Read Faster Than the Speed of Light: The Story of a Scientific Speculation by João Magueijo Online

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Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, and light travels at one fixed speed. This idea is considered a foundation of modern physics, but what if it is wrong? Theoretical physicist Magueijo presents the idea that light traveled faster in the early universe than it does today. The varying speed of light theory solves some of the most intractable problems in cosmologNothing travels faster than the speed of light, and light travels at one fixed speed. This idea is considered a foundation of modern physics, but what if it is wrong? Theoretical physicist Magueijo presents the idea that light traveled faster in the early universe than it does today. The varying speed of light theory solves some of the most intractable problems in cosmology, and could have major implications for the study of physics....

Title : Faster Than the Speed of Light: The Story of a Scientific Speculation
Author :
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ISBN : 9780738205250
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Faster Than the Speed of Light: The Story of a Scientific Speculation Reviews

  • محمود حسني
    2019-06-09 12:47

    خلصت الجزء الاول الخاص باهم النظريات اللي بتتناول طبيعة بنية الكون في علم الفيزياء والكونيات وبدات الجزء التاني اللي بيبدأ يشرح فيه نظريته القائمة على تغير سرعة الضوء حابب بس اسجل اهم النظريات اللي كانت قبل نظريته او نموذجه الكوني قوة الجاذبية لنيوتن النسبية الخاصة والعامة لأينشتاين نماذج الكسندر فريدمان للكون وهم 3 نماذج اساسية قياسات ادوين هابل ونظرية الانفجار الكبير الكون الانفجاري التوسعي لآلن كوثفيه طبعا نظريات تانية واجتهادات بين النقاط المفصلية دي لكني فضلت وضع عناوين كبيرة لاهم التطورات في علم الكونيات في القرن العشرين Cosmology------------------------------------------------------------ريفيون ما بعد الانتهاء من القراءة هذا العمل جدير حقا بان يكون من اجمل ما قرأت على الرغم من اعترافي من صعوبة فهم بعض ما جاء فيه ولكنه سمح لي ان استكشف كيف يفكر كبار العلماء وكيف يتبعون المناهج والدروب للوصول الى اطروحات جديدة في الجزء التاني من الكتاب واللي بيتكلم فيه عن نظريته ذكر اهم نظريات علم الكون زي الاوتار الفائقة الجاذبية الكمية بجانب بعض النماذج الاخرى لنظرية سرعة الضوء المتغيرة طبعا زي ما هو قايل الموضوع نفسهه حتى الآن لم يخضع للإثبات عن طريق التجربة وإن مجموعة التنبؤات اللي بتعرضها السرعة المتغيرة للضوء في الجاذبية الكمية والثقوب السوداء وطبيعة الكون حتى الآن هي مجرد نتائج لأرقام رياضية لكن تجدر الإشارة هنا إلى إن صياغة فكرة حدسية في قالب رياضي هو شئ بالغ الصعوبة ..ودا بناء على تجربة شخصية في البحث العلمي حتى لو اختلف مجال البحث .. تجربة مختلفة واسمتعت بيها جدا واجده اكثر لطفا وقربا لنفسي من كتاب "تاريخ أكثر إيجازا للزمن لستيفن هوكنينج "

  • Mike
    2019-05-23 12:14

    If you want to know about Joao's idea VSL (variable Speed of Light) look elsewhere. If you want to know how bad Joao hates scientific administrators and editors, this is the book for you.

