New Science Books Reprinted


    We are glad to inform you that the second edition of books has been published at Peter Publishing House: “The Battle of the Black Hole. My battle with Stephen Hawking for a world safe for quantum mechanics ” - L. Susskind and “ String Theory and Hidden Dimensions of the Universe ” - Shintan Yau.

    Black Hole War, or the Battle of the Black Hole

    This book is a vivid, emotionally rich and popularly presented chronicle of the battles that have just died out in advanced physics.

    What happens when an object falls into a black hole? Does it disappear without a trace?
    About thirty years ago, one of the leading researchers of the black hole phenomenon, the now famous British physicist Stephen Hawking, stated that this is exactly what is happening. But it turns out that such an answer threatens everything we know about physics and the fundamental laws of the universe. The author of this book, Leonard Sasskind, for many years argued with Stephen Hawking about the nature of black holes, until, finally, in 2004, he acknowledged his mistake. A book written by Susskind tells the fascinating story of this many years of scientific confrontation, which radically changed the physicists' view of the nature of reality. The new paradigm has led to the stunning conclusion that everything in our world - this book, your home, you yourself - is just a kind of hologram projecting from the edges of the Universe.

    What is the story of the scientific dispute that became the subject of the book?

    The book is dedicated to the intellectual battle around a single thought experiment. In 1976, Stephen Hawking thought about throwing a chunk of information - a book, a computer, even just an elementary particle - into a black hole. Black holes, Hawking believed, are irretrievable traps, and for the outside world a fallen portion of information will be irreversibly lost. This seemingly innocent conclusion is far from being as harmless as it seems; it is capable of undermining and overturning the entire magnificent building of modern physics. Some terrible failure happened: the most fundamental law of nature - the law of conservation of information - was threatened. Those who followed the events were clear: either Hawking was mistaken, or the three-hundred-year-old citadel of physics would fall.

    But at first, few people paid attention to this. For almost two decades, the discussion proceeded almost imperceptibly. Leonard Sasskind, together with the Dutch physicist Gerard 't Hooft, together represented the whole army, which fought on one side of the intellectual front. Stephen Hawking with a small army of relativists was on the other side. Until the early 1990s, most theoretical physicists, especially string theory experts, did not respond to the threat posed by Hawking's statement, and then most of them considered his conclusions erroneous. In any case - so far erroneous.

    The battle at the black hole was a genuine scientific discussion, completely unlike pseudo-debates around the “theory of intelligent design” or the reality of global warming, where the fake arguments invented by political manipulators to fool naive people do not at all reflect real scientific differences. On the contrary, the debate about black holes was real. Outstanding theoretical physicists could not agree on which physical principles to trust and which to refuse. Should I follow Hawking with his conservative ideas about space-time, or follow 't Hooft and Sasskind with their conservative views on quantum mechanics? Both points of view seemed to lead only to paradoxes and contradictions. Or space-time - the scene on which the laws of nature work - is not at all like that, how we are accustomed to imagine it, or the great principles of increasing entropy and preserving information are erroneous. Millions of years of cognitive evolution and a couple of centuries of physical experience have fooled us again, confronting us with the need for a new mental flashing.

    The “Battle of the Black Hole” is the triumph of the human mind and its remarkable ability to discover the laws of nature. This is a story about a world far farther from our senses than quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity. Quantum gravity deals with objects that are one hundred billion billion times smaller than a proton. We have never experimentally discovered such small objects, and probably never will, but human ingenuity has allowed us to establish their existence, and surprisingly, the portals to their world are objects with huge masses and sizes - black holes.

    The Battle of the Black Hole is also a chronicle of discovery. The holographic principle is one of the most counterintuitive abstractions in all of physics. It was the culmination of almost two decades of intellectual battles around the fate of information falling into a black hole. It was not a war between angry enemies; in fact, all the main participants in the battle were friends. But it was a fierce intellectual struggle of ideas, waged by people who deeply respect each other, but who have fundamental differences.

    There is one widespread misunderstanding that should be dispelled. People often imagine physicists, especially theoretical physicists, as narrow-minded bores, whose interests are alien to ordinary people and very boring. Nothing could be further from the truth. Great physicists are extremely charismatic people, with strong feelings and amazing ideas. When the general public is told about physicists, bypassing their human side, they miss something very important. When writing this book, the author tried to grasp the emotional side of history to the same extent as the scientific one.


    String Theory and Hidden Dimensions of the Universe

    Mathematics is often called the language of science, or at least the language of the natural sciences, and this is true: the laws of the physical world are much more accurately expressed using mathematical equations than written or spoken by words. In addition, the idea of ​​mathematics as a language does not allow one to properly evaluate it in all its diversity, since it creates the erroneous impression that, with the exception of small corrections, everything really important in mathematics has already been done.

    This is actually not true. Despite the foundation created by scientists over hundreds or even thousands of years, mathematics is still an actively developing and living science. This is by no means a static body of knowledge - however, languages ​​also tend to change. Mathematics is a dynamic, developing science, full of everyday insights and discoveries that compete with discoveries in other areas, although, of course, they do not attract attention to the same extent as the discovery of a new elementary particle, the discovery of a new planet or the synthesis of a new cure for cancer. Moreover, if it were not for the periodic evidence of hypotheses formulated over centuries, information on discoveries in the field of mathematics would not be covered by the press at all.

    For those who value the exceptional power of mathematics, it is not just a language, but an indisputable path to truth, the cornerstone on which the entire system of natural sciences rests. The strength of this discipline lies not only in the ability to explain and reproduce physical realities: for mathematicians, mathematics itself is a reality. Geometric figures and spaces, the existence of which we are proving, are as real for us as elementary particles, of which, according to physics, any substance consists of. We consider mathematical structures even more fundamental than natural particles, because they allow us not only to understand the structure of particles, but also such phenomena of the world around us as features of a human face or symmetry of colors. Geometers are most admired by power and beauty.
    abstract principles underlying the outlines and forms of objects of the world.

    The book talks about the author's research in mathematics. Particular emphasis is placed on the discoveries that helped scientists to build a model of the universe. It is impossible to assert for sure that all the described models will ultimately turn out to be relevant to reality. Nevertheless,
    theories underlying them have undeniable beauty.


    View all books from the New Science series on the publisher’s website . We have reduced the prices of books as much as possible, since we believe that knowledge is a value.

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