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181. The Great Beyond : Higher Dimensions,
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182. Introduction to Nanotechnology
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183. Geometric Algebra for Physicists
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184. The Theory of Everything: The
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185. Home Recording for Musicians for
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186. Mastering Audio: The Art and the
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187. Cosmos
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188. RTP: Audio and Video for the Internet
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189. Optics of Liquid Crystal Displays
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190. Hyperspace : A Scientific Odyssey
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191. J. Robert Oppenheimer : And the
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192. Fundamentals of Thermodynamics
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196. Geometry, Topology and Physics
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198. Fundamentals of Acoustics
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199. Introductory Raman Spectroscopy,
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200. The Tao of Physics

181. The Great Beyond : Higher Dimensions, Parallel Universes and the Extraordinary Search for a Theory of Everything
by PaulHalpern
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
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Asin: 047146595X
Catlog: Book (2004-06-25)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 3542
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Praise for The Great Beyond

"A marvelous book–very clear, very readable.A brilliant introduction to the math and physics of higher dimensions, from Flatland to superstrings.Its greatest strength is a wealth of fascinating historical narrative and anecdote.I enjoyed it enormously."
–Ian Stewart, author of Flatterland

"A remarkable journey from Plato’s cave to the farthest reaches of human thought and scientific knowledge.This mind-boggling book allows readers to dream strange visions of hyperspace, chase lightwaves, explore Klein’s quantum odyssey and Kaluza’s cocoon, leap through parallel universes, and grasp the very essence of conscience and cosmos.Buy this book and feed your head."
–Clifford Pickover, author of Surfing through Hyperspace

"Halpern looks with a bemused eye at the wildest ideas currently afoot in physics. He takes us into the personal world of those who relish and explore seemingly outlandish notions, and does it with a light, engaging style."
–Gregory Benford, author of Timescape ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Adds a new dimension to the subject
This book is more, much more, than the usual treatment of relativity, Kaluza-Klein theory, Yang-Mills and hyperspace that one finds in mass-market publications. It does not assume previous knowledge of these subjects, so the reader is introduced to them in a logical, understandable manner. But the physics itself is only part of what makes this book special.

What Paul Halpern does so well is create a thoughtful, flowing, compelling, easily-digested history of dreams -the dreams of real people with incredible scientific abilities, but also suffering the same human frailties and fateful circumstances as the rest of us. Brilliant theoreticians have had to create original, transcending scientific advancement under conditions that most people would find daunting, from the 1930s, when famous German universities with rich mathematical traditions were decimated overnight, to Islamist Iran which caused at least one future physicist to begin his escape to Canada on horseback.

Physicists have had to contend with all kinds of obstacles in the quest for a Theory of Everything (as Einstein termed it), not least of which were their own internal disagreements that were sometimes based on rather capricious criteria. Einstein, rather famously, was known for dismissing quantum theory on the grounds that God does not play dice, but in his later years he went beyond that, apparently trying to place himself in God's position to decide which direction to pursue. Pretty amazing stuff.

It's not all serious. There are some laughs here as well, such as Klein and Ehrenfest trading messages in Jocular Physics (reflecting the political times) and a supersymmetrical goof on the song "Macarena" (complete with lyrics).

Today, eleven dimensional M-theory is the standard. The book includes a splendid explanation of what this is and how it was derived. Care is taken to clarify difficult concepts, diagrams are offered, and research is neatly summarized. One is struck by how closely the author is plugged in to the current physics community and the breadth of his experience in multiple theoretical pursuits.

For me, the best aspect of the book is the original research that went into it. Dr. Halpern personally interviewed John Wheeler, Peter Bergmann, Stanley Deser, and others intimately connected (or related) to the icons of twentieth-century physics. He not only researched Einstein's letters and papers but tells us what they say about the character of the man and the meaning of his efforts. You are not only reading about the essential structure of the universe but also gaining valuable insight into human perspective and ambition. A great job by a great author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cruisin' Hyperspace in the Fast Lane
"The Great Beyond" is a wide-ranging study of man's exploration of higher dimensions through the ages.

Author Paul Halpern's style, developed in his earlier books (including Time Journeys, Cosmic Wormholes, and The Pursuit of Destiny), is to weave a tapestry of personalities, stunning scientific breakthroughs, and understandable explanations of concepts of higher physics. He complements this mix with some very original turns of phrase. For instance, in describing the ambivalent qualities of one theory, Halpern describes the theorist as "having made use of its tasty benefits without explicitly adding the weight of extra dimensions . . .until . . .he finally abandoned it like an overstuffed dinner." Such a commonplace metaphor really gave me a feel for the trial-and-error process of scientific conceptualization.

The chapters are divided into a series of easy-to-digest sections with intriguing titles like, "Tesseract Construction Kits," "Chasing a Lightwave," and "Life in Apartment 5-D." I suggest you read two or three a day to allow proper time for savoring these delicate morsels.

Halpern blends tales of physicists' personal lives with explanations of abstruse theories and concepts. His description of wave theory and the paradigm shift from Maxwell and Newton to Einstein was as exciting as the earthshaking consequences of this upheaval.

One of the hardest concepts to understand in human knowledge is Einstein's special theory of relativity. But Halpern makes it look easy with his brilliant metaphor of a Minute waltz concert where the pianist slows down his metronome, a lucid illustration of time dilation. Very clever analogies like these would make the book worth reading even without its other merits. No higher mathematics or quantum physics know-how is required; he's done all of the heavy lifting for you.

If you are an armchair scientist who enjoys reading George Gamow, Stephen Hawking, or Stephen Jay Gould, you'll love this book. ... Read more

182. Introduction to Nanotechnology
by Charles P.Poole, Frank J.Owens
list price: $84.95
our price: $84.95
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Asin: 0471079359
Catlog: Book (2003-05-23)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 372929
Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This self-confessed introduction provides technical administrators and managers with a broad, practical overview of the subject and gives researchers working in different areas an appreciation of developments in nanotechnology outside their own fields of expertise. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars Presents abridged versions of other reviews
This book merely presents abridged versions of other reviews on nanotechnology. For example, the chapter on self-assembly misses most if not all if the initial discoveries and describes second and third generation reports that merely duplicate the concepts with new chemical building blocks. If one reads the reviews cited at the end of the chapters one will get a better view of the respective topics. ... Read more

183. Geometric Algebra for Physicists
by Chris Doran, Anthony Lasenby
list price: $95.00
our price: $85.50
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Asin: 0521480221
Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 108947
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

As leading experts in geometric algebra, Chris Doran and Anthony Lasenby have led many new developments in the field over the last ten years. This book provides an introduction to the subject, covering applications such as black hole physics and quantum computing. Suitable as a textbook for graduate courses on the physical applications of geometric algebra, the volume is also a valuable reference for researchers working in the fields of relativity and quantum theory. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Compared to what ?
This is truly a great book for any one who is interested in not just physics, but physical reality. Although the ideas expressed therein have a long history and are by no means as uniquely those of its authors as were Albert Einstein's in his day, I believe that they will have comparable lasting value. Moreover the synthesis presented in this book, which builds pre-eminently on the work of Hestenes, is absolutely superb. Interested readers need not take my word for these claims, but are invited to prove it to themselves.

Although the above should be a sufficient review, my experience nevertheless indicates that it is a good idea to warn potentially enthusiastic readers against several common semantic misconceptions, lest they jump to conclusions which prevent them from ever taking that vital first step. Thus let it be clearly understood that Geometric Algebra is NOT:
(1) A replacement for linear/matrix/tensor algebra (on the contrary, it is a very nice complement to these formalisms).
(2) Identical, or even very close, to Emil Artin's earlier excellent book on bilinear forms with the title "Geometric Algebra".
(3) Another name for the enormous field "algebraic geometry" (it is indeed appropriate that the word stemming from "geometry" comes first in "geometric algebra").
(4) Just another reformulation of complex / quaternion / octonian analysis; for it connects all these purely algebraic objects, and many generalizations thereof, to Felix Klein's Erlangen Programme and Sophus Lie's theory of continuous groups.
(5) The ultimate theory of everything (although it probably will eventually be found to have something to do with it).

Geometric algebra IS a practical and natural (canonical) tool for formulating physical and mathematical problems in homogeneous spaces in a fully covariant fashion. But more importantly, you do not need to understand all those words in order to benefit from it, and this book is an excellent place for physicists of all stripes to start.

