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# The Constants of Nature: The Numbers That Encode the Deepest Secrets of the Universe

Reality as we know it is bound by a set of constants—numbers and values that dictate the strengths of forces like gravity, the speed of light, and the masses of elementary particles. In

**The Constants of Nature**, Cambridge Professor and bestselling author John D.Barrow takes us on an exploration of these governing principles. Drawing on physicists such as Einstein and Planck...moreebook, 368 pages

Published
May 6th 2009
by Vintage
(first published November 26th 2002)

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## Community Reviews

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I actually got this book way back in 2002 when it was first pub'd.

What a confusing mess!

I haven't read any of Barrows' other books, so I can't say whether he can't (IMO) write clear books in general or whether the lack of clarity is an issue with Constants...

In the first chapter -- heck, even in the Preface -- the author should LIST off (bullet, number, letter, etc.) the Constants (symbol and all) followed by a one- or two-sentence description.

Next...more

n order to explain physical reality, physicists measure and determine physical quantities/parameters/information related to the object/subject in question using well defined laws such as; the laws of classical physics (theory relativity), quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics. Physicists do not know the details of all the laws, and their interpretations/explanations often vary, but the physical laws themselves are the same across the universe. Einstein's principle of covariance...more

For anyone who loves physics, but isn’t a physicist, this book will provide a gripping read.

Fairly good exposition on the current state of physics, but disappointing in philosophical matters.

Apr 12, 2011
Hadrian
rated it
3 of 5 stars
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
nonfiction,
physical-science

Nice and easy overview of some of the most underlying concepts of physical science. A bit slow in the beginning, but really picks up in the later chapters.

la mia recensione: http://xmau.com/notiziole/archives/00...

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John D. Barrow is a professor of mathematical sciences and director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at Cambridge University and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He lives in Cambridge, UK.

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“Prior to then it was believed that black holes were just cosmic cookie monsters, swallowing everything that came within their gravitational clutches.”
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“Since only a narrow range of the allowed values for, say, the fine structure constant will permit observers to exist in the Universe, we must find ourselves in the narrow range of possibilities which permit them, no matter how improbable they are. We must ask for the conditional probability of observing constants to take particular ranges, given that other features of the Universe, like its age, satisfy necessary conditions for life.”
—
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