The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III: Multiple Universes, Mutual Assured Destruction, and the Meltdown of a Nuclear Family

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9780199659241: The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III: Multiple Universes, Mutual Assured Destruction, and the Meltdown of a Nuclear Family

Peter Byrne tells the story of Hugh Everett III (1930-1982), whose "many worlds" theory of multiple universes has had a profound impact on physics and philosophy. Using Everett's unpublished papers (recently discovered in his son's basement) and dozens of interviews with his friends, colleagues, and surviving family members, Byrne paints, for the general reader, a detailed portrait of the genius who invented an astonishing way of describing our complex universe from the inside. Everett's mathematical model (called the "universal wave function") treats all possible events as "equally real", and concludes that countless copies of every person and thing exist in all possible configurations spread over an infinity of universes: many worlds. Afflicted by depression and addictions, Everett strove to bring rational order to the professional realms in which he played historically significant roles. In addition to his famous interpretation of quantum mechanics, Everett wrote a classic paper in game theory; created computer algorithms that revolutionized military operations research; and performed pioneering work in artificial intelligence for top secret government projects. He wrote the original software for targeting cities in a nuclear hot war; and he was one of the first scientists to recognize the danger of nuclear winter. As a Cold Warrior, he designed logical systems that modeled "rational" human and machine behaviors, and yet he was largely oblivious to the emotional damage his irrational personal behavior inflicted upon his family, lovers, and business partners. He died young, but left behind a fascinating record of his life, including correspondence with such philosophically inclined physicists as Niels Bohr, Norbert Wiener, and John Wheeler. These remarkable letters illuminate the long and often bitter struggle to explain the paradox of measurement at the heart of quantum physics. In recent years, Everett's solution to this mysterious problem - the existence of a universe of universes - has gained considerable traction in scientific circles, not as science fiction, but as an explanation of physical reality.

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Recensione:

The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III deserves to be widely read. It is comprehensive as a biography; satisfactory as an introduction to Everettian Quantum Mechanics; illuminating as a study in the psychology of physicists and of operations researchers; and engaging as a human story. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in quantum theory. ( Alastair Wilson, Metascience)

The book provides new insights into the development and the later Renaissance of the "many worlds" theory. I am recommending the anthology to anyone interested in the theory's physical or philosophical implications, and in the pro and con arguments [...] ( Alexander Pawlak, Physik Journal)

Byrne's narrative compels serious attention, contains much important new material, is greatly enlivened and enhanced by his eagle eye for the telling quotation, and is always interesting and often convincing. It should intrigue any student of twentieth century physics, and is also a valuable resource for anyone concerned with the broader eduction of the scientists and the impact narrowly scientific ways of thinking can have on scientists themselves and on the wider world. ( Adrian Kent, American Journal of Physics)

Vivid and thoroughly researched. Byrne does an admirable job of weaving together quantum mechanics, nuclear war games and the disintegration of a dysfunctional family in this tale of a talented scientist, but morally compromised man. ( Manjit Kumar)

The book offers a valuable source of primary information about Everett's life and work, with much material not available elsewhere, [and] fleshes out an important part of the quantum physics story. ( Science News)

Peter Byrne's meticulously researched biography provides a detailed and intimate look at one of the most seminal figures in 20th century physics and mathematics ... it is a remarkable and long-overdue biography. ( Ian T. Durham, The Quantum Times)

Offers a valuable source of primary information about Everetts life and work, with much material not available elsewhere ... this book fleshes out an important part of the quantum physics story. ( Tom Siegfried, ScienceNews)

The many worlds theory is still garish after all these years. Nevertheless, it is fascinating to read the story of its creator, himself too obsessed with models to intersect effectively with the real world. ( Robert P. Crease, Nature)

Byrne does an excellent job of explaining the theory, why it is necessary and the difficulties it solves (and doesn't). [...] Byrne does not patronise his readers with superficial pen portraits of his characters. We get to know the characters by what they say and what they do. And they say and do some truly remarkable things. [...] This is a strangely beautiful story, expertly told with the dignity, candour and attention to detail it deserves. ( New Scientist)

The effort Byrne has put in to understanding the man is impressive ... ( Robert Matthews, BBC Focus Magazine)

In this biography, Peter Byrne bravely explores both the life and the science of Hugh Everett, the brilliant creator of the "many worlds" concept who burned himself out at an early age. As Byrne makes clear, Everett's startling achievements in physics stood against his startling deficiencies as a husband and father. ( Kenneth W. Ford, retired director, American Institute of Physics)

This book has the potential to become the definitive biography of one of the finest minds of the twentieth century. ( David Deutsch FRS, Oxford University)

In this extraordinarily personal biography, Peter Byrne masterfully conveys the life, struggles, achievements, and failures of this fascinating man, whose insights in physics created a new understanding of quantum mechanics, whose secret work helped usher us through the Cold War, and whose inner battles led to his own destruction. ( A. Garrett Lisi, physicist, author of 'An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything')

