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The Nature Of The Physical World

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1929. The course of Gifford Lectures that Eddington delivered in the University of Edinburgh in January to March 1927. It treats of the philosophical outcome of the great changes of scientific thought which have recently come about. The theory of relativity and the quantum theory have led to strange new conceptions of the physical world; the progress of the principles of t 1929. The course of Gifford Lectures that Eddington delivered in the University of Edinburgh in January to March 1927. It treats of the philosophical outcome of the great changes of scientific thought which have recently come about. The theory of relativity and the quantum theory have led to strange new conceptions of the physical world; the progress of the principles of thermodynamics has wrought more gradual but no less profound change. The first eleven chapters are for the most part occupied with the new physical theories, with the reasons which have led to their adoption, and especially with the conceptions which seem to underlie them. The aim is to make clear the scientific view of the world as it stands at the present day, and, where it is incomplete, to judge the direction in which modern ideas appear to be tending. In the last four chapters I consider the position which this scientific view should occupy in relation to the wider aspects of human experience, including religion. Contents: The Downfall of Classical Physics; Relativity; Time; The Running-Down of the Universe; Becoming; Gravitation-the Law; Gravitation-the Explanation; Man's Place in the Universe; The Quantum Theory; The New Quantum Theory; World Building; Pointer Readings; Reality; Causation; and Science and Mysticism.


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1929. The course of Gifford Lectures that Eddington delivered in the University of Edinburgh in January to March 1927. It treats of the philosophical outcome of the great changes of scientific thought which have recently come about. The theory of relativity and the quantum theory have led to strange new conceptions of the physical world; the progress of the principles of t 1929. The course of Gifford Lectures that Eddington delivered in the University of Edinburgh in January to March 1927. It treats of the philosophical outcome of the great changes of scientific thought which have recently come about. The theory of relativity and the quantum theory have led to strange new conceptions of the physical world; the progress of the principles of thermodynamics has wrought more gradual but no less profound change. The first eleven chapters are for the most part occupied with the new physical theories, with the reasons which have led to their adoption, and especially with the conceptions which seem to underlie them. The aim is to make clear the scientific view of the world as it stands at the present day, and, where it is incomplete, to judge the direction in which modern ideas appear to be tending. In the last four chapters I consider the position which this scientific view should occupy in relation to the wider aspects of human experience, including religion. Contents: The Downfall of Classical Physics; Relativity; Time; The Running-Down of the Universe; Becoming; Gravitation-the Law; Gravitation-the Explanation; Man's Place in the Universe; The Quantum Theory; The New Quantum Theory; World Building; Pointer Readings; Reality; Causation; and Science and Mysticism.

30 review for The Nature Of The Physical World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chris Fellows

    Knocks 'A Brief History of Time' into a cocked hat. It was great to see some of my all-time favourite quotes[1] in context; to have general relativity explained without the mass/rubber sheet analogy - because the mass *is* the deformation in the 'rubber sheet', d'oh; to have such a lucid exposition of the difference between primary physical law, which tell us what is impossible, and secondary physical laws, which tell us what is improbable, and the wondering realisation that maybe nature only has Knocks 'A Brief History of Time' into a cocked hat. It was great to see some of my all-time favourite quotes[1] in context; to have general relativity explained without the mass/rubber sheet analogy - because the mass *is* the deformation in the 'rubber sheet', d'oh; to have such a lucid exposition of the difference between primary physical law, which tell us what is impossible, and secondary physical laws, which tell us what is improbable, and the wondering realisation that maybe nature only has secondary laws; and to read an account of the new quantum mechanics written during the 'Cambrian Explosion' of the subject (what joy it was in that dawn to be alive) from someone who was across the latest developments in both quantum mechanics and cosmology. It was also interesting to read of how the most recent (in 1927) modelling by the top names in physics assured us that the mass of the stars was quite sufficient to explain the behaviour of galaxies, and that formation of planets should be vanishingly rare. I wonder how many things we confidently assert nowadays will be equally wrong in another 85 years. Eddington lost me in the last four chapters, alas. The dead hand of Schopenhauer did lay heavy upon the first half of that dreadful century. Any sentence that begins: 'But no one can deny that...' is likely to compel from me a passionate contrarian denial, and that is what happened about four chapters from the end of this book. The copy I read was on a shelf in the Physics tearoom, and belonged to Don Walker's Honours Supervisor: [1]: "The law that entropy always increases - the second law of thermodynamics - holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations - then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation- will, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation." ; "We often think that when we have completed our study of one we know all about two, because 'two' is 'one and one'. We forget that we have still to make a study of 'and'."

  2. 5 out of 5

    BetseaK

    I thoroughly enjoyed this series of lectures delivered in 1927 by Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington. These lectures give the layperson an insight into the theories of Relativity and Quantum in an engaging style and school the layperson to avoid identifying the real with the concrete and mixing incongruous conceptions of the world of consciousness with purely symbolic world of physics, and yet not “to pluck our eyes because things persist in deluding us instead of giving us the plain truth”. As for th I thoroughly enjoyed this series of lectures delivered in 1927 by Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington. These lectures give the layperson an insight into the theories of Relativity and Quantum in an engaging style and school the layperson to avoid identifying the real with the concrete and mixing incongruous conceptions of the world of consciousness with purely symbolic world of physics, and yet not “to pluck our eyes because things persist in deluding us instead of giving us the plain truth”. As for the latter, the author did a fantastic job! Though I prefer the exposition of the Theory of Relativity given in Galloping with Light - Einstein, Relativity, and Folklore(without the rubber membrane analogy or ‘wrinkles’ in space-time!!!), I found Sir A.S. Eddington’s exposition of both Relativity and Quantum in this series of lectures highly enjoyable. I also liked Sir Eddington’s attitude and the humorous analogies in the chapters that touch upon mysticism and religion, inviting their advocates either to develop some defensible method to give us reason not to regard such interpretations as anything more than “muddle-headed romancing’ or to engage in a discussion that would enable both sides to reach a better understanding as to the boundary between the proper domain of exact science and the proper domain of theological interpretations. And afterwards…, … well …, as the author said: “… science and theology can make what mistakes they please provided that they make them in their own territory.”

