From Strange Simplicity to Complex Familiarity: A Treatise on Matter, Information, Life and Thought

Hardcover | June 20, 2013

byManfred Eigen

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This book presents a vivid argument for the almost lost idea of a unity of all natural sciences. It starts with the "strange" physics of matter, including particle physics, atomic physics and quantum mechanics, cosmology, relativity and their consequences (Chapter I), and it continues bydescribing the properties of material systems that are best understood by statistical and phase-space concepts (Chapter II). These lead to entropy and to the classical picture of quantitative information, initially devoid of value and meaning (Chapter III). Finally, "information space" and dynamicswithin it are introduced as a basis for semantics (Chapter IV), leading to an exploration of life and thought as new problems in physics (Chapter V). Dynamic equations - again of a strange (but very general) nature - bring about the complex familiarity of the world we live in. Surprising new results in the life sciences open our eyes to the richness of physical thought, and they show us what can and what cannot be explained by a Darwinianapproach. The abstract physical approach is applicable to the origins of life, of meaningful information and even of our universe.

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From the Publisher

This book presents a vivid argument for the almost lost idea of a unity of all natural sciences. It starts with the "strange" physics of matter, including particle physics, atomic physics and quantum mechanics, cosmology, relativity and their consequences (Chapter I), and it continues bydescribing the properties of material systems tha...

Manfred Eigen was born in Bochum, Germany in 1927, and began his rerearch career at Gottingen in 1945. In 1967 he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for work on extremely fast chemical reactions. His work on chemistry, biochemistry and physics has been recognised throughout the world with honorary doctorates, prizes, and awards that in...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:704 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.1 inPublished:June 20, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019857021X

ISBN - 13:9780198570219

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Table of Contents

1. Matter and Energy2. Energy and Entropy3. Entropy and Information4. Information and Complexity5. Complexity and Self-OrganisationAppendix to Chapter 1Appendix to Chapter 2Appendix to Chapter 3Appendix to Chapter 4Appendix to Chapter 5

Editorial Reviews

"What a splendid antidote to the swagger of physicists and biologists who think they already understand the living universe! Manfred Eigen pulls back the carpet like a careful housekeeper and brings to light mind-wrenching questions that most scientists brush out of sight. His search for thephysical roots of the logic of life is not an easy path to follow, but Eigen helps us all he can with his polymathic skill and lucid style." --Nigel Calder, science writer and broadcaster, author of Magic Universe: The Oxford Guide to Modern Science