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Cover

Nothing: A Very Short Introduction

Frank Close

25 June 2009

ISBN: 9780199225866

176 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99

What is 'nothing'? What remains when you take all the matter away? Can empty space - a void - exist? This Very Short Introduction explores the science and history of the elusive void: from Aristotle's theories to black holes and quantum particles, and why the latest discoveries about the vacuum tell us extraordinary things about the cosmos.

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Description

What is 'nothing'? What remains when you take all the matter away? Can empty space - a void - exist? This Very Short Introduction explores the science and history of the elusive void: from Aristotle's theories to black holes and quantum particles, and why the latest discoveries about the vacuum tell us extraordinary things about the cosmos.

  • This Very Short Introduction tells you everything about 'nothing' - it is the story of how scientists have been puzzled by the physical problem of what remains when you take all the matter away.
  • A lively and stimulating guide, taking the reader from ancient ideas and cultural superstitions about the void, via the theories of Newton and Einstein, to the frontiers of current research in today's powerful particle accelerators
  • Reveals how the vacuum is far from being empty - that in fact it seethes with particles that spontaneously erupt into being - and how this provides fascinating clues about how the universe began, and what was there before
  • Tells the tale of the mysterious 'aether' that was long ago supposed to permeate the void - how Einstein did away with it, and how the latest research into the 'Higgs field' may mean it is making a comeback
  • Asks fascinating questions such as: Would nothing exist if there was no one to observe it? Where did everything come from? What lies outside the universe, and what is it expanding into?

About the Author(s)

Frank Close, Professor of Theoretical Physics and Fellow of Exeter College, University of Oxford

Table of Contents

    1:Much Ado About Nothing
    2:How Empty is an Atom?
    3:Space
    4:Waves in What?
    5:Travelling on a Light Beam
    6:The Cost of Free Space
    7:The Infinite Sea
    8:The Higgs Vacuum
    9:The New Void
    Notes
    Bibliography
    Index

Reviews

Review from previous edition All in all, this book makes for some fascinating reading. - Chemistry World, Dennis Rouvray.

An accessible and entertaining read for layperson and scientist alike. - Physics World

The Void is well worth reading. - Robert Cailliau. CERN Courier.

It covers very complicated concepts in a mostly accessible way. - Lawrence Rudnick, Nature

A fascinating subject covered by a fascinating book. - Marcus Chown, Focus

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