The Book of Nothing: Vacuums, Voids, and the Latest Ideas about the Origins of the Universe

The Book of Nothing: Vacuums, Voids, and the Latest Ideas about the Origins of the Universe

What conceptual blind spot kept the ancient Greeks (unlike the Indians and Maya) from developing a concept of zero? Why did St. Augustine equate nothingness with the Devil? What tortuous means did 17th-century scientists employ in their attempts to create a vacuum? And why do contemporary quantum physicists believe that the void is actually seething with subatomic activity What conceptual blind spot kept the ancient Greeks (unlike the Indians and Maya) from developing a concept of zero? Why d...

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Title:The Book of Nothing: Vacuums, Voids, and the Latest Ideas about the Origins of the Universe
Author:John D. Barrow
Rating:
Genres:Science
ISBN:The Book of Nothing: Vacuums, Voids, and the Latest Ideas about the Origins of the Universe
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:384 pages pages

The Book of Nothing: Vacuums, Voids, and the Latest Ideas about the Origins of the Universe Reviews

  • Nathan
    Sep 10, 2007
    Quantum physics, if it is real, requires that there be no such thing as nothing. Ergo, nothing is real. And maybe, even, everything is nothing. And John D. Barrow gets 3 stars instead of 4 for assuming I already had six Ph.D's by the time I decided to read this book. (Did anybody read ...
  • Andrew
    Sep 16, 2013
    Maybe I'm an eternal teenager because I kept saying: Nothing, Lebowski! Nothing! While reading this generally quite excellent popular science book. I don't read many book-length treatments of science, and this made me wonder why. Barrow easily explains why nothing and zero are di...
  • Sean
    Mar 26, 2014
    I found nothing of interest in this book. Nothing was explained, and by the end, I had learned about nothing. On the down side, the second half of the book was more an overview of our understanding of the universe, it was too wordy, went on too long, and covered a lot of very famili...
  • Abbey
    Aug 22, 2017
    Well researched and engagingly written, although apparently John Barrow's research did not extend to ensuring that his mental health metaphors were accurate. He refers to the nature of light as being schizophrenic, which is very puzzling because I'm pretty sure light doesn't suffer fro...
  • Greg Talbot
    Oct 08, 2014
    It took an understanding of quantium physics to truly understand the bodies of the universe and the forces that connect everything. So it is that understanding "zero" or a 0 placeholder is a way to understand and expand on math's rich language. One subject matter I became very inter...
  • Dennis Littrell
    Apr 17, 2010
    Barrow, John D. Book of Nothing, The: Vacuums, Voids, and the Latest Ideas about the Origins of the Universe (2000) How nothing became something "Nothing is Real." --The Beatles, "Strawberry Fields Forever" As quoted by Professor Barrow on page 8, this is a pun on what the Beatl...
  • Leif
    Dec 22, 2012
    There's a richness here, if you can sift through the sometimes credulous etymological work and the later, more dense scientific explorations (those would be the "latest ideas" hinted at by the subtitle). A good volume to begin research with, but perhaps not the final word on its incred...
  • Miri
    Nov 05, 2014
    This book is painfully difficult to get through if you aren't already a math-focused individual. That said, it has some really interesting anecdotes about Einstein, and the first part about the origin of the number zero is fascinating. ...
  • Dr Matt
    Apr 22, 2013
    Interesting book. Good writing. The author has a workable grasp of ancient history which allows him to set a broader and more informative basis for his topic than is usually done by most scientists writing books for popular consumption. As usual however, this author is on strongest gro...
  • Aaron Vivar
    Jul 05, 2011
    Oh my god, this book was so weird. It in fact is a book about nothing! In every few sentences the author mentioned "nothing" as if it were a human being that I ended up getting confused. John D. Barrow talked about his whole theory that nothing is actually something, but since nobody c...
  • Colby
    Nov 24, 2018
    Packed with information - not all of it riveting and too much of it beyond my ken. ...
  • Adrian
    Nov 03, 2015
    John D Barrow has essentially written a book in two parts, the first is a historical and (to a lesser extent) philosophical examination on the concept of nothing, and the second part is a cosmological examination of the cosmic vacuum and the inflationary universe. The title and the na...
