The Emperor's New Mind

Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics

Author: Roger Penrose

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198784929

Category: Computers

Page: 602

View: 7690

For many decades, the proponents of `artificial intelligence' have maintained that computers will soon be able to do everything that a human can do. In his bestselling work of popular science, Sir Roger Penrose takes us on a fascinating tour through the basic principles of physics, cosmology, mathematics, and philosophy to show that human thinking can never be emulated by a machine. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

Cycles of Time

An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

Author: Roger Penrose

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307596745

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 7376

This groundbreaking book presents a new perspective on three of cosmology’s essential questions: What came before the Big Bang? What is the source of order in our universe? And what cosmic future awaits us? Penrose shows how the expected fate of our ever-accelerating and expanding universe—heat death or ultimate entropy—can actually be reinterpreted as the conditions that will begin a new “Big Bang.” He details the basic principles beneath our universe, explaining various standard and non-standard cosmological models, the fundamental role of the cosmic microwave background, the paramount significance of black holes, and other basic building blocks of contemporary physics. Intellectually thrilling and widely accessible, Cycles of Time is a welcome new contribution to our understanding of the universe from one of our greatest mathematicians and thinkers.

Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe

Author: Roger Penrose

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400880289

Category: Science

Page: 520

View: 2194

What can fashionable ideas, blind faith, or pure fantasy possibly have to do with the scientific quest to understand the universe? Surely, theoretical physicists are immune to mere trends, dogmatic beliefs, or flights of fancy? In fact, acclaimed physicist and bestselling author Roger Penrose argues that researchers working at the extreme frontiers of physics are just as susceptible to these forces as anyone else. In this provocative book, he argues that fashion, faith, and fantasy, while sometimes productive and even essential in physics, may be leading today's researchers astray in three of the field's most important areas—string theory, quantum mechanics, and cosmology. Arguing that string theory has veered away from physical reality by positing six extra hidden dimensions, Penrose cautions that the fashionable nature of a theory can cloud our judgment of its plausibility. In the case of quantum mechanics, its stunning success in explaining the atomic universe has led to an uncritical faith that it must also apply to reasonably massive objects, and Penrose responds by suggesting possible changes in quantum theory. Turning to cosmology, he argues that most of the current fantastical ideas about the origins of the universe cannot be true, but that an even wilder reality may lie behind them. Finally, Penrose describes how fashion, faith, and fantasy have ironically also shaped his own work, from twistor theory, a possible alternative to string theory that is beginning to acquire a fashionable status, to "conformal cyclic cosmology," an idea so fantastic that it could be called "conformal crazy cosmology." The result is an important critique of some of the most significant developments in physics today from one of its most eminent figures.

What Is Life?

How Chemistry Becomes Biology

Author: Addy Pross

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198784791


Page: 224

View: 6666

Seventy years ago, Erwin Schrodinger posed a profound question: 'What is life, and how did it emerge from non-life?' This problem has puzzled biologists and physical scientists ever since. Living things are hugely complex and have unique properties, such as self-maintenance and apparently purposeful behaviour which we do not see in inert matter. So how does chemistry give rise to biology? What could have led the first replicating molecules up such a path? Now, developments in the emerging field of 'systems chemistry' are unlocking the problem. Addy Pross shows how the different kind of stability that operates among replicating molecules results in a tendency for chemical systems to become more complex and acquire the properties of life. Strikingly, he demonstrates that Darwinian evolution is the biological expression of a deeper, well-defined chemical concept: the whole story from replicating molecules to complex life is one continuous process governed by an underlying physical principle. The gulf between biology and the physical sciences is finally becoming bridged. This new edition includes an Epilogue describing developments in the concepts of fundamental forms of stability discussed in the book, and their profound implications. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

