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Spooky Action at a Distance: The Phenomenon That Reimagines Space and Time - and What It Means for Black Holes, the Big Bang, and Theories of Everything

Category: Book
By (author): Musser, George
Subject:  SCIENCE / Cosmology
  SCIENCE / Physics / Astrophysics
  SCIENCE / Physics / General
  SCIENCE / Physics / Quantum Theory
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux
Published: November 2016
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 8.25in x 5.50in
Our Price:
$ 23.25
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Long-listed for the 2016 PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award An important book that provides insight into key new developments in our understanding of the nature of space, time and the universe. It will repay careful study." - John Gribbin, The Wall Street Journal A mind-bending voyage to the frontiers of modern physics that will change the way we think about reality What is space? Space is the venue of physics; it's where things exist, where they move and take shape. Yet over the past few decades, physicists have discovered a phenomenon that operates outside the confines of space and time: nonlocality - the ability of two particles to act in harmony no matter how far apart they may be. If space isn't what we thought it was, then what is it? In Spooky Action at a Distance , the award-winning journalist George Musser sets out to answer that question. He guides us on an epic journey into the lives of experimental physicists observing particles acting in tandem, astronomers finding galaxies that look statistically identical, and cosmologists hoping to unravel the paradoxes surrounding the big bang. He traces the contentious debates over nonlocality through major discoveries and disruptions of the twentieth century and shows how scientists faced with the same undisputed experimental evidence develop wildly different explanations for that evidence. Their conclusions challenge our understanding of the origins of the universe - and they suggest a new grand unified theory of physics. "
Review Quote*An endlessly surprising foray into the current mother of physics' many knotty mysteries, the solving of which may unveil the weirdness of quantum particles, black holes, and the essential unity of nature." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Accessible and imaginative . . . Clarity and humor illuminate Musser's writing, and he adroitly captures the excitement and frustration involved in investigating the mysteries of our universe." - Publishers Weekly "Can two subatomic particles on opposite sides of the universe truly be instantaneously connected? Or is any theory that predicts such a connection necessarily flawed or incomplete? Are the results of experiments that demonstrate such a connection being misinterpreted? Such questions challenge our most basic concepts of spatial distance and time. In Spooky Action At A Distance , George Musser beautifully navigates through the history, science, and philosophy of these mind-boggling conundrums, and expounds cutting edge thinking." - Mario Livio, astrophysicist and bestselling author of Brilliant Blunders and The Golden Ratio "George Musser gives us a fascinating tour of the latest attempts on the frontiers of physics to answer one of the oldest questions in science: What is space? And the wonderful lesson is that the deeper we look into the question, the more captivating it becomes." - Lee Smolin, founding faculty member at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and author of The Trouble with Physics "With clever metaphors and dry humor, acclaimed science communicator George Musser is the perfect tour guide on this wild ride through wormholes and emergent dimensions to the cutting edge of physics. This quest to understand the ultimate nature of space may forever transform how you think about the very fabric of reality." - Max Tegmark, physicist and author of Our Mathematical Universe "Modern physics is in the process of dismantling the very space all around us, and the universe will never be the same. In this engaging book, George Musser leads us through the thickets of science and philosophy and takes us to the brink of a very different view of the world." - Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology and author of The Particle at the End of the Universe "Locality has been a fruitful and reliable principle, guiding us to the triumphs of twentieth-century physics. Yet the consequences of local laws in quantum theory can seem 'spooky' and nonlocal-and some theorists are questioning locality itself. Spooky Action at a Distance is a lively introduction to these fascinating paradoxes and speculations." - Frank Wilczek, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics and author of The Lightness of Being and A Beautiful Question "
Biographical NoteGeorge Musser is an award-winning journalist, a contributing editor for Scientific American , and the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to String Theory . He is the recipient of a Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award from the American Astronomical Society and the 2011 American Institute of Physics Science Communication Award for Science Writing. He was a Knight Science Journalism fellow at MIT from 2014 to 2015. He has appeared on Today , CNN, NPR, the BBC, Al Jazeera, and other outlets. He lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, with his wife and daughter.