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Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality [Rauer Buchschnitt] [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Max Tegmark
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Kurzbeschreibung

7. Januar 2014
Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mind-boggling theories, but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist. Fascinating from first to last—this is a book that has already prompted the attention and admiration of some of the most prominent scientists and mathematicians.

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Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 432 Seiten
  • Verlag: Knopf (7. Januar 2014)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0307599809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307599803
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 24,1 x 16,6 x 3,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 5.719 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

Brian Greene, physicist, author of The Elegant Universe and The Hidden Reality
Our Mathematical Universe boldly confronts one of the deepest questions at the fertile interface of physics and philosophy: why is mathematics so spectacularly successful at describing the cosmos? Through lively writing and wonderfully accessible explanations, Max Tegmark—one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists—guides the reader to a possible answer, and reveals how, if it’s right, our understanding of reality itself would be radically altered.”

Michio Kaku, author of Physics of the Future 
“Daring, Radical. Innovative. A game changer. If Dr. Tegmark is correct, this represents a paradigm shift in the relationship between physics and mathematics, forcing us to rewrite our textbooks. A must read for anyone deeply concerned about our universe.” 

Ray Kurzweil, author of The Singularity is Near
“Tegmark offers a fresh and fascinating perspective on the fabric of physical reality and life itself. He helps us see ourselves in a cosmic context that highlights the grand opportunities for the future of life in our universe.” 

Prof. Edward Witten, physicist, Fields Medalist & Milner Laureate
“Readers of varied backgrounds will enjoy this book. Almost anyone will find something to learn here, much to ponder, and perhaps something to disagree with.” 

Prof. Andrei Linde, physicist, Gruber & Milner Laureate for development of inflationary cosmology
“This inspirational book written by a true expert presents an explosive mixture of physics, mathematics and philosophy which may alter your views on reality.”

Prof. Mario Livio, astrophysicist, author of Brilliant Blunders and Is God a Mathematician? 
“Galileo famously said that the universe is written in the language of mathematics. Now Max Tegmark says that the universe IS mathematics. You don’t have to necessarily agree, to enjoy this fascinating journey into the nature of reality.”

Prof. Julian Barbour, physicist, author of The End of Time
“Scientists and lay aficionados alike will find Tegmark’s book packed with information and very thought provoking. You may recoil from his thesis, but nearly every page will make you wish you could debate the issues face-to-face with him.”

Prof. Seth Lloyd, Professor of quantum mechanical engineering, MIT, author of Programming the Universe
“In Our Mathematical Universe, renowned cosmologist Max Tegmark takes us on a whirlwind tour of the universe, past, present—and other.  With lucid language and clear examples, Tegmark provides us with the master measure of not only of our cosmos, but of all possible universes.  The universe may be lonely, but it is not alone.”

Prof. David Deutsch, physicist, Dirac Laureate for pioneering quantum computing
“A lucid, engaging account of the various many-universes theories of fundamental physics that are currently being considered, from the multiverse of quantum theory to Tegmark’s own grand vision.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Tegmark offers a fascinating exploration of multiverse theories, each one offering new ways to explain ‘quantum weirdness’ and other mysteries that have plagued physicists, culminating in the idea that our physical world is ‘a giant mathematical object’ shaped by geometry and symmetry. Tegmark’s writing is lucid, enthusiastic, and outright entertaining, a thoroughly accessible discussion leavened with anecdotes and the pure joy of a scientist at work.” 

Bryce Cristensen, Booklist (starred review)
“Lively and lucid, the narrative invites general readers into debates over computer models for brain function, over scientific explanations of consciousness, and over prospects for finding advanced life in other galaxies. Though he reflects soberly on the perils of nuclear war and of hostile artificial intelligence, Tegmark concludes with a bracingly upbeat call for scientifically minded activists who recognize a rare opportunity to make our special planet a force for cosmic progress. An exhilarating adventure for bold readers.” 

Robert Matthews, BBC Focus magazine 
“Max Tegmark is a professor of physics at MIT and a leading expert on theories of the Universe. But he’s also arguably the nearest we have to a successor to Richard Feynman, the bongo-playing, wise-cracking physicist who proved it is possible to be smart, savvy and subversive at the same time. […] now `Mad Max’ has been given the freedom of an entire book. And he hasn't wasted it. Around half of it is a lucid tour d'horizon of what we know about the Universe. The rest is an exhilarating expedition far beyond conventional thinking, in search of the true meaning of reality. Don't be fooled: Tegmark is a very smart physicist, not a hand-waving philosopher, so the going gets tough in parts. But his insights and conclusions are staggering—and perhaps even crazy enough to be true.”

