When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought

When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought

From Jim Holt, the New York Times bestselling author of Why Does the World Exist?, comes an entertaining and accessible guide to the most profound scientific and mathematical ideas of recent centuries in When Einstein Walked with Gödel Excursions to the Edge of Thought.

Does time exist? What is infinity? Why do mirrors reverse left and right but not up and down? In this scintillating collection, Holt explores the human mind, the cosmos, and the thinkers who've tried to encompass the latter with the former. With his trademark clarity and humor, Holt probes the mysteries of quantum mechanics, the quest for the foundations of mathematics, and the nature of logic and truth. Along the way, he offers intimate biographical sketches of celebrated and neglected thinkers, from the physicist Emmy Noether to the computing pioneer Alan Turing and the discoverer of fractals, Benoit Mandelbrot. Holt offers a painless and playful introduction to many of our most beautiful but least understood ideas, from Einsteinian relativity to string theory, and also invites us to consider why the greatest logician of the twentieth century believed the U.S. Constitution contained a terrible contradiction--and whether the universe truly has a future.

Title:When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780374146702
Format Type:

    When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought Reviews

  • Tara

    This essay collection was—as many such collections are apt to be—a very mixed bag. Quite a few of the essays, such as the titular piece, were compelling, informative, thought provoking composition...

  • Manuel Anto

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Sock Theory vs. String Theory: "When Einstein Walked with Gödel - Excursions to the Edge of Thought" by Jim HoltMy contribution to Holt’...

  • Michael

    A delightful set of 24 standard essays and 14 brief ones (a page or so) on the history of physics and math and current views on their relations. The essays highlight issues with Einstein’s theory of...

  • Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin

    Another good book by Jim Holt he seems interested by the same questions I am we mostly see things similarly (a major exception Mathematical Platonism) and I like his writing style. Here Holt takes on ...

  • Cheryl Kennedy

    Contents:Part 1: the Moving Image of EternityTime---the Grand Illusion?Part 2: Numbers in the Brain, in Platonic Heaven, and in SocietySir Francis Galton, the Father of Statistics---and EugenicsPart 3...

  • Marks54

    This is a new book of essays/columns/short pieces by an accomplished writer about philosophy. The core essays make it clear that Holt is focusing on the philosophy of science, although the collection ...

  • Thomas

    Calling this one done a bit before the end. Honestly, the latter essays get a bit tedious. There's a lot to love about this book and a few things that kind of grated at my nerves. But overall, some of...

  • Eric

    TL;DR Well-written, thoroughly researched and argued collection of essays wrestling with the difficult topics of mathematics. Recommended for anyone who wants an accessible but challenging look at ...

  • Matthew Harris

    I don't normally write a comment regarding the star rating I've attributed to a book, but in this case I feel I should qualify my rating.For the most part the content of this book is of great quality....

  • D

    I agree with this review. Worse, I did not manage to finish the book since the quality/interest went rapidly down hill in the second half. The first story on the relationship between Einstein and Gode...