Roger Penrose

Collected Works. 1953-1967. Vol. 1

Author: Roger Penrose

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780199219445

Category: Mathematics

Page: 822

View: 3932


Consciousness and the Universe

Author: Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics Roger Penrose

Publisher: Cosmology Science Publishers

ISBN: 9781938024436


Page: 1126

View: 8521

Is consciousness an epiphenomenal happenstance of this particular universe? Or does the very concept of a universe depend upon its presence? Does consciousness merely perceive reality, or does reality depend upon it? Did consciousness simply emerge as an effect of evolution? Or was it, in some sense, always "out there" in the world? These questions and more, are addressed in this special edition. FEATURING Cosmological Foundations of Consciousness Origins of Thought Evolution of Consciousness Neuroscience of Free Will Quantum Physics & Consciousness Out-of-Body and Near Death Experiences Dreams & Hallucinations Paleolithic Cosmology & Spirituality Self-Consciousness in Apes, Dolphins, Cephalopods, Machines Consciousness in Extra-Terrestrials Sexual Consciousness How Consciousness Becomes the Physical Universe Over 70 Consciousness Raising Articles By: Deepak Chopra, Roger Penrose, Stuart Hameroff, Brandon Carter, Michael Persinger, Walter Freeman, Howard Shevrin, Arnold Trehub, Bruce MacLennan, GianCarlo Ghirardi, Don Page, Shan Gao, Gordon Globus, Fred Kuttner, Bruce Rosenblum, Jack Sarfatti, Etzel Cardena, Larry Dossey, Bruce Greyson, Roger Nelson, Paola Zizzi, Rudolph Tanzi, Ernesto Di Mauro, Michael Nauenberg, Thomas Suddendorf, Lori Marino, Andrea E. Cavanna, Ian Tattersall, Ellert R.S. Nijenhuis, Bruce Greyson, Milford H. Wolpoff, Edgar Mitchell, Thomas H. Huxley, RenA A(c) Descartes, Sigmund Freud, Williams James, and many more. This Text Is Divided into 14 Sections with 70+ Chapters Section I. Cosmology of Consciousness Section II. Brain and Mind Section III. What is Consciousness Section IV. Consciousness and Thought Section V. The Neuroanatomy of the Unconscious Section VI. Remote Consciousness Section VII. Self-Consciousness - Dissociated, Shared, Near Death Consciousness Section VIII. Dreams, Hallucinations & Altered States of Consciousness Section IX. Origins & Evolution of Consciousness Section X. Paleolithic Consciousness: Neanderthals, Cro-Magnon, Spirituality, Sexuality Section XI. Animal and Artificial Consciousness Section XII. Quantum Physics and Consciousness Section XIII. Consciousness and ExtraTerrestrials Section XIV. Consciousness and the Universe About the Editors Dr. Penrose shared the Wolf Prize in physics with Stephen Hawking, and is renowned world-wide for his work in general relativity, quantum mechanics, geometry and consciousness. He is the author of many important papers and books including The Emperor s New Mind, Shadows of the Mind, The Road to Reality, and his latest Cycles of Time, which proposes serial universes. Dr Stuart Hameroff, of the University of Arizona, is a world famous consciousness researcher and organizer of the conference series Toward a Science of Consciousness."

Bridging the Gap between Life and Physics

Author: Ron Cottam,Willy Ranson

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319745336

Category: Science

Page: 338

View: 5727

This is the only book which deals with the correlatory comparison between hierarchical living systems and inorganic physical ones. The culmination of the book is the proposition of research to discover and understand the natural underlying level of organization which produces the descriptive commonality of life and physics. Traditional science eliminates life from its purview by its rejection of interrelationships as a primary content of systems. The conventional procedure of science is that of reductionism, whereby complex systems are dismantled to characterize lower level components, but virtually no attention is given to how to rebuild those systems—the underlying assumption is that analysis and synthesis are symmetrical. This book fulfills two main coupled functions. Firstly, it details hierarchy as the major formulation of natural complex systems and investigates the fundamental character of natural hierarchy as a widely transferable ‘container’ of structure and/or function – and this in the case of the new development of a representational or model hierarchy. Secondly, it couples this hierarchical description to that of the electronic properties of semiconductors, as a well-modeled canonical example of physical properties. The central thesis is that these two descriptions are comparable, if care is taken to treat logical and epistemological aspects with prudence: a large part of the book is composed of just this aspect of care for grounding consistency. As such great attention is given to correct assessment of argumentative features which are otherwise presumed ‘known’ but which are usually left uncertain. Development of the ideas is always based on a relationship between entity or phenomenon and their associated ecosystems, and this applies equally well to the consequent derivations of consciousness and information.

The Road To Reality

A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe

Author: Roger Penrose

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1446418200

Category: Science

Page: 1136

View: 5913

The Road to Reality is the most important and ambitious work of science for a generation. It provides nothing less than a comprehensive account of the physical universe and the essentials of its underlying mathematical theory. It assumes no particular specialist knowledge on the part of the reader, so that, for example, the early chapters give us the vital mathematical background to the physical theories explored later in the book. Roger Penrose's purpose is to describe as clearly as possible our present understanding of the universe and to convey a feeling for its deep beauty and philosophical implications, as well as its intricate logical interconnections. The Road to Reality is rarely less than challenging, but the book is leavened by vivid descriptive passages, as well as hundreds of hand-drawn diagrams. In a single work of colossal scope one of the world's greatest scientists has given us a complete and unrivalled guide to the glories of the universe that we all inhabit.

Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point

New Directions for the Physics of Time

Author: Huw Price

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198026137

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 1313

Why is the future so different from the past? Why does the past affect the future and not the other way around? What does quantum mechanics really tell us about the world? In this important and accessible book, Huw Price throws fascinating new light on some of the great mysteries of modern physics, and connects them in a wholly original way. Price begins with the mystery of the arrow of time. Why, for example, does disorder always increase, as required by the second law of thermodynamics? Price shows that, for over a century, most physicists have thought about these problems the wrong way. Misled by the human perspective from within time, which distorts and exaggerates the differences between past and future, they have fallen victim to what Price calls the "double standard fallacy": proposed explanations of the difference between the past and the future turn out to rely on a difference which has been slipped in at the beginning, when the physicists themselves treat the past and future in different ways. To avoid this fallacy, Price argues, we need to overcome our natural tendency to think about the past and the future differently. We need to imagine a point outside time -- an Archimedean "view from nowhen" -- from which to observe time in an unbiased way. Offering a lively criticism of many major modern physicists, including Richard Feynman and Stephen Hawking, Price shows that this fallacy remains common in physics today -- for example, when contemporary cosmologists theorize about the eventual fate of the universe. The "big bang" theory normally assumes that the beginning and end of the universe will be very different. But if we are to avoid the double standard fallacy, we need to consider time symmetrically, and take seriously the possibility that the arrow of time may reverse when the universe recollapses into a "big crunch." Price then turns to the greatest mystery of modern physics, the meaning of quantum theory. He argues that in missing the Archimedean viewpoint, modern physics has missed a radical and attractive solution to many of the apparent paradoxes of quantum physics. Many consequences of quantum theory appear counterintuitive, such as Schrodinger's Cat, whose condition seems undetermined until observed, and Bell's Theorem, which suggests a spooky "nonlocality," where events happening simultaneously in different places seem to affect each other directly. Price shows that these paradoxes can be avoided by allowing that at the quantum level the future does, indeed, affect the past. This demystifies nonlocality, and supports Einstein's unpopular intuition that quantum theory describes an objective world, existing independently of human observers: the Cat is alive or dead, even when nobody looks. So interpreted, Price argues, quantum mechanics is simply the kind of theory we ought to have expected in microphysics -- from the symmetric standpoint. Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point presents an innovative and controversial view of time and contemporary physics. In this exciting book, Price urges physicists, philosophers, and anyone who has ever pondered the mysteries of time to look at the world from the fresh perspective of Archimedes' Point and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, the universe around us, and our own place in time.

The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing

Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199216819

Category: Science

Page: 419

View: 8857

An anthology of diverse and inspiring pieces to browse and to treasure. It shows the many of the best scientists have displayed as much imagination and skill with the pen as in the laboratory.

The Drunkard's Walk

How Randomness Rules Our Lives

Author: Leonard Mlodinow

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307275175

Category: Mathematics

Page: 252

View: 8681

An irreverent look at how randomness influences our lives, and how our successes and failures are far more dependent on chance events than we recognize.

Scribes and Scholars

A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature

Author: L. D. Reynolds,N. G. Wilson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199686335

Category: History

Page: 325

View: 9905

It explores how the texts from classical Greece and Rome have survived and gives an account of the reasons why it was thought worthwhile to preserve them for future generations. In this 4th edition adjustments have been made to the text and the notes have been revised in order to take account of advances in scholarship over the last twenty years.

Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur

Author: Tom Lancaster,Stephen J. Blundell,Stephen Blundell

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199699321

Category: Science

Page: 485

View: 7080

Quantum field theory provides the theoretical backbone to most modern physics. This book is designed to bring quantum field theory to a wider audience of physicists. It is packed with worked examples, witty diagrams, and applications intended to introduce a new audience to this revolutionary theory.

The Undiscovered Mind

How the Human Brain Defies Replication, Medication, and Explanation

Author: John Horgan

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0684865785

Category: Medical

Page: 336

View: 738

A respected journalist explores the fields of science that try to explain the mysteries of the human mind, arguing that science has done little to plumb the depths of our minds and cannot ever rationally explain all of human behavior. 50,000 first printing.

