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Parallel Worlds: The Science of Alternative Universes and Our Future in the Cosmos [Anglais] [Broché]

Michio Kaku
4.6 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (5 commentaires client)
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Description de l'ouvrage

26 janvier 2006
From the bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible, Michio Kaku's Parallel Worlds takes us to the frontiers of scientific knowledge to explain the extraordinary nature - and future - of our universe. Imagine a future where we are not alone - where our universe is just one of countless parallel worlds, some strangely familiar, some almost unimaginable. And that, when planet earth finally runs down to a cold, dark wasteland, we will be able to escape into these new worlds and start again. Michio Kaku's thrilling guide to the galaxy shows us how it could happen sooner than we think - and the future for intelligent life is one of endless possibilities. 'This book is absolutely impossible to put down ... if and when we do find out what the universe is, and how it was created, it's going to be absolutely mind-blowing'
  Independent on Sunday 'One of the gurus of modern physics'
  Financial Times 'An exhilarating read ... nobody who reads this book can be anything less than amazed by the possibilities it presents'
  Scotland on Sunday 'The journey he takes the reader on is so picturesque and the conclusions so startling that you are gripped'
  Sunday Telegraph Michio Kaku is a leading theoretical physicist and one of the founders of string theory, widely regarded as the strongest candidate for the 'theory of everything'. He is also one of the most gifted popularizers of science of his generation. His books published by Penguin include Parallel Worlds, The Physics of the Future and The Physics of the Impossible. He holds the Henry Semat Professorship in Theoretical Physics at the City University of New York, where he has taught for over twenty-five years.

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

CHAPTER ONE


Baby Pictures of the Universe


The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.

—G. K. Chesterson


When I was a child, I had a personal conflict over my beliefs. My parents were raised in the Buddhist tradition. But I attended Sunday school every week, where I loved hearing the biblical stories about whales, arks, pillars of salt, ribs, and apples. I was fascinated by these Old Testament parables, which were my favorite part of Sunday school. It seemed to me that the parables about great floods, burning bushes, and parting waters were so much more exciting than Buddhist chanting and meditation. In fact, these ancient tales of heroism and tragedy vividly illustrated deep moral and ethical lessons which have stayed with me all my life.

One day in Sunday school we studied Genesis. To read about God thundering from the heavens, "Let there be Light!" sounded so much more dramatic than silently meditating about Nirvana. Out of naive curiosity, I asked my Sunday school teacher, "Did God have a mother?" She usually had a snappy answer, as well as a deep moral lesson to offer. This time, however, she was taken aback. No, she replied hesitantly, God probably did not have a mother. "But then where did God come from?" I asked. She mumbled that she would have to consult with the minister about that question.

I didn't realize that I had accidentally stumbled on one of the great questions of theology. I was puzzled, because in Buddhism, there is no God at all, but a timeless universe with no beginning or end. Later, when I began to study the great mythologies of the world, I learned that there were two types of cosmologies in religion, the first based on a single moment when God created the universe, the second based on the idea that the universe always was and always will be.

They couldn't both be right, I thought.

Later, I began to find that these common themes cut across many other cultures. In Chinese mythology, for example, in the beginning there was the cosmic egg. The infant god P'an Ku resided for almost an eternity inside the egg, which floated on a formless sea of Chaos. When it finally hatched, P'an Ku grew enormously, over ten feet per day, so the top half of the eggshell became the sky and the bottom half the earth. After 18,000 years, he died to give birth to our world: his blood became the rivers, his eyes the sun and moon, and his voice the thunder.

In many ways, the P'an Ku myth mirrors a theme found in many other religions and ancient mythologies, that the universe sprang into existence creatio ex nihilo (created from nothing). In Greek mythology, the universe started off in a state of Chaos (in fact, the word "chaos" comes from the Greek word meaning "abyss"). This featureless void is often described as an ocean, as in Babylonian and Japanese mythology. This theme is found in ancient Egyptian mythology, where the sun god Ra emerged from a floating egg. In Polynesian mythology, the cosmic egg is replaced by a coconut shell. The Mayans believed in a variation of this story, in which the universe is born but eventually dies after five thousand years, only to be resurrected again and again to repeat the unending cycle of birth and destruction.

These creatio ex nihilo myths stand in marked contrast to the cosmology according to Buddhism and certain forms of Hinduism. In these mythologies, the universe is timeless, with no beginning or end. There are many levels of existence, but the highest is Nirvana, which is eternal and can be attained only by the purest meditation. In the Hindu Mahapurana, it is written, "If God created the world, where was He before Creation? . . . Know that the world is uncreated, as time itself is, without beginning and end."

These mythologies stand in marked contradiction to each other, with no apparent resolution between them. They are mutually exclusive: either the universe had a beginning or it didn't. There is, apparently, no middle ground.

