The Book Of Nothing

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9780099288459: The Book Of Nothing

From the zeros of the mathematician to the void of the philosophers, from Shakespeare to the empty set, from the ether to the quantum vacuum, from being and nothingness to creatio ex nihilo, there is much ado about nothing at the heart of things. Recent exciting discoveries in astronomy are shown to shed new light on the nature of the vacuum and its dramatic effect upon the explanation of the Universe. This remarkable book ranges over every nook and cranny of nothingness to reveal how the human mind has had to make something of nothing in every field of human enquiry.

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Review:

From our modern perspective, it is easy to deride the wranglings of medieval scholars over the numbers of angels that could dance on the head of a pin and whether Nature abhorred a vacuum. But as John Barrow reveals in this timely and important book, new discoveries in science have shown that these scholars were right to suspect that Nothing has hidden depths. It is a concept shot through with paradoxes: even innocent-looking phrases like "Nothing is real" flip their meanings as we ponder them, like those illusions that look like a vase one moment, and opposing faces the next. Nothing is fertile too, as Barrow shows with a stunning trick that allows every number one can think of to be built out of nothing at all. But his book is about far more than mind games. Arguably the most important discovery of 20th century physics is that there is no such thing as nothing: even the tightest vacuum is teeming with sub-atomic particles popping in and out of existence according to the dictates of quantum theory. Now many astronomers suspect that such "vacuum effects" may have triggered the Big Bang itself, filling our universe with matter. Indeed, the very latest observations suggest that vacuum effects will dictate the ultimate fate of the universe. As an internationally respected cosmologist, Barrow does a fine job of explaining these new discoveries. The result is a book that is required reading for anyone wanting to understand why there will be much ado about Nothing among scientists in the years ahead -- Robert Matthews

Review:

"The startling story of the West's intellectual struggle with the concept of zero is told with admirable elegance and clarity" ( New Statesman)

"When it comes to explaining the trickiest ideas John Barrow goes the extra mile which helps you to understand when going on" ( Guardian)

"An entertaining and informative account of how the zero came into being in ancient civilisations such as the Babylonian and Egyptian...I am happy to report that nothing is full of interesting reading" ( New Scientist)

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 126 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the zeros of the mathematician to the void of the philosophers, from Shakespeare to the empty set, from the ether to the quantum vacuum, from being and nothingness to creatio ex nihilo, there is much ado about nothing at the heart of things. Recent exciting discoveries in astronomy are shown to shed new light on the nature of the vacuum and its dramatic effect upon the explanation of the Universe. This remarkable book ranges over every nook and cranny of nothingness to reveal how the human mind has had to make something of nothing in every field of human enquiry. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099288459

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 126 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the zeros of the mathematician to the void of the philosophers, from Shakespeare to the empty set, from the ether to the quantum vacuum, from being and nothingness to creatio ex nihilo, there is much ado about nothing at the heart of things. Recent exciting discoveries in astronomy are shown to shed new light on the nature of the vacuum and its dramatic effect upon the explanation of the Universe. This remarkable book ranges over every nook and cranny of nothingness to reveal how the human mind has had to make something of nothing in every field of human enquiry. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099288459

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Book of Nothing, John D. Barrow, From the zeros of the mathematician to the void of the philosophers, from Shakespeare to the empty set, from the ether to the quantum vacuum, from being and nothingness to creatio ex nihilo, there is much ado about nothing at the heart of things. Recent exciting discoveries in astronomy are shown to shed new light on the nature of the vacuum and its dramatic effect upon the explanation of the Universe. This remarkable book ranges over every nook and cranny of nothingness to reveal how the human mind has had to make something of nothing in every field of human enquiry. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099288459

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; From the zeros of the mathematician to the void of the philosophers, from Shakespeare to the empty set, from the ether to the quantum vacuum, from being and nothingness to creatio ex nihilo, there is much ado about nothing at the heart of things. Recent exciting discoveries in astronomy are shown to. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780099288459_rkm

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. 2001. New Ed. Paperback. From the zeros of the mathematician to the void of the philosophers, from Shakespeare to the empty set, from the ether to the quantum vacuum, there is much ado about nothing at the heart of things. This book covers various aspects of nothingness to reveal how the human mind has had to make something of nothing in every field of human enquiry. Num Pages: 400 pages, map, portraits. BIC Classification: HP; PDZ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 195 x 130 x 26. Weight in Grams: 286. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099288459

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