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Journalist Brooks reviews the 13 anomalies scientists love most, reaching into the secrets of physics, biology and psychology. He examines why the Pioneer space project goes on, why the universe is unstable, why cold fusion works, whether living beings are more than just bags of chemicals with options, why Mars may or may not have life (depending on the day and the scientist), whether the aliens have landed, how a giant virus started it all, why free will is a farce, who deceives whom in the placebo effect, and why alternative medicine works when it makes no sense to the scientific mind, which, of course, finds more fun with the odd than the proven. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
The Big Questions series is designed to let renowned experts address the 20 most fundamental and frequently asked questions of a major branch of science or philosophy. Each 3000-word essay simply and concisely examines a question that has eternally perplexed enquiring minds, and provides answers from history's great thinkers. This ambitious project is a unique distillation of humanity's best ideas. In Big Questions: Physics, Michael Brooks answers the 20 key questions: What is the point of physics? Is everything ultimately random? What is time? Why is there no such thing as a free lunch? What happened to Schrödinger's cat? Can I change the universe with a single glance? Are solids really solid? Which is nature's strongest force? Why does an apple fall? Do we live in a computer simulation? What is light? Is Earth's magnetic shield failing? Am I unique in the universe? Does chaos theory spell disaster? Can we travel through time? Is string theory really about strings? Why does E=mc2? What is the God Particle? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the ultimate nature of reality?
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