Space landscape

    Good time!
    We have a new book by Leonard Sasskind


    As physicists penetrate deeper and deeper into the secrets of the structure of the Universe, they are becoming more and more convinced that we are damn lucky that it is structured this way and not otherwise. It is worth changing at least one iota of any of the physical constants, and the existence of life and the emergence of man in this Universe will become impossible. Why is this so? Are there any manifestations of the rational design of the unknown Creator, who specifically created just such a world in which we live? “No,” Leonard Sasskind argues, “intelligent design is an illusion.” The prevailing paradigm in the 18th – 20th centuries, requiring science to explain everything, is replaced by a new concept - the existence of an unimaginable cosmic landscape, a huge number of universes with an innumerable set of properties, and we simply live in one of them because we wouldn’t live in others could.

    The beginning of the 21st century has become a watershed in modern science, says Susskind, “a time that will forever change our understanding of the universe.” And this fascinating book that takes the reader to the forefront of battles in modern physics is the most vivid confirmation of this.

    Jokes on how communist propaganda asserted that everything that was ever invented on earth were invented in Russia became commonplace in the United States: radio, television, an incandescent light bulb, an airplane, abstract painting, and even baseball. However, in the field of physics, some of these jokes turned out to be true. Soviet physicists have been isolated from the rest of the scientific world for so long that many of their extremely important discoveries have remained unknown in the West, for example, a wonderful hypothesis about the beginning of the expansion of the Universe.

    Without a doubt, we will never know the name of the first cosmologist who looked up at the sky and wondered: “What does all this mean? Where did it come from? What is my role in all of this? ”We can only assume that this happened in prehistoric times, probably in Africa. The first cosmological models based on myths had nothing to do with today's scientific cosmology, but they were born out of the same human curiosity. Unsurprisingly, these myths told of earth, water, sky and living things. And of course, they appealed to the supernatural creator: how else to explain the existence of such complex and intricate creatures as people, not to mention the rain, the sun, edible animals and plants, which seem to be created exclusively for our benefit?

    In this book, I have branded beauty, uniqueness, and elegance as deceptive mirages. The laws of physics are neither unique nor elegant. The world, or at least our part of it, seems to be the gigantic machine of Rub Goldberg. But I must admit that I myself am also not able to resist the charm of uniqueness and elegance, like all my colleagues. I also want to believe that the main principle of all principles that goes beyond the laws of any particular pocket-sized universe is unambiguous, elegant and surprisingly simple. But the results obtained by applying this principle do not have to be elegant. Quantum mechanics, which dominates the microscopic world of atoms, is very elegant, which cannot be said about its subjects. Simple quantum-mechanical laws lead to extremely complex patterns of behavior of the molecules that make up liquids, gases and solids, generating both weeds and roses. I think I could find the fundamental principles of string theory elegant if I knew what they were.

    I often joke that if the best theories are those that contain the minimum number of fundamental equations and postulates, then string theory is by far the best of all - no one has yet found a single fundamental equation and has not managed to formulate a single postulate! String theory gives every reason to consider it a very elegant mathematical construction with the highest degree of self-consistency, which any other physical theory would envy. But no one knows what its fundamental principles are. No one knows what its main “building blocks” are.

    Building blocks are the simplest objects from which everything else is built. For the builder, these are bricks. The relationship between the building blocks and the objects made up of them is asymmetric: you can build a house out of bricks, but only a patient in a psychiatric hospital with severe perceptual impairment would decide to build bricks from the houses.

    Today it is believed that ordinary matter consists of quarks and electrons. Both ordinary people and scientists often ask the question: “Do you think that the discovery of more and more elementary bricks will last forever or there is a smallest building block?” Today, this question often takes the form: “Is there anything less than Planck length? ”or:“ Are the strings the most fundamental objects or do they consist of smaller parts? ”

    Perhaps these are incorrect questions. String theory's working methods are more subtle. If we focus on a specific region of the Terrain, we find that everything here is built from a certain set of building blocks. Some regions of the Landscape may contain open and closed strings, in others all matter consists of D-branes, in the third elementary construction objects are similar to ordinary quanta of force fields assembled into strings, branes, black holes and much more. With respect to all objects distinguished as fundamental, other objects of the theory behave as constituents in the same sense that atoms and molecules consist of electrons, protons and neutrons.

    But as we move from one place of the Landscape to another, strange things begin to happen. Building blocks change roles with the objects built from them. Any particular composite object begins to behave more and more simply and more simply, as if it was an elementary building block. At the same time, the object, which had previously been a building block, begins to exhibit behavior indicating the presence of a complex internal structure. The landscape turns into a fantastic landscape, in which, as we move along it, bricks and houses change roles.

    About the author of the book

    Leonard Susskind is an American theoretical physicist, one of the creators of string theory, who is currently teaching at Stanford University.


    He graduated from New York City College with a master's degree in physics in 1962, and received his Ph.D. in 1965 from Cornell University. Since 1979, Susskind is a professor of physics at Stanford University. In 1998, he was awarded the Sakurai Prize for pioneering achievements in hadron string models, lattice gauge theories, quantum chromodynamics, and dynamic symmetry breaking. Since 1999, professor at the Korea Advanced Research Institute.

    Susskind made a significant contribution to the development of modern physics. Among his scientific achievements:
    • introduction to hadron physics of a one-dimensional fundamental object - a string;
    • contribution to quark confinement theory;
    • development of a gauge theory in terms of a Hamiltonian lattice;
    • contribution to the string description of the entropy of a black hole;
    • development of a matrix description of M-theory;
    • contribution to the development of the holographic principle.

    More detailed information on the book is available on the website of the publishing house
    for the book and the whole series of New Science is available for a 25% discount
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