  • Mohummed Al Refai
    2019-06-07 15:06

    تخيل شخصاً بشعرٍ أبيض غير مرتبٍ بالمرة يكتب مجموعةً من المعادلات الرياضية؛ حسناً، أتوقع أنك تخيلت أينشتاين، شخصٌ أشهر من نارٍ على علم، فهو واضع النظرية النسبية، وإن كنت تعرف أقل القليل عنها فلا بد أنك تعرف أن سرعة الضوء ثابتة وألا شيء أسرع من الضوء. حسناً، هذه القاعدة هي من أعمدة علم الكونيات والفيزياء بشكل عام في العقود الماضية وإلى الآن، إنها "نصٌ مقدس" إن صح التعبير، لا يجوز تحريفه أبداً؛ فم قولك عن كاتبٍ يخصص كتاباً "ليدنس هذا النص" ويحدثك فيه عن ما هو أسرع من الضوء؟ يتحدث عن سرعة الضوء في الفترة الأولى من عمر الكون حيث يتوقع أنها كانت أسرع مما هي الحال عليه اليوم، وهذا الطرح بإمكانه حل مشاكل لا تستطيع النماذج الحالية (النموذج الخاص بالتوسع الكوني) حله.في بداية الكتاب -وكون الكاتب على وشك أن "يحطم" النسبية- يشرح لنا ما هي النسبية وكي توصل أينشتاين إليها، وما هو التوسع الكوني وما هو شكل هذا الكون وما هي المشاكل التي لا تستطيع النماذج الفيزيائية والفلكية حلها؛ يمثل هذا القسم من الكتاب ما يربو على ثلثه، والكاتب معذورٌ في ذلك، فكتابه موجهٌ للعامة وبالتالي يجب أن يشرح لهم ما هي النسبية وما معنى سرعة الضوء وثباتها كي يكون قادراً على طرح نظريته؛ في هذا القسم من الكتاب، كان الكاتب موفقاً في ما أدلى إلى حدٍ كبير، وقد انسجمتُ معه بشكلٍ كامل، وأخذت صراحةً ألتهم الصفحات كي أصل إلى القسم الثاني من الكتاب، حيث "ستتغير سرعة الضوء". لكن وللأسف، فإن القسم الثاني لم يكن برأيي مضارعاً لسابقه؛ فعوضاً عن كم المعلومات الغزير، وانسجامها وسلاستها -أي المعلومات- البديعين الذين تجسدا في القسم الأول، كان القسم الثاني أشبه بسيرةٍ ذاتيةٍ لحياة الكاتب في الفترة التي كان يعمل فيها على هذه النظرية الجديدة، فنجده يحدثنا عن أسفاره ومغامراته وأصدقائه ومن أين جاؤوا وإلى أين رحلوا، وعن الملاهي التي زارها وبصحبة من شرب فيها الجعة، حدثنا عن آماله وأحلامه والمصاعب التي واجهها، ونقل إلينا ما اعتمل في صدور زملائه -سواءً من عمل معه وآزره، أو من سخر منه وثبطه- وأطال واصفاً نقاشه وخلافه مع المسؤول عن نشر مقالته العلمية في الدورية الفيزيائية؛ وليس هذا فقط، بل إن هذا القسم مليئٌ بآراء الكاتب عن نظام إدارة الجامعات في بريطانيا وعن بيروقراطيته السقيمة وروتينه القاتل، بل وعن غباء بعض المتنفذين فيها.فالقسم الثاني احتوى في معظمه على تجربة الكاتب الشخصية في هذه الفترة من حياته؛ وربما يشفع له أن عنوان كتابه الفرعي "قصة تخمين علمي"، ربما يشفعُ له هذا العنوانُ هذه السلبيةِ، فهو يريد أن يحدثنا عن قصة. لكن المشكلة لم تتوقف هنا، فعلى العكس من الفصل الأول، لم يذلل الكاتب للقارئ الصعوبات والأفكار العلمية التي طرحها، فتخيل أن تقرأ عن الكوانتية الحلقية والهندسة اللاتبادلية!لقد كان القسم الثاني على قلة كمية المعلومات فيه صعباً ما اضطرني مجبراً إلى البحث شخصياً عن هذه المفاهيم لاستيعابها، واضطرني ملولاً إلى متابعة قراءة الكتاب حتى الصفحة الأخيرة.باختصار، وُفِق الكاتب في القسم الأول وواجهه سوء الطالع في القسم الثاني، فإن لم تكن من محبي الفيزياء أو الفلك فلا أعتقد أن الكتاب سيروق لك.لكن، ولأذكر بعد هذا الانتقاد المطول إيجابيةً لمستها منذ الصفحة الأولى، هي لغة الكاتب الجزلة وقدرة المترجم على نقلها إلى روح العربية بنجاح. لقد أعجبتني هذه النقطة الذي تفتقر إليها الكتب العلمية ذات الأسلوب الجاف...أنصح به لمحبي الفيزياء...

  • Phiann
    2019-06-09 19:58

    This is the worst book I have ever read. Actually, I could not even finish it and I was trying really hard because I had promised a friend I would read it. (Sorry, DC...)The style in which this book is written makes me angry. What the author wants you to think when you buy or lend this book is that he is going to tell you about things in physics that he thinks marvelous. What the author really is telling you is how great he is, what a wonderful person, what a good physicist. And you... a reader... Who are you to be compared to a real scientist?As in almost every book on public science there are two parts forming parallel the content. The first is about the scientists themselves, a little bit about the times they were living in and -- in particular here -- about the events in the life of the author that made him write the present book. After the introduction of a scientist he will be called only by his first name. So reading another book again you would never recognize this scientist by his name. To me personally it seems right-away disrespectful.The second part speaks about cosmology. An author of a such book has to explain things right from the beginning. Actually, this is the only good thing I can say about this book, it is the order of the things to be explained, so far I can tell.* Unfortunately when it comes to explaining itself the author fails completely. The simpler things get a lot of text. The simpler the point the more text. The complicated matters are hardly explained or not at all. Such an example is the sudden appearing paragraph about a discussion about the Minkowski space. Of course, without any further explanation. (There have never been any notion about it before nor after -- at least not on the 30 pages later.*) It seems to me that the author do not want you to understand the theories. He wants you to admire him that HE does.If you are really looking for a book about cosmology to read you will do best to ignore the mere existence of this one. It will kill a mere wish to read another book about physics ever again.-----* See the second sentence of this review.

