Our Writers' Gallery features short pieces about physics by authors who are both renowned physicists and prize-winning writers. Some of these are original contributions and others are excerpts from longer works. Many are linked to more information about the authors and their work.
Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems shook the foundations of formal logic and mathematics, but its meaning remained elusive even to experts for years. Today, however, there's an easier way to see how Gödel discovered his theorems.
Everyone’s heard of Einstein, and most know of E=mc2; but did you know that gravity bends light? Do you understand how energy can be transformed to matter? And can you explain why clocks run slower the faster they move? A century after Einstein proved these facts and more, they continue to boggle the mind. In his book, Orzel explains one of the cornerstones of modern physics in everyday language and down-to-Earth imagery, through a series of imaginary conversations with his lovable mutt, Emmy.
Many mathematicians since the time of Euclid attempted to solve a seemingly simple problem about parallel lines without success. Yet the success of their failures would reveal a whole new geometry and description of space and time.
What good is fundamental physics to the person on the street? This is the perennial question posed to physicists by their non-science friends, by students in the humanities and social sciences, and by politicians looking to justify spending tax dollars on basic science.
Would the world now be different if Albert Einstein had never lived? Could we ask the same question with regard to Claude Monet or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?
Simply defined, cosmic evolution is the study of change--the vast number of developmental and generative changes that have accumulated during all time and across all space, from big bang to humankind.