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Consciousness and Quantum Mechanics: Life in Parallel Worlds: Miracles of Consciousness from Quantum Reality by Michael B. Mensky (World Scientific Publishing Company) The phenomenon of consciousness includes mysterious aspects providing a basis for many spiritual doctrines (including religions) and psychological practices. These directions of human knowledge are usually considered to contradict the laws of science. However, quantum mechanics — in a sense, the mysterious direction of science — allows us to include the phenomena of consciousness and life as well as the relevant phenomena in the sphere of science.
Wolfgang Pauli, one of the pioneers of quantum mechanics, together with great psychologist Carl GustavJung, guessed about the relation between quantum mechanics and consciousness in the beginning of the twentieth century. However, only "many-worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics, proposed in 1957 by Hugh Everett Ill, gave the real basis for the systematic investigation of this relation.
Roger Penrose, one of the apologists of the relation between quantum mechanics and consciousness, claimed in his Last book "The Road to Reality" that the Everett's interpretation may be estimated only after creating the theory of consciousness. There against, the author has proposed in 2000 and further elaborates in this book, the so-called Extended Everett's Concept, that allows one to derive the main features of consciousness and super-consciousness (intuition, or direct vision of truth) from quantum mechanics. This is exposed in this book in a form intelligible for a wide audience. More

Uranium Wars: The Scientific Rivalry that Created the Nuclear Age by Amir D. Aczel (Macmillian) Set against the darkening shadow of World War II, Uranium Wars follows the time's most brilliant scientists as they race to capture nuclear power. Pioneering woman physicist Lise Meitner uncovered nuclear fission but never won the Nobel Prize. Denmark's Niels Bohr sided with the Allies when he held a secret meeting with his protégé and possible Nazi collaborator Werner Heisenberg. Years of dogged research culminated on a racquetball court at the University of Chicago as Italian physicist Enrico Fermi set off the first nuclear chain reaction that led to the building of the atom bomb. Told with flair by one of our best popular science writers, Uranium Wars is a fast paced and vivid narrative about a pivotal moment in history. Amir U. Aczel expertly connects the dots to today, when nations seek nuclear capability and scientists strive to better understand and responsibly manage the most controversial type of energy ever discovered.
Hardly a day goes by without a major news report about nuclear issues, whether it's the international community's response to Iran's nuclear program or the future of Pakistan's atomic arsenal. At the same time, some politicians and scientists envision a future in which nuclear reactors dot the country, generating electricity that will help break our dependence on fossil fuels. Nuclear energy can help us combat global warming because this power source does not entail the release of carbon into the atmosphere. But the promise of a carbon-free energy source is checked by concerns about the ill effects of nuclear waste, as well as the danger of another disaster like the 1986 meltdown of a nuclear plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, the human toll of which we have yet to fully quantify. More

New Directions in Linear Acoustics and Vibration: Quantum Chaos, Random Matrix Theory and Complexity by Matthew Wright and Richard Weaver (Cambridge University Press) The field of acoustics is of immense industrial and scientific importance. The subject is built on the foundations of linear acoustics, which is widely regarded as so mature that it is fully encapsulated in the physics texts of the 1950s. This view was changed by developments in physics such as the study of quantum chaos. Developments in physics throughout the last four decades, often equally applicable to both quantum and linear acoustic problems but overwhelmingly more often expressed in the language of the former, have explored this. There is a significant new amount of theory that can be used to address problems in linear acoustics and vibration, but only a small amount of reported work does so. This book is an attempt to bridge the gap between theoreticians and practitioners, as well as the gap between quantum and acoustic. Tutorial chapters provide introductions to each of the major aspects of the physical theory and are written using the appropriate terminology of the acoustical community. The book will act as a quick-start guide to the new methods while providing a wide-ranging introduction to the physical concepts. More

The Poetry of Physics and the Physics of Poetry by Robert L. Logan (World Scientific Publishing Company) is a textbook for a survey course in physics taught without mathematics, that also takes into account the social impact and influences from the arts and society. It combines physics, literature, history and philosophy from the dawn of human life to the 21st century. It will also be of interest to the general reader. More