  • Rania
    2019-05-27 13:49

    يتناول الكاتب فى الجزء الاول تفسير النظرية النسبية لاينشتاين والتى تقوم على اساس ان سرعة الضوء ثابته ,كما انها الحد الكونى اى لا يمكن تجاوز سرعة الضوء وفسر اينشتاين ذلك بان كلما زادت سرعة الجسم ,زادت كتلته وبالمثل تزيد القوة المطلوبة للتأثيرعليه وعند زيادة السرعة لتقارب سرعة الضوء تحتاج الى قوة لا نهائية لتحريك الجسم كما اضافت النظرية النسبية انًا نعيش فى كون رباعى الابعاد ,ساكن ,وتؤثر فيه الجاذبية والتى هى انحناءات الزمكان ,حيث يتميز الفضاء بانحناءات تجبر الاجرام السماوية على السير فى مسارات بيضاوية ,وذلك مخالفة مع رؤية نيوتن بان الجاذبية هى قوة جذب للاجسام اثبت العالم هابل ان الكون متحرك او متمدد ,حيث اخطأ اينشتاين فى اعتقاده بان الكون ثابت بينما تقوم نظرية اسرع من سرعة الضوء بالتشكيك او عرض رؤية مخالفة عن نظرية اينشتاين ,ان الضوء ذو سرعة ثابته حيث يعرض الكاتب فكرته ان الكون فى بدأنشأته ,اى بعد الانفجار واثناء تمدده شهد سرعة للضوء اسرع من تلك التى نشهدها الان وشبه ذلك بان الكون كان اشبه بالماء الذى يتحول من صورة سائلة الى اخرى متجمدة,حيث مر الكون بحالة مشابهه عبر فيها الكون المتوسع درجة حرارة متجمدة كان الضوء فوقها اسرع بكثير ومن ثم حالة سائلة كان اسفل منها متبلور الى الضوء الجليدى الذى نشهده الان كانت تلك احدى الاحتمالات التى تعبر عنها النظرية الجدير بالذكر ان تلك النظرية لم تثبت صحتها او خطأها حتى صدور الكتاب ومازال البحث جارى لاثباتها بصورة نهائيةاما اذا ثبت عدم صحتها ,فالكاتب يوضح انه لن يندم على الاطلاق لان ولوج متاهات العلم هو ما يجعله جدير بالمتعة

  • Abdelrahman Badran
    2019-05-16 17:07

    هل يوجد شيء أسرع من سرعة الضوء ؟ هل سرعة الضوء ثابتة منذ النشأة الأولى واللحظات الأولى للإنفجار العظيم ؟ في هذا المشروع البحثي الذي يحتويه هذا الكتاب ، محاولة لإيجاد حل للمشاكل التي واجهت النظرية النسبية العامة،مشكلة الأفق ومشكلة الكون المتجانس ، ومشكلة الثقالة الكمومية ، هل سرعة الضوء ثابتة كما أخبرناآينشتاين نظريته النسبية الخاصة، نجح جواو من خلال افتراض أن سرعة الضوء كان ثابتة ولكن ليست كما نعرفها الآن بأنها تساوي 186ألف ميل\ثانية بل كانت أكثر من ذلك في لحظة معينة في بداية الإنفجار الكوني قبل ما يُسمى بوقت بلانك بحل مشكلة الأفق ومشكلة التجانس الكوني ، ولكنه اصطدم بمشكلة الثقالة الكمومية ، ولكنه أحرز تقدماً نوعاً ما في علم فيزياء الكون على الأقل حرر تفكير العلماء قليلاً من تبعات النسبية . هي تخمين فيزيائي قد يكون صحيح وقد لا يكون ولكنه بالتأكيد كان خطوة على الطريق الصحيح .بروفيسور جواو أنت رائع استمعت بكتابك كثيراً .

  • Baraa Qudah
    2019-05-22 14:51

    بهذا الكتاب يطرح كاتبه قصة نظريته و قد بذل مجهود كبير في تحويل ابحاثه و دراساته الى لغة يمكن لنا نحن غير المتخصصين ان نفهم العديد من جوانبهاجميل ترتيب الكتاب حيث بدأ بسرد شرح بسيط عن النسبية و نظرية الانفجار التوسعي ثم ذهب يسرد رحلته مع النظريةوجدت صعوبة ببعض الفصول التي تتحدث عن الفيزياء ..لاني من اربع سنين لم ادخل عالم الفيزياء والكونيات و ليس لي ادنى معرفة فيها قبل ذلكالكتاب اشعل فتيل جمال علم الفيزياء التي كنت لا احبها في ايام المدرسةوجميل من الكاتب ان كتب عن المؤسسة التعليمية هناك و سلبياتها و بعض المعوقات فيها, و جمود عقلية بعض العلماء الكبار و سخريتهم من الجديدالاسلوب الروائي للكاتب جعل الكتاب رحلة جميلة .حتى لو لم نفهم العديد من الفقرات الفيزيائية .

  • Muhannad Alzahrani
    2019-05-16 11:52

    من أفضل الكتب العلمية محتوى وترجمة ..ملخص سريع : يبدأ الكاتب بتقديم أحداث فيزيائية تظهر في تفسيراتها تناقضات داخلية ضمن الميكانيكا الكلاسيكية ( النيوتنية ) والكهرومغناطيسية ، ويقترح الحل لحلها وهو " النسبية الخاصة " ، ويسير بهذا الطريق في معالجة التعارض بين الأخيرة وقانون الجذب الكوني وصولا للنسبية العامة وحلولها والكون وفقا للنسبية العامة .يدخل بعد ذلك في شرح معالم نظريته وتطورها مشوبة بكثير من التفاصيل عن الأحداث الشخصية والإجتماعية التي حدثت للكاتب ، ويسترسل في علاقتها بباقي النظريات المعاصرة ومقدرة النظرية التفسيرية على حل مشكلات نظرية الإنفجار العظيم ( مثل مشكلة الأفق ) ، ويبتعد عن التفصيلات العميقة أو المعادلات الرياضية .