Today, however, a resolution seems to be emerging from an entirely new direction—the world of science—as the result of a new generation of powerful scientific instruments soaring through outer space. Ancient mythology relied upon the wisdom of storytellers to expound on the origins of our world. Today, scientists are unleashing a battery of space satellites, lasers, gravity wave detectors, interferometers, high-speed supercomputers, and the Internet, in the process revolutionizing our understanding of the universe, and giving us the most compelling description yet of its creation.

What is gradually emerging from the data is a grand synthesis of these two opposing mythologies. Perhaps, scientists speculate, Genesis occurs repeatedly in a timeless ocean of Nirvana. In this new picture, our universe may be compared to a bubble floating in a much larger "ocean," with new bubbles forming all the time. According to this theory, universes, like bubbles forming in boiling water, are in continual creation, floating in a much larger arena, the Nirvana of eleven-dimensional hyperspace. A growing number of physicists suggest that our universe did indeed spring forth from a fiery cataclysm, the big bang, but that it also coexists in an eternal ocean of other universes. If we are right, big bangs are taking place even as you read this sentence.

Physicists and astronomers around the world are now speculating about what these parallel worlds may look like, what laws they may obey, how they are born, and how they may eventually die. Perhaps these parallel worlds are barren, without the basic ingredients of life. Or perhaps they look just like our universe, separated by a single quantum event that made these universes diverge from ours. And a few physicists are speculating that perhaps one day, if life becomes untenable in our present universe as it ages and grows cold, we may be forced to leave it and escape to another universe.

The engine driving these new theories is the massive flood of data that is pouring from our space satellites as they photograph remnants of creation itself. Remarkably, scientists are now zeroing in on what happened a mere 380,000 years after the big bang, when the "afterglow" of creation first filled the universe. Perhaps the most compelling picture of this radiation from creation is coming from a new instrument called the WMAP satellite.


THE WMAP SATELLITE


"Incredible!" "A milestone!" were among the words uttered in February 2003 by normally reserved astrophysicists as they described the precious data harvested from their latest satellite. The WMAP (Wilkinson microwave anisotropy probe), named after pioneering cosmologist David Wilkinson and launched in 2001, has given scientists, with unprecedented precision, a detailed picture of the early universe when it was a mere 380,000 years old. The colossal energy left over from the original fireball that gave birth to stars and galaxies has been circulating around our universe for billions of years. Today, it has finally been captured on film in exquisite detail by the WMAP satellite, yielding a map never seen before, a photo of the sky showing with breathtaking detail the microwave radiation created by the big bang itself, what has been called the "echo of creation" by Time magazine. Never again will astronomers look at the sky in the same way again.

The findings of the WMAP satellite represent "a rite of passage for cosmology from speculation to precision science," declared John Bahcall of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. For the first time, this deluge of data from this early period in the history of the universe has allowed cosmologists to answer precisely the most ancient of all questions, questions that have puzzled and intrigued humanity since we first gazed at the blazing celestial beauty of the night sky. How old is the universe? What is it made of? What is the fate of the universe?

(In 1992, a previous satellite, the COBE [Cosmic Background Explorer satellite] gave us the first blurry pictures of this background radiation filling the sky. Although this result was revolutionary, it was also disappointing because it gave such an out-of-focus picture of the early universe. This did not prevent the press from excitedly dubbing this photograph "the face of God." But a more accurate description of the blurry pictures from COBE would be that they represented a "baby picture" of the infant universe. If the universe today is an eighty-year-old man, the COBE, and later the WMAP, pictures showed him as a newborn, less than a day old.)

The reason the WMAP satellite can give us unprecedented pictures of the infant universe is that the night sky is like a time machine. Because light travels at a finite speed, the stars we see at night are seen as they once were, not as they are today. It takes a little over a second for light from the Moon to reach Earth, so when we gaze at the Moon we actually see it as it was a second earlier. It takes about eight minutes for light to travel from the Sun to Earth. Likewise, many of the familiar stars we see in the heavens are so distant that it takes from 10 to 100 years for their light to reach our eyes. (In other words, they lie 10 to 100 light-years from Earth. A light-year is roughly 6 trillion miles, or the distance light travels in a year.) Light from the distant galaxies may be hundreds of millions to billions of light-years away. As a result, they represent "fossil" light, some emitted even before the rise of the dinosaurs. Some of the farthest objects we can see with our telescopes are called quasars, huge galactic engines generating unbelievable amounts of power near the edge of the visible universe, which can lie up to 12 to 13 billion light-years from Earth. And now, the WMAP satellite has detected r... --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Revue de presse