We are grateful to Peter Byrne for this remarkable and remarkably sad story of the life and science of Hugh Everett III. Gifted, but late-to-be-recognized, Everett, while still in his twenties, proposed a new, now somewhat fashionable, interpretation of the quantum theory—the often rediscovered and often misinterpreted, so called, many worlds theory. Byrne gives a lucid and accessible account of many aspects of what has been an extraordinarily puzzling question that has bedeviled the quantum theory since its origin. And he does this with a warts and all reconstruction of Everett's life. An impressive achievement. ( Leon N. Cooper, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1972)

Peter Byrne has the skills of a seasoned journalist: an eye for a story, a knack for turning up improbable interviews and previously undiscovered manuscripts, and a thoroughly engaging style. His target here is inherently interesting, and the resulting story is a remarkable achievement. ( Jeff Barrett, Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science; University of California, Irvine)

This is an exciting book about a man who was ahead of his time by decades, although he did no more than logically apply a well-established theory against all prejudice. Peter Byrne has done an excellent job in unearthing documents, most of them unknown, about the history of Everett's ideas, their reception by the leading physicists from 1957 until today, and the consequences this had for Everett's life. ( H. Dieter Zeh, University of Heidelberg)

L'autore:

Peter Byrne is an investigative reporter and science writer based in Northern California. His work has appeared in Scientific American, Physics World, Mother Jones, Salon.com, SF Weekly, San Francisco Bay Guardian, North Bay Bohemian and many other magazines and newsweeklies. He has received national recognition for his investigative reporting, including from Investigative Editors & Reporters and Project Censored. He is a member of the Foundational Questions Institute and the National Association of Science Writers. He consulted for (and appeared in) the BBC4/NOVA production about Everett, Parallel Words, Parallel Lives. Byrne and Jeffrey A. Barrett co-edited The Everett Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, Collected Works 1955-1980 with Commentary (Princeton University Press, 2012).

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Peter Byrne Ma Ma Ma Ma
Editore: Oxford University Press, United Kingdom (2013)
ISBN 10: 0199659249 ISBN 13: 9780199659241
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. 232 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Peter Byrne tells the story of Hugh Everett III (1930-1982), whose many worlds theory of multiple universes has had a profound impact on physics and philosophy. Using Everett s unpublished papers (recently discovered in his son s basement) and dozens of interviews with his friends, colleagues, and surviving family members, Byrne paints, for the general reader, a detailed portrait of the genius who invented an astonishing way of describing our complex universe from the inside. Everett s mathematical model (called the universal wave function ) treats all possible events as equally real , and concludes that countless copies of every person and thing exist in all possible configurations spread over an infinity of universes: many worlds. Afflicted by depression and addictions, Everett strove to bring rational order to the professional realms in which he played historically significant roles. In addition to his famous interpretation of quantum mechanics, Everett wrote a classic paper in game theory; created computer algorithms that revolutionized military operations research; and performed pioneering work in artificial intelligence for top secret government projects. He wrote the original software for targeting cities in a nuclear hot war; and he was one of the first scientists to recognize the danger of nuclear winter. As a Cold Warrior, he designed logical systems that modeled rational human and machine behaviors, and yet he was largely oblivious to the emotional damage his irrational personal behavior inflicted upon his family, lovers, and business partners. He died young, but left behind a fascinating record of his life, including correspondence with such philosophically inclined physicists as Niels Bohr, Norbert Wiener, and John Wheeler. These remarkable letters illuminate the long and often bitter struggle to explain the paradox of measurement at the heart of quantum physics. In recent years, Everett s solution to this mysterious problem - the existence of a universe of universes - has gained considerable traction in scientific circles, not as science fiction, but as an explanation of physical reality. Codice libro della libreria AOP9780199659241

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. 232 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Peter Byrne tells the story of Hugh Everett III (1930-1982), whose many worlds theory of multiple universes has had a profound impact on physics and philosophy. Using Everett s unpublished papers (recently discovered in his son s basement) and dozens of interviews with his friends, colleagues, and surviving family members, Byrne paints, for the general reader, a detailed portrait of the genius who invented an astonishing way of describing our complex universe from the inside. Everett s mathematical model (called the universal wave function ) treats all possible events as equally real , and concludes that countless copies of every person and thing exist in all possible configurations spread over an infinity of universes: many worlds. Afflicted by depression and addictions, Everett strove to bring rational order to the professional realms in which he played historically significant roles. In addition to his famous interpretation of quantum mechanics, Everett wrote a classic paper in game theory; created computer algorithms that revolutionized military operations research; and performed pioneering work in artificial intelligence for top secret government projects. He wrote the original software for targeting cities in a nuclear hot war; and he was one of the first scientists to recognize the danger of nuclear winter. As a Cold Warrior, he designed logical systems that modeled rational human and machine behaviors, and yet he was largely oblivious to the emotional damage his irrational personal behavior inflicted upon his family, lovers, and business partners. He died young, but left behind a fascinating record of his life, including correspondence with such philosophically inclined physicists as Niels Bohr, Norbert Wiener, and John Wheeler. These remarkable letters illuminate the long and often bitter struggle to explain the paradox of measurement at the heart of quantum physics. In recent years, Everett s solution to this mysterious problem - the existence of a universe of universes - has gained considerable traction in scientific circles, not as science fiction, but as an explanation of physical reality. Codice libro della libreria AOP9780199659241

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