  • Ankit
    Feb 17, 2012
    well...some books are rather to say fact book and i am amazed reading this new book from John.D.Barrrow. the author takes us through a journey of old facts that we feel amazed to know of some real cool data's and their existence and all linked to one particular entity "Nothingness". ...
  • John Jose
    Oct 22, 2017
    Incredible research and detail. Rating it three stars because it's not an easy read. Could have been simpler. ...
  • Phil
    Aug 09, 2014
    Somewhat muddled presentation about interesting concepts. Convoluted to justify the book's title at times. ...
  • Andre
    Feb 28, 2018
    Good: * Nothing is more interesting than a lot of other things. So nothing must be something. But if nothing is something then it's not nothing. Bad: * Starts out easy but gets very heavy quickly. ...
  • Mona M.Abd El-Rahman
    Jan 05, 2018
    The Book of Nothing begins with a charming overview of the historical development of the number zero. Although the cipher figure was invented independently among a number of primitive civilizations, it was the Indians who gave it its additive value that enabled the emergence of the dec...
  • Matthew
    Feb 25, 2014
    Zero is one of the simplest mathematical concepts in the world to us today: it just represents nothing, null, emptiness. So what prevented ancient Greek mathematicians from coming up with zero and Europe from accepting the idea of zero for so long? And how did the ancients think of the...
  • Matthew
    Mar 28, 2014
    Nothing is a fascinating concept to us. The void, 0, or the vacuum were and are hotly debated and discussed topics in the study of mathematics and science. However, nothing's seemingly humble origins hold an amazing story. From the Indian mathematicians to the Grecian philosophers, man...
  • BetseaK
    Oct 15, 2017
    Fascinating! Who would have thought you could find out so many things in a book of nothing! The book explains, in a compelling and readable way, every angle of the concept of nothing, or rather from whence the difficulties comprehending it arise. I found it captivating to read and le...
  • Peter Mcloughlin
    Sep 07, 2016
    John D. Barrow is one of my favorite writing scientists. He seems to have read everything. His books are filled with witty allusions that lighten up the deep concepts he covers. He has tackled philosophy of mathematics, cosmology, physics, philosophy, logic and does so with panache. H...
  • Sean Goh
    Jan 27, 2018
    Really, really dry. Not quite sure how I finished the second half. ___ Numbers are humanity's greatest shared experience. The words may change, but the symbols stay the same. Where Western religious traditions sought to flee from nothingness, the use of the dot symbol for zero in ...
  • Bob Anderson
    Mar 27, 2015
    This book is about the concept of nothing: it begins with the mathematical nothing, discussing the idea of zero and the various style of number systems including the familiar base-ten place-value system we use. It has a brief and lively discussion of the varieties of zeros (or identiti...
  • Jimmy Ele
    Oct 17, 2017
    An amazing array of ideas about Nothing. Bewildering scholarly display of eruditon. From zero to the end of the universe, an astounding odyssey through abstract realms. ...
  • Kededra
    Oct 29, 2014
    This is a book about nothing. Literally. ...
  • Ami Iida
    Nov 21, 2016
    the first half is useless but since chapter 5 it's intriguing. it's intriguing from the origin of the universe to vacuum. ...
  • Requiem
    Feb 14, 2017
    The latter part would be hard to get through without my Physics and Astronomy background. A commendable effort to make science digestible, and the author did try. ...
  • Szabolcs Sebestyén
    Oct 20, 2017
    Imagine that you have to write a 300-page book about nothing. It's not an easy task, is it? Well, John D. Barrow, an English cosmologist did it. He studies nothing from different angles. He starts with the mathematical nothing: zero. Although nowadays the number zero is almost as natur...
  • Michał Kostrzewa
    Jan 07, 2019
    It gets way too packed towards the end when the book is about quantum stuff. I'm interested in this stuff (read some books) but I still found it hard to grasp - I can't imagine my mom, who doesn't know this stuff at all, to know what's going on. The book is definitely for someone wh...
  • Oceana2602
    Jun 29, 2009
    The Book of Nothing, is, you guessed it, about...nothing. In a (quasi-)scientific way. As a fervid fan of Ende's Neverending Story, I used to obsess about nothing when I was a kid. So I couldn't resist buying (and reading) this book. Interesting and enjoyable (though not as m...