  • Ahmaad M. Hanafi
    2019-05-24 17:52

    عنوانه جذاب جدا وهذا ما دفعنى لشرائةبالنسبة للفصل الأول فهو يعتبر مقدمة عن حياته وأن أزاى النظرية اللى بيطرحها أتعرض بسببها للسخرية فصل مكنش مهم أوى بالنسبالى.بالنسبة للفصل التانى فهو مذهل بمعنى الكلمة كنت بقرا فقرة وأعد أتخيل اللى قاله ده، وقدرت بسببه أستوعب أجزاء كتير مكنتش فهمها فى نظرية النسبية وقدر يبسطها باكثر من مثال ومن كذا جانببالنسبة لباقى الفصول، التوهان كان عنوانى، الكتاب محتاج حد متخصص فى المجال عشان يعرف يفهم الكتاب كويس، فى أفكار كتير وقعت منى وأكيد هحتاج اقراه ما مرة

  • دار لوتس للنشر الحر
    2019-05-25 16:53

    لا شيء أسرع من الضوء، وذلك المبدأ من المسلمات والبديهيات في علم الفيزياء، وعليه قام أينشتاين ببناء نظريته النسبية وفيها أوضح أن الضوء ثابت كوني وأن سرعته لا تتغير إطلاقاً.فماذا لو كان أينشتاين مخطأ؟هذا الكتاب يستعرض نظرية جديدة قد تقلب مفاهيم الكون رأساً على عقب، وتطيح بكل المسلمات. تحميل الكتاب مجاناً.

  • Nazira Abdrabbo
    2019-06-04 15:56

    الكتاب رائع يحوي مادة علمية سهلةو يعطي تفسيرا لكثير من الأسألة الهامة التي تخطر على بالنا يوميا هل سيتسع الكون إلى ما لا نهاية و ينتهي الوجود بصوره المعروفه لماذا لا يكون كذلك هل سيعود الكون إلى الانكماش و لماذا و هل سرعة الضوء بالفعل ثابتة و إذا كان كذلك لما كل هذا التعارض بين النسبية و الحقائق الكونية العجيبة المرصودة مؤخرا؟؟!!

  • Ana Marques
    2019-06-10 14:01

    Not an easy book, but extremely interesting. How a portuguese scientist questions one of the biggest names in science, if not the biggest!One of the best books in the subject and very well recognized by the scientific community.

  • Rama
    2019-05-29 13:52

    Personal & Spiritual Journey of a Cosmologist in the Discovery of VSL TheoryThis is a fascinating story of a young cosmologist who dared to challenge Einstein's most sacred laws of physics; the speed of light in vacuum is a universal constant. In human experience; space and time are perceived as universally rigid, but Einstein proposed that space & time; space-time could expand or contract but speed of light remains unchanged. On occasions many physicists have wondered, and debated that Varying Speed of Light (VSL) is an alternative explanation to inflation theory. A notable proponent is John Moffat who first expressed this idea to none other than father of relativity himself. Einstein responded by saying that "Every individual has to retain his way of thinking if he does not want to get lost in the maze of possibilities. However, nobody is sure of having taken the right road.... myself least of all." At another instance, Einstein said that "We are standing in front of a closed box which cannot open, and we try to discuss what is inside and what is not." The idea of VSL proposed by this author is not new, but he is one of those who made the theory a little more mainstream in physics. The first half of the book (chapter 2 - 6) discusses the current cosmological problems and inflation theory in layman terms, and in the second half, the author discusses his personal struggles in the pursuit of his controversial theory. He unleashes his mind and heart on any thing that matters; scientific bureaucracy, peer reviewing process, research-grant award mechanism, science administrators, and fellow scientists. The academic rat race is vividly explained along with his leftist and liberal leanings on political and social issues. He expresses cynicism against American and Russian scientists; a reflection of British educational system which refuses to forget 1776 and uncomfortable to admit scientific and technical superiority of another country. The horizon effect of earth is due to its curvature, but the horizon of the universe is due to two factors; a definite age of the universe (13.7 billion years) and speed of light is constant. A consequence of this is when the universe was one second old, when it is known to have started expanding; the radius of the horizon was 300,000 kilometers. This suggests that the universe at its infancy had regions that did not have direct contact with each other, and thus can not explain the observed homogeneity of the universe (horizon problem). The second puzzle in cosmology is the flatness problem; the fate of the universe due to the dynamics of expansion, which results in three possible shapes; spherical, hyper-spherical (saddle shaped), and flat surface. When forces of expansion and gravity of the universe are matched, then the universe will neither collapse in a crunch nor does it expand endlessly leaving the universe in dark vacuum. This balanced state of the universe is highly unstable because the two opposing forces are nearly matched, when the natural tendency is that either the force of expansion or gravity takes control of the universe to increase entropy (Second law of Thermodynamics). This seemingly peculiar state of the universe is not clearly explained by the current cosmological models which call for a reexamination and perhaps reconsideration of existing theories. VSL Model; at critical density of the universe, the density of matter that produces gravitational energy is equal to the density of matter producing expansion. In a closed universe (spherical shape), the mass density is above critical density, therefore gravitation supersedes; simultaneously the energy is lost due to a decrease in the speed of light under VSL model (correspondingly mass also decreases since E = MC(2)). Similarly for an open universe, energy is created (correspondingly mass also increases) from vacuum in the wake of expansion from an increase in the speed of light. Thus the universe gravitates to a flat universe in both closed and open situations but violating law of energy conservation (First law of Thermodynamics), because the total energy of the universe did not remain constant. VSL also explains the horizon problem. In VSL model; regions of the universe, which are denser will loss energy, whereas energy will be created in a sparse regions of the universe thereby maintaining homogeneity. One of the properties of the cosmological constant is that vacuum energy is not diluted by expansion in contrast to matter and radiation. It is gravitationally repulsive and the energy density remains constant upon dilution: Expansion dilutes the lambda energy, but tension created by expansion makes up for the energy dilution thus balancing the power of expansion and gravity and thus keeping the universe flat. Hence vacuum energy theoretically must dominate the universe during expansion, but VSL model suppresses that by converting vacuum energy into matter. Other predictions of VSL include that near black holes the speed of light is zero at the horizon, and it also predicts in an eternal universe with no beginning and no end. Since the cosmic expansion is accelerating and cosmological constant lambda is responsible for slowing the speed of light since a sharp decrease in speed of light converts vacuum energy into ordinary matter and this result in conditions for new Big Bang. The cycle of new creation begins all over again. The negative side of VSL is the violation of energy conservation, but it provides for converting vacuum energy into the matter. This model also favors infinite speed of light during Planck epoch in order to explain the horizon problem. It is proposed that the primordial speed of light would be 32 zeros added to the current value (an extreme scenario for the varying speed of light!). There are several versions of VSL including two alternatives from the authors work. Ultimately experimental evidence should favor one VSL model over all others. Although the author mainstreamed this theory in physics but his shabby literature search ignored the work of John Moffat who must get the credit for the discovery of VSL theory.

