Saturday, November 26, 2005

Science 2

If I tell you that there is a book that has an 'intermezzo' titled 'The Brain, Language and The Human Condition', what do you think the book is about? Further, I tell you that this intermezzo has the following:

brain - information - memory - what is language?, what is a concept? - infinity - why use mathematics? - is mathematics a language? -- physical concepts, lies, and patterns of nature - what is existence? - do things exist? - does the void exist? - is nature infinite? - does the universe exist? - what is creation? - reason, purpose, explanation - and on and on

Well, to complicate matters, a small picture of Ludwig Wittgenstein adorns the first page of this intermezzo, one would be apt to take that this book is about some strange philosophy.

But the book itself is a physics text, written by Christoph Schiller, whose affiliation I couldn't locate, even with the mighty Google. The text, in all its 1200-page glory, and available for free download. Here.

The intermezzo that I mentioned is in this downloadable file [pdf, about 1 MB]. Here is an extract from near the beginning of the intermezzo:

The reason for studyingde definitions is simple. We need the clarifications in order to get to the top of Motion Mountain. Many have lost their way because of lack of clear concepts. In this situation, physics has a special guiding role. All sciences share one result: every type of change observed in nature is a form of motion. In this sense, but in this sense only, physics, focusing on motion itself, forms the basis for all the other sciences. In other words, the search for the famed `theory of everything' is an arrogant expression for the search for a theory of motion. Even though the knowledge of motion is basic, its precise description does not imply a description of `everything': just try to solve a marriage problem using the Schrödinger equation to note the difference.

This text is a wonderful resource. Do bookmark the site. You can download individual chapters as and when you need them; some chapters are not available yet, so you will have to go back for more; and, you can use it to search the entire text.