Functional Materials: Electrical, Dielectric, Electromagnetic, Optical and Magnetic Applications, (With Companion Solution Manual) by Deborah D. L. Chung (Engineering Materials for Technological Needs: World Scientific Publishing Company) The development of functional materials is at the heart of technological needs and the forefront of materials research. This book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date treatment of functional materials, which are needed for electrical, dielectric, electromagnetic, optical, and magnetic applications. Materials concepts covered are strongly linked to applications. Textbooks related to functional materials have not kept pace with technological needs and associated scientific advances. Introductory materials science textbooks merely gloss over functional materials while electronic materials textbooks focus on semiconductors and smart materials textbooks emphasize more on limited properties that pertain to structures.
Functional Materials assumes that the readers have had a one-semester introductory undergraduate course on materials science. The coverage on functional materials is much broader and deeper than that of an introductory materials science course. The book features hundreds of illustrations to help explain concepts and provide quantitative information. The style is general towards tutorial. Most chapters include sections on example problems, review questions and supplementary reading. This book is suitable for use as a textbook in undergraduate and graduate engineering courses. It is also suitable for use as a reference book for professionals in the electronic, computer, communication, aerospace, automotive, transportation, construction, energy and control industries. More

Nuclear Law: The Law Appling to Nuclear Installations And Radioactive Substances In Its Historic Context 2nd edition by Stephen Tromans (Hart Publishing) This book is a practical guide to the international, EC and UK law applying to the various uses of nuclear energy and radioactive substances. The first edition was produced in 1997, and given the renaissance of interest in nuclear power in the UK and worldwide, this new, updated and much expanded edition is timely. It covers the law relating to the permitting and operation of nuclear power stations, the decommissioning and clean-up of former nuclear facilities, radiological protection, the management of radioactive waste and spent fuel, liability and insurance, and the security and transport of radioactive materials. Readers will find a clear framework explaining the development and application of nuclear law, and how domestic law is based on and influenced by international and European requirements and by its historical context. In the commercial context, the chapters dealing specifically with new build and with decommissioning will be vital reading. More

Quantum Invariants of Knots and 3-Manifolds by Vladimir G. Turaev (De Gruyter Studies in Mathematics: De Gruyter) Due to the strong appeal and wide use of this monograph, it is now available in its second revised edition. The monograph gives a systematic treatment of 3-dimensional topological quantum field theories (TQFTs) based on the work of the author with N. Reshetikhin and O. Viro. This subject was inspired by the discovery of the Jones polynomial of knots and the Witten-Chern-Simons field theory. On the algebraic side, the study of 3-dimensional TQFTs has been influenced by the theory of braided categories and the theory of quantum groups.

The book is divided into three parts. Part I presents a construction of 3-dimensional TQFTs and 2-dimensional modular functors from so-called modular categories. This gives a vast class of knot invariants and 3-manifold invariants as well as a class of linear representations of the mapping class groups of surfaces. In Part II the technique of 6j-symbols is used to define state sum invariants of 3-manifolds. Their relation to the TQFTs constructed in Part I is established via the theory of shadows. Part III provides constructions of modular categories, based on quantum groups and skein modules of tangles in the 3-space.

This fundamental contribution to topological quantum field theory is accessible to graduate students in mathematics and physics with knowledge of basic algebra and topology. It is an indispensable source for everyone who wishes to enter the forefront of this fascinating area at the borderline of mathematics and physics. More

Entropy edited by Andreas Greven, Gerhard Keller, & Gerald Warnecke (Princeton University Press) The concept of entropy arose in the physical sciences during the nineteenth century, particularly in thermodynamics and statistical physics, as a measure of the equilibria and evolution of thermodynamic systems. Two main views developed: the macroscopic view formulated originally by Carnot, Clausius, Gibbs, Planck, and Caratheodory and the microscopic approach associated with Boltzmann and Maxwell. Since then both approaches have made possible deep insights into the nature and behavior of thermodynamic and other microscopically unpredictable processes. However, the mathematical tools used have later developed independently of their original physical background and have led to a plethora of methods and differing conventions.