5-0 out of 5 stars Articulate Path to the Future
The quality and importance of this book could hardly be overstated. Geometric algebra might casually be considered the "correct" generalization of linear algebra. By considering, for a start, directed line segments, the linear algebra courses presently taught in some high schools and all universities achieve miracles. Although viewed by a few of the slower students as merely unpleasant bookkeeping systems, linear algebra derives its power from allowing algebraic manipulation of sophisticated aggregate objects, namely vectors. The benefits are not just computational, but stem more importantly from a more powerful and more unified, although slightly more abstract point of view than a student had before studying. Geometric algebra is all that and much more. By extending consideration from directed line segments to the inclusion of direct plane segments, directed elements of three space, etc., an extremely flexible and elegant mathematical tool arises. It allows a deeper, quicker, and more concise treatment of essentially all of modern differential geometry. Its applications throughout physics are at once simplifications of ordinary matrix treatments and occasions to allow much greater insight.

Geometric algebra is a great theory, one of highest importance. It will, undoubtedly, find a dominant place in our mathematics curriculum at the highest speed allowed by our educational systems (the highest speed being actually quite slow). This book is an especially good place to begin study. It starts from the most elementary principles, and exposes the material with very thoughtful, clear presentation. The economy and elegance of the geometric algebra itself allows this one substantial but not enormous book to reveal great insights into many branches of study, from differential geometry and its applications to gravity theory to quantum mechanics and classical mechanics.

If I had no books in my library, I would purchase a Bible. If I had only the Bible in my library, I would purchase this book next. I would certainly study this book in all detail before making a third purchase. My library already has several books in it. None of them will be read further until I finish every line, every exercise of this book. It's an important theory, and it is explained in a very useful and articulate way. This would, of course, be entirely expected if the authors were from Oxford University. Since they are only from Cambridge, we might not have expected as much, but we got it, nonetheless. ... Read more

184. The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe
by Stephen W. Hawking
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
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Asin: 1893224546
Catlog: Book (2002-06-01)
Publisher: New Millennium Press
Sales Rank: 16235
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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With a title inspired as much by Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker series as Einstein, The Theory of Everything delivers almost as much as it promises. Transcribed from Stephen Hawking's Cambridge Lectures, the slim volume may not present a single theory unifying gravity with the other fundamental forces, but it does carefully explain the state of late 20th-century physics with the great scientist's characteristic humility and charm. Explicitly shunning math, Hawking explains the fruits of 100 years of heavy thinking with metaphors that are simple but never condescending--he compares the settling of the newborn universe into symmetry to the formation of ice crystals in a glass of water, for example. While he explores his own work (especially when speaking about black holes), he also discusses the important milestones achieved by others like Richard Feynman. Though occasionally an impenetrably obscure phrase does slip by, the reader will find the bulk of the text enlightening and engaging. The material, from the nature of time to the possibility that the universe has no beginning or end, is rich and deep and inevitably ignites metaphysical thinking. After all, Hawking is famous for his "we would know the mind of God" remark, which ends the final lecture herein. --Rob Lightner ... Read more

Reviews (27)

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent Read, Despite Its "Unauthorized" Status
I purchased this book in May of 2002 and read it only just now, so I missed the "controversy" surrounding it until it was too late. Evidently the great contemporary physicist Stephen Hawking gave this series of lectures at Cambridge, but their transcription and publication was done against Hawking's wishes/without his consent. In any event, the lectures are fairly easy to follow and understand, which is a much-appreciated feature for those of us less-than-nimble-minded-folks when it comes to physics.

Most of the subjects in the book are touched on only briefly and in what one can safely assume as extremely watered-down, so the more scientific-minded among us are likely to be disappointed. For the rest of us, Hawking explains various subjects just enough for us to have a rough outline of them, that is, he takes the uninformed reader just far enough to catch a glimpse of contemporary conceptions of, inter alia, black holes, quantum mechanics (most notably string theory), and time, without having one's eye begin to glaze over.

In any event the book presents Hawking's style and wit nicely. My own guess is that Hawking is upset that something he never intended to be published is indeed now published, that is, he never wanted rather casual remarks about this or that in a sense "codified" in print (although portions of it are written and appear elsewhere), but I quite liked it. (Another possibility is that Hawking isn't getting paid for this book, or isn't getting paid enough, but again, only Hawking really knows.) It is true, however, that on Hawking's website he politely asks that we not purchase this book, so the choice is ours. Minus the "controversy" surrounding this book, I'd probably give it four stars.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Hawking's best work
This book is a collection of lectures in which Steven attempts to built a framework for understanding the universe through gradually more and more complex steps. Like Brief History of Time, it is cumulative, in that previous chapters are mostly rquired for subsequent.

I thought Steven's personal agendas come out too strongly in this book, specifically his glossing over of string theory and multi-dimensional spacetime. This entire line of research is relegated to exactly 3 sentences. He also ignores most of the problems that occur when trying to integrate quantum mechanics and gravity, choosing to try to find ways around this necessary integration instead. Much of the book is spent trying to prove a non-singularity-based Big Bang theory in an effort to retain the standard-model laws of physics all the way back to the beginning of time.

Regarding the quantum mechanical tide in the early 19th century, Eistein's famously responded, "God does not play dice with the Universe." Hawking is fighting a similar multi-dimensional tide that increasingly provides a far more elegant view of the Universe.

If you're looking for your first Hawking book, this isn't it. Buy Brief History instead. It's dated, but much better.

4-0 out of 5 stars No, there is too much - let me sum up.
Hawking is always an interesting read. He publishes books often enough so that if you keep current, you are generally reviewing the same ideas, but with each publication, the state of the knowledge has advanced enough to warrant another summing up.

Hawking's major claims to fame are his work on black holes and the boundary conditions of space/time, including event horizons, cosmic strings, and the potential for wormholes. He gives a fair amount of thought to the possibility of backwards time travel.

Everybody agrees that moving forward in time is not a problem (see Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity 1905). Moving backwards in time is problematic, and Hawking believes that Nature will not allow it. There is a lot of work being done presently in this area, and some good thought experiments suggesting the possibility, but after reading Hawking, I am fairly convinced that we will not find it possible to move backwards in time, and even if it is possible, the time traveller will no longer be in his same universe, so why bother?

Hawking aims his prose at the level of the intellectual Star Trek afficianado, which makes him an engaging read for the interested layman. He is careful never to include any mathematical equations in his books, using instead analogies and thought experiments. I recommend this book, deducting the 5th star only because much of the book is remedial.

1-0 out of 5 stars ATTENTION!!! This is NOT Hawking's book!
This is from the Stephen Hawking website:

"It has come to our attention that the book "The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe" has been published. Professor Hawking would like to make it clear that he has not endorsed this book. The text was written by him many years ago, however the material has already been published in books such as 'A Brief History of Time'. A complaint was made to the Federal Trade Commission in the US in the hope that they would prevent the publication. We would urge you not to purchase this book in the belief that Professor Hawking was involved in its creation. "

1-0 out of 5 stars Hawking he has not endorsed this book
It has come to our attention that the book "The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe" has been published. Professor Hawking would like to make it clear that he has not endorsed . The text was written by him many years ago, however the material has already been published in books such as 'A Brief History of Time'. A complaint was made to the Federal Trade Commission in the US in the hope that they would prevent the publication. We would urge you not to purchase this book in the belief that Professor Hawking was involved in its creation. ... Read more

185. Home Recording for Musicians for Dummies
by JeffStrong
list price: $21.99
our price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764516345
Catlog: Book (2002-04-05)
Publisher: For Dummies
Sales Rank: 7447
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This friendly guide covers the essentials a first-time recording engineer needs to know about setting up and operating a home or project recording studio. Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies hits all the major topics including choosing the right device for your project, building a studio space, operating your recording equipment, using MIDI technology, choosing and using the right microphones, getting great sounds on the recording, editing, mixing, adding sound effects, and sharing it with others via CD or the Internet. This up-to-date resource covers the latest technologies that the older books don't explain, including the latest PC-based recording software and standalone recording devices. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good for beginners
This book is basically recording 101. I think it actually even advertises it as that. Well...It only covers basics and the basic techniques of compression, expansion, etc. It doesn't get much more into anything beyond that or advanced. True, if I hadn't taken Audio Arts I at my college, I would've bought it...But I did and I see I already know 90% of the info in it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This book helped me win the song contest for songwriters

5-0 out of 5 stars Place Title for this review here
I wish this would have been around when I started recording. This book is very straightforward and well laid out. I've always had the impression that recording shouldn't be that hard, and the chosen few who know weren't going to give those that don't all the details. Just enough to frustrate. Or else, these writers really had an assistant engineer who really did all the engineering and the writer didn't know what he was talking about. During my involvement with home recording, I found out through trial and error some of the most important simple things that were never mentioned in any of the books I started with. Most of these books are still for sale. This book covers everything and for me and it's a good refresher. Very handy to have everything I need to reference in one book. Also, I've picked up a few tidbits I didn't already know. Get this book and read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just buy it
For a long time i have been messing around with recording on a 4-track and my pc but getting bad results, but having no idea why, or what i need to do or buy to get some quality recordings. So i bought this book and it has opened up a whole world of home digital recording to me that i never had any way of accessing before. i now feel like i could confidently walk into a shop and buy the things i need and know exactly what im talking about, and know exactly what im looking for. If you want to get into home recording and dont know where to start, just buy this book, its all you need. I cant comment on whether more experienced musical technicians would find it insteresting as well, but im sure it would make a good reference book for them.
what are you waiting for?