Andrew Liddle, Nature 
“Cosmologist Max Tegmark has written an engaging and accessible book, Our Mathematical Universe, that grapples with this multiverse scenario. He aims initially at the scientifically literate public, but seeks to take us to—and, indeed, beyond—the frontiers of accepted knowledge. […] This is a valuable book, written in a deceptively simple style but not afraid to make significant demands on its readers, especially once the multiverse level gets turned up to four. It is impressive how far Tegmark can carry you until, like a cartoon character running off a cliff, you wonder whether there is anything holding you up.”

Peter Woit, The Wall Street Journal 
Our Mathematical Universe is a fascinating and well-executed dramatic argument from a talented expositor.”

Edward Frenkel, The New York Times
"An informative survey of exciting recent developments in astrophysics and quantum theory [...] Tegmark participated in some of these pioneering developments, and he enlivens his story with personal anecdotes. [...] Tegmark does an excellent job explaining this and other puzzles in a way accessible to nonspecialists. Packed with clever metaphors”

Nathan Gelgud, Biographile Nathan Gelgud, Biographile 
“Just a few years ago, the idea of multiple universes was seen as a crackpot idea, not even on the margins of respectability. […] But now, thanks in large part to Tegmark and his pursuit of controversial ideas, the concept of multiple universes (or a multiverse) is considered likely by many experts in the field.[…] Tegmark's clear, engaging prose style can take you down these exciting and unexpected pathways of thought without making you feel lost. [...] in Our Mathematical Universe, we meet a revolutionary cosmology physicist who is hell bent on figuring out if that theory is true, how to prove it, how to use it, and what it means for the world as we know it.”

Clive Cookson, Financial Times
“Today multiple universes are scientifically respectable, thanks to the work of Tegmark as much as anyone. [...] Physics could do with more characters like Tegmark. He combines an imaginative intellect and a charismatic presence with a determination to promote his subject [...] enough will be comprehensible for non-scientific readers to enjoy an amazing ride through the rich landscape of contemporary cosmology. There are many interesting diversions from the main argument, from an assessment of threats to human civilisation (such as a 30 per cent risk of nuclear war) to the chance of intelligent life elsewhere in our galaxy (lower than astrobiologists like to think). Written in a lively and slightly quirky style, it should engage any reader interested in the infinite variety of nature.” 

Mark Buchanan, New Scientist 
“The book is an excellent guide to recent developments in quantum cosmology and the ongoing debate over theories of parallel universes....Perhaps this book is proof that the two personalities needed for science—the speculative and sceptic—can readily exist in one individual.”

Peter Forbes, The Independent 
"In Our Mathematical Universe, Max Tegmark—a distinguished cosmologist—gives a lucid rundown of the current state of knowledge on the origin, present state, and fate of the universe(s). [...] It is immensely illuminating on the reach of current cosmological theories. [...] From time to time, Tegmark engagingly admits that such ideas sound like nonsense, but he makes the crucial point that if a theory makes good predictions you have to follow all of the consequences. [...] His concluding chapter on the risks humanity faces is wise and bracing: he believes we "are alone in our Universe" but are capable of tackling terrible threats from cosmic accidents, or self-induced nuclear or climatic catastrophes. He doesn’t cite poets but his philosophy adds up to an updated 21st-century version of Thomas Hardy's 'If way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst.'"
 
Giles Whittell, The Times
"mind-bending book about the cosmos" [...]...

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Max Tegmark is author or coauthor of more than two hundred technical papers, twelve of which have been cited more than five hundred times. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a physics professor at MIT. 