Editors Andreas Greven and Gerhard Keller, professors of mathematics at the University of Erlange, together with Gerald Warnecke, professor of numerical mathematics at the University of Magdeburg have collected works from both macroscopic and microscopic focus in order to identify the threads unifying them. In Entropy they provide surveys of the uses and concepts of entropy in diverse areas of mathematics and the physical sciences. Two major threads, emphasized throughout the book, are variational principles and Ljapunov functionals.

The book starts by providing basic concepts and terminology, illustrated by examples from both the macroscopic and microscopic lines of thought. In-depth surveys covering the macroscopic, microscopic and probabilistic approaches follow. Part I gives a basic introduction from the views of thermodynamics and probability theory. Part II collects surveys that look at the macroscopic approach of continuum mechanics and physics. Part III deals with the microscopic approach exposing the role of entropy as a concept in probability theory, namely in the analysis of the large time behavior of stochastic processes and in the study of qualitative properties of models in statistical physics. Finally, in Part IV, applications in dynamical systems, ergodic and information theory are presented.

The chapters were written to provide as cohesive an account as possible, making Entropy accessible to a wide range of graduate students and researchers. Any scientist dealing with systems that exhibit entropy will find the book a valuable aid to their understanding.

E=Mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation by David Bodanis (Berkley) This is not a physics book. It is a history of where the equation [E=mc2] came from and how it has changed the world. After a short chapter on the equation's birth, Bodanis presents its five symbolic ancestors in sequence, each with its own chapter and each with rich human stories of achievement and failure, encouragement and duplicity, love and rivalry, politics and revenge. Readers meet not only famous scientists at their best and worst but also such famous and infamous characters as Voltaire and Marat...Bodanis includes detailed, lively and fascinating back matter...His acknowledgements end, 'I loved writing this book.' It shows." (The Cleveland Plain Dealer)

"E=mc2, focusing on the 1905 theory of special relativity, is just what its subtitle says it is: a biography of the world's most famous equation, and it succeeds beautifully. For the first time, I really feel that I understand the meaning and implications of that equation, as Bodanis takes us through each symbol separately, including the = sign...there is a great 'aha!' awaiting the lay reader."

Fracture and Life by Brian Cotterell (Imperial College Press) This book is an interdisciplinary review of the effect of fracture on life, following the development of the understanding of fracture written from a historical perspective. After a short introduction to fracture, the first section of the book covers the effects of fracture on the evolution of the Earth, plants and animals, and man. The second section of the book covers the largely empirical control of fracture from ancient times to the end of the nineteenth century. The final section reviews the development of fracture theory as a discipline and its application during the twentieth century through to the present time. More

Nature Loves to Hide: Quantum Physics and Reality, a Western Perspective by Shimon Malin (Oxford University Press) Translates physics into plain English, focusing on quantum theory and quantum mechanics, building a philosophical framework for the quantum nature of reality. Includes Platonic and Neoplatonic views in quantum theory, making connections between Neoplatonism and the recent process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. Quantum theory.


Nowadays the ideas of Ernst Mach are hardly known, even among intellectuals. His name is remembered only in the context of the term "Mach number," a unit of measurement of the speed of airplanes. The name of the unit was chosen to honor Mach's contribution to the study of aerodynamics; his contributions to philosophy are all but forgotten. At the turn of the century, however, Ernst Mach was a towering figure, influential not only in physics and philosophy but even in sociology and politics. No less a leader than Vladimir Ilych Lenin found it necessary, in 1908, to set aside his pressing duties as the head of the Bolshevik party and devote a few months to the writing of a voluminous book, Materialism and Empiriocriticism, devoted in large measure to the refutation of Mach's philosophy. Lenin saw the spread of Mach's views as a threat to Carl Marx's philosophy of "dialectical materialism," which was the theoretical foundation of the communist revolution he was preparing.

