The Natural Laws of the Universe
Understanding Fundamental Constants
Jean-Philippe Uzan and Bénédicte Leclercq
Constants, such as the universal presence of gravity and the speed of
light, are fundamental laws of physics. What exactly are those laws?
What is a constant? And does the fact that recent observations have
cast doubt on one of them mean that the structure of physics will
crumble? Are we seeing the dawn of a new scientific revolution?
This book, asks these and other questions, such as: What role do
constants play in the laws of physics, and how can we verify that they
are indeed constant? It shows how new theories may lead to the
simplification of older theories.
The Natural Laws of the Universe also:
- highlights the role and importance of constants in nature.
- investigates the solidity of the foundations of physics.
- explains why physicists are unsure about the mass values of
elementary particles such as electrons and protons.
- discusses the implications of the discovery of the non-constancy of a constant.
- surveys the historic roots of physics, and its strong ties to astronomy.
Reading this book will help you understand much about the state of
physics today. It will also introduce you to the wonderful mysteries of
nature still to be revealed in the exciting work that is currently going on
in the field
Table of Contents
- Foundations: universality in physics
- Fundamental constants: pillars of the edifice
- Planning the edifice: structure of theories
- Proportions: dimensionless parameters
- Atoms under close examination
- A constant in the clouds
- What if they did vary? Gravity waits in the wings
- Strings attached: towards multiple universes
Praxis Publishing - Leaders in Scientific Publishing © 2008 All rights reserved