Here are pieces that touch on both the ethereal and the corporeal; the dependence of a ballerina on the laws of physics, the unscientific nature of discovery, the choice of every scientist makes between tinkering and theorizing, the impulse behind an unprompted smile.
A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human SpiritVintage #ad - Thoughtful, beautifully written, and wonderfully original, A Sense of the Mysterious confirms Alan Lightman's unique position at the crossroads of science and art. From the bestselling author of einstein's Dreams comes this lyrical and insightful collection of science writing that delves into the mysteries of the scientific process--physics, astronomy, mathamatics--and exposes its beauty and intrigue.
In these brilliant essays, the creative moment, the power of imagination, Lightman explores the emotional life of science, and the alternate ways in which scientists and humanists think about the world. Along the way, richard feynman, edward teller, including Albert Einstein, he provides in-depth portraits of some of the great geniuses of our time, and astronomer Vera Rubin.
In Praise of Wasting Time TED BooksSimon & Schuster/ TED #ad - Carl jung did his most creative thinking and writing when he visited his country house. We take our iPhones and laptops with us on vacation. Especially in the west, dissected, we have created a frenzied lifestyle in which the twenty-four hours of each day are carved up, and reduced down to ten minute units of efficiency.
With in praise of wasting time, suggests the technological and cultural origins of our time-driven lives, for creative thought, Professor Alan Lightman documents the rush and heave of the modern world, and examines the many values of “wasting time”—for replenishing the mind, and for finding and solidifying the inner self.
Yet in the face of our time-driven existence, ” of letting the mind lie fallow for some periods, a great deal of evidence suggests there is great value in “wasting time, of letting minutes and even hours go by without scheduled activities or intended tasks. In his 1949 autobiography, albert Einstein described how his thinking involved letting his mind roam over many possibilities and making connections between concepts that were previously unconnected.
In Praise of Wasting Time TED Books #ad - In this timely and essential book that offers a fresh take on the qualms of modern day life, Professor Alan Lightman investigates the creativity born from allowing our minds to freely roam, without attempting to accomplish anything and without any assigned tasks. We are all worried about wasting time. We check email at restaurants or our brokerage accounts while walking in the park.
Break free from the idea that we must not waste a single second, and discover how sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing at all.
The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You KnewVintage #ad - Alan lightman brings a light touch to heavy questions. Galison, joseph pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University. Throughout, lightman takes us back and forth between ordinary occurrences—old shoes and entropy, sailing far out at sea and the infinite expanse of space. In this slight volume, each offering a glimpse at the whole from a different perspective: here time, there symmetry, Lightman looks toward the universe and captures aspects of it in a series of beautifully written essays, not least God.
Here is a book about nesting ospreys, multiple universes, spiritualism, atheism, and the arrow of time. It is a meditation by a remarkable humanist-physicist, a book worth reading by anyone entranced by big ideas grounded in the physical world. Peter L.
Searching for Stars on an Island in MaineVintage #ad - Searching for stars on an Island in Maine is Lightman's exploration of these seemingly contradictory impulses. He draws on sources ranging from saint augustine's conception of absolute truth to Einstein's theory of relativity, from the unity of the once-indivisible atom to the multiplicity of subatomic particles and the recent notion of multiple universes.
As a teenager experimenting in his own laboratory, he was impressed by the logic and materiality of a universe governed by a small number of disembodied forces and laws that decree all things in the world are material and impermanent. What he gives us is a profound inquiry into the human desire for truth and meaning, and a journey along the different paths of religion and science that become part of that quest.
Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine #ad - . From the acclaimed author of einstein's dreams, lyrical meditation on religion and science that explores the tension between our yearning for permanence and certainty, here is an inspires, and the modern scientific discoveries that demonstrate the impermanent and uncertain nature of the world. As a physicist, alan Lightman has always held a scientific view of the world.
But one summer evening, while looking at the stars from a small boat at sea, Lightman was overcome by the overwhelming sensation that he was merging with something larger than himself—a grand and eternal unity, a hint of something absolute and immaterial.
Song of Two WorldsRed Hen Press #ad - Verdict a vivid and moving book-length narrative poem that places the reader inside of a universe of wonder; of interest to poetry readers and beyond. Library journalfrom the author of international bestseller Einstein's Dreams and National Book Award nominee The Diagnosis. After decades of living “hung like a dried fly, religion, ” emptied and haunted by his past, a man who has lost his faith in all things following a mysterious personal tragedy, awakens one morning revitalized and begins a Dante-like journey to find something to believe in, first turning to the world of science and then to the world of philosophy, the narrator, and human life.
As his personal story is slowly revealed, little by little, we confront the great questions of the cosmos and of the human heart, some questions with answers and others without. An exciting new illustrated edition of a unique narrative poem.
