‘A gem of a book’ Carlo Rovelli, author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
‘A unique and beautifully written masterpiece’ Max Tegmark, author of Life 3.0
Could there be a civilization on a mote of dust? How much of your fate have you made? Who cleans the universe?
Through more than fifty Koans – pleasingly paradoxical vignettes following the ancient Zen tradition – leading physicist Anthony Aguirre takes us across the world from Japan to Italy, and through ideas spanning the age, breadth and depth of the Universe. Using these beguiling stories and a flair for explaining complex science, he covers cosmic questions that giants from Aristotle to Galileo to Heisenberg have grappled with – from the nature of time to the origin of multiple universes to the meaning of quantum theory.
Playful and enlightening, Cosmological Koans invites the reader into an intellectual adventure of the highest order, giving us what Einstein called ‘the most beautiful and deepest experience’ anyone can have – a sense of the mysterious.
The paradoxes of Zen Buddhism could help us grasp fundamental physics. . . What Aguirre does remarkably well is to find a way of threading many of the most interesting questions in theoretical physics onto a single narrative chain. . . At its heart the book offers a compelling answer to the question of how to talk about the un-talk-about-able -- Gilead Amit * The New Scientist * A truly creative exploration of physics and its profound insights into the Universe -- Adam Frank, author of Light of the Stars This is calisthenics for the mind - it will stretch your imagination almost to the breaking point, and your understanding of reality will come away more healthy and flexible than before -- Sean Carroll, author of The Big Picture A delight for readers raised on Goedel, Escher, Bach and The Dancing Wu Li Masters * Kirkus * A gem of a book -- Carlo Rovelli, author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics This unique and beautifully written masterpiece transforms the deepest mysteries of our universe into a captivating and accessible quest for personal enlightenment -- Max Tegmark, author of Life 3.0
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