“In Parallel Worlds, Michio Kaku brings his formidable explanatory talents to bear on one of the strangest and most exciting possibilities to have emerged from modern physics: that our universe may be but one among many, perhaps infinitely many, arrayed in a vast cosmic network. With deft use of analogy and humor, Kaku patiently introduces the reader to variations on this theme of parallel universes, coming from quantum mechanics, cosmology, and most recently, M-theory. Read this book for a wonderful tour, with an expert guide, of a cosmos whose comprehension forces us to stretch to the very limits of imagination.” —Brian Greene, Professor of Theoretical Particle Physics, Columbia University, and author of The Fabric of the Cosmos and The Elegant Universe “Kaku employs an amiable style that does much to make the story accessible even for those of us who have trouble telling the difference between superstring theory and Silly String aerosol. . . . Fascinating and sometimes downright boggling.” –Sci Fi Magazine “Kaku covers a tremendous amount of material . . . in a clear and lively way.” –Los Angeles Times Book Review“One hundred years ago, Albert Einstein revolutionized the science of cosmology. In Parallel Worlds, Michio Kaku, another genius, updates us on the this science and speculates about the future of the universe.” –San Antonio Express-News“Those who might enjoy a tour of cosmology, time travel, string theory, and the universe in 10 or 11 dimensions will find no better guide than Michio Kaku, a rare individual who has undertaken research in these subject areas yet also knows well how to present this intriguing, complex material in an engaging and easily assimilable style.” —Donald Goldsmith, author of The Runaway Universe and Connecting with the Cosmos “A highly readable and exhilarating romp through the frontiers of cosmology.” —Martin Rees, author of Our Cosmic Habitat and Our Final Century “A roller-coaster ride through the universe—and beyond—by one of the world’s finest science writers. Michio Kaku shows that the surface familiarity of the physical world conceals a wonderland of weird entities—dark matter and energy, hidden dimensions of space, and tiny loops of vibrating string that hold the cosmos together. In the universe according to Kaku, reality is as mind-bending as the most exhilarating science fiction.” —Paul Davies, Australian Centre for Astrobiology, Macquarie University, Sydney, and author of How to Build a Time Machine“Michio Kaku has done it again. In Parallel Worlds, he deftly transforms the frontier of physics into a kind of amusement park, where you actually have fun while reading about Einstein's relativity, quantum mechanics, cosmology, and string theory. But the real story here is how Kaku invokes these powerful tools to speculate about multiple universes and their philosophical implications for our perceptions of God and the meaning of life.” —Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium, New York City, and author of Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 448 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin (26 janvier 2006)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0141014636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141014630
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,1 x 19,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.6 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (5 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 81.768 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
  • Table des matières complète
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Première phrase
WHEN I WAS A CHILD, I had a personal conflict over my beliefs. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Passionnant 11 janvier 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Ecrit par l’un des fondateurs de la théorie des cordes, ce livre, qui se lit comme un roman, retrace les tentatives successives, depuis l’antiquité à nos jours, de déchiffrer l’énigme de l’univers. Le point de départ se situe dans le premier quart du siècle, quand la science s’était embourbée dans la physique einsteinienne, incapable d’unifier les quatre champs fondamentaux et de concilier la théorie de la relativité générale avec les phénomènes observés dans le domaine subatomique de la physique quantique. L’échappée a consisté, à partir des années 60, avec Wheeler, Hoyle, Guth, de Witter, Everett et bien d’autres génies scientifiques, à s’orienter vers une démarche holistique, passant successivement de la théorie de l’univers inflationniste, des cordes, des branes, des univers parallèles, holographiques, pour déboucher à la M théorie, la théorie de Toutes Choses. Cette avancée a été possible en partie grâce aux données recueillies par les satellites de pointes envoyés dans les frontières de l’espace. L’existence de ces mondes parallèles ne peut pas être reconstituée par des expérimentations en laboratoires, elle ne peut être prouvée que par des déductions basées sur des calculs mathématiques. Cependant, selon les termes d’une sommité scientifique, « tout ce qui n’est pas réfutable est possible ». Et si ce qui est possible permet finalement de lever toutes contradiction et de tout expliquer, c’est peut être la bonne solution. Lire la suite ›
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 La physique compréhensible 2 juillet 2013
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Vraiment très intéressant ; l'auteur explique les nouvelles théories de physique de manière très simple. Il faut juste comprendre l'anglais.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 parfait 16 mai 2013
Par hey
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Excellent ouvrage, comme tous les livres de Michio Kaku. Vulgarisation scientifique au sens noble du terme. Tout ce que vous vous demandez sur les mondes parallèles dans une approche plaisante
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Pour se projeter ou pour rêver 24 février 2013
Par Mister T
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Un livre de science et de futurologie vraiment excellent !
Il est même parfois assez déstabilisant tant il repousse les limites de la réalité.

Dommage qu'il n'existe pas en français.
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7 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 excellent book!!!! 1 février 2005
Format:Relié
Just like all of kaku's books.
A little bit difficult to read even if you have a scientific background, but who said that the mysteries of our existence and nature itself were easy to explain??
highly recommended
Juste comme tous les livres des kaku. Un peu difficile à lire même si vous avez un fond scientifique, mais qui a indiqué qu'il était facile expliquer les mystères de notre existence et nature elle-même ? ? fortement recommandé
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