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The Shape of Inner Space : String Theory and the Geometry of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions
String theory says we live in a ten-dimensional universe, but that only four are accessible to our everyday senses. According to theorists, the missing six are curled up in bizarre structures known as Calabi-Yau manifolds. In The Shape of Inner Space, Shing-Tung Yau, the man who mathematically proved that these manifolds exist, argues that not only is geometry fundamental to string theory, it is also fundamental to the very nature of our universe.Time and again, where Yau has gone, physics has followed. Now for the first time, readers will follow Yau's penetrating thinking on where we've been, and where mathematics will take us next. A fascinating exploration of a world we are only just beginning to grasp, The Shape of Inner Space will change the way we consider the universe on both its grandest and smallest scales.
The invisible shape of space can be revealed via "the sheer force of mathematics.... the surest path to the truth." What it reveals is the Calabi-Yau manifolds, or surfaces, discovered by feted Harvard mathematician Yau in his work on a concept called the Calabi conjecture. With the help of Astronomy magazine contributing editor Nadis, Yau relates the saga of this groundbreaking work, which provided the foundations of string theory. Yau confidently draws readers into a realm of abstract concepts, from multiple dimensions to the exotic spaces called "manifolds," or Calabi-Yau spaces, whose curvature gives space its shape. From here it's a hop, skip, and a jump to the geometry of space around the Big Bang, black holes, and the end of the universe. The authors labor diligently to explain the advanced mathematics behind these abstract ideas, but readers without any grounding in college-level math will be lost. For those who can follow it, this book demonstrates how mysterious physical constructs like space and gravity can yield to the "hammer of geometric analysis." B&w illus. (Sept.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
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September 07, 2010
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