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The One True Platonic Heaven: A Scientific Fiction on the Limits of Knowledge


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Mai 2003

Beschreibung

Beschreibung

By the author of The Cambridge Quintet, John L. Casti's new book continues the tradition of combining fact with just the right dose of fiction--bringing the science to us in a wholly informative and entertaining way. In the fall of 1933 the newly founded Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, welcomed its first faculty member, Albert Einstein. With this superstar on the roster, the Institute was able to attract the greatest scholars, scientists, and poets from around the world. It was an intellectual haven, a place where the most brilliant minds on the planet, sheltered from the outside world's cares and calamities, could collaborate and devote their time to the pure and exclusive pursuit of knowledge. For many of them, it was the "one, true, platonic heaven." Over the years, key figures at the Institute began to question the limits to what science could tell us about the world, pondering the universal secrets it might unlock. Could science be the ultimate source of truth or are there intrinsic limits, built into the very fabric of the universe, to what we can learn? In the late 1940s and early 1950s, this important question was being asked by some of the Institute's deepest thinkers. Enter the dramatis personae to illuminate the science and the philosophy of the time. Mathematical logician Kurt Godel was the unacknowledged Grant Exalted Ruler of this platonic estate. Also in residence was his colleague, the Hungarian-American polymath John van Neumann, developer of game theory, the axiomatic foundations of quantum mechanics, and the digital computer. Einstein, by common consensus the greatest physicist the 20th century had ever known, also figures large in this story.And, of course, the director of the Institute, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, must by necessity be key to any story that focuses in on this time and place. Author Casti elegantly sets the stage and then masterfully directs his impressive cast of charac

Portrait

John Casti
EAN: 9780309085472
ISBN: 0309085470
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: JOSEPH HENRY PR
Erscheinungsdatum: Mai 2003
Seitenanzahl: 160 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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