    The forbidding term "empiriocriticism" is the name of Mach's philosophical system, The system must have been "in the air" in the latter part of the nineteenth century, because it was proclaimed, more or less simultaneously and independently, by two thinkers, Ernst Mach and Richard Avenarius. Empiriocriticism is both a philosophical system regarding the nature of reality and a philosophy of science. The following summary of some of its main ideas will give a taste of Mach's thought.

    Science, according to Mach, is nothing more than a description of facts. And "facts" involve nothing more than sensations and the relationships among them. Sensations are the only real elements. All the other concepts are extra; they are merely imputed on the real, i.e., on the sensations, by us. Concepts like "matter" and "atom" are merely shorthand for collections of sensations; they do not denote anything that exists. The same holds for many other words, such as "body."

    Mach carried his philosophy to its logical conclusion. Consider the case of a pencil that is partially submerged in water. It looks broken, but it is really straight, as we can verify by touching it. Not so, says Mach. The pencil in the water and the pencil out of the water are merely two different facts. The pencil in the water is really broken, as far as the fact of sight is concerned, and that's all there is to it.

    Since science is, for Mach, just the description of facts, it does not aim at finding the math about reality. It does not aim at finding the truth about anything. Its sole function is the achievement of "economy of thought," the description of the greatest possible number of facts using the smallest possible mental effort. A law of nature is valuable not because it is, in any sense, true but because it is a concise description of a large number of facts. Consider, for example, the phenomenon of free fall. One way to describe it is to create an enormous collection of data coveting all the results of all the experiments conducted with falling bodies. Another way is to formulate the law of free fall, the law that says that the velocity of the falling object keeps increasing at a constant rate. According to Mach, the second way is superior to the first only because it is more economical. As far as "understanding" goes, both ways are equal.

    Empiriocriticism arose as a reaction to the speculative German philosophy of the nineteenth century, an entangled, verbose mess of intricate "world-views," having little to do with either empirical evidence or clarity of thought. In this climate the simplicity, directness, and compelling logical coherence of Mach's presentations were a breath of fresh air. Many scientists were fascinated. Mach's approach cut through persistent dichotomies, e.g., matter vs. mind, and demanded an unprecedented rigor of thought. Every concept used in science had to have an "operational definition": One was not allowed to name a quantity unless one could specify how it could be measured. This led to fruitful reexamination of basic concepts, such as space, time, and energy. Yet this call for a precision of thought was deeply problematic. It was arrived at on the basis of faulty metaphysics, as we shall see.

    Lenin was right, I believe, when he considered Mach a great physicist and a small philosopher. The blatant fallacies in Mach's philosophical arguments have been pointed out by many, Lenin and Einstein included. Einstein accepted Mach's system in his youth and disowned it in his forties. We will come to Einstein's thoughts on the matter in the next section. Here I will limit myself to a few critical comments of my own.

    One role of science is to explain phenomena, and an explanation is different from "economy of thought." Consider the example of tides. People made accurate tables of the times of high and low tides in many locations, but the phenomenon of tides was not understood until Newton came along and explained it as the joint effect of the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon on the waters of the oceans. This discovery did not make it possible to calculate the times of high and low tides in specific locations. These depend on many complicated factors, such as the contours of the shores, the depth of the oceans at other locations, and so on; the complexity of these factors makes it impossible to calculate the tables of tides on the basis of Newton's laws. Newton's discovery did not lead to economy of thought; the tide tables continued to be produced from the records of local observations. But it did explain the phenomenon of tides.

    Furthermore, the view of science as merely a system for thought economy is contrary to the experiences of many great scientists. They experience their acts of discovery as acts of seeing into the hidden workings of nature, not as acts of figuring out how to condense large bodies of information into "economical" packages. Heisenberg himself described his experience of discovering the new quantum mechanics in the following words:

At first, I was deeply alarmed. I had the feeling that, through the surface of atomic phenomena, I was looking at a strangely beautiful interior, and felt almost giddy at the thought that I now had to probe this wealth of mathematical structures that nature had so generously spread out before me.

