Probable Impossibilities: Musings on Beginnings and Endings

Probable Impossibilities: Musings on Beginnings and Endings

by

, non-fic, Science, Writing, Nonfiction, Philosophy, Education

From the acclaimed author of Einstein's Dreams, a collection of meditative essays on the possibilities--and impossibilities--of nothingness and infinity, and how our place in the cosmos falls somewhere in between

Can space be divided into smaller and smaller units, ad infinitum? Does space extend to larger and larger regions, on and on to infinity? Is consciousness reducible to the material brain and its neurons? What was the origin of life, and can biologists create life from scratch in the lab?

Physicist and novelist Alan Lightman, whom The Washington Post has called "the poet laureate of science writers," explores these questions and more--from the anatomy of a smile to the capriciousness of memory to the specialness of life in the universe to what came before the Big Bang.

Probable Impossibilities is a deeply engaged consideration of what we know of the universe, of life and the mind, and of things vastly larger and smaller than ourselves.

Title:Probable Impossibilities: Musings on Beginnings and Endings
ISBN:9781524749019
Format Type:

    Probable Impossibilities: Musings on Beginnings and Endings Reviews

  • Ryan Boissonneault

    “Man is equally incapable of seeing the Nothing from which he was made, and the infinite in which he is swallowed up.” So wrote Blaise Pascal, the 17th-century French mathematician, physicist, inv...

  • Susan Tunis

    Dr. Lightman is that rarest of all creatures--a true artist and a true scientist. And he puts both sides of his nature to excellent use with his latest collection of essays. First, he writes beautiful...

  • Hamid

    A number of essays collected by Alan Lightman. It covers a bunch of topics, mostly physics and cosmology, but also mind, philosophy and consciousness....

  • Egg

    This is a really well written book and I liked it a lot. It does a great job at explaining intriguing and complex scientific concepts, like the Big Bang inflation theory or the synthetic creation of c...

  • Rangga Sukmawijaya

    Sejauh mana sains saat ini membuat kita bisa memahami diri kita sendiri? Keberadaan kita, kesadaran kita, identitas diri kita? Di buku ini pertanyaan-pertanyaan itu diajukan, dimulai dari pertanyaan d...

  • Tam

    It is a pleasant read. Writing is still lyrical as in Einstein's Dreams. This book is more personal though, a bit philosophical, a bit spiritual, a lot of reflection....

  • And vice versa

    Refreshingly clear and quickReadable in a couple of days, this quick overview encompasses many of the most widely embraced big ideas in physics and cosmology today. If, like me, you puzzle over concep...

  • Jessica

    I love Alan Lightman's ability to merge both awe and wonder and science and logic. He has a wonderful ability to explain complex scientific theories and processes but along the way weaves in philosoph...

  • Larry

    Probable Impossibilities is a short book (183 pages) in small hardback format, but it contains a wealth of intriguing ponderables. It won’t teach you Quantum Physics or any deep mathematics, but it ...

  • Edrin

    Very well written. A mix of philosophy and science, touching upon many of the big questions. Would recommend. Subtracting one star due to certain topics not explored as thoroughly as I expected, espec...