Best Alan Lightman books

Einstein's Dreams

Alan Lightman

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A modern classic, Einstein’s Dreams is a fictional collage of stories dreamed by Albert Einstein in 1905, about time, relativity and physics. As the defiant but sensitive young genius is creating his theory of relativity, a new conception of time, he imagines many possible worlds. In one, time is circular, so that people are fated to repeat triumphs and failures over and over. In another, there is a place where time stands still, visited by lovers and parents clinging to their children. In another, time is a nightingale, sometimes trapped by a bell jar.

Now translated into thirty languages, Einstein’s Dreams has inspired playwrights, dancers, musicians, and painters all over the world. In poetic vignettes, it explores the connections between science and art, the process of creativity, and ultimately the fragility of human existence.

The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew

Alan Lightman

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With passion and curiosity, Alan Lightman explores the emotional and philosophical questions raised by recent discoveries in science. He looks at the dialogue between science and religion; the conflict between our human desire for permanence and the impermanence of nature; the possibility that our universe is simply an accident; the manner in which modern technology has separated us from direct experience of the world; and our resistance to the view that our bodies and minds can be explained by scientific logic and laws.

Behind all of these considerations is the suggestion--at once haunting and exhilarating--that what we see and understand of the world is only a tiny piece of the extraordinary, perhaps unfathomable whole. 

Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine

Alan Lightman

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From the acclaimed author of Einstein's Dreams, here is an inspires, lyrical meditation on religion and science that explores the tension between our yearning for permanence and certainty, and the modern scientific discoveries that demonstrate the impermanent and uncertain nature of the world.

As a physicist, Alan Lightman has always held a scientific view of the world. As a teenager experimenting in his own laboratory, he was impressed by the logic and materiality of a universe governed by a small number of disembodied forces and laws that decree all things in the world are material and impermanent. But one summer evening, while looking at the stars from a small boat at sea, Lightman was overcome by the overwhelming sensation that he was merging with something larger than himself—a grand and eternal unity, a hint of something absolute and immaterial. Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine is Lightman's exploration of these seemingly contradictory impulses. He draws on sources ranging from Saint Augustine's conception of absolute truth to Einstein's theory of relativity, from the unity of the once-indivisible atom to the multiplicity of subatomic particles and the recent notion of multiple universes. What he gives us is a profound inquiry into the human desire for truth and meaning, and a journey along the different paths of religion and science that become part of that quest.

A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human Spirit

Alan Lightman

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From the bestselling author of Einstein's Dreams comes this lyrical and insightful collection of science writing that delves into the mysteries of the scientific process--physics, astronomy, mathamatics--and exposes its beauty and intrigue.

In these brilliant essays, Lightman explores the emotional life of science, the power of imagination, the creative moment, and the alternate ways in which scientists and humanists think about the world. Along the way, he provides in-depth portraits of some of the great geniuses of our time, including Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Edward Teller, and astronomer Vera Rubin. Thoughtful, beautifully written, and wonderfully original, A Sense of the Mysterious confirms Alan Lightman's unique position at the crossroads of science and art.

Song of Two Worlds

Alan Lightman

Best price for this book: $ 8.38

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“VERDICT A vivid and moving book-length narrative poem that places the reader inside of a universe of wonder; of interest to poetry readers and beyond.” ―Library Journal

From the author of international bestseller Einstein's Dreams and National Book Award nominee The Diagnosis.

After decades of living “hung like a dried fly,” emptied and haunted by his past, the narrator, a man who has lost his faith in all things following a mysterious personal tragedy, awakens one morning revitalized and begins a Dante-like journey to find something to believe in, first turning to the world of science and then to the world of philosophy, religion, and human life. As his personal story is slowly revealed, little by little, we confront the great questions of the cosmos and of the human heart, some questions with answers and others without. An exciting new illustrated edition of a unique narrative poem.

Mr g: A Novel About the Creation (Vintage Contemporaries)

Alan Lightman

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Alan Lightman, the internationally bestselling author of Einstein's Dreams, presents Mr g, a celebration of the highs and lows of existence, on the grandest possible scale: the story of Creation, as told by God.

Once before time existed, Mr g woke up from a nap and decided to create the universe. In the shimmering Void, where he lives with his Aunt Penelope and Uncle Deva, he creates time, space, and matter. Soon follow stars, planets, animate matter, consciousness,and intelligent beings with moral dilemmas. But the creation of space and time has unintended consequences, including the arrival of Belhor, a clever and devious rival. Belhor delights in needling Mr g, demanding explanations for the inexplicable, offering his own opinions on the fledgling universes, and maintaining the necessity of evil. As Mr g’s favorite universe grows, he discovers how an act of creation can change everything in the world—including the creator himself.

The Diagnosis: A Novel

Alan Lightman

Best price for this book: $ 3.5

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From the bestselling author of Einstein’s Dreams comes this harrowing tale of one man's struggle to cope in a wired world, even as his own biological wiring short-circuits. As Boston’s Red Line shuttles Bill Chalmers to work one summer morning, something extraordinary happens. Suddenly, he can't remember which stop is his, where he works, or even who he is. The only thing he can remember is his corporate motto: the maximum information in the minimum time.

Bill’s memory returns, but a strange numbness afflicts him. As he attempts to find a diagnosis for his deteriorating illness, he descends into a nightmarish tangle of inconclusive results, his company’s manic frenzy, and his family’s disbelief. Ultimately, Bill discovers that he is fighting not just for his body but also for his soul.

Ghost (Vintage Contemporaries)

Alan Lightman

Best price for this book: $ 10.04

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A stunning new novel about an ordinary man's encounter with the extraordinary, from the author of Einstein's Dreams.David Kurzweil, a quiet man with modest ambitions, was taking a break at his new job, when he saw something out of the corner of his eye. Something no science could explain. Suddenly David's life is changed, and he soon finds himself in the middle of a wild public controversy over the existence of the supernatural. As David searches for an explanation, we embark on a provocative exploration of the delicate divide between the physical and the spiritual, between science and religion as only Alan Lightman could provide. Combining a beautiful narrative with provocative ideas, Ghost investigates timeless questions that continue to challenge the truth as we know it.

The Discoveries: Great Breakthroughs in 20th-Century Science, Including the Original Papers

Alan Lightman

Best price for this book: $ 9.95

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In this captivating and lucid book, novelist and science writer Alan Lightman chronicles twenty-four great discoveries of twentieth-century science--everything from the theory of relativity to mapping the structure of DNA.These discoveries radically changed our notions of the world and our place in it. Here are Einstein, Fleming, Bohr, McClintock, Paul ing, Watson and Crick, Heisenberg and many others. With remarkable insight, Lightman charts the intellectual and emotional landscape of the time, portrays the human drama of discovery, and explains the significance and impact of the work. Finally he includes a fascinating and unique guided tour through the original papers in which the discoveries were revealed. Here is science writing at its best–beautiful, lyrical and completely accessible. It brings the process of discovery to life before our very eyes.

By Alan Lightman: Einstein's Dreams

-Warner Books-

Best price for this book: $ 10.81

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