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent source of information
This book is great!!!! I have been messing around with home recording for about 2 years, So I say I am still new at this. This book has got me off on the right foot, and helped to set up the studio I have now. It has also shown what kinda of upgrades I can make in the future. I now have everything that I want to get in the future laid out in the order I want/need to get them. I highly recommend this book ... Read more

186. Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science
by Bob Katz
list price: $39.99
our price: $27.99
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Asin: 0240805453
Catlog: Book (2002-11-26)
Publisher: Focal Press
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Mastering Audio explains leading-edge audio concepts in an easy-to-grasp, holistic manner, including an ear-opening investigation of the mysteries of jitter, dither and wordlengths, high sample rates, distortion, headroom, monitor calibration, metering, depth perception, compression and expansion, equipment interconnection and much more.Mastering Audio is for everyone who wants to increase their mastery of digital and analog audio: musicians, producers, A&R, mastering, recording and mixing engineers, and students.

*Outlines the steps taken in producing a compact disc, from creation to final pressing
*Provides insights to equipment, training, and the business of mastering
*Answers questions most frequently asked by audio engineers
... Read more

Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Mastering Audio...
If you buy this book and reread it 4 times, you'll come out better of than buying 5 separate books about mastering. Mastering is a true art and if some book tells you exactly how and where to apply your "enhancements" to improve your sound, avoid it. I've been mastering on the cheap with just a "sound forge" mastering software with a 16bit computer. Working off of old tapes from all the bands I've been in, it's been a pretty steep learning curve mastering these tapes to cd. This book is good as a reference, what you're looking for is easy to find. Dither, wordlengh, editing, compression, reverb and all that other stuff is explained well and provides for deeper understanding when reread. I've got my money's worth and am still learning from it.

5-0 out of 5 stars REALLY GOOD!!!
This book is really one of the best on the subject. It may be a little complicated if you don't have background in digital music because all the terms involved, but other than that it's a masterpiece. This book for sure will also be a reference manual for me, not because it's formatted like one, but because it has so many valuable pieces of information. The constant references to further chapters kinda drives you crazy and tempts you to jump to those chapters. All the information is so exciting, I read more than 100 pages non stop... If you're into details and want to learn a few well kept secrets this book is what you should have by your side on your next mastering session.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stay away from it if you are looking for hard-and-fast rules
I bought this book after reading many good reviews. After reading it, I would say that it is indeed a very interesting book, there are a lot of "obscure areas" that the author dares to tackle, with a remarkable "scientific" approach.

BUT, before you buy this book...It's not a "funny" reading, you should get this book if you are already familiar with all the technical subjects covered, the author seems to assume a certain previous knowledge, otherwise you won't go past chapter 1. AND, for all of you cookbook lovers, forget it, you are not bound to find those here.

That being said, I have it, and I like it. I'll probably re read it sometime in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars if you want a deeper understanding of audio
and a deeper respect for mastering engineers then READ THIS BOOK. this book walks you through the disecting audio to different types of audio. it takes you from handing over your mix to the mastering engineer to what it's going to sound like once it hits the shelf. it's not really a "how to" book. it's a "why you need a qualified mastering engineer" book. don't think you're going to master like bob by the time you read this book.... honestly to really understand what's going on you're probably going to have to read the book more than once. it's a deep book, giving you deep understanding of "the art and science of mastering audio."

3-0 out of 5 stars Difficult to understand..
I relied upon the several positive reviews on this book but I was a bit disappointed. Yes, the book does have an incredible amount of information. It does explain very thoroughly all the concepts, acronyms and just about everything else. The only problem here is it's almost too much.

I purchased this book with the intention of learning how to master properly by using a compressor effectively, making my mix punchier, etc. This book talks about all of those things but in such a round-about way that it's far from a step-by-step guide to mastering. This is more of the history of mastering, how it has changed in the studio, and how you need to be extremely technically proficient to really even follow what he's saying half the time. For example, he breaks out into a long discussion comparing mastering on 24-bit versus 16-bit and how you need to account for differences mathematically, how changing the sampling rate from 48khz to 44.1Khz needs to be corrected,e tc. These are all very valid and useful things to know but I was not able to find any step-by-step tutorials. The reason why they don't exist here is because the author does not believe there is any one approach to mastering, and that there is no magical formula. I can understand that too, but I need something to point me in the right direction. For example, if he told me that cutting ##Hz frequencies and boosting ##Khz frequencies typically provide a "punchy" mix, at least I would have a reference point for what he's talking about. There is simply no such thing here. Maybe I'm asking too much but I really would have liked to have a CD-ROM with examples and explanations of the various tweaks he talks about.

Overall, this is a good book, but far from a "Mastering For Dummies" type of book. ... Read more

187. Cosmos
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345331354
Catlog: Book (1985-10-12)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 11172
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Cosmos was the first science TV blockbuster, and Carl Sagan was its (human) star. By the time of Sagan's death in 1997, the series had been seen by half a billion people; Sagan was perhaps the best-known scientist on the planet. Explaining how the series came about, Sagan recalled:

I was positive from my own experience that an enormous global interest exists in the exploration of the planets and in many kindred scientific topics--the origin of life, the Earth, and the Cosmos, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, our connection with the universe. And I was certain that this interest could be excited through that most powerful communications medium, television.

Sagan's own interest and enthusiasm for the universe were so vivid and infectious, his screen presence so engaging, that viewers and readers couldn't help but be caught up in his vision. From stars in their "billions and billions" to the amino acids in the primordial ocean, Sagan communicated a feeling for science as a process of discovery. Inevitably, some of the science in Cosmos has been outdated in the years since 1980--but Sagan's sense of wonder is ageless. --Mary Ellen Curtin ... Read more

Reviews (117)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Populist Author of Science
Cosmos takes a sweeping look at, well, the Cosmos. Carl Sagan brings perspective to our view of the starry night sky, as well as the living creatures here and all around us. We visit the planets of the Solar system and learn, from a practical layman's viewpoint, what they are like. Remember, as one of the best populist authors of science, ever, he knows how to keep you interested, laughing, and turning pages. It is all terribly interesting, especially if you don't know that Venus is almost as hot as a kiln -- but at first scientists thought it was nothing but jungle! And the Milky Way galaxy, if we could watch it spin in super high speed, looks a little like a spinning popcorn popper. But you'll understand that more if you read the book. If you were to read just 3 books by Carl Sagan, I'd first of all say get these Four: The Demon-Haunted World, Cosmos, Dragons of Eden, and Billions & Billions. In that order. But you won't know without conducting your own experiments, right? Read 'em all!

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book about everything, for everyone
Cosmos is more than just a book about space. The word Cosmos itself, derived from ancient Greek, implies the deep interconnectedness of all things, in which we all play a part. Although it was written over two decades ago, and therefore you may think that it may not be so relevant in its facts today, its underlying dual-purposes, to educate and to inspire, remain just as relevant as ever. It serves as an introduction to science, and the late Carl Sagan, one of the great humanists of our time, does an excellent job in bringing us into that world by not presenting simply hard facts and technobabble. Instead, he tries to make the book accessible to the scientific novice, and shows how it is relevant to every aspect of our daily lives. And we learn about the development of human understanding, not only in terms of 'Where did we come from?' and 'How did the universe get created?', but the development of ourselves, as people who began our existence from the most humble of beginnings, and were intelligent enough to ask ourselves 'Who are we?' and of course 'Why are we here?'. He shows why science is not only relevant to us here and now, but how it can help us to understand the future, and in the final chapter, he makes it clear that through the rampant destruction of our environment, that future may not be so long-reaching as we might dream it. Sagan manages to gently educate us in a stylish and entertaining way, and his book Cosmos leaves us feeling richer for the experience. I certainly recommend this to anyone. After all, it does concern everyone!

