Read The Cosmic Code by Heinz R. Pagels for free with a 30 day free trial. Read unlimited* books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android. The Cosmic Code: Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature by Heinz R. Pagels (review). Waldo E. Haisley. Leonardo, Volume 17, Number 2, April , p. Read "The Cosmic Code Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature" by Heinz R. Pagels available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and.
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The Cosmic Code by Heinz R. Pagels, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. The cosmic code by Heinz R. Pagels, April 1, , Bantam edition, Mass Market Paperback in English. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. American physicist Heinz Pagels (– ) was The Cosmic Code: Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature ( Dover Books on Physics) - Kindle edition by Heinz R. Pagels. Download it once and.
Daring Greatly. The problem Einstein addressed was how to prove the existence of atoms. Suppose one observer is riding on a moving train with his measuring rod and clock and his friend is on the station platform with his rod and clock. Max Planck said in of this paper, If [it]. Pagels is unfailingly lighthearted and confident.
His mind played with spatial rather than linguistic associations; he built card towers of great height and loved jigsaw puzzles. When he was four his father gave him a magnetic compass. Seven decades later, in his Autobiographical Notes appearing in the volume Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist he recalled the wonder that this compass inspired; it did not at all fit into the nature of events which could find a place in the unconscious world of concepts.
That trust and the confidence it brings is the foundation of the autonomous mind living at the boundary of human knowledge. His family had a liberal secular orientation. They were not especially intellectual but they respected learning and loved music. His parents, not being religiously observant, sent the young boy to a Catholic school, where he became involved with the ritual and symbolism of religion.
This involvement was not to last.
He wrote about his early emotional and intellectual odyssey from religion toward science when he was sixty-seven. These Autobiographical Notes display a simplicity and strength that characterizes his prose:. Even when I was a fairly precocious young man the nothingness of the hopes and strivings which chases most men restlessly through life came to my consciousness with considerable vitality.
Moreover, I soon discovered the cruelty of that chase, which in those years was much more carefully covered up by hypocrisy and glittering words than is the case today.
By the mere existence of his stomach everyone was condemned to participate in that chase. Moreover, it was possible to satisfy the stomach by such participation, but not man in so far as he is a thinking and feeling being. As the first way out there was religion, which is implanted into every child by way of the traditional education-machine.
Thus I came—despite the fact that I was the son of entirely irreligious Jewish parents—to a deep religiosity, which, however, found an abrupt ending at the age of Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. The consequence was a positively fanatic [orgy of] freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression.
Suspicion against every kind of authority grew out of this experience, a skeptical attitude towards the convictions which were alive in any specific social environment —an attitude which has never again left me, even though later on, because of a better insight into the causal connections, it lost some of its original poignancy.
It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of youth, which was thus lost, was a first attempt to free myself from the chains of the merely personal, from an existence which is dominated by wishes, hopes and primitive feelings.
Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking. The contemplation of this world beckoned like a liberation, and I soon noticed that many a man whom I had learned to esteem and to admire had found inner freedom and security in devoted occupation with it. Similarly motivated men of the present and of the past, as well as the insights which they had achieved, were the friends which could not be lost.
The road to this paradise was not as comfortable and alluring as the road to the religious paradise; but it has proved itself as trustworthy, and I have never regretted having chosen it.
What this passage reveals is a conversion from personal religion to the cosmic religion of science, an experience which changed him for the rest of his life. Einstein saw that the universe is governed by laws that can be known by us but that are independent of our thoughts and feelings.
The existence of this cosmic code—the laws of material reality as confirmed by experience—is the bedrock faith that moves the natural scientist.
The scientist sees in that code the eternal structure of reality, not as imposed by man or tradition but as written into the very substance of the universe. This recognition of the nature of the universe can come as a profound and moving experience to the young mind. Many intellectual biographies of the turn of the century record a similar conversion. The symbols of religion and family are replaced by those from literary, political, or scientific culture. For Einstein this event took the form of liberating himself from a random existence dominated by wishes, hopes and primitive feelings.
He turned to the contemplation of the universe, a magnificent and orderly system that was, in his view, completely determined and independent of human will. The classical world view of reality fulfilled the needs of the young Einstein. The idea that reality is independent of how we question it may have been instilled in him then. This early commitment to classical determinism was to be the theme of his later opposition to the quantum theory, which maintains that fundamental atomic processes occur at random and that human intention influences the outcome of experiments.
