How the Universe Got Its Spots: Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space

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9781400032723: How the Universe Got Its Spots: Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space
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Is the universe infinite or just really big? With this question, the gifted young cosmologist Janna Levin not only announces the central theme of her intriguing and controversial new book but establishes herself as one of the most direct and unorthodox voices in contemporary science. For even as she sets out to determine how big "really big" may be, Levin gives us an intimate look at the day-to-day life of a globe-trotting physicist, complete with jet lag and romantic disturbances.

Nimbly synthesizing geometry, topology, chaos and string theories, Levin shows how the pattern of hot and cold spots left over from the big bang may one day reveal the size and shape of the cosmos. She does so with such originality, lucidity--and even poetry--that How the Universe Got Its Spots becomes a thrilling and deeply personal communication between a scientist and the lay reader.

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Review:

"[Levin] covers ... fascinating ground....She writes passages that may make you either feel claustrophobic for only living in three visible dimensions or see the night sky in an entirely new way." --Baltimore City Paper

"Science as it is lived.... [Levin's] book is a gift to those people who want to think big but came to a screeching halt about two dozen pages into... A Brief History of Time." --Discover

"Levin unpacks the technicalities with a skill honed from giving many lectures. . . . A book to be applauded." -- The Scotsman

"Lovely and utterly original. . . . Mixing lucid arguments with anecdotes and personal experiences, Levin makes it easy to understand seemingly complicated subjects such as transfinite arithmetic, naked singularities and compact spaces. . . . A marvelous diary that makes a reader long to meet the author. --American Scientist

From the Back Cover:


"Although we're tantalizingly close to the answer, we still don't know if our universe is infinite or finite. Janna Levin, one of the bright young stars on the interface between topology (the study of shapes) and cosmology, describes her efforts to look for the signatures of a finite universe and offers the reader a unique insight into her life and inner thoughts."--David Spergel, Princeton University


"Janna Levin is one of the most talented and original of the young cosmologists, and her book combines a tour of the frontiers of cosmology with an intimate account of her struggles to reconcile the demands of a scientific career with the demands of the heart. No other scientist has yet had the courage to write such an honest and personal account of what it is like to live the life of a scientist."--Lee Smolin, author of The Life of the Cosmos and Three Roads to Quantum Gravity


"This is a totally charming piece of work. A memoir of one very talented young woman, it layers her personal odyssey and bits of science like an exotic piece of intellectual/personal pastry. The attitude toward the subject is that of the artist: feelings matter, pictures matter, intuitions matter. Levin's book is a wonderful read that introduces current science from an odd angle in a lively, accessible, and engaging fashion. I have never read a book like it."--Jeremiah P. Ostriker, Cambridge University


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9780691096575: How the Universe Got Its Spots: Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Is the universe infinite or just really big? With this question, the gifted young cosmologist Janna Levin not only announces the central theme of her intriguing and controversial new book but establishes herself as one of the most direct and unorthodox voices in contemporary science. For even as she sets out to determine how big "really big" may be, Levin gives us an intimate look at the day-to-day life of a globe-trotting physicist, complete with jet lag and romantic disturbances. Nimbly synthesizing geometry, topology, chaos and string theories, Levin shows how the pattern of hot and cold spots left over from the big bang may one day reveal the size and shape of the cosmos. She does so with such originality, lucidity--and even poetry--that How the Universe Got Its Spots becomes a thrilling and deeply personal communication between a scientist and the lay reader. Seller Inventory # AAC9781400032723

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