 It seems to me that Mach's view is especially deficient in that it limits "the real" to the sensory. It implies that the attempts to explore the depths of reality are meaningless, because reality does not have any depth! And yet, sometimes, while listening to a piece of music, we feel that the sounds are merely a vehicle, and what they convey is something else, something that resonates in us on a level that is deeper than that of an ordinary sensation.

Physics, the Human Adventure: From Copernicus to Einstein and Beyond by Gerald Holton and Stephen G. Brush (Rutgers) is the third edition of the classic text Introduction to Concepts and Theories in Physical Science. Both earlier editions were landmark titles in science education as the first to make full and effective use of the history and philosophy of science in presenting for both the general and the science‑oriented student an account of the content and nature of physical science.

In this third edition, each of the chapters has been reworked to further clarify the physics concepts and to incorporate recent physical advances and research. The book shows the unifying power of science by bringing in connections to chemistry, astronomy, and geoscience. In short, the aim of the new edition is to teach good physics while presenting physical science as a human adventure that has become a major force in our civilization.

GERALD HOLTON is Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and History of Science, Emeritus, Harvard University. STEPHEN G. BRUSH is Distinguished University Professor of the History of Science, University of Maryland, College Park. Both authors are Fellows of the American Physical Society, and each has served as President of the History of Science Society.

ENDOPHYSICS by Otto E. Rossler ($38.00, hardcover, World Scientific Pub Co; ISBN: 9810227523)

Visionary science at its best both in technical invocations of current theories and in the sense of the grand vision that unites and simplifies the actions of many disparate phenomena. Rossler's work should stimulate and exasperate simultaneously but which ever, it suggests plenty of possibilities.

There are two ways to look at the world from within and from without. "Endophysics" means "physics from within." Being inside the world leads to limitations which go beyond those discovered in formal systems by Godel. The topic, nevertheless, has a long history going back to the pre-Socratic philosophers. Its reinventor in modern times is R.J. Boscovich. In 1755, he published two papers on the same subject (space and time), one  titled "On Space and Time" and the other "On Space and Time as They Are Recognized by Us." In the 20th century, the topic has been pursued by Bohr, von Neumann, Popper and most recently David Finkelstein (who coined the name "endophysics" in a letter to the author). There is a strong link with virtual reality on the one hand, and with artificial universes generated in the computer ("molecular dynamics simulations") on the other.

The basic idea is that the "interface" between an internal observer and the rest of his or her universe the effective forcing function represents the sole reality that  (with an equation for a brain in 1974) exists, for the observer is a dream: The idea is due to Niels Bohr of the early 20th century, and to Hugh Everett thirty years later: being part of a universe a "participatory observer" (John Wheeler) distorts the world. In the computer age, the same insight comes naturally: objective reality has to be replaced by the notion of "interface reality." A generalization of relativity is implicit in this way of thinking. The two major predicted features of the world on the interface are "observer privateness" and "invisible change." experiments designed to expose these features, if they exist in the real world, can be suggested. "Most" properties of quantum mechanics appear to fit snugly into the proposed frame. The prospect of manipulating the interface arises. A "whole world change" in the spirit of Gaiter's time travel can possibly be accomplished, not only by appropriate manipulation of the weakly nonlinear macro-interface as proposed by him, but also by twisting the much more nonlinear micro-interface should it exist.

Otto E. Rossler was born an Austrian in Berlinand finished his medical studies with an immunological dissertation in Tubingenin 1966. Three years later he won a competitive visiting appointment offered by the Center for Theoretical Biology of the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 1975, Art Winfree initiated him into chaos. A tenured faculty position in theoretical biochemistry at the University of Tubingen came in 1976, after he had published his paper on the he "simplest" chaotic attractor (as Ed Lorenz later put it). Three years after, hyperchaos followed, which was equally simple. A member of the Santa Fe Institute and a fellow of the International Institute for Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics, the author has published about 250 scientific papers in various fields including biogenesis (1971), dynamical automata (1972), artificial life, artificial persons (1996) and quasar theory (current).


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