  • Yomna Suwaïdan
    2019-05-23 18:53

    To Be Reread.

  • Helen
    2019-06-14 16:59

    Ok, so this book was extremely challenging, and, thus, I am extremely proud of myself for making it through the whole thing. The physics in this book was definitely difficult to comprehend fully. Going in, I hoped that because I am a generally science-minded person and took physics in college, it wouldn't be too bad. I'm sure if the subject matter had overlapped, that would have helped. However, this is definitely not general physics. It's not motion and forces and the arc of a thrown baseball. It is the physics of the universe as a whole.Here, I must give the author a great deal of credit. He explained some extremely difficult and meta concepts in a very down-to-earth, fairly easy to grasp with a little work manner. For the first time, I actually feel like I understand relativity. Even cosmic rays and the shape and expansion of the universe as a whole seem much easier to conceptualize. The author, thankfully, spent a great deal of time explaining base cosmology concepts fully - he even used cows and pictures! Not gonna lie, that part was really nice and was actually very useful. At the same time, the farther into the book one traveled, the new concepts he introduced received less and less explanation. So, those concepts became much more difficult to comprehend. As soon as he arrived at the discussion of multiple dimensions and string, loop, and M-theory I definitely started to lose him a bit. However, these concepts were less relevant to the overall focus of the book, so I fully understand why he spent less time explaining them.One of my favorite things about this book, though, was the author's hysterical personality. Some of the other reviewers touted this as a negative, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I even texted my friends various quotes that were just too hysterical not to share. Yes, the author is exceptionally anti-establishment and makes it known, but his humor is off the wall. Some of the analogies he uses or his rants were so stellar and random and out there I found myself bursting out laughing. As much as this is not the normal tone of non-fiction, academic books, I appreciated it in this case because the purpose of this book was not to teach physics concepts but to relay the story of this person's own theory. Thus, his personality and life are a part of the story. I felt like I definitely gained a good sense of the author and his own personal voice.I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about physics and cosmology. While it is not the most accessible thing I've ever read, it is definitely understandable if you go in willing to put in a little effort to fully comprehend what is being said. It's worth the work. Having finished the book, it was challenging and by the end I was ready for it to be finished, but I am also happy I read it and do feel like I have a much greater sense of modern cosmology. If anyone ever brings this subject up at a holiday/work/cocktail party, I will be fully prepared to wow them all with my knowledge!

