review How the Universe Got Its Spots Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space 103



10 thoughts on “How the Universe Got Its Spots Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space

  1. says:

    This book is pretty easy to read There is some geometry but almost no formulas; the reading level is like Scientific American The author is a master of making a complex subject easy to understand with analogies and simple diagrams The book is structured as a series of letters to the author’s mother and the author intersperses personal details of her friends and love life She is constantly shifting residences as she migrates bet

  2. says:

    I thought this little primer on physics was perfectly delightful I've never seen anyone explain physics in uite this way b

  3. says:

    In short Janna Levin explains scientific theory so well that she may have just changed my freakin life I'm kidding Kind of But we'll get thereFirst Dimension this is an exceptionally lucid piece of writing Levin a cosmologist who here argues for a finite universe traces the lineage of her theory with remarkable

  4. says:

    My family has a joke that there are three kinds of math Math hard math and math that will make you cry I for one crashed and burned

  5. says:

    You might have come across Janna Levin's Ho

  6. says:

    If the title sounds clever and you're not sure why it's a play on Rudyard Kipling's tale of How the Leopard Got Its Spots The answer to that uestion is mentioned in passing in this book there is differentiation in the concentration of chemicals bathing the leopard's skin in utero The universe also has spots which is to say that there is some

  7. says:

    This was great Specialized but illuminating she explains just what she needs to in order to make her specialty clear The personalprofessional details give an interesting and heartfelt picture of an academic life

  8. says:

    This is probably one of the most uniue pop sci books I've ever read—Janna Levin a cosmologist who theorizes on the topology and geometry of the universe and who advances the idea that the universe is finite writes of the science be

  9. says:

    Originally published on my blog here in October 2002It is not generally speaking usual for modern science books

  10. says:

    Review from 2011 I have missed reading cosmology Levin does the obligatory catching the reader up to speed that every book on theoretical physics must dutifully accomplish but she doesn't approach her review in the usual l

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free read ↠ eBook or Kindle ePUB ´ Janna Levin

Is Universe Got Its Spots Epubthe universe infinite or just Universe Got ePUB #9734 really big With this uestion the gifted young cosmologist Janna Levin not only announces the central theme of her intriguing and controversial new book but establishes herself as one of the most direct and unorthodox voices in contemporar. In short Janna Levin explains scientific theory so well that she may have just changed my freakin life I m kidding Kind of But we ll get thereFirst Dimension this is an exceptionally lucid piece of writing Levin a cosmologist who here argues for a finite universe traces the lineage of her theory with remarkable logic clarity remarkable because for the first time I sort of understand general relativity No really guys this is big I love reading pop science but there are moments when my brain glazes over I ll tell myself I get the gist and just move on to the next idea Not so here anything Levin explained I actually got Sometimes it took a couple chapters but I ended the book with a clear concept of all topics theories discussed What the hellSecond Dimension this is a beautiful piece of writing Unsurprisingly A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines Levin s novel written a few years after this was published is stunning and one of my all time favourite books Both pieces show emotive intensity in the turns of phrase and juxtapositions both are rife with an awareness of the aesthetic Clear and also sparklingThird Dimension this is a literary piece of writing Near the end of Spots Levin suggests that art and science are linguistic expressions of the same human essence Hard to argue that This is structured as a series of diary entriesletters covering both personal and theoretical ground Each entry starts with a short anecdote sometimes shifted in time for the sake of logical flow that relates to the concept being discussed Though this could easily get kinda tired it doesn t it lends the less scientifically minded reader a foothold and humanizes the entire thing And that of course is key these big theories only matter if we care and you can t help but care about Levin s shaky uncertain journey through distance relationships and cosmology The rest follows And the last page is one of the best I ve read fiction or otherwise a literary ending if ever there was one but so perfectly aligned with the theory of time she d just wrapped up Life is an expression of something we can t yet fathomFourth Dimension this is writing that shows process In that artscience chapter Levin mentions Turing then Godel and connects them in a brief sentence Knowing what s to come ie Madman which fictionalized ly explores the lives of both HOW TOTALLY FRICKIN COOL Was that the genesis of the whole thing Had she already started Book 2 and just dropped a hindsight easter egg Just a coincidence Regardless process and method infuse this book logic and progression in theory from Newton to Einstein to Lee Smolin coming to terms and conclusions for Levin It s obvious but organic and it draws attention not only to how we structure our theories but our thoughtsFifth Dimension this is writing that inspires processThere s a thought experiment about fingers and dimensions here that I ve forced on everyone in the past two days General gist if you live perceive only in two dimensions and were to be shown three dimensional fingers you would not have the capacity to see that they are connected at the root up and down would be as alien to you as a fourth dimension is to us That does not however change that these fingers are connected to something much much larger individual expressions of a mammoth beingWithout getting into too much detail as I copied out a passage from this book several moments from my past clicked into place Reading Gravity s Rainbow and the conseuent spur towards literary academia A persistent adolescent obsession with theoretical physics string theory Jungian archetypes and my childhood love of mythology the Golden Thread Finding my first Steve Erickson which was actually my second because perception varies and the observer defines the moment And all of it coalescingI don t know enough about uantum mechanics physics string theory yet But I know there is something vibrating deeply and without pause and the connections are everywhereJanna Levin girl you re pulsing with thousands of them Anyone who needs some possibility radiated your way head hers

