Apenas seis números explicam o universo

sábado, abril 09, 2011

Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape The Universe [Paperback]

Martin Rees (Author)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Just six numbers govern the shape, size, and texture of our universe. If their values were only fractionally different, we would not exist: nor, in many cases, would matter have had a chance to form. If the numbers that govern our universe were elegant--1, say, or pi, or the Golden Mean--we would simply shrug and say that the universe was an elegant mathematical puzzle. But the numbers Martin Rees discusses are far from tidy. Was the universe "tweaked" or is it one of many universes, all run by slightly different, but equally messy, rules?

This is familiar ground, though rarely so comprehensively explored. What makes Rees's book exceptional is his conviction that cosmology is as materialistic and as conceptually simple as any of the earth sciences. Indeed,
cosmology is simpler in one important respect: once the starting point is specified, the outcome is in broad terms predictable. All large patches of the universe that start off the same way end up statistically similar. In contrast, if the Earth's history were re-run, it could end up with a quite different biosphere.

Rees demonstrates how the cosmos is full of "fossils" from which we can deduce how our universe developed as surely as we infer the earth's past from the relics found in sedimentary rocks. Rees's theme is nothing less than the colossal richness of the universe. It is an ambitious book, but if anything, it deserves to be longer. --Simon Ings, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Science writer and astronomer Rees summarizes the history of the universe, pointing out that six numbers related to basic physical constants (for example, the relative strengths of the gravitational and electromagnetic attraction) determine how the universe developed. In addition, he shows how, if these numbers were only slightly different, stars and galaxies would not form, complex chemistry would not be possible, and life could not evolve. This raises the interesting philosophical question, Why? One could dismiss the question by saying that, if it were otherwise, we wouldn't be here to ask or that there is some underlying theory as yet unknown that would show that these values must be what they are. However, Rees suggests that these numbers were set shortly after the big bang and could well have been different. Indeed, there may be a multitude of other universes, forever inaccessible to us, in which they are different. Thus, with a huge choice of possible universes, one must exist that could support intelligent beings who can observe and question. Whether one agrees or not with Rees's ideas, his book is recommended for its cogent synopsis of modern cosmologic thought. [BOMC alternate selection.]--Harold D. Shane, Baruch Coll., CUN.
---Harold D. Shane, Baruch Coll., CUNY 
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Scientific American

Rees, Astronomer Royal of Great Britain, advances the arresting proposition that the six numbers of his title play "a crucial and distinctive role in our universe, and together they determine how the universe evolves and what its internal potentialities are." Indeed, the numbers constitute a recipe for a universe, and "the outcome is sensitive to their values: if any one of them were to be 'untuned,' there would be no stars and no life." His cast of numbers is: N, measures the strength of the electrical forces that hold atoms together; E, defines how firmly atomic nuclei bind together and how all the atoms on Earth were made; (, measures the amount of material in the universe; L, represents "an unsuspected new force--a cosmic 'antigravity,'" that controls the expansion of our universe; Q, represents the ratio of two fundamental energies; D, states the number of spatial dimensions in our world. Rees, smoothly traversing a scale of size from the cosmos to the atom, ponders a profound question about the fine-tuning of the six numbers as they affect our universe. "Is this tuning just a brute fact, a coincidence? Or is it the providence of a benign Creator? I take the view that it is neither. An infinity of other universes may well exist where the numbers are different. Most would be stillborn or sterile. We could only have emerged ... in a universe with the 'right' combination." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

"Rees...has written a brief, readable, and profoundly instructive account of where cosmological knowledge stands at this moment..."


"[Just Six Numbers] manages to be both a deep and an accessible book..." -- New York Times

"a most unconventional page-turner: as with all the best thrillers, one is left dying to know what will happen next." -- The Economist Review

Product Description

The genesis of the universe elegantly explained in a simple theory based on just six numbers by one of the world's most renowned astrophysicists

About the Author

Matrin Rees is a leading researcher on cosmic evolution, black holes, and galaxies. He has himself originated many key ideas, and brings a unique perspective to themes discussed in this book. He is currently a Royal Society Research Professor, and Great Britain’s Astronomer Royal. Through based in Cambridge University for most of his career, he travels extensively, and collaborates wit many colleagues in the U.S. and elsewhere. He is an enthusiast for international collaboration in research, and is a member of several foreign academies.

Product Details

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Basic Books (May 8, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780465036738
ISBN-13: 978-0465036738
ASIN: 0465036732
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 8 ounces 

Source/Fonte: Amazon Books