5-0 out of 5 stars Look at the stars in a whole new way
Carl Sagan uses a boyish excitement that comes through the pages to explain Astronomies greatest hits since man was in a cave. Some of the concepts explained are fairly heavy but he does an excellent job of breaking them down into a digestable format for anyone with a high school education.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book!!
This book was brilliant. Sagan had a way of explaining science to young students and making it meaningful. We need more teachers like Carl in the future. It will be good for the country.

Jeffrey McAndrew
author of "Our Brown-Eyed Boy"

1-0 out of 5 stars an atheist's quagmire...
(3/16/2004) My earlier review was written a while ago. If you are interested in Man's origins, then go to astronomer Hugh Ross' website "Reasons To Believe" (simply type in the keywords Reasons To Believe into any search engine).

I was a teenager in India when I watched the TV serial, Cosmos. Unfortunately I was swept away by Sagan's smooth rhetoric and thought Sagan's Science had all the answers. I discarded my Christian faith.

For the next 10 years, I still thought so; I avidly read books like Sagan's "Dragons of Eden", "Boca's Brain" and all the 'Zen...' books and many more.

However I came to a road block. There are questions that they cannot answer - Where did I come from?, Where am I going?, What happens after I die?, and the ultimate, Does my life matter?

The answers to these questions are found only in the words of Jesus. Sagan died a few years ago, a fervent atheist till the end. But I am certain, that where he is right now, he will agree with me (I am sad to say so) with despair. ... Read more

188. RTP: Audio and Video for the Internet
by ColinPerkins, Colin Perkins
list price: $54.99
our price: $39.59
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Asin: 0672322498
Catlog: Book (2003-06-11)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Pub Co
Sales Rank: 96451
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent material - well presented
Colin Perkins is obviously well regarded in the area of RTP with many papers and research to his credit. This book is a very thorough and readable text on RTP. All aspects of RTP are covered in sufficient depth. The only thing that would have improved it would have been access to code. At various sections in the book he refers to an RTP stack that he has written. If this were made available as part of the book it would have been a killer combination.

If I lost this book, I'd buy another one! ... Read more

189. Optics of Liquid Crystal Displays
by PochiYeh, ClaireGu
list price: $105.00
our price: $95.55
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Asin: 047118201X
Catlog: Book (1999-09-02)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 522358
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Liquid crystals are a state of matter that possess properties of both solid and liquids. Owing to its unique physical properties, liquid crystals have found important applications in optics and optoelectronics, including the expanding technology of flat panels. This book presents an engineering-oriented, practical treatment of the optics of liquid crystal displays. It covers all aspects of the technology, beginning with the simplest case of plane wave propagation in homogeneous media, and gradually building up to more advanced concepts. With few books available even on related subjects, this title certainly fills a gap in the field. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A very helpfull and readable textbook
A few fundamental principles like Maxwell's equations are used in the book to develop successful theory. Thorough examples help to apply the theory to very broad range of actual technological problems of modern optical science. It makes the book of great use to graduate students and to anyone having good mathematical background. ... Read more

190. Hyperspace : A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 0385477058
Catlog: Book (1995-02-01)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 8425
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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How many dimensions do you live in? Three? Maybe that's all your commonsense sense perception perceives, but there is growing and compelling evidence to suggest that we actually live in a universe of ten real dimensions. Kaku has written an extraordinarily lucid and thought-provoking exploration of the theoretical and empirical bases of a ten-dimensional universe and even goes so far as to discuss possible practical implications--such as being able to escape the collapse of the universe. Yikes. Highly Recommended. ... Read more

Reviews (170)

4-0 out of 5 stars An Introduction to Hyperspace
This is an odyssey into the history of development of the concept of hyperspace that includes fourth and higher spatial dimensions to account for the riddles and unsolved problems of unified field theory. Since the postulation of special theory of relativity, Einstein and subsequent physicists until now have struggled to explain the four natural forces; the electromagnetic force (explained by Maxwell's field equations for electricity & magnetism); the strong and weak nuclear forces (explained by Yang - Mills field equations for subatomic forces); and the gravitational force (explained by Einstein's field equations of gravitation and relativity) by one unified field theory (theory of everything: String Theory). In other words, unifying the forces of the big, the cosmos, and the laws of the small, the microcosm (subatomic forces) by one single theory. The first part of the book describes how laws of nature become so simple to understand if higher dimensions are invoked; the author gives us a good historical background to build his case for hyperspace concept. The second part of the book describes the evolution of quantum mechanics and String theory. An introduction to wormholes, black holes and the use of these cosmic bodies for interstellar travel is given in the third part. The fourth part rambles through the future of the universe with irrelevant and some times out of focus narrative. The book is entirely free of physics and mathematics; from the point of understanding the basic concepts this approach is welcome. This book also gives an insight into the poignant story of Riemann (p.42) and Ramanujan (p.174) who sustained enormous personal and family hardships to contribute significantly in the field of mathematics. We also get a glimpse of academic rat race that involves professional rivalry, name & work recognition, and personal ego that is prevalent in academics. This is illustrated when Einstein delays Kaluza's paper for publication for 2 years (p.102). Bohr calling Pauli's lecture crazy (p.137); Sheldon Glashow ridiculing t'Hooft's work (p.121); a superior discouraging Mahahiko Suzuki's publication about Euler's Beta function (p.161); and Pauli being furious about Eisenberg's claim, Einstein - Bohr argument, and Schrodinger frustrated with Bohr's interpretation (p.261).

The author rambles about symmetry in arts; what is that got to do with hyperspace? The reader can find this discussion in any art book. Time travel has been described in layman's language in many books in depth; this discussion is unnecessary for this book. Throughout the book, the author refers to standard model and the equations of quantum mechanics as ugly; Equations are not ugly, they are complex or non-symmetrical.

The author could have devoted one chapter to describing the field equations in layman's terms; it would have helped a more enthusiastic reader to build a bridge to physics and tensor calculus. The reader should not be discouraged about mathematics in understanding relativity; many physicists themselves are heading to the library to learn about mathematics in String theory (Part 2). More appropriate title of the book could be hyperspace - a historical development of String theory. Despite the minor concerns, this book has strong points as observed above. I encourage the reader to buy this book; if you are not happy with this book, it is less than two-lunch money (page numbers from 1994 edition).

4-0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Third Dimension
Everyone of us were born to comprehend the 3-dimensional world that we live in, and most of us would view time as the forth. In "Hyperspace", Kaku introduces the concept of dimensions beyond the third, and what these dimensions mean to us. Apart from talking about the possibilities of deriving a unified theory of all physical laws in higher dimensions, wormholes were also described in details as to how they could be used for travelling between different dimensions and universes, and more interestingly, how they could be used to travel through time. Most of the concepts were backed by examples and stories (including those of Kaku's childhood memories) which, not only allows the readers to easily grasp them, but also makes them more interesting to follow. However, one may start to wonder how on earth could Kaku's parents allow (and assist) their child to perform such horrific experiments!

This book was written primarily for the general public. Having said this, some moderate background and interests in physics are necessary, but then again you probably wouldn't be reading this review to start with if you weren't interested in "Hyperspace", right?

To sum up, I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants to find out more about the higher dimensions. Although there were occasions when I felt that Kaku has gone into too much details on the stories he quoted, which themselves could have been another interesting read if I wasn't told of the endings...

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
VERY GOOD book written by the extremely smart and well-rounded scientist. Very easy to follow.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Rambling Tour of Modern Phsyics
This book was written ten years ago but it still holds up well. Michio Kaku examines the theories of multi-dimensional space in an entertaining and educational book. His explanations are so clear that 10-dimensional space actually made sense. The book is somewhat a rambling adventure. Kaku takes us on a tour, introducing us to an interesting cast of characters including the sad story of Georg Bernhard Riemann who developed key equations for analyzing multi-dimensional space in the 1800's. The tour differs from a typical physics book in that instead of giving us the basic lecture of the advance of physics, Kaku approaches everything from a slightly different angle. In trying to help us understand multi-dimensional space, he looks not just at science but in art and literature. To emphasize a point he might explain it using something from his own career or from a science fiction story. The main problem with the book is that the author does tend to get off topic and ramble at certain points in the book. Stories about what an intelligent culture might do as the Universe ends doesn't really fit into the flow of the book and since we really have no idea how the Universe will end, it all seemed a bit pointless. I started to get the idea that Kaku had a number of pages in mind and was trying to fill the book with a lot of different ideas he has had floating around to reach that number. But don't let me scare you away. At least two-thirds of this book is brilliant writing that will make you think, help you understand modern theories of physics, and entertain you. I can forgive the author's ramblings when he provides that much in a few hundred pages.