summary How the Universe Got Its Spots Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space

How the Universe Got Its Spots Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space

Ws how the pattern of hot How the PDFEPUBand cold spots left over from the big bang may one day reveal the size and shape of the cosmos She does so with such originality lucidity and even poetry that How the Universe Got Its Spots becomes a thrilling and deeply personal communication between a scientist and the lay reade. This was great Specialized but illuminating she explains just what she needs to in order to make her specialty clear The personalprofessional details give an interesting and heartfelt picture of an academic life

free read ↠ eBook or Kindle ePUB ´ Janna Levin

Y science For even as she sets out to determine how big “really big” may be Levin gives us an intimate look at the day to day life of a globe trotting physicist complete with jet lag the Universe Got Its Spots MOBI #224 and romantic disturbancesNimbly synthesizing geometry topology chaos and string theories Levin sho. If the title sounds clever and you re not sure why it s a play on Rudyard Kipling s tale of How the Leopard Got Its Spots The answer to that uestion is mentioned in passing in this book there is differentiation in the concentration of chemicals bathing the leopard s skin in utero The universe also has spots which is to say that there is some lumpiness although not nearly so much as you would think from your day to day experience in the cosmic stuff still spewing away kind of from the big bang The uestion of where the spots came from turns out to be a little trickier for the universe than it is for the leopard Let s just say that small uantum uncertainties within the first bizarrely small fraction of a second of the universe s existence could have galactic scale implications a few trillion years down the road and hope that we sound pretty smart and that there are no follow up uestionsAny follow up uestions No GoodThe title is actually so clever that it got used even though it doesn t really match the book Levin isn t especially interested in how the universe got its spots What she s interested in is how observing the patterns in those spots might allow us if we were stupendously lucky to determine the shape of the universe and figure out whether it is finite or infinite and if the latter how infinite Yeah I know how infinite seems a little dodgy She explains it And even if we weren t that lucky checking out the pattern of spots particularly in the background microwave radiation that suffuses the cosmos might at least allow us to weed out some theories and refine others about how this universe we live in worksBy us I of course mean brainy physics typesBy background microwave radiation I mean a concept in cosmology that Levin explains over the course of her book She also explains such scary concepts as relativity special and general dimensionality topology string theory and chaos theory There are probably plenty of books that try to explain these things but I doubt any of them are as chatty as this one Levin s book couched as a series of letters to her mother mixes and matches the concepts that underlie her work with personal stories about the decline and fall of a relationship what it s like to commute back and forth between California and England how she furnishes her new apartment and the like It is kind of weird but if the point was to try to humanize theoretical physics and imply that it can be comprehended by ordinary folks with ordinary problems it is actually kind of successful The bits where Levin anguishes over whether she should get a new apartment or not have the added advantage of reuiring very little effort which lets you build up a good reading head of steam and get some momentum going for when she gets back to the point and ponders the implications of whether the universe is flat positively curved or negatively curved Like I say it s kind of weird but it s also uite readableI know just enough about cosmology to know that this book is a bit out of date but not enough to be able to put my finger on exactly how But Levin knew when writing it in 2000 that it would have a fairly short shelf life and refers several times to the exciting new information that will be flooding in over the next couple of years from new satellite missions Those new satellites are satellites of the past now of course and the flood of data that they provided has been fuel to the brisk growth in our astronomical knowledge in the last decade or so Did you not know that astronomy was booming It is Concept for concept it has probably been the most productive field of human inuiry over the last fifteen years or soPrognosis How the Universe Got Its Spots is a pretty good book I think everybody should make a good faith effort to get their head around the basics of relativity and uantum physics too It s not like this stuff is particularly new and revolutionary and it can t hurt to understand how the world works at a very basic level Plus it s interestingBut the uestion at hand is is Spots the right book for the job Answer it s not a bad pick if you ve got a copy available If not there are probably others maybe newer ones that could also do the trick If you know of any really good ones leave a pointer in the comments The IAT readership craves ever to better understand the physical universe