  • Malcolm
    2019-05-24 17:05

    I love reading about advances in theoretical physics but it has to be a book by someone who can interpret this difficult and sometimes arcane subject for the layman. Joao Magueijo is such an author and he combines his training and research with great skill writing in a layman friendly way, and even combines a fair bit of insider stuff and humour about the world of theoretical physics.In particular, he gives a nice overview of the problems and discoveries in theoretical physics from Newton until the present. Much of it focuses upon discoveries in the 20th century made by Einstein and his peers. The focus of the book is the authors long-standing idea that many of the current roadblocks and current problems physicists struggle with today might be explained if we realize that in fact the speed of light has not always been constant, and may not be constant even now under certain very special circumstances. The implications of this idea towards the goal of unification of the various forces into one grand design are profound.It also suggests that in fact, we may be able to travel faster than light under special circumstances such as pathways adjacent to cosmic strings where the laws of physics are different. Inter-galactic travel may eventually be possible after all within human lifetime if he is correct.We learn a great deal about the author and his love of Science from an early age.He is an original thinker who struggled for many years with sharing this insight about the speed of light as if flies in the face of several essential givens in physics. I read this book in two days and was sorry to finish. It has enough Science to engage and explain but not so much to drown us. The author uses metaphors and stories to illustrate Scientific points and this helps us make sense of the formulae.I recommend this book highly if you love Science, Theoretical physics, Cosmology, as well as the inevitable politics and scuttlebutt in the world of Science.Malcolm Watts 2006 Malcolm Watts is a novelist, writer, photographer, reviewer. Visit his website at www.authorsden.com/malcolmwatts

  • Debbi Mack
    2019-05-31 14:50

    I was inspired to read FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT after seeing a special on the Science Channel in which Joao Magueijo explained his theory about the speed of light not being constant. He developed the theory that light may have moved faster when the universe was created than it does now, as a way of explaining certain paradoxes about the "Big Bang" theory that have confounded cosmologists (scientists who study the origins of the universe--not to be confused with cosmetologists) for decades. Since this theory contradicts one of the long-held tenets of Einstein's special theory of relativity (that the speed of light is constant), Magueijo's work was widely pooh-poohed and he was called quite a few bad names for his efforts--as I recall, words like "moron" and "heretic" had been tossed about.Needless to say, I was intrigued. I had to find out more.See, once upon a time (so long ago, it seems like another lifetime), I studied physics and even took a course in relativity. In fact, the idea of studying cosmology--understanding how everything was created--seemed incredibly appealing. I was ultimately done in by the math. It just turned out not to be my thing. Words are my thing. I turned to them instead.I approached this book with some trepidation, concerned that it would be far too technical for me to enjoy after lo these many years of not doing hard science. Turns out I had nothing to worry about, because this book is about more than just science. It's about the people who do the science: how they work; how they collaborate, clash and compete with one another; and the resistance they encounter from various quarters when they take their theories to the bleeding edge and explore strange and controversial new possibilities. In short, it's about the human drama associated with science, along with the theory Magueijo created.See my complete review at http://thebookgrrl.blogspot.com/2008/...

  • Tony
    2019-06-06 19:04

    FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT: The Story of a Scientific Speculation. (2003). Joao Magueijo. ****. The author is a professor of theoretical physics at Imperial College, London, where he was for three years a Royal Society Research Fellow. He received his doctorate in Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University. He wrote this book to serve as a platform for the dissemination of his work on and belief in VSL. VSL stands for Variable Speed of Light, although to its detractors, it means, “Very Silly.” We have all been taught, from kindergarten on up, that “c”, the speed of light, is a constant: 300,000km/sec (186,000miles/second). It is a key constant in many of the basic equations of modern physics, and the cornerstone of both relativity, particle physics, and quantum mechanics. The author does his best to explain the concept of a variable speed of light in a way that might be understandable to the average technical reader who was not of his field, but it is obvious that he could only go so far without presenting the actual mathematics needed for its true understanding. He chose not to go there. When his attempts at show-and-tell were used up, he then moved on to provide stories about the workers in his field and the environment they worked in. It sort of became an expose of theoretical physics. He provides an insiders view of professional journals, technical meetings, and collaborative efforts among scientists. He is also outspoken about the bureaucracy of educational institutions and the red tape they generate, including the grant system and tenure. If you are interested in the subject of the title, read the first half of the book and then seek out germane technical articles on the web to give you what you need. If you really want to know how the whole research system works – at least in the author’s opinion – read the second half of the book and take notes. Recommended.

  • Vladimir
    2019-06-01 18:46

    I'm not an expert on the subject but as an engineer I understand physics and mathematics behind it in general. I opted for engineering studies instead of physics which was my first choice because I had a feeling that physics seemed to be spinning in circles rather than progressing. It appeared to me as overwhelmed by an infatuation for following the lead of "beauty" in the equations which are supposed to be a tool. Also it does not relate to real world problems nowadays as much as it used to. I might have been right or wrong, it was just my view. This book gave me another good insight into the current state of affairs in cosmology, which I appreciate. Second part is an intriguing outline of the prospects offered if one of the hard barriers in modern science, the speed of light, is allowed to vary under some circumstances, and explains where consequent mathematics has lead the authors. It opened up to them the world of possibilities, many of them beyond the technology available to many generations to come. Nevertheless, based on other books that I read I'm prone to believe that there may be a lot of wishful thinking in the theory, considering that we do not know why the speed of light is what it is and what else in the Universe must change if it changes. Nevertheless, science compels us to keep an open mind and I will be looking for news of any experimental feedback with interest. I should note that especially second part of the book is really unconventionally written, exposing some drastic views and attitudes towards the scientific establishment and unusual, passionate language, which may turn away some of the readers or change their perspective of the worthiness and seriousness of the underlying material. Considering my own view of the status quo in modern physics, there is room for criticism but I do not approve of the manner used here.