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs

The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe

Author: Lisa Randall

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062328514

Category: Science

Page: 432

View: 5953

In this brilliant exploration of our cosmic environment, the renowned particle physicist and New York Times bestselling author of Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven’s Door uses her research into dark matter to illuminate the startling connections between the furthest reaches of space and life here on Earth. Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the Solar System passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs. Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings—established and speculative—regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin of the Universe, our galaxy, our Solar System, and life, along with the process by which scientists explore new concepts. In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Randall tells a breathtaking story that weaves together the cosmos’ history and our own, illuminating the deep relationships that are critical to our world and the astonishing beauty inherent in the most familiar things.

The Emerald Planet

How plants changed Earth's history

Author: David Beerling

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192529781

Category: Science

Page: 416

View: 5970

Plants have profoundly moulded the Earth's climate and the evolutionary trajectory of life. Far from being 'silent witnesses to the passage of time', plants are dynamic components of our world, shaping the environment throughout history as much as that environment has shaped them. In The Emerald Planet, David Beerling puts plants centre stage, revealing the crucial role they have played in driving global changes in the environment, in recording hidden facets of Earth's history, and in helping us to predict its future. His account draws together evidence from fossil plants, from experiments with their living counterparts, and from computer models of the 'Earth System', to illuminate the history of our planet and its biodiversity. This new approach reveals how plummeting carbon dioxide levels removed a barrier to the evolution of the leaf; how plants played a starring role in pushing oxygen levels upwards, allowing spectacular giant insects to thrive in the Carboniferous; and it strengthens fascinating and contentious fossil evidence for an ancient hole in the ozone layer. Along the way, Beerling introduces a lively cast of pioneering scientists from Victorian times onwards whose discoveries provided the crucial background to these and the other puzzles. This understanding of our planet's past sheds a sobering light on our own climate-changing activities, and offers clues to what our climatic and ecological futures might look like. There could be no more important time to take a close look at plants, and to understand the history of the world through the stories they tell. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

The Turing Guide

Author: Jack Copeland,Jonathan Bowen,Mark Sprevak,Robin Wilson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198747829

Category: Science

Page: 544

View: 5746

Alan Turing has long proved a subject of fascination, but following the centenary of his birth in 2012, the code-breaker, computer pioneer, mathematician (and much more) has become even more celebrated with much media coverage, and several meetings, conferences and books raising public awareness of Turing's life and work. This volume will bring together contributions from some of the leading experts on Alan Turing to create a comprehensive guide to Turing that will serve as a useful resource for researchers in the area as well as the increasingly interested general reader. The book will cover aspects of Turing's life and the wide range of his intellectual activities, including mathematics, code-breaking, computer science, logic, artificial intelligence and mathematical biology, as well as his subsequent influence.

Energy, the Subtle Concept

The discovery of Feynman's blocks from Leibniz to Einstein

Author: Jennifer Coopersmith

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191057509

Category: Science

Page: 432

View: 3177

Energy is at the heart of physics and of huge importance to society and yet no book exists specifically to explain it, and in simple terms. In tracking the history of energy, this book is filled with the thrill of the chase, the mystery of smoke and mirrors, and presents a fascinating human-interest story. Moreover, following the history provides a crucial aid to understanding: this book explains the intellectual revolutions required to comprehend energy, revolutions as profound as those stemming from Relativity and Quantum Theory. Texts by Descartes, Leibniz, Bernoulli, d'Alembert, Lagrange, Hamilton, Boltzmann, Clausius, Carnot and others are made accessible, and the engines of Watt and Joule are explained. Many fascinating questions are covered, including: - Why just kinetic and potential energies - is one more fundamental than the other? - What are heat, temperature and action? - What is the Hamiltonian? - What have engines to do with physics? - Why did the steam-engine evolve only in England? - Why S=klogW works and why temperature is IT. Using only a minimum of mathematics, this book explains the emergence of the modern concept of energy, in all its forms: Hamilton's mechanics and how it shaped twentieth-century physics, and the meaning of kinetic energy, potential energy, temperature, action, and entropy. It is as much an explanation of fundamental physics as a history of the fascinating discoveries that lie behind our knowledge today.

Alan Turing: Life and Legacy of a Great Thinker

Author: Christof Teuscher

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 3662056429

Category: Computers

Page: 542

View: 6168

Written by a distinguished cast of contributors, Alan Turing: Life and Legacy of a Great Thinker is the definitive collection of essays in commemoration of the 90th birthday of Alan Turing. This fascinating text covers the rich facets of his life, thoughts, and legacy, but also sheds some light on the future of computing science with a chapter contributed by visionary Ray Kurzweil, winner of the 1999 National Medal of Technology. Further, important contributions come from the philosopher Daniel Dennett, the Turing biographer Andrew Hodges, and from the distinguished logician Martin Davis, who provides a first critical essay on an emerging and controversial field termed "hypercomputation".