The Beautiful Invisible: Creativity, imagination, and theoretical physics

Hardcover | April 10, 2011

byGiovanni Vignale

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The realm of theoretical physics is teeming with abstract and beautiful concepts. And the task of imagining them is one that demands profound creativity, argues Giovanni Vignale. Explaining them is curiously akin to the craft of poets, or magical realist novelists such as Borges, and Musil, orBulgakov's The Master and Margarita.In this unusual and sometimes poetic book, Vignale presents his own unorthodox accounts of fundamental theoretical concepts such as Newtonian mechanics, superconductivity, and Einstein's theory of relativity, showing that what may seem at first quite simple in fact turns out to be much moreprofound. As we delve behind now-familiar metaphors such as 'electron spin' and 'black hole', the world that we take for granted melts away, leaving a glimpse of something much stranger.

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The realm of theoretical physics is teeming with abstract and beautiful concepts. And the task of imagining them is one that demands profound creativity, argues Giovanni Vignale. Explaining them is curiously akin to the craft of poets, or magical realist novelists such as Borges, and Musil, orBulgakov's The Master and Margarita.In this...

Giovanni Vignale is Curator's Professor of Physics at the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is the co-author of an academic text, Quantum Theory of the Electron Liquid (CUP, 2005).

other books by Giovanni Vignale

Quantum Theory of the Electron Liquid
Quantum Theory of the Electron Liquid

Paperback|Jun 19 2008

$106.68

Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:April 10, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199574847

ISBN - 13:9780199574841

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Table of Contents

Prologue1. The way of the abstract2. Limits3. Laws are made to be broken4. Of first and last things5. Representations6. The invisible light7. The double helix8. Quantum mechanics: the triumph of the abstract9. Tales of quantum reality10. The spinning electron and other metaphors11. Margarita