Nothing by Frank Close
A Very Short Introduction

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Synopsis

What is 'nothing'? What remains when you take all the matter away? Can empty space - a void - exist? This Very Short Introduction explores the science and the history of the elusive void: from Aristotle who insisted that the vacuum was impossible, via the theories of Newton and Einstein, to our very latest discoveries and why they can tell us extraordinary things about the cosmos.

Frank Close tells the story of how scientists have explored the elusive void, and the rich discoveries that they have made there. He takes the reader on a lively and accessible history through ancient ideas and cultural superstitions to the frontiers of current research. He describes how scientists discovered that the vacuum is filled with fields; how Newton, Mach, and Einstein grappled with the nature of space and time; and how the mysterious 'aether' that was long ago supposed to permeate the
void may now be making a comeback with the latest research into the 'Higgs field'.

We now know that the vacuum is far from being empty - it seethes with virtual particles and antiparticles that erupt spontaneously into being, and it also may contain hidden dimensions that we were previously unaware of. These new discoveries may provide answers to some of cosmology's most fundamental questions: what lies outside the universe, and, if there was once nothing, then how did the universe begin?

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
 

About Frank Close

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Frank Close is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Oxford University and has just retired from his position as head of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. During his career he has worked closely with CERN, home of the LHC. He is a well-established science writer, and his recent short books for OUP The Void and Antimatter - have been very successful.
 
Published June 25, 2009 by OUP Oxford. 177 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Nothing

The Wall Street Journal

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A South Korean professor of my acquaintance recently told me about a conference he attended in Beijing last year at which he met a North Korean scholar.

Jan 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Nothing: A Very Short Introdu...

Dallas News

Something for Nothing takes us back to the California Bay Area during the early 1970s, when the A’s were winning World Championships, gas lines stretched for miles, and Nixon was on his way out, and introduces us to Martin Anderson, a family man just trying to make his way in this crazy time.

Sep 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Nothing: A Very Short Introdu...

Women's Voices for Change

Compared with Saudi women, Iranian women are quite free, Nargess claims: “In Iran, women work, are politically active, drive, and go to the university,” Nargess tells Tober.

Jan 15 2013 | Read Full Review of Nothing: A Very Short Introdu...

The Oxonian Review

I think that when Flaubert came into one draft, I did picture my reader thinking, ‘oh no, here he is going on about Flaubert all over again.’ But I don’t think I bumped up Renard’s contribution to an unfair degree.

| Read Full Review of Nothing: A Very Short Introdu...

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