  • Alana
    2019-06-13 20:02

    This is Magueijo's telling of how he dared to challenge Einstein on the constancy of the speed of light and confront physics by introducing a new Varying Speed of Light (VSL) theory. This is like breaking one of the ten commandments of physics, and his perseverance in the name of science is admirable. The background and details of the theory aren't too mathy and are conveyed in a manner that makes them accessible to the average reader, I'd say (though, I do have a background in physics, so perhaps I'm just out of touch with what the "average" reader might experience in this context). The main part of the story is not an explanation of the theory, itself, however; it's about the getting there, the "fumbling in the dark, trying and trying and more often than not failing spectacularly, but always being madly in love with your quest." Unfortunately, it's also about how incredibly dull a career in physics can be and how archaic the whole upper education system is with its red tape and its "academic departmental dinosaurs." Magueijo speaks liberally of his anarchist views and harshly criticizes the system at every turn. Though entertaining at first, I felt it became tedious and disruptive to the story. And though I am certainly not one to wince at the use of coarse language, I do feel his crass tone is at times inappropriate for a scientific read. On the one hand, it helps the reader to recognize that "hey, physicists are normal people, too," but on the other, it detracts somewhat from his scientific credibility. Ultimately, I enjoyed the story, and if you're looking for a semi-casual telling of a remarkable scientific journey, then I would highly recommend this book.

  • Ibraheem Al-Amayreh
    2019-06-02 16:54

    "مجنون ، دعك من هذا الهراء لا شيء أسرع من سرعة الضوء"على الأقل لم يكن هذا تعليقي الاول ، انما كان اول تعليق سمعته حين رأى أحد أصدقائي الكتاب في يدي!أما عني وبعد أن انهيت 85% من الكتابفأستطيع أن أقول لك قبل أن "تُجَنَّ" وتقرر أن تمسك هذا الكتابإن لم تستطع يوما أن تتخيل حياة عالم حقيقي في العمق ، فتخيلها هنا !إن لم تستطع في يوم أن تفهم النسبيتان "الخاصة والعامة" ، فستفهمهما هنا !وبكل تأكيد إن ظننت للحظة أن العلماء ملائكة ، فجرب حظك هنا !على كل حال ليس هذا مهما جداالأهم ، إن ظننت حقا بأن هناك مسلمات انتهى بعدها عصر البحث والتدقيق وان خيالك سُيِّجَ بسياج فكر غيرك ، فإذن أنت في المكان الصحيح"هنا" ببساطه داخل اعماق هذه الرحلة "القصة" العلمية لفرضية جميلة مشوقةاما ان تطرقنا لفحوى الكتاب فقد قسم العالم جواو ماكيجو كتابه الى قسمينعرض في القسم الاول شرحا مبسطا للنظريات المفسرة للأحداث والمعترف بها حاليا (الجاذبية ، النسبية ، نماذج فريدمان ، هابل والبيج بانج ، ونظرية الان كوث) ، ولم يغفل بطريقة أدبية جميلة أن يبين المشاكل "الاشكاليات" التي ما زال تفسيرها يحتوي على لبس بسيط "حسبما فهمت"أما القسم الثاني ، فقد عرض فرضيته ووضحها ووضح اشكالياتها وعرضها بكل تواضع وبين انها لم تخضع للتجربة .لن أطيل أكثر فالوصف لا يفي جمال العرض حقه ، خصوصا ان استطعت ان تنظر ليلا للسماء وتتخيل كل ما قاله.ختاما ، ليس الكتاب بهذه البساطه فهو بحاجة في بعض المواضع الى توضيح وشرح حتى تفهمه (ان كنت من غير المطلعين سابقا على النظريات العلمية) ، ولكن حتى وان لم تتعلم علما فيزيائيا ، فلن تخلو تجربتك هذه من علم واثارة حياتيه تعلمك الصبر ثم الصبر ثم الصبر ، وان ظننت صبر أيوب حدك فكن أصبر من صبر أيوب ..

  • Bahjat Fadhil
    2019-05-17 13:50

    بالبداية دعوني اقول لكم.. هنالك من ليس لدية معلومات عن الفيزياء او علم الكون او لدية معلومات بسيطة جداًوهنالك من لدية معلومات لا بأس بها، ومن هو مختص بالعلوم او الفيزياء..لذا اذا كنت من التصنيف الأول فلا انصحك بقراءة هذا الكتاب، والعكس صحيح بالنسبة للثاني والثالث.الكتاب هو عبارة عن مذكرات او قصة لحياة الكاتب مختصرة تقريباً على نظرية سرعة الضوء المتغيرة من اكتشاف الكاتب (جواو ماكيويجو) والكتاب مقسم الى قسمين الاول يتكلم عن النظرية النسبية لأنشتاين كيف بدأت الفكرة لدية الى وقت اثباتها فعليآ بعد ان كانت نظرية خاصة من ثم الى النسبية العامة..القسم الثاني يتكلم عن نظرية تغير سرعة الضوء والتي هي مخالفه لنظرية النسبية الخاصة وبعض النظريات التي تقول بثبات السرعة، وكذال يروي الايام والاحداث العصيبة التي مرت بالكاتب، وكيف قبلت نظريتة بالتهكم والاستهزاء حتى من اقرب الأصدقاء، لكنه لم يتوقف بل استمر بالتقدم حتى تعاون مع صديق أخر وبدأت النظرية بالتطور من حيث التقرب من ثبوتها وشمولها على مزيد من الادلة..لكنها لا زالت لليوم بين القبول والنفي..

