Summer Reading List

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

I though I would share my summer reading list,

Brian Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos – Latest scientific views on the make up of reality.

Guillermo Gonzalez, Jay Richards, The Privileged Planet – Argues against the Copernican Principle – the idea that there is nothing special about Earth or its place in the universe.

Tom Holland, Rubicon – discusses the fall of the Roman Republic starting 100 B.C. and going up the beginning of the reign of Augustus Caesar.

I have already started The Fabric of the Cosmos and it is very interesting. I really like the way Greene explains things. For example I knew about the speed of light being the ultimate speed limit and I knew this was tied to time in that as you travel faster, time slows down. But I never realize exactly how these were directly related before. The speed limit is not just on traveling through space, but is on traveling through space-time. And it is not really a limit but rather is a fixed speed of your combined movement through both space and time. When you are not moving through space all of your movement is through time. In order to move faster through space you must trade off some of your ability to move through time, resulting in your moving through time slower. Photons, which travel through space at the speed of light use up all of there motion through space, and do not travel through time at all.

He also points out some of the simple but perplexing experiments that have vexed physicists for centuries. For example, if you tie a bucket filled with water on a string and twist the string; when you release it the bucket will spin around, the water will also begin to spin. But why does this happen and what does this say about whether or not space is a thing that actually exist? (physicists have gone back and forth on the existence of space).

Mar 29th, 2004

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