Mr g: A Novel About the Creation Vintage ContemporariesVintage #ad - Then come stars, planets, finally, consciousness, and, animate matter, intelligent beings with moral dilemmas. Barraged by the constant advisements and bickerings of Aunt Penelope and Uncle Deva, space, who live with their nephew in the shimmering Void, Mr g proceeds to create time, and matter. Mr g is all powerful but not all knowing and does much of his invention by trial and error.
Even the best-laid plans can go awry, and mr g discovers that with his creation of space and time come some unforeseen consequences—especially in the form of the mysterious Belhor, a clever and devious rival. An intellectual equal to mr g, requests that the newly created intelligent creatures not be subject to rational laws, Belhor delights in provoking him: Belhor demands an explanation for the inexplicable, and maintains the necessity of evil.
Mr g: A Novel About the Creation Vintage Contemporaries #ad - As i remember, i had just woken up from a nap when I decided to create the universe. So begins alan lightman’s playful and profound new novel, Mr g, the story of Creation as told by God. As mr g watches his favorite universe grow into maturity, he begins to understand how the act of creation can change himself, the Creator.
With echoes of calvino, rushdie, theology, and moral philosophy, combining science, and Saramago, Mr g is a stunningly imaginative work that celebrates the tragic and joyous nature of existence on the grandest possible scale.
The Discoveries: Great Breakthroughs in 20th-Century Science, Including the Original PapersVintage #ad - With remarkable insight, lightman charts the intellectual and emotional landscape of the time, portrays the human drama of discovery, and explains the significance and impact of the work. It brings the process of discovery to life before our very eyes. Finally he includes a fascinating and unique guided tour through the original papers in which the discoveries were revealed.
Here is science writing at its best–beautiful, lyrical and completely accessible. Here are einstein, mcclintock, Watson and Crick, Fleming, Paul ing, Bohr, Heisenberg and many others. In this captivating and lucid book, novelist and science writer Alan Lightman chronicles twenty-four great discoveries of twentieth-century science--everything from the theory of relativity to mapping the structure of DNA.
The Discoveries: Great Breakthroughs in 20th-Century Science, Including the Original Papers #ad - These discoveries radically changed our notions of the world and our place in it.
Einstein's Dreams Vintage ContemporariesVintage #ad - In one, time is circular, so that people are fated to repeat triumphs and failures over and over. In another, there is a place where time stands still, visited by lovers and parents clinging to their children. In another, time is a nightingale, sometimes trapped by a bell jar. Now translated into thirty languages, musicians, Einstein’s Dreams has inspired playwrights, dancers, and painters all over the world.
As the defiant but sensitive young genius is creating his theory of relativity, a new conception of time, he imagines many possible worlds. A modern classic, about time, einstein’s Dreams is a fictional collage of stories dreamed by Albert Einstein in 1905, relativity and physics. In poetic vignettes, it explores the connections between science and art, the process of creativity, and ultimately the fragility of human existence.
Ghost: A Novel Vintage ContemporariesVintage #ad - Something no science could explain. Suddenly david's life is changed, and he soon finds himself in the middle of a wild public controversy over the existence of the supernatural. Combining a beautiful narrative with provocative ideas, Ghost investigates timeless questions that continue to challenge the truth as we know it.
A stunning new novel about an ordinary man's encounter with the extraordinary, from the author of Einstein's Dreams. David kurzweil, was taking a break at his new job, a quiet man with modest ambitions, when he saw something out of the corner of his eye. As david searches for an explanation, we embark on a provocative exploration of the delicate divide between the physical and the spiritual, between science and religion as only Alan Lightman could provide.
One Writer's BeginningsScribner #ad - Part memoir, part exploration of the seeds of creativity, this unique distillation of a writer’s beginnings offers a rare glimpse into the Mississippi childhood that made Eudora Welty the acclaimed and important writer she would become. Everyday sights, her orphaned father’s coverless little book saved since boyhood, the tall mountains of the West Virginia back country that became a metaphor for her mother’s sturdy independence, and objects resonate with the emotions of recollection: the striking clocks, the Victrola, sounds, Eudora’s earliest box camera that suspended a moment forever and taught her that every feeling awaits a gesture.
In her vivid descriptions of growing up in the south—of the interplay between black and white, memory, between dedicated schoolteachers and the children they taught—she recreates the vanished world of her youth with the same subtlety and insight that mark her fiction, capturing “the mysterious transfiguring gift by which dream, between town and countryside, and experience become art” Los Angeles Times Book Review.
One Writer's Beginnings #ad - Featuring a new introduction, this updated edition of the new york times bestselling classic by Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–winning author and one of the most revered figures in American letters is “profound and priceless as guidance for anyone who aspires to write” Los Angeles Times.
Born in 1909 in jackson, mississippi, eudora welty shares details of her upbringing that show us how her family and her surroundings contributed to the shaping not only of her personality but of her writing as well.