spectra is a true music of the spheres within the atom, chords of integral relationships, an order and harmony that becomes even more perfect in spite of manifold variety."(p.64). Pauli's contributions to modern physics include the Pauli exclusion principle for electrons in the atomic orbit, the theoretical prediction of the neutrino particle, the fourth quantum number related to spin, CPT symmetry related to "mirror reflections," the legendary "Pauli effect," and his exit from the world stage from room number 137. Pauli also helped Jung to develop his theory of synchronicity, or acausal connecting principle related to meaningful events. Miller quotes Max Born on p.253: "If alpha (the fine structure constant) were bigger than it really is, we should not be able to distinguish matter from ether (the vacuum, nothingness), and our task to disentangle the natural laws would be hopelessly difficult. The fact however that alpha has just its value 1/137 is certainly no chance but itself a law of nature. It is clear that the explanation of this number must be the central problem of natural philosophy." Pauli concluded that "most modern physics lends itself to the symbolic representation of psychic processes." (p.162). Readers of Carl Jung may find this book more interesting than Pauli fans, as it is more biographical and "Jungian" in content.
21 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating Friendship 5 février 2010
Par Thomas B. Kirsch - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
The relationship between Wolfgang Pauli, the Nobel Prize winning scientist and influential person in the discovery of Quantum Physics, and C.G. Jung, famed psychologist, and founder of analytical psychology, has fascinated many people. The correspondence between the two men has been published, and there are now at least three books which deal with their relationship. The author has written several books on famed scientists, and he knows that field well. However, his knowledge and sensitivity to the work of Jung is not so deep. As I am a Jungian analyst I see that he really does not "get" Jung. So I found the part about Pauli more interesting, and I tended to skip the part on Jung, because I knew that history from my own study. Nevertheless, the book is well written, well researched, and I think it adds to the lore about these two men's relationship. The fact that these two men came from such different backgrounds and fields and yet forged a close relationship makes for a fascinating story.
13 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Physics & Metaphysics 3 novembre 2010
Par Arie Pieter Vander Stroom - Publié sur
This book is about the number One Hundred Thirty-Seven, which is the value of the the fine-structure constant (alpha). This constant is the way physicists describe the probability that an electron will emit or absorb a photon. Alpha is the square of the charge of the electron divided by the speed of light times Planck's constant. Thus 137 in itself combines the true fundamentals of electromagnetism (the electron charge), relativity (the speed of light), and quantum mechanics (Planck's constant). And most intriguingly, Alpha is a strictly dimensionless number. Clearly the observation of alpha being constant (137) and dimensionless seems to support the Anthropic Cosmological Principle. The anthropic principle is the collective name for several ways of asserting that the observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the life observed in it. Throughout the Thirties and Forties, the greatest scientists of the day tried and failed to figure out the magic number 137. The great Werner Heisenberg told his friends that the problems of quantum theory would disappear only when 137 was explained. One of Heisenberg's friends, theorist Wolfgang Pauli, wasted endless research time trying to multiply pi by other numbers to get 137; Edward Teller, now a prominent advocate of star wars, derived alpha from gravitation. In mathematics one hundred thirty-seven is the 33rd prime number; the next is 139, with which it comprises a twin prime, and thus 137 is a Chen prime. 137 is an Eisenstein prime with no imaginary part and a real part of the form 3n -1. It is also the fourth Stern prime. 137 is a strong prime in the sense that it is more than the arithmetic mean of its two. 137 is a strictly non-palindromic number and a primeval number. Clearly 137 seems to be a very special number. This book describes the famous physicist Wolfgang Pauli's struggle with this number and how he had to seek help from the world renowned psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Together they delved into what Jung called "the no-man's land between "Physics and the Psychology of the Unconscious'. In the end Pauli died in hospital room 137
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Pysche meets Physics 4 novembre 2010
Par David Loeff author of - Publié sur
Although Jung briefly refers to synchronicity in his forward to Wilhelm's translation of the "I Ching," it wasn't elaborated as a theory until he and Pauli jointly published, "The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche." That the two men became friends and collaborated together can almost be seen as a synchronistic event in itself. I am tempted to call Jung a mystic who dabbled in science and Pauli a scientist who dabbled in mysticism. That would be over-generalizing, but not by much. Jung's theories have never been accepted within some mainstream schools of thought. Yet, Pauli not only accepted them, but was put in touch with his emotional side through their therapeutic implementation.

Miller's book explains how the two men influenced each other, yet the cosmic number in its title has more to do with Pauli than with Jung. The number 137 is more important in physics than in Jungian theory, though it is involved in some interesting synchronicities. For example, the values of the Hebrew letters for Kabbalah total 137. Pauli's quest to uncover the meaning of the cosmic number is similar in nature to Jung's quest to understand the self and the process of individuation.
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The fine structure constant was one of the primal numbers that bound all existence together. &quote;
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How can one look happy when he is thinking about the anomalous Zeeman effect? &quote;
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even the most modern physics lends itself to the symbolic representation of psychic processes, he wrote to Jung, adding that there are deeper spiritual layers that cannot be adequately defined by the conventional concept of time. &quote;
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