  • Randy
    2019-06-14 11:46

    I found this book in the small library where I'm staying. Someone wrote inside the front cover:TRY READING THISbook. I did and I'm not sorry.I'm on page 65. So far there are some good explanations of Einstein's special and general relativity that I haven't seen elsewhere, and I've probably read a lot more physics books than the average non-physicist.--Not a bad book, but it wasn't what I expected when I picked it up. Magueijo does write about his theories, but he also gives extensive space to the politics of being a researcher. Some of the stories about getting articles into journals are pretty amusing. Magueijo's frustrations of dealing with publications and politics come through clearly.

  • Lori
    2019-06-03 18:48

    Mainly an insider’s account of the politics of academia, this book describes the author’s struggle to develop and publish his varying speed of light theory (VSL) that, if correct, may explain two paradoxes that arise from the Big Bang theory, the “horizon” and “flatness” problems. The first half of the book provides an excellent foundational discussion of relativity, but second half fails to address VSL in any detailed way and instead deteriorates into an expletive-laced rant about the bureaucracy of academia, the stupidity of journal editors, and the herd mentality that permeates the research community. This is a good book for students interested in the inner workings of academia but look elsewhere for a scientific treatment of this theory.

  • Laurie Perez
    2019-05-27 16:03

    Ten years since this book literally fell into my hands, I continue to recommend and treasure it. Every now and then, I pick it up, open to a random page and enter the maze of inspirations Magueijo’s wit and wisdom drive me to explore. I’ve yet to find a science-focused book this entertaining, this enlivening to my own creativity. Read it to understand things you thought you already had the gist of — read it to go behind the curtain where “sweaty” thinking is both inanely tormented and lovingly pursued — read it because it’s damn good writing and goes brilliantly with a glass of wine, trip to Goa, long flight beyond the mundane.

  • Rico Cordova
    2019-05-24 14:54

    Faster Than the Speed of LightA friend gave this to me as a birthday gift when I was in college. I had no idea what a great trip I was in for. He was a very entertaining story teller. This book surrounds his research into a train of thought that modifies the fundamental constructs of physics.Although the concepts were advanced the author did a great job at keeping it simple enough for the average reader. A fantastic find!Did I enjoy it? Yes!Would I recommend it? Yes!

  • Adam
    2019-05-23 19:54

    A nice mixture of the history of cosmology, current developments, the process of science, and the author's personal life.The first half of the book provides a nice, easy to follow overview of the theory of relativity, filled with cows moving at near the speed of light. Simple enough for the non-physics oriented to follow, without losing the essential details.The second half outlines the development of the varying speed of light theory, focusing as much on the people involved as on the science. It provides a nice account of the actual scientific climate, complete with absolute scorn for publishers and imagined terrorist attacks on university administration buildings.

  • Mila
    2019-05-26 20:03

    The author was brutally honest and witty and intelligent and it's not just about scientific equations and physical laws (well, it it...) but when you close the book, it's as if you have witnessed a journey of the lives of people trying to find other answers and searching for new "truths" and "answers" to mysteries that has always puzzled the human mind. While half of the world thinks about the end of it, half of it, stays up late, argue a lot and get laughed at for finding new answers to cosmological problems.

  • Ahmed Nagy
    2019-05-18 20:03

    الكتاب يحكي عن نظرية جديدة ... هي "السرعة المتغيرة للضوء" وأثر ذلك على فهمنا للكون ... راوي الكتاب هو صاحب النظرية ... يحكي عن بداية الفكرة وكيف تطورت, الصعوبات والنقد الذي تعرض ويتعرض له, محاولات النشر, النظم الأكاديمية الجافة التي ترفض الأفكار الجريئة, المساعدة التي وجدها في طريقه لتكوين النظرية ...بشكل عام ... النظرية لم يتم إثباتها بشكل قاطع ...الكتاب يعتبر حكاية فيزيائي ونظريته ...هناك مناطق في الكتاب تحتاج خلفية فيزيائية ...الأسلوب لطيف ...لتحميل الكتاب http://alexandra.ahlamontada.com/t378...

  • Gary
    2019-05-28 15:13

    This is a cool book. The first half is about relativity and Big Bang cosmology. The "faster than the speed of light" of the title refers to a possible alternative to Alan Guth's "inflationary universe" called VSL (Varying Speed of Light).The second part of the book is about the author's development of VSL cosmology. And this is where it gets really good. The author does not suffer fools gladly. He is very sarcastic and very funny while explaining how physics is done in"the real world" as opposed to how we are told that it's done. And this is what makes the book really worthwhile.