4-0 out of 5 stars An effective and truly genius approach!
Michio Kaku does an excellent job of mixing a touch of history and introductory ideas with detailed and concrete physics information. Packed with a sort of "timeline" approach to the changing world of physics, from the "mainstream" ideas of Einstein, Newton and Maxwell to newer ideas such as string theory and the multiverse. An excellent addition to any physics library, this book will broaden your physics vocabulary and knowledge of physics history ; including its influences on society and the art world alike. Sure to open up new dimensions of thought in an easy-to-understand format. ... Read more

191. J. Robert Oppenheimer : And the American Century
by David C. Cassidy
list price: $27.95
our price: $19.01
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Asin: 0131479962
Catlog: Book (2004-08-20)
Publisher: Pi Press
Sales Rank: 49090
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Download Description

The unexplored secret of the American Century, the last 100 years of US history, is the rise of American science, specifically physics. At the heart of that story is J. Robert Oppenheimer, leader of the Manhattan Project that built the atomic bomb. He was a man of contradictions: a scientist who discovered black holes and then turned his back on cutting edge research; a gentle liberal humanist responsible for the creation of the first real weapon of mass destruction; a genius who founded "scientific militarism" and then let it destroy him. His life story embodies the great conflicts of American society, its genius, its weaknesses, and even its essential morality. How did an aesthete man uninterested in the acquisition of power become the leader of American science, the most powerful research community in the world? And how did he, with all his intellectual and social advantages, lose his power and become regarded by many as an unfulfilled if not failed scientist. While it is biography of a physicist, it is also a history of the 20th century offering insights into the "scientific militarism" behind events on the world stage today.

DR. DAVID CASSIDY is a Professor in the Natural Science Program at Hofstra University, and has been Chair of the Section for History and Philosophy of Science of the New York Academy of Science. Dr. Cassidy has had an outstanding career as a writer and editor in the history of physics. He has been awarded the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award and the Pfizer Award of the History of Science Society, the latter the highest award in the field. He is also the author of "Einstein and our World "and coauthor of "Scientists at War: The Farm Hall Transcripts." ... Read more

192. Fundamentals of Thermodynamics
by Richard E.Sonntag, ClausBorgnakke, Gordon J. VanWylen
list price: $119.95
our price: $119.95
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Asin: 0471152323
Catlog: Book (2002-08-09)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 116452
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For the past three decades, Sonntag, Borgnakke, and Van Wylen's FUNDAMENTALS OF THERMODYNAMICS has been the leading textbook in the field. Now updated and enhanced with numerous worked examples, homework problems, and illustrations, and a rich selection of Web-based learning resources, the new Sixth Edition continues to present a comprehensive and rigorous treatment of classical thermodynamics, while retaining an engineering perspective.

The text lays the groundwork for subsequent studies in fields such as fluid mechanics, heat transfer and statistical thermodynamics, and prepares students to effectively apply thermodynamics in the practice of engineering.
... Read more

Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars This book sucks
This book is so hard for an undergrad to understand , dont buy this book. There are many others that are much better. Teachers like it because it has a lot of problems to solve but these guys could not describe how to turn out a light and make it understandable. I would recommend Cengal and Boles over this rag.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!
This is one really good book on Thermodynamics...ideal for self study.The fundamentals have been explained lucidly and never do the authors obfuscate the presentation with needless information.The treatment of both the first and second law is great....this is one textbook wherein the concept of entropy has been explained very well,both from a mathematical and a physical view point.As pointed out by an earlier reviewer,the book is a bit short on example problems,but again,there are a number of great exercise problems which test our understanding of the subject...the authors have done a great job in according a physical insight into this most interesting field-something I was'nt able to get from other texts..
Go Get it..specially if you are an undergrad wanting to learn up some thermodynamics!!

1-0 out of 5 stars Intro Students beware
I had the misfortune to have this book for my introduction to Thermodynamic during second year Mechanical Engineering. The problem my classmates and I had with this book was the fact that there are FAR to few examples, and less than half the end-of-the chapter questions had answers; which is essential when learning new material (how are you to know if your doing it right?).

5-0 out of 5 stars It will be my table book
I am the professor of Thermodynamics in the Faculty of Mechanical and
Electrical Engineering Damascus University. I didn't read the
whole text of the book yet, but I skimmed the unread chapters
through. I decided to make it my table book and read it carefully,
because I concluded that the book is valuable and will help me in
teaching the course of thermodynamics to my students.

Advantages of
the book:

-Inclusive scientific content for undergraduate

-Four preparatory chapters,

-Attractive, easy and
understandable text and illustrations (figures),

-A lot of examples
which are perfectly inserted into the text,

-Large amount of
problems follow every chapter,

-Comprehensive appendix and
comprehensive table of contents.


-Chapter 11 (power
and refrigeration systems) dose not contain a paragraph specified for
ideal dual cycle of internal combustion engines, which is a common
cycle, special cases of which, are Diesel and Otto cycles. All modern
Diesel engines work according to dual cycle.

- chapter 11 and the
scientific material before it, but following definitions of entropy
and Ts diagram dose not contain a paragraph about the graphical
comparing of thermal efficiencies of ideal heat engines'
cycles. Such paragraph would activate the analyzing of power systems.

Dr. Moufid Hilal

... Read more

by Mitchell M. Waldrop
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671872346
Catlog: Book (1992-01-15)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 9585
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Why did the stock market crash more than 500 points on a single Monday in 1987? Why do ancient species often remain stable in the fossil record for millions of years and then suddenly disappear? In a world where nice guys often finish last, why do humans value trust and cooperation? At first glance these questions don't appear to have anything in common, but in fact every one of these statements refers to a complex system. The science of complexity studies how single elements, such as a species or a stock, spontaneously organize into complicated structures like ecosystems and economies; stars become galaxies, and snowflakes avalanches almost as if these systems were obeying a hidden yearning for order.

Drawing from diverse fields, scientific luminaries such as Nobel Laureates Murray Gell-Mann and Kenneth Arrow are studying complexity at a think tank called The Santa Fe Institute. The revolutionary new discoveries researchers have made there could change the face of every science from biology to cosmology to economics. M. Mitchell Waldrop's groundbreaking bestseller takes readers into the hearts and minds of these scientists to tell the story behind this scientific revolution as it unfolds. ... Read more

Reviews (53)

5-0 out of 5 stars this book should get 6 stars
In one word, this book was awesome. Waldrop's account of the development of the science of complexity is both compelling and spell-binding. His historical account of the Sante Fe Institute and its members was an inspiring story. Written like a novel, this book was very simple to read and understand and very easy to follow. Even the casual reader could follow its simplifying explanations of the complicated theories invovled in the science of complexity. This book is also a great follow-on to James Gleick's "Chaos - Making a New Science". I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in complex adaptive systems theory, especially its applications in the realm of economics. Waldrop's work here is outstanding!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars A must read!
This book is not about a mathematical explanation of complexity. This book will not teach you how to construct a neural network or create autonomous cellular automata.

This book is about the process that some of the world's best scientists went through to realize why a theory like complexity is needed. The book will give any reader a deeper understanding for, and appreciation of how such a broad and information rich topic like complexity is becoming better understood. Insights are also given into how this new understanding of emergent behavior may soon be applied to what were once considered unsolvable problems of Economics, Artificial Life, Biology, Physics, etc.

Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos is the story of a group of humans trying to understand the very nature of nature itself, a superhuman task. An exciting drama that just happens to be about cutting edge science instead of science fiction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful reading for every science enthusiast!
The cover of the book says " If you liked Chaos, you will love complexity". I just finished reading the book, that validated the claim. While Chaos is written as story of discovery of a new science, Complexity excels as a saga of men who ventured into previously unchartered domains addressing for the first time issues like:

What is life? What is driving force that caused cells to appear from a primordal soup of all elements, when the probability of so happening is infinitesimal? What causes evolution? Do nice guys finish last? What makes evolution, coevolution, adaptation, extinction work? Why do we organize ourselves into families, cultures, nations?

Why do stock markets crash, boom? What controls the emergence of economies? Why can USSR go from one of strongest nations/economies to the state of divided helplessness in less than a few years?

