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The Dream Universe by David Lindley: 9780385543859


“A striking examination of an important scientific question: ‘What, exactly, are scholars of fundamental physics today trying to achieve?’ . . . A delightful addition to a widespread, ongoing scientific debate.”

—Kirkus (starred review)

[An] eye-opening treatise . . . Lindley’s probing work raises important questions about what science should be, and how it should be approached.”

—Publishers Weekly

“A thoughtful, captivating analysis of the history of physics. Lindley makes the fascinating point that present-day fundamental physics has become more akin to Platonic philosophy than to Galileo’s, Newton’s, and Faraday’s notion of laws deduced from experiments and observations. A wonderful read.”

—Mario Livio, New York Times best-selling author of Brilliant Blunders and the forthcoming Galileo and the Science Deniers

“David Lindley’s The Dream Universe is a wonderfully clear story of the science of physics and the way it explains the world around us, from the everyday to the far-flung grandeur of the cosmos. But it is also a deeply thoughtful exploration of the very human processes that can limit such understanding. The result is provocative, compelling—and timely.”

—Deborah Blum, author of The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

“The Dream Universe explains clearly the current predicament of fundamental physics, putting it into long-term historical context. Its call for practitioners to come to grips with the question of how to advance the subject in a changed environment is an important one that deserves close attention.”

—Peter Woit, Senior Lecturer of Mathematics Columbia University and author of Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law

“David Lindley’s The Dream Universe is one of those Big Idea books that achieve the kind of irresistible, tightrope balance between pithy and profound, between considerable charm and disarming simplicity, that can arise only from a mastery of a subject—in this case nothing less than the history of how we think about the cosmos, from Babylonian astrology to the quantum revolution and, now, back again: a fight, Lindley argues, for the soul of science.”

—Richard Panek, author of The Trouble with Gravity: Solving the Mystery Beneath Our Feet

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