Reading the Mind of God: In Search of the Principle of Universality

James S. Trefil, Author Scribner Book Company $18.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-684-18796-9
By analyzing the light emanating from distant stars, scientists can tell what elements burn in their fiery cores. This method is possible, notes Trefil, because the laws of nature seem to be true everywhere in the universe at all times. Yet, the ``principle of universality'' was not always readily accepted--George Gamow and P.A.M. Dirac unsuccessfully challenged it in recent times, and so have hunters of hypothetical particles called quarks. In an enjoyable, crystal-clear exposition, Trefil ( The Dark Side of the Universe ) explores universality as he hops from Newton's observation of a falling apple and Charles Lyell's estimate of the age of the earth to MIT physicist Alan Guth's bizarre speculations about constructing a universe in the lab out of a ``false vacuum.'' This is popular science writing at its best. Illustrated. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 232 pages - 978-0-385-41566-8
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