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Mathematik, Realität und Advocatus Diaboli 13. Januar 2014
Von Dr. T.
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Max Tegmark ist Theoretischer Physiker und Kosmologe, arbeitet am 'Foundational Questions Institute', und hat in den letzten Jahren einige Preprints auf arXiv zu einem Thema veröffentlicht (The Mathematical Universe (2007), Kurzfassung: Shut up and calculate), das Eugene Wigner als die 'Unbegründete Effektivität der Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften' nannte. Die dort entwickelten Ideen werden in den vorliegenden Buch nun systematisch entwickelt, und einem breiteren Publikum vorgestellt. Der Ursprung dieser Ideen geht weit zurück, man könnte bei den Pythagoreern beginnen, aber auf jeden Fall ist Galileo Galilei zu nennen, der das Buch der Natur, als in der Sprache der Mathematik verfasst beschrieb. Ein schöne historische Übersicht findet sich auch bei Mario Livio: „Ist Gott ein Mathematiker“. Aber Tegmark geht mit seinen Ideen weit über ähnliche Ansätze hinaus, für ihn ist Mathematik nicht nur eine faszinierende/ nützliche Methode, um Realität zu beschreiben, für ihn IST Mathematik Realität.

Die ersten Kapitel des Buches sind somit einer eingehenderen Bestimmung dessen gewidmet, was im wissenschaftlichen Sprachgebrauch als physikalische Realität bezeichnet wird; das geht einher mit einer Art Bestandsaufnahme, was, sowohl in kosmischen als auch mikroskopischen Dimensionen, diese physikalische Realität ausmacht, und von welchen Dimensionen da die Rede ist. Dabei gehen auch etliche persönliche Erzählungen des Autor ein, der u.a. jahrelang mit der Datenanalyse der kosmischen Hintergrundstrahlung beschäftigt war; gerade diese Hintergrundstrahlung erwies sich als ein Präzisionsinstrument zur 'Vermessung' des Kosmos.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Frischer Zugang zur Materie :-) 14. April 2014
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Auch für interessierte Laien sehr empfehlenswert, der Aufbau des Buches ist klar und strukturiert, alle gängigen und spekulative Universen-Theorien sind extrem anschaulich präsentiert. Für mich das beste populärwissenschaftliches Buch über Quantenphysik und Quantenmechanik seit langem, der sehr persönliche Schreibstil des Authors fesselt zusätzlich!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Our Mathematical Universe is one of the finest popular science books I've ever read 6. Dezember 2013
Von Michael Birman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Books that discuss the nature of reality have become a cottage industry lately. Brian Greene, Stephen Hawking, Roger Penrose and now Max Tegmark have all attempted to explain the physicist's view of the ultimate nature of reality to a popular audience. Penrose's book, with its advanced mathematics, is geared towards those with a technical background but the trend has been to simplify the science and make these books anecdotal and gentle. Tegmark seems to have discovered the sweet spot between hard core science and a fun read, using the word "geeky" as a red flag any time a technical detail is about to be broached. His language is reader friendly and easy to understand. Tegmark is a good writer and anyone that has seen him on television (Through the Wormhole, for example) knows that he is funny and well-grounded in popular culture. Our Mathematical Universe is a nearly perfect example of a popularized science book.

Years of reading science books have produced a personal pantheon of the finest I've ever come across. There are several aspects of Tegmark's book that have placed it amongst the three finest popular science books I've ever read. The other two books are Albert Einstein and Leopold Infield's The Evolution of Physics and Kip Thorne's Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy (Commonwealth Fund Book Program). The first book, The Evolution of Physics, is still the clearest exposition of classical and (relatively) modern physics ever written, despite its age. It remains the most authoritative, concise and profound discussion of the source of Einstein's world-shattering ideas, and has never been surpassed as a book written by a great scientist for a popular audience. Kip Thorne's book combines personal reminiscence and scientific exposition with an elegance and depth that makes it my choice as the finest modern popularized science book. Thorne proved that you can write about science in an engaging manner without sacrificing either intelligence or necessary relevant technical detail.