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bob Finch

    Remarkable insight into Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. The writing is clear and forceful. The ending superb! Remarkable insight into Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. The writing is clear and forceful. The ending superb!

  4. 5 out of 5

    James Millen

    It's an old book, and hence the first half of the book, which describes the progress of science in Eddington's time, has to be read with care. As long as you know which of his statements on quantum mechanics and particularly astrophysics are dated you'll be fine! Eddington aimed to give a course on the nature of the physical world without use of equations (ok, he uses one [p,q] = ih(bar) ), and his presentations of reletivity and the concept of the quanta are particularly clear. To some extent it It's an old book, and hence the first half of the book, which describes the progress of science in Eddington's time, has to be read with care. As long as you know which of his statements on quantum mechanics and particularly astrophysics are dated you'll be fine! Eddington aimed to give a course on the nature of the physical world without use of equations (ok, he uses one [p,q] = ih(bar) ), and his presentations of reletivity and the concept of the quanta are particularly clear. To some extent it is unfair to criticise his philosophy, because a lot of it hinges on the use of quantum mechanics in descriptions of causality, determinism and general realism of the world, and there were many advances in QM after this book was written. However, the book was written post 1927, so many of the most important concepts had been introduced. He focuses too heavily on the distinction between real and percieved for my liking, mainly because I do not take issue with the seeming inconsistency between the way that scientists break the world down into "meter readings" and symbols, whereas these are clearly not the things we percieve. And interesting insight into basic philosophical science at the time, especially considering it is the lecture notes for a Cambridge undergraduate course!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Omar Elwy

    دسم ، من نوع الكتب الذى يجبرك على القراءة بتأنى و سيتركك مع نظرة مختلفة لطبيعة العالم أو ما نسميه الواقع ما أساء للكتاب بحق هى مجموعة المقالات فى آخره

  6. 4 out of 5

    Luiz Gustavo

    Este livro foi escrito em 1927 por uma das maiores autoridades da ciência moderna, o astrofísico Sir Arthur S. Eddington. Secretário da Sociedade Astronômica Real durante a I Guerra Mundial e dotado também de habilidades em matemática, foi um dos co-organizadores das expedições que fizeram, em 1919, o teste empírico comprobatório da teoria da relatividade geral de Einstein (observação do eclipse solar total de 29 de maio para medir a deflexão da luz ao passar pelo campo gravitacional do sol). Al Este livro foi escrito em 1927 por uma das maiores autoridades da ciência moderna, o astrofísico Sir Arthur S. Eddington. Secretário da Sociedade Astronômica Real durante a I Guerra Mundial e dotado também de habilidades em matemática, foi um dos co-organizadores das expedições que fizeram, em 1919, o teste empírico comprobatório da teoria da relatividade geral de Einstein (observação do eclipse solar total de 29 de maio para medir a deflexão da luz ao passar pelo campo gravitacional do sol). Além de astrônomo, Eddington também se dedicou a escrever sobre filosofia da natureza e filosofia da ciência e a popularizar a ciência para leigos. Essas foram as pontes que me levaram até o livro dele, que é uma obra rara, da qual tomei conhecimento por meio do escritor austríaco-brasileiro Otto Maria Carpeaux em seu livro “Caminhos para Roma”, escrito nos anos 30. Apesar de ser antigo, o livro de Eddington oferece bons elementos para a compreensão do mundo/da natureza a partir do advento da física moderna (teorias da relatividade e quântica). A obra foi escrita em linguagem mais acessível para leigos, ainda que algumas partes ainda sejam de difícil entendimento (razão por que não a avaliei com cinco estrelas).

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tahia

    السير ادنجتون الذي قال ان الحتميه المطلقه امر لا يمكن تقريره حيث انه لا يمكن تحديد الحركات والاوضاع ف ان واحد طبقا لقوانين الطبيعه. الكتاب أكثر من رائع وهو فعلا كتاب مختلف يتناول اهم نظريات القرن العشرين وهي نظريتي الكم والتسليه في اطار فلسفي عميق تستشعر وانت تقرأه وكأن رجل دين وعالم متعمق يفكر ويبدع

  8. 5 out of 5

    Subendu Sinha

    Never has a book made as much an impact on my scientifically inquisitive brain as this one. This book carries so much weight and its reach so vast that any reader after reading this book would discover that he can take on any sane human being proficient in any field.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mary Lolo

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Mc Clurg

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mohamad Jaber

  12. 4 out of 5

    Özge Yıldız

  13. 5 out of 5

    Thomas McKernon

  14. 5 out of 5

    Vinay Kuperkar

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tan

  16. 5 out of 5

    رؤيا اغبارية

  17. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sean

  19. 5 out of 5

    Vcloud

  20. 5 out of 5

    Santo

  21. 5 out of 5

    David Purdy

  22. 5 out of 5

    Curt

  23. 4 out of 5

    Terence Blake

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alex Thayer

  25. 4 out of 5

    Adel

  26. 5 out of 5

    Saif

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jakob Reul

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Hockey

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