Why are we here? What is life? Artificial Life? Are we still evolving? What is the cause of increasing complexity?

On mundane level: What is non-linearity? What is Chaos? If this science is all that important, why did we wait this long for recognizing it?

What are the paradigms in which sociology and physics settle into same patterns? How neural networks were born, brought up and mastered?

This novel/book is as much about these questions as it is about the scientists who engaged in unravelling many of these mysteries. It speaks about their failures and successes, their approach, ethic and driving force, their fears, fights and friendships. For most part it reads like a thriller, and by the time you are done, you find yourself searching for another book on Chaos, complexity, life at the edge of chaos, genetic algorithms, artificial intelligence. After just 358 pages, your imagination and knowledge of science leaps from Newton's linear models to the twentyfirst century stuff.

1-0 out of 5 stars Good for Science groupies - no description of theory here!
I found it impossible to tolerate the hundreds and hundreds of pages of oggeling the great men of science and the mundane minutia of thier careers, personalities and personal lives. There's not a single equation or chart in the whole book.
Look elsewhere if you want to get up to speed on the "new science".

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to Read, Powerful To Ponder
Complexity is one of those rare science books that manages to teach the reader a great deal without boring them to tears. Using the Santa Fe Institute and many of it's founding players as the backdrop for the story, Waldrop tells stories about people, while exploring their science. The result is a book that is fun to read, and that makes you think at a deep, deep level.

The gist of complexity is the notion that nature really does explore, all by itself, the continously evolving boundary between order and chaos. If you've ever explored the boundaries of fractal patterns, such as the Mandelbrot Set, you've seen a visual example of complexity at work. When you're done, you realize that you have a better intuitive understanding of how the universe operates, how evolution works, and how societies organize themselves...all without having to solve a single mathematical equation! I loved it!

This is one of those books that reshaped my world view, and it is one that I highly recommend to any reader, regardless of their scientific background. ... Read more

194. Continuum Mechanics for Engineers, Second Edition
by George Thomas Mase, George E. Mase
list price: $139.95
our price: $139.95
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Asin: 0849318556
Catlog: Book (1999-06-18)
Publisher: CRC Press
Sales Rank: 692171
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Book Description

The second edition of this popular text continues to provide a solid, fundamental introduction to the mathematics, laws, and applications of continuum mechanics. With the addition of three new chapters and eight new sections to existing chapters, the authors now provide even better coverage of continuum mechanics basics and focus even more attention on its applications.Beginning with the basic mathematical tools needed-including matrix methods and the algebra and calculus of Cartesian tensors-the authors develop the principles of stress, strain, and motion and derive the fundamental physical laws relating to continuity, energy, and momentum. With this basis established, they move to their expanded treatment of applications, including linear and nonlinear elasticity, fluids, and linear viscoelasticityMastering the contents of Continuum Mechanics: Second Edition provides the reader with the foundation necessary to be a skilled user of today's advanced design tools, such as sophisticated simulation programs that use nonlinear kinematics and a variety of constitutive relationships. With its ample illustrations and exercises, it offers the ideal self-study vehicle for practicing engineers and an excellent introductory text for advanced engineering students. ... Read more

195. A First Course in Computational Physics and Object-Oriented Programming with C++
by David Yevick
list price: $70.00
our price: $70.00
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Asin: 0521827787
Catlog: Book (2005-03-17)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 147073
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Book Description

C++ is rapidly becoming the programming language of choice for science and engineering applications because of its rich object-oriented features. Intended for beginning and intermediate programmers, this book surveys the application of C++ to technical problems. Modern object-oriented software engineering tools are employed to simplify the presentation and all aspects of modern C++ programming practices of relevance to scientific programming are surveyed. ... Read more

196. Geometry, Topology and Physics (Graduate Student Series in Physics)
by Mikio Nakahara
list price: $55.00
our price: $55.00
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Asin: 0750306068
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing
Sales Rank: 71824
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Flat spheres and more
Highly stimulating and extremely hard to read, written for mathematicians in physics. However, the chapter on Riemannian Geometry can be worked through, up to a point, without any knowledge of exterior differential forms, and is notable if for only one fact alone: a simple calculation is provided that explains explicitly that spheres in four and eight dimensions (3-spheres and 7-spheres) are flat with torsion! I don't know another reference that a physicist without special background in math can consult to understand this highly nonintuitive fact.

2-0 out of 5 stars Just a "better than nothing" book
It's not the best way to learn geometry / topology for physics. It's better than nothing, though, if you are familiar with the topics already. There are many "holes" in Nakahara's book, which you would spend much more time and hard working in a "big" library. than you should to fill in. It's not worth that money and struggle. It's the last one you should consider about owning.

If you are a physics graduate who needs a nice guide to "understand" the aspects and skills of geo / top, I would recommend the following: (1) Milnor's Topology from the Differentiable Viewpoint, and (2) Kreysig's Differential Geometry. The first one was old, and so it does not assume much knowledge about the topic. The latter is a kind-of-Bible for the topic, and all solutions are provided for the problems. These two books will help you a lot if you care about the meaning, not only for those classroom exams or just showing off that you know something about it. Frankel is the next to put on your bookshelf as a detailed and rigorous development for your preparation to be a theoretical physicist.

If you have only a rough idea about topology, Hocking and Steen are the best choices, and they are Dover!!

Anyway, if I could find a cheap used Nakahara, I would get it as a reference.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best in its genre
I suppose I should preface this by saying that I read this book *after* reading similar books, so my ability to understand this book is probably better than others, but that said, I think that my comparative evaluation is free from this bias...

There seem to be a few books on the market that are very similar to this one: Nash & Sen, Frankel, etc. This one is at the top of its class, in my opinion, for a couple reasons:

(1) It's written like a math text that covers physics-related material, not a book about mathematics for physicists. I prefer this; you may not. As a consequence, this book is more rigorous than its alternatives, it relies less on physical examples, and it cuts out a lot of lengthy explanation that you may not need. Of course, there are drawbacks to all of these "features" -- you need to decide what you need and what's best for you.

(2) It's most comprehensive, with Frankel coming in second, and Nash & Sen least comprehensive (though they have quite a bit on Fibre bundles and related topics). Nakahara has a chapter on complex manifolds, which is absent from the other two. Nakahara also concludes with a nice intro to string theory, which is absent from the other two as well (though nothing you couldn't find in Polchinski or the like). Actually -- I modify this slightly. Frankel covers less subjects than Nakahara, but with more depth (though also more wordiness -- I quit Frankel about 2/3 through because it wasn't succinct enough and I got tired of it).

Depending on your tastes, I would recommend this book before the other two.

It presupposes that you have an understanding of algebra (groups, rings, fields, etc.) but it has an introduction to the necessary components of topology within. Frankel has presupposes both algebra and topology; Nash & Sen presupposes only algebra.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
A very nice blending of rigor and physical motivation with well chosen topics. Plenty of examples to illustrate important points. Especially noteworthy is its description of actions of lie algebras on manifolds : the best I have read so far.

Most of the topics are intepreted in terms of their topological/geomtrical structure (and the interplay between those two), but that's what the title of the book says. So you will learn things again in new ways, and gain a powerful new set of tools. If nothing else, it gives you a nice warm fuzzy feeling when you read other field/string theory books that glosses over the mathematics.

One minor rant : the notation of the book can be better. I personally uses indices to keep track of the type of objects (eg. greek index=components of tensors, no index=a geometrical object etc..), but Nakahara drops indices here and there "for simplicity". But that's my personal rant.

Good book. Buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for any theoretical physicist
With an excellent balance between mathematical rigor and pedagogical simplicity, Nakahara remarkably captures in a single volume much of the mathematics a physicist will ever need. (If he wrote a few chapters on group theory, 'much' might be replaced with 'all'). Containing as much as it does, it is not something to breeze through. Depending on your mathematical background, you may only want to read a few chapters (and if the Homology chapter is tripping you up, just keep moving). But invest the time with it, and you will be rewarded with a solid grasp of the mathematical pictures underlying most modern physics. And once you read it and see physics from this perspective, you'll be amazed you had ever thought you understood the physics it describes. It should be said, though, that some of the latter chapters, in particular 12, are horribly sloppy. There are dozens upon dozens of errors, many at a deep conceptual level. Nonetheless, it is a monumental text, and I recommend it heartily. ... Read more

197. Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time (Great Discoveries)
by Michio Kaku
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
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Asin: 039305165X
Catlog: Book (2004-04)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 7041
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A dazzling tour of the universe as Einstein saw it.

