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Does science have limits? Where does order come from? Can we understand consciousness? Written by Nobel Laureate Leon N. Cooper, this book places pressing scientific questions in the broader context of how they relate to human experience. Widely considered to be a highly original thinker, Cooper has written and given talks on a large variety of subjects, ranging from the relationship between art and science, possible limits of science, to the relevance of the Turing test. These essays and talks have been brought together for the first time in this fascinating book, giving readers an opportunity to experience Cooper's unique perspective on a range of subjects. Tackling a diverse spectrum of topics, from the conflict of faith and science to whether understanding neural networks could lead to machines that think like humans, this book will captivate anyone interested in the interaction of science with society.Read more
- A unique collection of essays and talks from Nobel Laureate Leon N. Cooper, one of the world's most eminent living physicists
- Presents Cooper's original views on many subjects, from the relationship between science and society, to consciousness and the nature and limits of science
- A fascinating read for anyone interested in science and its interaction with the human experience
Reviews & endorsements
'As a scientist and a humanist, Cooper is well-versed in philosophy, literature, art, and the practicalities of making science serve humanity, as opposed to being in thrall to special interests. His intellectual open-mindedness and compelling prose style make Science and Human Experience a thought-provoking pleasure to read.' Peter Byrne, author of The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III: Multiple Universes, Mutual Assured Destruction, and the Meltdown of a Nuclear FamilySee more reviews
'This is a fascinating melange of essays on topics ranging from the question of fraud in science to Euclidean geometry and the 'neural-network' approach to brain research. Cooper's characteristic combination of lucidity and common sense had me nodding in enthusiastic agreement on just about every page.' Anthony Leggett, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
'From black body radiation to brain circuitry; from Copenhagen to consciousness - this well-curated set of essays crackles with bracing insights about science, and about the world that science strives to fathom. An almost hushed voice (often with a slightly jocular tinge), marshaling volumes of data into an abruptly well-ordered, breathtakingly lucid condensate: that's Leon Cooper in a nutshell.' Richard Granger, Dartmouth College
'Science and Human Experience is a collection of essays drawn from work published over a 40-year span by that remarkable theorist-scientist Leon Cooper. And these really are essays - reasonably short, often argumentative, filled with startling insights, and written from a personal perspective about issues of great interest. Cooper's writing style is charming, witty, and accessible; the essays … [are] fun to read.' Gary S. Lynch, Cerebrum
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- Date Published: December 2014
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107043176
- length: 256 pages
- dimensions: 223 x 147 x 19 mm
- weight: 0.41kg
- contains: 33 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Part I. Science and Society:
1. Science and human experience
2. Does science undermine our values?
3. Can science serve mankind?
4. Modern science and contemporary discomfort: metaphor and reality
5. Faith and science
6. Art and science
7. Fraud in science
8. Why study science? The keys to the cathedral
9. Is evolution a theory? A modest proposal
10. The silence of the second
11. Introduction to Copenhagen
12. The unpaid debt
Part II. Thought and Consciousness:
13. Source and limits of human intellect
14. Neural networks
15. Thought and mental experience: the Turing test
16. Mind as machine: will we rubbish human experience?
17. Memory and memories: a physicist's approach to the brain
18. On the problem of consciousness
Part III. On the Nature and Limits of Science:
19. What is a good theory?
20. Shall we deconstruct science?
21. Visible and invisible in physical theory
22. Experience and order
23. The language of physics
24. The structure of space
25. Superconductivity and other insoluble problems
26. From gravity to light and consciousness: does science have limits?
Interview with Leon Cooper
Leon Cooper, author of Science and Human Experience, on consciousness
Leon Cooper, author of Science and Human Experience, on scientific equations
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