By Russell Stannard

ISBN-10: 0199585245

ISBN-13: 9780199585243

Many scientists make extravagant claims as to the scope and tool of medical considering, claiming that eventually it's going to offer an entire figuring out of every little thing. yet Russell Stannard, himself an eminent high-energy physicist, strongly disagrees with this grandiose declare. certainly, in The finish of Discovery, Stannard argues that eventually--perhaps in a number of many years, probably in a number of centuries--fundamental technology will achieve the restrict of what it will possibly clarify. On that day, the clinical age, just like the stone age and the iron age prior to it, will come to an end.
to focus on the limits of medical realizing, Stannard takes readers on a fascinating journey of a few of the inner most questions dealing with technological know-how today--questions to do with recognition, unfastened will, the character of area, time, and topic, the life of extraterrestrial existence, and masses extra. for example, from his personal study box, he issues out that to appreciate the subatomic international, scientists rely of particle accelerators, yet to appreciate the very smallest devices of nature, it's been calculated that we'd desire an accelerator the dimensions of a galaxy. sincerely, except a brand new procedure comes alongside, we would by no means comprehend totally the main easy construction blocks of the universe.
As a scientist, Stannard continues to be hopeful that numerous of the questions addressed will someday be responded. yet different puzzles will stay for all time--and we may well by no means even are aware of it once we have hit an insuperable barrier in these instructions.
He assures us that there'll constantly be new makes use of of medical wisdom. expertise will proceed. yet basic technology itself--the making of unpolluted discoveries as to how the realm works--must eventually grind to a halt.

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Extra resources for The End of Discovery: Are We Approaching the Boundaries of the Knowable?

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But the practical difficulties involved in achieving this are enormous. Beyond that, there is the even more remote possibility of using gravitational waves—a type of wave generated when massive bodies are accelerated. Theoretically, gravitational waves could probe right back to the instant of the Big Bang. Unfortunately, they are yet more difficult to detect. Despite attempts having been made for many years, to date no-one has succeeded in detecting a gravitational wave. â Thus practical difficulties set limits on how close we can get to the instant of the Big Bang by direct observation.

I must confess that I have always had a hankering for this finite closed solution to the problem of the size of the universe. It is such a neat, brilliant piece of lateral thinking. It is a possibility allowed by the theory of relativity. The trouble is that the same theory that permits this kind of solution also attributes the curvature to a specific cause. It 46 THE SIZE OF THE COSMOS is all due to the contents of the universe. The greater the density of matter and energy in the universe the greater the curvature.

The agreement between this requirement and the experimentally measured value for the mean density of the universe, provides powerful evidence in favour of inflation theory. So what does this mean in terms of the size of the universe? Because the density is critical—and does not exceed that value—three-dimensional space does not curve back on itself. So the closed universe hypothesis—attractive though it might be—is dead. 48 THE SIZE OF THE COSMOS This, in fact, is not the first time that a beautiful cosmological theory has died.

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The End of Discovery: Are We Approaching the Boundaries of the Knowable? by Russell Stannard


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