The attributes that raise Tegmark's book amongst the very finest in the genre are its engaging writing style, its willingness to discuss technical details about recent trends in cosmology without sacrificing either intelligence or clarity, and its almost subversive depth. Tegmark has a flair for discussing some really knotty topics like the significance of the cosmic microwave background, Einstein's theory of gravitation, the geometry of curved space, mathematically precise cosmology, dark matter and dark energy without losing the reader in a labyrinth of confusing and difficult scientific details. Tegmark teaches without ever being pedantic and he entertains while he clarifies and enlightens. There aren't many science writers who can write about such abstract and craggy subjects as cosmology, multiple multiverse levels, and mathematics as the ultimate nature of physical reality with Tegmark's wit and ease. If you are a fan of reading popularized science books, Our Mathematical Universe is one of the finest I've ever read and definitely worth your consideration.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen A journey through Max Tegmark's roving mind 31. Dezember 2013
Von A. Jogalekar - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
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Max Tegmark's book is a dazzling journey through the farthest reaches of physics, from the very small to the very large. Tegmark's wide-ranging mind leads us through physics spread across an incredible range of scales, from the size of the atomic nucleus to the entire universe. Tegmark does an excellent job of telling us how we know about the details of events like the Big Bang. He has succinct descriptions of the two cornerstones of physics, quantum mechanics and relativity, and describes many of their manifestations ranging from lasers to black holes. The sheer range of phenomena and topics explored by Tegmark in the book is staggering, and for the most part he does a good job explaining technical details like anomalies in the cosmic microwave background and quantum entanglement. There are even chapters on biology including ruminations on quantum effects in the brain and the emergence of biological complexity.

Tegmark's stories are highly personal and his infectious enthusiasm for science shines through, even if the language is often a little too colloquial and gee-whiz (the phrase "Oh no!" punctuates the narrative literally hundreds of times) and even if the author seems to be a little too smitten at times with his own cleverness and late night thinking binges. Another slight issue with the book is that in his quest to cover as much ground as possible, Tegmark often gives short shrift to some important topics; for instance his criticism of Roger Penrose's thoughts on the brain operating by quantum principles is all too brief and does not consider some recent work implicating quantum entanglement in photosynthesis.

Unfortunately these splendid discussions and detours are marred in my opinion by an even bigger problem: Tegmark's analysis of multiple universes. Drawing on the latest theories in physics, mathematics and quantum computing he navigates the myriad and fascinating implications of parallel universes. He also takes a swipe at the very fanciful conjecture that the entire observable universe might simply be a computer simulation in some super-intelligent alien's universe. Unfortunately this is all speculation and currently we don't have any experimental evidence that these wondrous creatures actually exist. In addition many of the ideas seem to only push previous problems under the rug. For instance, so-called "M theory" suffers from the presence of an unimaginable number of possible solutions; in Tegmark and others' world, the answer to this conundrum is to postulate unobservable multiple universes, each one of which can accommodate every one of these solutions. It's like building one unstable structure to support another. Unlike some other treatments of the subject, Tegmark's narrative pays scant attention to discussing the testable implications of these fantastic theories, and one wishes he had expressed more reservations about some of his musings, especially in the absence of experimental evidence. This makes the journey less of science and more of science fiction and philosophy. Now it's perfectly ok to write a book about philosophy, but it's a problem when it's pitched as cutting-edge science.

Ultimately the discussion of multiple universes generates more heat than light and sounds more like the byproduct of a brilliant and feverish imagination than the handiwork of rigorous science constrained by experiment. Speculation, no matter how fascinating and mind-expanding, is not science. Ever since the Renaissance science has been defined by agreement with observation and experiment, and it would be an understatement to say that this commonsense approach has yielded a windfall of scientific discoveries and benefits that the founders of the scientific method wouldn't even have imagined. Even quantum physics with all its paradoxes and counterintuitive implications is ultimately accepted as legitimate science only because of its unprecedented agreement with experiment. In contrast, the founders of modern science would not have recognized fantasy-laden speculations about extra dimensions and multiverses that have been propagated in a decade's worth of popular physics books, of which Tegmark's volume is only the latest incarnation.

It is time we again grounded physics in the real world and lifted a page out of Newton and Bacon's playbook, and it is time that we clearly separated science from philosophy, but Tegmark's book provides little clues regarding how this very important and necessary goal can be achieved.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Story of Life, the Universe and Everything 2. Januar 2014
Von Paul Moskowitz - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
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Despite its name, "Our Mathematical Universe" is not a math book. It is an exploration of the nature of our physical reality according to the author's own Mathematical Universe Hypothesis (MUH). However, the MUH has been noted by math fans. For instance, it is the last subject covered in The Math Book by Clifford Pickover.

At the end of the first chapter, Tegmark suggests that if you are a physicist you can skip ahead. I do not recommend this. Tegmark tells his story in a lively manner punctuated by illustrations and personal anecdotes. It is all a good read.

Along the way, we learn that the author has conducted a survey of physicists, repeated over time, about the quantum wave function. Early on, sentiment favors the Copenhagen interpretation. Later, Many Worlds is favored. I fall into that latter group. Tegmark proposes a life-or-death quantum machine-gun test of Many Worlds. I do not think that his test is necessary. The improbable victory of the Mets in game six of the 1986 World Series is sufficient proof for me.