No doubt the boy was a difficult student. He detested the military organization of German schools.
He was rarely found in the company of children his own age, and once was even expelled from school by a teacher who said his mere presence in the classroom was sufficient to undermine the educational process. Albert did not at first join them but remained in Munich during attempting to finish school at the gymnasium. It did not, and he had to take an exam to enter Zurich Polytechnic Institute, which he failed. Then in the fall of he entered the Cantonal School of Argau, a Swiss preparatory school in the liberal Pestalozzi tradition to which he responded enthusiastically.
Here he got his diploma, and in he entered the Zurich Polytechnic Institute to begin his education as a physicist. Sometime in this year he first asked himself the question of what would happen if he could catch up to a light ray—actually move at the speed of light.
So, he reasoned, there must be something wrong with the assumption that you can catch a light wave as you can catch a water wave. This idea was a seed from which the special theory of relativity grew nine years later.
According to that theory, no material object can attain the speed of light. It is the speed limit for the universe. In , Einstein graduated from the university, but only by cramming for final exams.
He detested the exams so much that he later commented that it had destroyed his motivation for scientific work for at least a year. He held various teaching jobs and tutored two young gymnasium students. Einstein went so far as to advise their father, a gymnasium teacher himself, to remove the boys from school, where their natural curiosity was being destroyed. Through a friend, he got a job at the patent office in Bern in while he worked on his doctorate. He earned his living examining patent applications and in his spare time worked on physics.
This arrangement ideally suited him, for he never felt he ought to be paid to do theoretical physics research. In this modest way his career in physics began. There was every reason to suppose it would continue. A major theoretical problem was how to deduce the laws of mechanical motion of electrically charged particles from the electromagnetic theory. But experimental physicists had turned up some puzzles that did not have an explanation in terms of the prevailing theories.
Radioactivity—the spontaneous emission of particles and rays from specific materials—had been observed. Perhaps the most puzzling observation of all was the sharp lines in the color spectrum of light emitted from different materials. No one had an explanation for that. These observations were like the first drops of rain in a storm that was soon to become a deluge sweeping away classical physics. The puzzling experiments were indirectly revealing the properties and structure of matter down at the smallest distances beyond where anything could yet be directly seen.
For over two millennia people had suspected the existence of atoms, but there had never been a way of proving their existence. In spite of all the indications, most especially from chemistry, that the atomic hypothesis—the hypothesis that all matter is made of atoms—was indeed correct, no one had devised a direct test to prove that atoms actually existed. Some leading scientists did not believe in atoms, including Ernst Mach, a philosopher-physicist.
He was a positivist who maintained that all physical theory must come only from direct experimental experience, that all ideas that cannot be tested experimentally must be abandoned —the seeing is believing approach to physics.
Mach did not believe in atoms because he had never seen one—and his strict viewpoint and rigorous thinking had a terrific impact on physics in general and upon Einstein in particular.
Max Planck was the physicist who brought forth the first crucial idea of the quantum theory in , the same year Einstein graduated from the university. They thought of the forms of matter blending into one another in a smooth, continuous way.
Various physical quantities like energy, momentum, and spin were continuous and could take on any value.
Because the discreteness of physical quantities is so very small, their discreteness is not perceptible to our senses. For example, if we look at a pile of wheat from a distance it appears to be a continuous smooth hill. But up close, we recognize the illusion and see that in fact it is made of tiny grains.
The discrete grains are the quanta of the pile of wheat. Another example of this quantization of continuous objects is the reproduction of photographs in newspapers. If you look closely at a newspaper photo it consists of lots of tiny dots; the image has been quantized —something you do not notice if you view the photo from afar.
Planck was struggling with the problem of black-body radiation. What is black-body radiation? Take a material object—a metal bar will do—and put it into a dark, light-tight room. The metal bar is the black body; that is, you cannot see it. If you heat the bar on a fire to a high temperature and return it to the dark room, it ceases to be black, instead glowing a dark red like a burning coal in a campfire.
If you heat it to a still-higher temperature, the metal glows white hot. The light coming from the hot metal in a dark room has a distribution of colors which can be measured, resulting in what is called the black-body radiation curve. Two teams of experimental physicists at the Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt in Berlin made precise measurements of the black-body radiation curve. Readers waiting for this title: Check nearby libraries with: WorldCat Library.
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