Light Years and Time Travel - An Exploration of Mankind's Enduring Fascination With Light
Author(s): Brian Clegg
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition
Date : 2002
Pages : 265
Format : PDF
OCR : Yes
Quality : good
Language : English
ISBN-10 : 0471211826
ISBN-13 : 9780471211822
Uploaded By TheSoftwareGuru a.k.a TSG
An exploration of manÆs fascination with light
Here is the story of the greatest puzzle in our universe: what is light? Light Years explores our understanding of light from the spiritual interpretations of the Neolithic worshippers at Stonehenge, the Ancient Egyptians and the Mayans, through our first scientific attempts to understand light, and up to the present day. It looks over the shoulders of the great revolutionaries of light theoryûBacon, Galileo, Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, Einstein, and Feynmanûand traces the evolution of light drivenûdevices from the camera to the laser. This piece of realûlife scienceûfiction explains the mindûbending advances of quantum physics that put light at the heart of all matter and which could finally make time travel possibleûand change the world as we know it forever. Light Years and Time Travel is an engaging survey of everything we know of the universeÆs most enigmatic substance.
From the Inside Flap
According to Einstein, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Of all the mindûbending theories in modern physics, that, at least, seemed a rule the universeûlet alone mankindûcould never break.
But in 1994 Professor Gunter Nimtz sent a recording of MozartÆs 40th Symphony through a physical barrier at four times the speed of light. Once again, light had surprised and confounded those who sought to understand it.
Light Years and Time Travel tells the stories of the cultures and individuals determined to unlock the secrets of this mysterious force.
Neolithic man worshipped light at Stonehenge. The ancient Egyptians believed it was the sight of the great god Ra. The Greeks thought it a fire that pours from the eyes to illuminate all we behold. The revolutionary use of light in art by Brunelleschi, Leonardo da Vinci, Durer, and, more recently, the Impressionists has only furthered our awe of it.
From the first scientific grapplings with light by the ancient Chinese sage Mo Ti and the Greek philosopher Empedocles through the Renaissance and down to our own time, the revelations of the true nature of light are equally astounding. We have moved from BaconÆs studies of opticsûaccording to legend, he invented the first pair of glassesûand NewtonÆs dissection of light into the colors of the spectrum to Faraday and MaxwellÆs revelation of lightÆs basis in electricity and magnetism and quantum theoryÆs study of lightÆs strangest, most unexpected properties. Light is also the force behind our most stateûofûtheûart technology, such as lasers and optical computers.
Now, in this new millennium, we are realizing the possibility that light may allow us to send messages backward in time.
Even this is just the beginning of our understanding of lightÆs true power, but Brian CleggÆs odyssey through the wonder and study of light is no less compelling for it.