How did Albert Einstein come up with the theories that changed the way we look at the world? By thinking in pictures. Michio Kaku—leading theoretical physicist (a cofounder of string theory) and best-selling science storyteller—shows how Einstein used seemingly simple images to lead a revolution in science. Daydreaming about racing a beam of light led to the special theory of relativity and the equation E = mc². Thinking about a man falling led to the general theory of relativity—giving us black holes and the Big Bang. Einstein's failure to come up with a theory that would unify relativity and quantum mechanics stemmed from his lacking an apt image.

Even in failure, however, Einstein's late insights have led to new avenues of research as well as to the revitalization of the quest for a "Theory of Everything." With originality and expertise, Kaku uncovers the surprising beauty that lies at the heart of Einstein's cosmos. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Concise Review of Einstein's Life and Work
There are many Einstein biographies out there, and I've read a number of them. In my opinion, this is one of the most concise and readable ones. The writing is clear and engaging, thus making the book difficult to put down. Einstein's theories are clearly explained for anyone to understand, amidst the main highlights of his life and times. I recommend this book to a wide audience, from science buffs to Einstein fans to anyone wanting to understand what is was that made Einstein so famous, and why. ... Read more

198. Fundamentals of Acoustics
by Lawrence E.Kinsler, Austin R.Frey, Alan B.Coppens, James V.Sanders
list price: $110.95
our price: $110.95
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Asin: 0471847895
Catlog: Book (1999-12-16)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 121034
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The classic acoustics reference! This widely-used book offers a clear treatment of the fundamental principles underlying the generation, transmission, and reception of acoustic waves and their application to numerous fields. The authors analyze the various types of vibration of solid bodies and the propagation of sound waves through fluid media. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not an introductory text
This text in not an introductory work, it is geared toward upper division college or graduate level engineering work. By this I am referring to the math level in the book. If you are not willing to work with partial differential equations, integrals, dot products, cross products and dell operators stay away from this book, it is intended for engineering students and not for audio, broadcast, or film students looking for a greater understanding of sound/acoustics.

Here is a list of the chapters:
Fundamentals of vibration; Transverse motion - the vibrating string; Vibrations of bars; The two-dimensional wave equation: vibrations of memberanes and plates; The acoustic wave equation and simple solutions; Transmission phenomena; Absorption and attenuation of sound waves in fluids; Radiation and reception of acoustic waves; Pipes, cavities, and waveguides; resonators, ducts, and filters; Noise, signal, detection, hearing, and speech; Environmental acoustics; Architectural acoustics; Transduction; Underwater acoustics.

3-0 out of 5 stars OK, but better texts available
Personally, I was disappointed by the fourth edition of this venerable text, for it has become increasingly mathematical and problem oriented. If you like sitting down and whiling away your afternoon with a problem set -- this is the text for you. But if instead you wish to study acoustics through a pedagogical method that is more verbal and graphical in nature -- better texts are available.

Indeed, in my opinion, prior editions (1950, 1962, 1981) of this same text are superior, particularly the second edition. Although these too have their share of integral calculus and complex algebra, the quantity is more appropriate for a discipline that is mostly science and engineering but with aspects of art to it as well.

Bear in mind that aside from a few specialized areas -- like ultrasonics and its use in medical imaging and non-destructive testing, or the use of digital processing in sound generation and vibration analysis -- little new has come about in the field of acoustics since World War II. Thus unlike with most fields of science, there is no necessity to have the most modern texts to gather a wholly modern understanding of the field (with a few minor exceptions).

Indeed, I recently examined almost every text relating to acoustics contained in the circumferential stacks of the Barker Engineering Library under the Great Dome of M.I.T. (and sadly, there aren't as many texts as one might hope). I was surprised both at the age of most volumes in the collection -- and the fact that most had not been checked out of the library in years.

Indeed, from the "Date Due" slips in the back, you could see the field was very popular in the 1960's and 1970's, but popularity seemed to wane in the early 1980's -- approximately contemporaneously, curiously, with the introduction of the digital CD format of audio recording.

By the mid-1990's, at M.I.T., at least, interest in acoustics among faculty and students seem to have declined precipitiously, if the popularity of library texts and the quantity of student theses published in the field is any indication.

Of all the general texts on acoustics that I examined -- to me, one clearly stood out above the others. It was published in 1957 by Harry F. Olsen, Ph.D., the lead acoustical scientist at the RCA Research Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey. It is entitled, "Acoustical Engineering", although the text contains all the fundamental science as well. This volume was reprinted in 1991 and is currently available.

Olsen's work is surely a magnum opus, comprising 736 pages and 567 illustrations. It has its fair share of math, but the concepts are often additionally explained through well-crafted line drawings, showing, for example, wave forms drawn in progressive fashion in serial graphs, some of which are designed so that one can even mentally rotate the graphics to gather a three-dimensional perspective. Furthermore, the graphs are often supplemented by art showing equivalent mechanical and electrical analogs, to further assist in understanding.

Best of all, Olsen explains virtually everything acoustical you would ever want to know, from theories of acoustical wave propagation, to an enormous variety of loudspeaker designs, to the mathematical reasoning behind Johann Sebastian Bach's tempered tuning of musical instruments, an artistic practice that is almost universal today.

Thus if it is a text for a problem-oriented course in acoustics that one seeks -- the fourth edition of the "Fundamentals of Acoustics" is a fine text. However, if one wishes to have a ready reference that is extraordinarily comprehensive, or a pedagogical work that doesn't focus on mathematical derivations, better choices can surely be made.

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid Introductory Text Book
If you are interested in a solid introduction to the science of sound, then this is your book. Kinsler and Frey is not an advanced text, nor a reference manual for research scientists. It is simply a classic introduction to the physical principles of acoustics geared toward upper level undergraduates or graduate students.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not hard core
This book provides a good introduction to the subject, but I would not consider it hard core by any means. Morse is hard core, Pierce a far second in dificulty. Blackstock's book is superior. Blackstock provides a physical explanation of the theory of sound, Kinsler relies a bit too much on simple equations and does not provide insight into what the math is telling you. A good entry level book to use as a reference, and self study.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fendamentals Of Acoustics...
This Book Is A Classic...It Goes In Depth Into The Principals Of Acoustics, Physics, And Sound Propogation...A Long And Thorough Look Into The World Of Why We Hear Certain Things...A Little Too Much For The Weak Minded, This Book Is Pretty Hardcore... ... Read more

199. Introductory Raman Spectroscopy, Second Edition
by John R. Ferraro, Kazuo Nakamoto, Chris W. Brown
list price: $99.95
our price: $99.95
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Asin: 0122541057
Catlog: Book (2002-10-28)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 290445
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Book Description

This second edition of Introductory Raman Spectroscopy serves as a guide to newcomers who wish to become acquainted with this dynamic technique. Written by three acknowledged experts this title uses examples to illustrate the usefulness of the technique of Raman spectroscopy in such diverse areas as forensic science, biochemistry, medical, pharmaceutical prescription and illicit drugs. The technique also has many uses in industry.

Updated Applications chapter
ú Demonstrated the versatility and utility of Raman spectroscopy in problem solving in science
ú Serves as an excellent reference text for both beginners and more advanced students
ú Discusses new applications of Raman spectroscopy in industry and research
... Read more

200. The Tao of Physics
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
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Asin: 1570625190
Catlog: Book (2000-01-04)
Publisher: Shambhala
Sales Rank: 5662
Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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First published in 1975, The Tao of Physics rode the wave of fascination in exotic East Asian philosophies. Decades later, it still stands up to scrutiny, explicating not only Eastern philosophies but also how modern physics forces us into conceptions that have remarkable parallels. Covering over 3,000 years of widely divergent traditions across Asia, Capra can't help but blur lines in his generalizations. But the big picture is enough to see the value in them of experiential knowledge, the limits of objectivity, the absence of foundational matter, the interrelation of all things and events, and the fact that process is primary, not things. Capra finds the same notions in modern physics. Those approaching Eastern thought from a background of Western science will find reliable introductions here to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism and learn how commonalities among these systems of thought can offer a sort of philosophical underpinning for modern science. And those approaching modern physics from a background in Eastern mysticism will find precise yet comprehensible descriptions of a Western science that may reinvigorate a hope in the positive potential of scientific knowledge. Whatever your background, The Tao of Physics is a brilliant essay on the meeting of East and West, and on the invaluable possibilities that such a union promises. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

Reviews (62)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and Inspirational Classic
This is one of the most wonderful books relating modern science to Eastern philosophical traditions. I have always combined an interest in physics as well as an interest in eastern philosophies, so it was natural that I get attracted to this book. I have read the second edition nearly 15 years ago, and can certify that this book delivers what it promises. Recently it has become a phenomenon to see "Tao of ..." or "Zen of ..." books that are really deficient in many respects: some books know little about the Eastern philosophies they claim to compare to, others know little about the Western science, and yet others fail to point to more than a flimsy relationship. It appears "Tao of something" has become a major marketing scheme and not much more.

