The Motion Paradox

The Motion Paradox : The 2,500-Year-Old Puzzle Behind All the Mysteries of Time and Space

3.31 (60 ratings by Goodreads)
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The epic tale of an ancient, unsolved puzzle and how it relates to all scientific attempts to explain the basic structure of the universe At the dawn of science the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno formulated his paradox of motion, and amazingly, it is still on the cutting edge of all investigations into the fabric of reality. Zeno used logic to argue that motion is impossible, and at the heart of his maddening puzzle is the nature of space and time. Is space-time continuous or broken up like a string of beads? Over the past two millennia, many of our greatest minds--including Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and other current theoreticians--have been gripped by the mystery this puzzle represents. Joseph Mazur, acclaimed author of "Euclid in the Rainforest," shows how historic breakthroughs in our understanding of motion shed light on Zeno's paradox. The orbits of the planets were explained, the laws of motion were revealed, the theory of relativity was discovered--but the basic structure of time and space remained elusive. In the tradition of "Fermat's Enigma" and "Zero, The Motion Paradox" is a lively history of this apparently simple puzzle whose solution--if indeed it can be solved--will reveal nothing less than the fundamental nature of reality.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 262 pages
  • 144 x 212 x 28mm | 299.37g
  • Dutton Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0525949925
  • 9780525949923
  • 1,315,269

Review quote

aJoseph Mazur brilliantly explores the symbiotic relationship between the physical and the mathmatical worlds . . . . A stylish and seductive book that convinces the mind even as it delights the soul.a aPEN American Center aThis is one of the most fascinating science books I have ever read. It tells the story of the 2500-year quest to gain an understanding of the slippery concept of motion. Beginning with the Greek paradoxes that showed that motion is utterly impossible, the book progresses through Galilean relativity, Einsteinian relativity and superstring theory, finally coming up to date with the still unresolved question of whether space and time are continuous or grainy. Joseph Mazur has succeeded in telling a fresh and untold story with clarity and style.a a"New Scientist Magazine," March 2007show more

About Joseph Mazur

Joseph Mazur is Professor of Mathematics at Marlboro College, where he has taught a wide range of classes in all areas of mathematics, its history, and philosophy.show more

Rating details

60 ratings
3.31 out of 5 stars
5 20% (12)
4 18% (11)
3 37% (22)
2 23% (14)
1 2% (1)
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