New Release Books by Alan Lightman

Alan Lightman is the author of The Diagnosis (2001), Dance for Two (1996), Great Ideas in Physics (2000), Good Benito (1995), Time for the Stars (1994) and other 45 books.

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The Diagnosis

release date: Sep 01, 2001
The Diagnosis
While rushing to work one warm summer morning, Bill Chalmers, a junior executive at a company in Boston, realizes that he cannot remember where he is going or even who he is. Surrounded by other commuters, busily at work with their laptops and dictaphones and columns of numbers, all Bill can remember is the motto of his company: The maximum information in the minimum time. When Bill's memory returns, a strange numbness afflicts him, beginning as a tingling in his hands and gradually spreading over the rest of his body. Over the following months, as he attempts to receive a diagnosis of his illness, he descends into a Kafkaesque nightmare, enduring a blizzard of medical tests and specialists without conclusive results, a desperate wife who decides that he must be imagining his deteriorating condition, and the manic frenzy of his company, where the executives rush to a health club each day at precisely 3.30 for twenty minutes of exercise and relaxation. Playing counterpoint to Bill's story is a gripping narrative about the execution of Socrates, a fictitious Platonic Dialogue conveyed in instalments over the Internet by Metropolitan College Online. Here noise contrasts with silence, mindless speed with thought, emptiness with sensuality as the novel switches back and forth between contemporary America and ancient Greece.

Dance for Two

release date: Jan 01, 1996
Dance for Two
This is a collection of essays which display the author's talent for bringing literary and scientific concerns into harmony. These meditations touch upon both the ethereal and the corporeal: the dependence of a ballerina on the laws of physics; the chice every scientist makes between tinkering and theorizing; the unscientific nature of discovery; the mystery of human flight without propellers; and the impulse behind the unprompted smile.;In "Dance for Two", Alan Lightman offers readers a look into the creative complusions shared by the scientist and the artist, and a glimpse as well into his own imagination. Alan Lightman is the author of "Einstein's Dreams".

Great Ideas in Physics

release date: Jun 26, 2000
Great Ideas in Physics
The conservation of energy, the second law of thermodynamics, the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics­­together, these concepts form the foundation upon which modern physics was built. But the influence of these four landmark ideas has extended far beyond hard science. There is no aspect of twentieth-century culture­­including the arts, social sciences, philosophy, and politics­­that has not been profoundly influenced by them. In Great Ideas in Physics, Alan Lightman clearly explains the physics behind each of the four great ideas and deftly untangles for lay readers such knotty concepts as entropy, the relativity of time, and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Throughout the book he uses excerpts from the writings of scientific luminaries such as Newton, Kelvin, Einstein, and de Broglie to help place each in its proper historical perspective. And with the help of expertly annotated passages from the works of dozens of writers, philosophers, artists, and social theorists, Lightman explores the two-way influences of these landmark scientific concepts on our entire human culture and the world of ideas.

Good Benito

release date: Jan 01, 1995
Good Benito
About the clash between the absolutes of science and the vagaries of human experience.

Time for the Stars

release date: Feb 01, 1994
Time for the Stars
Now, Alan Lightman, the author of the brilliantly original bestselling novel Einstein's Dreams, presents the real-life drama of astronomy, a journey far into the stars that outpaces any fiction for adventure and excitement. Unsurpassed in its authoritativeness, TIME FOR THE STARS is based on the report of the National Academy of Science's Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee, for whose science panel Alan Lightman served as chair. Here is a book that will introduce you to cosmic puzzles about people and planets stars and galaxies, and the beginnings and the ends of the universe. How do we know what's inside the sun? What are the prospects of finding other solar systems -- and extraterrestrial life -- in coming years? What was the universe like ten billion years ago? Will it keep on expanding forever? Here are the latest advances in technology that have rocketed us to dazzling new frontiers. They may catch you off guard. But they will leave you fixed in wonder.

Grandes Ideas de la Física

release date: Jan 01, 2011
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