"The Tao of Physics" however is free from those weaknesses. In fact, it is in a class of its own - possibly one of the most thought-provoking and inspirational texts in the modern world. Written by a world-class Indian physicist, this book exhibits the deep understanding of its author into the myriad complexities of modern physics. The beauty of it all is that some of the most complex ideas are explained in very simple language that even a high school student can understand: quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle, particle physics, string theory, symmetries, etc.

This strength in physical understanding does not weaken the depth of perception regarding Eastern mysticism. Au contraire, the second part of the book, describing Eastern philosophy, is a tour de force of the various branches of Eastern thought: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, etc. Topics like the I-Ching, the mythology of the Rig Veda, the Upanishads, and the Tao Te Ching are introduced in very clear language aimed at capturing a Western audience.

The third and largest part of the book is devoted to drawing parallels between the two traditions: the Western scientific and the Eastern philosophical. Of course, at this stage of human development one cannot reach certainties about such thing, and the discourse is restricted to pointing out the parallels and illustrating the convergence of thought. More questions are raised than are actually answered, which is perhaps the signature of a really good book. Since reading it I have become fascinated with modern physics and pursued a science education. My interest in Eastern religions has also been enhanced. Currently I am in the process of re-reading this gem. I definitely recommend it to everyone seeking substance in "Tao of ..." books.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is a classic
From the back cover:

"A brilliant best-seller... Lucidly analyzes the tenets of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism to show their striking parallels with the latest discoveries in cyclotrons."
--New York magazine

"Fritjof Capra, in The Tao of Physics, integration of the mathematical world view of modern physics and the mystical visions of Buddha and Krishna. Where others have failed miserably in trying to unite these seemingly different world views, Capra, a high-energy theorist, has succeeded admirably...I strongly recommend the book to both layman and scientist."
--V.N. Mansfield, Physics Today

Truly a worthwhile book. The man who wrote the Foreword to my own book, THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS, John Cantwell Kiley, M.D., Ph.D., attempted a similar feat in his doctoral dissertation, which did not have the popular circulation of Capra's book, of course, and was far more abstruse.

Kiley's book, EINSTEIN AND AQUINAS: A RAPPROCHEMENT, is an attempt to compare Albert Einstein, the theoretical physicist, with Saint Thomas Aquinas, although they would seem to have little in common. Kiley studied at Princeton when Einstein was there, and so had a close up view of him, and he knew Aquinas from his studies of the Saint. He found the rapprochement he sought in their respective epistemologies.

Kiley says he is seeking to bring his book back into print, but it is a harder read than Capra's. I recommend Capra's book.

Joseph Pierre,

5-0 out of 5 stars A Profoundly Important Book
A Profoundly Important Book

I am aware of the much resistance of the ideas purported in this book, both from the scientist/skeptic league and mystic/philosopher league for diametrically opposed reasons. I will try to address them (please visit my website for a complete review) and highlight the biases of these people. Before I go further, I would like to comment on one of the reviewers here from Detroit who referred to quantum physics as objective and Eastern mysticism as subjective. This is an extremely, unbelievably inane comment from someone who apparently hasn't read the book thoroughly which in the first place talks about why physics or science can't be considered objective truth anymore. Capra, throughout the book, clearly and repeatedly speaks of cases and solid arguments in which science falls short of being called objective in the classic way. Today, no body can deny that science, with its strict boundaries and fragmented world-view, could merely talk about approximate descriptions instead of reality or truth.

One of the prominent critics of this book form the mystic/philosopher league happens to be Ken Wilber, whose genius is a source of my inspiration. It needs to be taken into account that Wilber's background is science (biochemistry), which he left because of its extreme limitation for an intense, scholarly study of consciousness. Let me quote what he said in Grace and Grit, "I disagreed entirely with books such as "The Tao of Physics" and "The Dancing Wu Li Masters," which had claimed that modern physics supported or even proved Eastern mysticism. This is a colossal error. Physics is a limited, finite, relative, and partial endeavor, dealing with a very limited aspect of reality. It does not, for example, deal with biological, psychological, economic, literary, or historical truths; whereas mysticism deals with all of that, with the Whole. To say physics process mysticism is like saying the tail proved the dog......Simply imagine what would happen if we indeed said that modern physics support mysticism. What happens, for example, if we say that today's physics is in perfect agreement with Buddha's enlightenment? What happens when tomorrow's physics supplants or replaces today's physics (which it most definitely will)? Does poor Buddha then lose his enlightenment? You see the problem. If you hook your God to today's physics, then when that physics slips, that God slips with it."

It's clear that Wilber's objection is based on his adoration of mysticism, especially Buddhism, over science and motivated by his unnecessary "paranoia" that the dynamics of science will adversely affect the "reputation" of the "object of his fixation." Like Wilber, I am a number one fan of the Buddha but I don't see this observable fact -not a mere idea-- of parallelism as a threat to his unblemished integrity; nothing could be as 2500 years of his Dharma have proven its timelessness and sensibility beyond the shadow of a doubt. As Capra pointed out in his answer to this particular criticism, much of his concern is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of scientific research that it could arbitrarily change the results of previous researches (which is not the case at all). Nobody is trying to prove anything with anything else here, what Capra does is simply bringing to a coherent, systematic erudition something that many people could see for themselves the way they couldn't mistake the blaring morning sun. What I naturally object from these instant critics is that after someone has dedicated years of research and carefully transferred the results in over 350 pages, then out of nowhere, these people, with a modest one or two sentences, vehemently rejects his work. Excuse me? You need a whole bloody book in itself, or at least a thesis with a decent amount of pages, to refute it. You need to elaborate which points/parts of his book that are distorted and why and please provide the likely alternative explanation or argument to them.

What is rather perplexing is the fact that in "No Boundary," Wilber basically purports the same parallels between modern physics and eastern mysticism so I wonder why he sort of changed his mind.

I didn't know anything about this book when I was in High School and trying to explain the Buddhist concept Anatta (without "I" or without soul) to a non-Buddhist friend. The interesting part was I, inevitably, always ended up using the analogy of the ever- divisible atom to describe this most profound concept because, even as a 16 year old who knew very little about physics or chemistry, I could see the striking parallel between the atomic principle and Anatta and knew no other more accessible way to describe the latter. In fact in the Buddhist metaphysics book, the Abhidhamma, Buddha talked about the smallest substance of matter that he termed paramanu, which he said didn't exist independently but composed of interdependent elements. And he, in relation to this no-basic-building-block-of-the-self-and everything-else-in-the-universe concept, further postulated that "all compounded things are impermanent, " the same exact conclusion that physicists reached 2500 years later to describe the dynamic nature of quantum phenomena. And are you going to just dismiss it by saying that both are mere coincidence? I don't think so. And for Wilber to have such a fragmented world-view -something that he through his books is very much critical of- that the world that modern physics talks about is entirely different than the world of mystics is most ironic. As Capra wrote and I very much agree with, there is only one world -this awesome and mysterious world. One might deal with the world infinitely small, and the other infinitely vast but both are different aspects of one and the same reality and that's why both speak in the same language. Remember, all parts have an intimate, harmonious and interdependent correlation with the whole. The fact that someone of Wilber's calibre -who is aware that opposites, in both scientific and mystical point of view, are the product of mind construct or abstraction that has little substance- could have missed it is mind-boggling.

1-0 out of 5 stars Do not trust this book
In the 70s it was an original book.
I was amazed to see that today, after the existence of quarks was proven by experiment (at CERN and Fermilab) the so called "new" editions still doubt the existence of quarks because they do not fit the grand scheme of the thesis of the book. Better avoid this book. Its not trustable.
(The author is a Physics Prof at the Weizmann Institute)

3-0 out of 5 stars interesting but somewhat over-reaching
I'm one of those who believe that Eastern philosophies and religions are, in many respects, superior to Western scientific knowledge and values. Although this is a very interesting book, the author appears to have tried too hard to find analogies for modern physical concepts about the universe in Eastern philosophies. ... Read more

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