|Pages/Publication Date:||330 / 2013|
Speeding across space and time, physicist Dave Goldberg shows here that every part of our elegant universe, from the Higgs boson particle to the most massive group of galaxies, is shaped by hidden symmetries. Why is the sky dark at night? Is it possible to build a shrink-ray gun? If there is antimatter, can there be anti-people? Are time and space like a butterfly's wings? And why are past, present, and future our only options? Goldberg examines such wide-eyed questions and finds surprisingly profound implications of symmetry—much of it predicted by overlooked mathematician Emmy Noether, whose theorem relating conservation laws to symmetries is now regarded to be as important as Einstein's notion of the speed of light.
"Mathematical symmetries lie at the heart of the answers, but Goldberg offers math-free guideposts along the way in this witty and accessible read. Tip: Don't skip the copious footnotes, packed with geek humor."—Discover
"Goldberg has a fine ear for the absurd, and is deft at revealing why things we take for granted, such as the equality of gravitational and inertial mass, are strange and not obvious at all."—New Scientist