A Sense of the Mysterious

A Sense of the Mysterious : Science and the Human Spirit

3.77 (287 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

From the bestselling author of Einstein's Dreams comes this lyrical and insightful collection of science writing that delves into the mysteries of the scientific process--physics, astronomy, mathamatics--and exposes its beauty and intrigue.

In these brilliant essays, Lightman explores the emotional life of science, the power of imagination, the creative moment, and the alternate ways in which scientists and humanists think about the world. Along the way, he provides in-depth portraits of some of the great geniuses of our time, including Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Edward Teller, and astronomer Vera Rubin. Thoughtful, beautifully written, and wonderfully original, A Sense of the Mysterious confirms Alan Lightman's unique position at the crossroads of science and art.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 211 pages
  • 134.6 x 195.6 x 7.6mm | 226.8g
  • New York, NY, India
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1400078199
  • 9781400078196
  • 375,423

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Unusually gifted as both a physicist and a novelist, Alan Lightman has lived in the dual worlds of
science and art for much of his life. In these brilliant essays, the two worlds meet. In A Sense of the Mysterious, Lightman records his personal struggles to reconcile certainty with uncertainty, logic with intuition, questions with answers and questions without. Lightman explores the emotional life of science, the power of metaphor and imagination in science, the creative moment, the different uses of language in science and literature, and the alternate ways in which scientists and humanists think about the world. Included are in-depth portraits of some of the great scientists of our time: Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Edward Teller, and astronomer Vera Rubin. Rather than finding a forbidding gulf between the two cultures, as did the physicist and novelist C. P. Snow fifty years ago, Lightman discovers complementary ways of looking at the world, both part of being human.
Original, thoughtful, and beautifully written, A Sense of the Mysterious confirms Alan Lightman's unique position at the crossroads of science and art.

"From the Hardcover edition.
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Table of contents

A Sense of the Mysterious
Words
Metaphor in Science
Inventions of the Mind
The Contradictory Genius
The One and Only
Megaton Man
Dark Matter
A Scientist Dying Young
Portrait of the Writer as a Young Scientist
Prisoner of the Wired World

Acknowledgments
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Review quote

"Splendidly illuminating... Imprinted with Lightman's scientific wonderment and poetic grace."
--San Francisco Chronicle "Original. . . . Heartfelt. . . . Illuminating. . . . Lightman writes with his characteristic, unmannered leanness. His style takes something from the scientists who 'want to hear that call of certain truth, that clear note of a struck bell.'" --St. Louis Post-Dispatch "A fine introduction to the excitement and pleasures of science by a scientist who is a humanist in the noblest sense of the word."--Los Angeles Times "This slender volume mixes insightful scientific biographies with revealing autobiographical accounts and leavens them both with clearly told physics lessons for lay readers." --The Boston Globe "Wonderfully perceptive. . . . Finely chiseled essays." --Scientific American
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About Alan Lightman

ALAN LIGHTMAN is the author of six novels, including Einstein's Dreams, which was an international bestseller, and The Diagnosis, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. He is also the author of three collections of essays and several books on science. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, Harper's, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and Nature, among other publications. Since beginning his career as a theoretical physicist, Lightman has taught at Harvard and at MIT, where he was the first person to receive a dual faculty appointment in science and in the humanities. He lives in the Boston area.
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Rating details

287 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 23% (67)
4 38% (109)
3 33% (94)
2 4% (12)
1 2% (5)
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