Tegmark says that it is not enough to say that mathematics describes physical reality, but that our physical reality is mathematics. Our conservation laws are expressions of symmetries of the mathematical object that is our (multi)universe. Also, time is just another coordinate in space-time. Its passage is an illusion. I have read that Tegmark sends e-mails to his future selves.

Like many physicists, I believe that the Second Law is perhaps our most important concept. I think that Tegmark should have said more about how the MUH treats entropy.

Finally, Tegmark presents a way to test the MUH. If the universe is not a mathematical object, then physics will reach a dead end in which we can no longer describe reality by mathematics. If the MUH is correct, then we will continue to find mathematical descriptions.

Tegmark is an excellent storyteller. This work is well worth reading and thinking about.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Welcome to Nerd land - The Universe is a Mathematical Structure! 7. Februar 2014
Von Sam Santhosh - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I have never been a great fan of Mathematics though I had been always been fascinated with Science. But I often had the foreboding that Mathematics is not only the foundation of everything but is also the only thing that is completely independent of us and our Universe. Now in this thrilling book, Max Tedmark tries to prove that our Universe is just a mathematical structure (though we do not know the equation) and that there will be as many Universes as there are viable Mathematic structures!

Going beyond parallel universes and multiverses, Max takes us through a fascinating journey to the Level 4 of the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis (MUH) in order to understand the ultimate reality of everything. In this journey you will learn a lot of cosmology, physics and maths and Max’s style of storytelling will keep you engrossed throughout. The book can be divided into three parts, with the first one addressing “How big is everything” – from planets to galaxies and Level 1 multiverse to Level IV multiverse. The second part addresses “What is everything made of” – from elementary particles to mathematical structures. And then in the third part, Max brings us to his conclusion that the answers to the first two questions lead to mathematics as the basis of reality.

One good thing about the book is the summary at the end of each chapter which Max calls ‘Bottom Line’. While going through such tough concepts as cosmological inflation, cosmic microwave background, galaxy clustering, dark matter, dark energy, the horizon problem, the flatness problem, level 1 to level IV of parallel universes (and the evidence for each), particle physics, why randomness is an illusion, decoherence, and various aspects of reality, it is great to have a brief summary at the end of each chapter that highlights the important points.

Max’s writing style is very simple and conversational and his ability to mix his personal learning from childhood onwards and the occasional anecdotes makes the book a pleasure to read. But I found it difficult to buy into all the conclusions that the hypothesis leads Max to, especially the need for a parallel universe for every decision branch of every individual! However since he starts from the basic principles and builds up his case explaining the assumptions made at each level and the counter points to his arguments, it is a great example of not only how science should be practiced but also how it should be taught.

The concluding chapter is a call to action. Instead of just remaining in the exalted pedestal of a scientific researcher, Max takes the plunge of becoming an activist and bringing the learning to influence the path society should take. The analogy of Earth as a spaceship with limited resources and in a challenging environment (which can often turn hostile) is very apt. I found his suggestions of managing this spaceship and its inhabitants very positive and admirable and I hope this book will influence a large number of people.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Physics and Metaphysics 22. Februar 2014
Von Gary A Dallmann - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Max Tegmark presents a vision of ultimate reality that challenges the critical skepticism of Kant and brings us back to Plato's notion of the Ideal Forms. The changeless, eternal Level-Four Multiverse is, according to Temark, a mathematical structure in and by which quantum physics and inflationary cosmology merge.

I find Prof. Tegmark's vision intuitively exhilarating and fascinating. His summary of the last hundred years of cosmology and particle physics was the clearest, most understandable and comprehensive that I've read. So even if the reader doesn't accept his philosophically rich conclusions, the book is well worth the investment. Some of the chapters were hard going for me. But it's a tribute to the author's skill that I was eager to maintain my effort and slowly work through them. I certainly was enriched for doing so. I think anyone who has an interest in the current state of physics will be similarly rewarded.

Some have criticized, the author's autobiographical style. Not me. I enjoyed his sense of humor, openness, honesty, congeniality, and remarkable humility. Our Mathematical Universe introduced me to a scientist that I'd be eager to have a conversation with.

This is an excellent book. I wish I could give it more than five stars.
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