Cosmogenesis : The Growth of Order in the Universe

4.15 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
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This fascinating study of chaos and order in the universe marks a new direction in scientific approaches to these areas. Rejecting Laplacian notions of 'meaningless', coincidental order and of a ruling tendency towards dissolution and chaos, Layzer draws physics, biology, chemistry, and astronomy into a fluid philosophy of order, able to accommodate the individual act and random event without causing structural breakdown. Layzer manages to be both entertaining and very convincing at the same time. Among the intriguing side issues he brings up are a new theory for the origins of the universe and a physical explanation for why off-key musical notes jar.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 144.8 x 226.1 x 25.4mm | 498.96g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 2 halftones, numerous line drawings
  • 0195069080
  • 9780195069082
  • 1,782,469

Back cover copy

Eminent Harvard astrophysicist David Layzer presents a unified theory of order in the universe--from permanence, stability, and orderliness of sub-atomic particles to the evolution of the human mind. Cosmogenesis is the first extended account of a controversial theory that connects quantum mechanics with the second law of thermodynamics and presents novel resolutions of longstanding paradoxes in these theories.
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Table of contents

PART I: A THEORY OF ORDER: Science, philosophy, and truth; Order and randomness; The strong cosmological principle and time's arrow; The importance of being discrete; Seven steps to quantum physics; Alice in quantumland; The strong cosmological principle and quantum theory; PART II: ASPECTS OF TIMEBOUND ORDER: Cosmic evolution: the standard model; Gravitational clustering and structural order; Molecules, genes, and evolution; Evolution and the growth of order;
Language, thought, and perception; What is consciousness?; Mind and body; Chance, necessity, and freedom; Notes.
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Review quote

'any well-written, authoritative, wide-ranging book, explaining and relating developments in a variety of fields, is to be welcomed ... David Layzer's book, Cosmogenesis, fills all these criteria ... there are lots of well presented facts in this book'
E. Squires, Contemporary Physics, 1992, volume 33, number 3 'Layzer certainly has a great deal to say that is interesting and thought-provoking, specifically on thermodynamics and quantum mechanics.'
Charles Jenkins, The Observatory, Vol. 112, No. 1109, August 1992 " I found every chapter stimulating, thought provoking, wide ranging, philosophically sensitive, and thoroughly enjoyable.... This is a book inspired by a genuine passion for the light that science can cast and which spans many of the great questions of being with an understated, controlled, spiritual, optimism." The Times Higher Education Supplement on the hardback
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About David Layzer

David Layzer is the Donald H. Menzel Professor of Astrophysics at Harvard University. He is the author of Constructing the Universe.
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Rating details

13 ratings
4.15 out of 5 stars
5 46% (6)
4 31% (4)
3 15% (2)
2 8% (1)
1 0% (0)
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